Dogography 101 – The Ultimate Dog Photography Guide

Are you like me? I spend so long drooling over some of the photography that the hardcore dog accounts take on Instagram.

I’ve long since wished I could do the same, and whilst I knew I had a good camera, my photos were never … that. And I dreamed!

One of the photographers I love Is Lorren, from Polka_Dot_Loki – she gets some wonderful shots of her boy, Loki the Dalmatian. With over 50k followers on her IG, it’s really not a shock that she knows what she’s doing with a camera, huh?

Then I found out Lorren had an ebook (Dogography 101, by the way!) that walks you through getting the shot and editing the shot.

Naturally, I got really interested because I knew there was coming to a tipping point on this blog where I needed an upgrade in imagery, partially because (lifting the veil here) not only do I love getting pictures of my woofs, but because I know google likes unique imagery too.

It’s also one of my biggest ‘super powers’, being unbiased and the fact that I actually test my gear myself as opposed to leaning on past reviews – or only recommending affiliated suppliers… So it seemed like the perfect time to expand my abilities.

Please note I was not paid or given product to do this review! This is just because I found this really freaking useful.

My Existing Equipment

My husband’s camera is a Nikon D7500 (we got it secondhand on FB Marketplace though!) and was something I’ve commandeered since moving more into some reviews. Now, please understand I know nothing about photography, literally zero, but I did know that this was a good camera (because I had been repeatedly told so by my husband and the odd person who did have a clue!).

So, I was super lucky to have the right starting block.

It had a standard lens and the photos edited up pretty well when hit by someone who knows what they were doing, but I knew they could be better…

Shelby The Redbone Coonhound wearing her fi series 2 collar
This was taken with the standard lens on the Nikon D6500 camera, and you can see, it’s a really nice shot! But, it’s still not quite what I was after – this was for the review of the Fi Series 2 Collars

So I read the ebook.

What’s In The DOGography 101 Ebook?

You mean, other than the really detailed 125 pages of fully imaged, well explained content?

Well, it goes through everything.

It starts with the camera, which I was lucky enough to have, and extends way beyond just the camera.

From the file type you camera is taking it in and why (which I had totally wrong), to composition, lens choices, and even how to use photoshop in a way to enhance but not overdo it.

Honestly? I’ve taken more photos to test things out since getting this ebook, than I think I’ve taken in my whole life.

But, Can’t I Just Google It?

Or youtube, or whatever your poison is…

I mean – maybe? But any time I have tried to do that? I find it supremely difficult because a lot of the time they jump ahead of my knowledge or assume that I already have it in a certain file type, or what they’re pedalling just doesn’t work for dogs – because dogs are living breathing creatures and don’t necessarily stay as still as a muffin does, or understand poses like a person does.

Did I mention that by the way? Lorren also gives some fab ideas for poses too.

Lorren’s guide is genuinely easy to understand and implement, which is not something I can say about other photography guides.

Changes I Made To My Photography On Lorren’s Advice

I purchased a lens for my camera, I grabbed what Lorren calls her “Go to” lens, the Nikkor 85mm 1.8 something or other that means something to camera enthusiasts.

All I knew? Was that it was going to give me the shots I wanted, where my dog is the subject, all pretty and posed, and it draws focus away from the background.

The book told me what time of day to shoot to get the best effects too, so I followed that, and set about taking some shots with the new lens.

And … well…?

The Resulting Photos

Indie the German Shepherd in a Landshark Dog collar - looking much better after doing some learning with dogography 101 - as photography goes, I'm impressed to have produced something of this quality.
Indie the German Shepherd in a Landshark Dog collar – looking much better after doing some learning with dogography 101

Talk about a difference?! Ah, I couldn’t be more pleased as to how my shots are turning out now, and it’s genuinely none of my own doing (other than being behind the eye-thingy – yes, that’s how bad my photography understanding is – eye-thingy – super technical).

The focus is totally on Indie, I think he’s wonderfully lit, really nicely in focus and generally? The image’s composition etc is really good. For me? This was exactly what I wanted out of my shots and I could not be more pleased.

indie the german shepherd cross sleeping on the big barker bed with his blanket
indie the german shepherd cross sleeping on the big barker bed with his blanket – this was taken with the new lens too, and I think it really helps me get a good shot! Please do ignore his lime green paw – Indie decided to break himself a little – the dope.

Does Lorren’s Dogography 101 Help?

Yes, honestly.

I think the proof really is in the pudding for this one, because the shots are better.

The results are better.

It helps you get to the shot you want, it helps you pose your dog in the right way to get a cute shot too, the only thing it doesn’t do? Is take the photo for you and train your dog. Lorren’s tone is perfect for explaining, she assumes I knew nothing (which I didn’t!) and held my hand through the whole process.

I mean, it’s a really nice shot of Shelby, please don’t get me wrong, and I still love it, but comparatively, the one of Indie is stunning. That’s like above the mantlepiece level of production.

The only real problem with Dogography? Is that I think my bank balance will take a few more hits as i expand my collection of lenses and memory cards!

Go grab your copy of Dogography over on Lorren’s Etsy store!

Before & After Lorren’s Dogography 101

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!