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Point of View in Dog Photography

In pet or dog photography, because I am usually dealing with a critter much smaller and shorter than myself, it is common to switch between high-angle and eye-level (their eye level) shots.

a high angle shot refers to when the camera is located above the eyeline, looking downwards at the subject

For this set of photos, the ones on the left show the high-angle shots; the ones on the right show my dog, Donna’s, point of view.

Sometimes, the high angle shot of my dog can be quite deceptive. The dog can appear to be smaller than it actually is because it’s body is largely obscured. I also think high-angle shots make a dog look cuter because of the “big head” effect. :P

In this set of pictures below, showing the interaction between a black street cat and Donna, I consistently use a slightly high angle shot but changed the location of the camera three times before I got what I wanted.

In general, it is easier to practice and experiment at home, particularly when one’s dog feels lazy and not inclined to move. :P

I find it harder to work with low-angles with my dog, but in this picture below on the right, I kind of like it that the slight low-angle makes her look a little snooty. hah!

This is the lowest I have ever done.



Can dogs drink seawater?


Encounter with a night cat


  1. This is really interesting. I’m forever being asked how I get good pictures of my piggies. It’s usually a matter of catching them unaware, picking a colour that really compliments them as a background and taking lots. Half of my pigtures never make it to the blog because they are blurs or just didn’t work. Also piggies need food or something to distract them! That always helps.

    ~ Amy

    • Hi Amy, I assume picking the background colour refers to the fabric/bacground you place them on/in front of for your photos? It’s interesting how you’ve just given pet photography your own personal and unique perspective! While Donna is too big and heavy for me to pick up and deposit at point X for a photo, it is not so with your piggies. They are smaller and require less space and you have the opportunity to set up the scene as creatively as you please! I now understand the food in your recent pigtures! :P I use treats as well myself when I need to do something more for me. But she gets rewarded after the picture is taken so there is no sight of the treat. It sounds like piggies are aware of the camera and may not like it. Have to say I enjoy your pictures and the piggies look great from all angles. Low angle works well too because of their cute little mouths :D Can dogs enter the Don’t Parsely Me By contest? I have just the photo! :P

      • With setting up a brackground usually I use towels just to protect whatever they are sitting on. After awhile I learnt different colours changed the overall look of the photo. I love taking pigture when they aren’t paying attention to the camera but they are always hyper aware of their surroundings (as prey animals I suppose they have to be) so most of the time they know I’m there.

        Treats are a huge motivation. If they are given food they stop escaping of eating the set which makes the whole experience far easier! I’ve photographed dogs before and frankly it was so much easier. You ask a dog to sit and instantly you have a still subject with it’s attention on you. You tell a guinea pig to sit and it runs in the other direction, laughing and flicking props everywhere!

        Absolutely, yes doggies can enter the pigture contest!


  2. Ha Ha. Funny photos above. Especially the one with a cat and ones with down … door stop. By the way, I asked about your photo challenge in another post but I just read its details again on your URL so I understood now. ;)

    • Good to hear! I’m so sorry I didn’t reply in time! Laptop broke down, heavy rain and attention-seeking dog are my excuses. :P I will reply to your original comment though, just to be clear :)

  3. Animal photography can be very challenging. The subjects tend to have a mind of their own and be less inclined to sit still for the lens. POV is always important, no matter what the subject matter. I think it can be very revealing to challenge oneself and think out of the “traditional” box when it comes to POV. It can completely change one’s perspective, consider your shot of Donna where you were at her level and caught the people walking by … but not all of their bodies. Fascinating on many different levels.
    Wonderfully fun and lovely images. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Absolutely, an eye level or lower than that POV is what we probably can do more but don’t simply because it is physically challenging when one is out walking the dog holding the leash on one hand and the camera on the other. Hence the pictures here mostly show the dog at rest or keeping still. That said, just by keeping the camera at a level that shows off the dog’s face clearer (she doesn’t always look up), will work wonders at showing the dogs expression. I’m glad you enjoyed it Pat!

  4. Great photos for this challenge! Love the cat hiding in the garden.

  5. Wow! I didn’t know there was so much involved in getting such good pics! I just set the camera on auto, point it at the dogs, and keep the button pushed down so it rapid fires. My theory is, at least one of the 100 pics taken within miliseconds of each other might turn out OK.

    Crabby is HORRIFIED at my technique :)

    • LOL, even so I think you may be doing this to a greater or lesser degree sub-consciously when you shift to fit the dogs in the frame in a way that the picture is pleasing to you. And while Crabby is Horrified by the technique, I also subscribe to the “there must at least be some quality in quantity” approach. :P That makes house-keeping a chore though, so I do try to balance between quantity and having to sort through and delete duplicates, blurred or bad pictures. – –

  6. Great post! A good run-down, for sure. I usually try to get eye-level shots with Moses and Alma, but that’s not too hard to do given their size. Maybe I should try for more high-angle just to mix it up. Low-angle is a drool risk, but would also add some variety :)
    I’m a new reader to your blog and am loving going back through the archives! Love your photos and you’ve got lots of good information to share!

    • I’m glad the blog is interesting to you :D I guess drool risk depends on the dog breed? Our mutt doesn’t drool that much :D I do a lot of high-angle since I usually am walking her on the leash when I take pictures. Eye level will show the faces clearly but it’s harder for me given this situation :P I love your photos, and the fact that Moses and Alma are so good to sit and stay so far away for you to take them!! :D Have a great day!

  7. Good info. I need to get a tripod for my camera. I think changing angles and getting the one I want will be much easier. :)

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