One question we often get asked when somebody first calls us to book their dog photography session is “how do you photograph a black dog?” I’ve seen hundreds of photos that our customers have taken of their black dogs on their phones, and I can understand why this is of concern to them. Often their dogs just look like a big black splodge with eyes.

There are a number of factors that will affect the quality of your dog photographs:

Start with good Light

Every great photograph has to have great light, and this is no exception for capturing black dogs. If you’re trying to capture them in the woods, or indoors, then your camera is already battling against low light conditions. Your black dog will undoubtedly look even darker, with very little fur detail.

Instead try and capture your dog images in strong daylight, giving your camera the best chance to capture the light reflecting off the fur.

The Camera Makes a Huge Difference

Most people these days capture most of their images on their smartphones. While these are already very powerful cameras and can capture great detail they do still have their limitations. One of these is their ability to capture detail in dark areas. Of course, this will make a big difference when capturing photographs of your black dog.

We recommend that if possible you turn your phone camera’s setting to RAW (rather than jpg). This setting means that the image captured has a better dynamic range so that you will have a better chance of recovering more detail in the black fur (more about that in a minute). The downside of this though is the file size of RAW images is much bigger than jpg files. So you can very quickly run out of phone memory if you’re not careful. So we recommend you switch back to jpg mode once you’ve captured your dog photos.

Use Photography Editing Software or Apps

Once you have your images, we recommend you spend more time editing your favourites. If you’re editing on a computer we recommend Adobe Lightroom. This is an incredibly powerful piece of software for editing all your images. In particular, it has a slider called “shadows”. You can use this slider to recover some of the detail in the black fur. If you had your camera set to RAW (see above) you will see the best results with this slider.

If you do your editing straight from the phone then one of the apps we love to use is called Snapseed. This is cheaper and easier to use than Lightroom, plus you don’t need your computer to use it.

Let us Capture Images of Your Black Dog

Of course, we would be stupid if we didn’t mention our own professional dog photography services. Why not treat yourself to a beautiful image of your ‘best friend’, which we will produce for you as a stunning piece of wall art for you to treasure forever. We can ensure your final chosen image will capture all the gorgeous fur on your black dog.

Contact us here if you have any queries or would like to book an appointment. And view our gallery for examples of our recent dog shoots.

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Would recommend Chrysalis Photography to anyone. Friendly and thoughtful, what could have been a disaster with a 2yr old turned out to be fun and the end result is fab 5 stars from us.

Hannah Nettleship

Chrysalis Photography

The Stable Courtyard,

Renishaw Hall,

Sheffield, Derbyshire

S21 3WB