Tips to Take a Good Picture of a Black Dog

How to Take a Good Picture of a Black Dog

I’m going to share with you some tips on how to take a good picture of your black dog. These will help you if you are a professional photographer or just using your digital camera and want to get a decent shot of your furry friend.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

Choose the right time of day

Choose the right time of day. The light is too harsh for a good picture during the middle of the day, so try to take your dog’s photos in the early morning or late afternoon. This will also help you find shade if you’re outside, which is important for black fur.

Use natural light

Natural light is always the best way to go. This goes for most everything (and not just black dogs), but if you can get outside in the shade when it’s sunny, your photo will be infinitely better than if you use artificial light.

If you absolutely must take photos indoors, there are still some things that can help prevent the dreaded black hole effect. Avoid using a flash at all costs—these will make your dog’s eyes look like little holes of fire and it will be impossible to tell where his or her face starts and ends. Instead, use a flash diffuser (which makes the light softer) or shoot near natural light sources like windows.

Set the scene outside

  • Set the scene outside.
  • The background is key. Good options include beach, forest, river, and mountain landscapes; scenic cityscapes; open fields and grasslands; and sunsets.
  • Use natural light instead of flash.
  • Flash can be harsh, so we recommend using the ambient lighting of your setting to illuminate your dog’s face instead. If you find that this still isn’t quite enough light for getting a clear shot, try using a reflector (you could use an old white sheet) to bounce some more light onto your black dog’s face – this will look more natural than flash.
  • Don’t put a filter on it!
  • Filters tend to alter a photo’s lighting in ways that can make your dog look even darker than he or she already was in real life (think about it—if there’s already not much contrast between their fur and the background, adding a filter that darkens everything may completely blend them into their surroundings). Save the filters for pics of things other than black dogs—or for when you have time for some serious editing later on!

Look for shade

There are a few ways to accomplish this. One is to find a shaded area for your dog to pose in. This is where the natural light will be at its softest. To add some drama, look for a background with bright foliage or flowers, but keep your dog in a place that’s mostly in shadow.

This way, his features will stand out more and he’ll be less likely to blend into the background completely. Another option is to use clouds as a giant diffuser: they soften the sun’s light so that it lands on your subject gently enough not to obscure its contours (but don’t forget the sunscreen if you’re shooting outdoors).

If you have no control over the weather, take advantage of overcast conditions (which are great for making black dogs pop) or early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun is lower in the sky and casts long shadows. Avoid high noon—not only does this exhaust even black dogs’ eyes, but it also creates harsh shadows under their snouts and ears. Yikes!

Watch out for dark shadows and bright light

Be careful of bright light and dark shadows

Black dogs have black fur, and most other animals have fur that isn’t quite as black as a black dog’s coat. This is because the pigment melanin can appear in its darkest form inside a black dog. As such, there are some challenges with photographing a black dog outdoors, especially on a sunny day. The sun will cast shadows on your dog that can make your images look very unappealing if you don’t know how to compensate for them.

Your camera might not recognize these dark shadows either, so if you shoot RAW files, you may be able to fix them in post-processing by increasing the exposure or using a curves adjustment layer in Photoshop or Lightroom. If you shoot JPEG files (which I do not recommend), then you may want to use flash outdoors or avoid taking pictures of your dog in direct sunlight unless he is wearing sunglasses!

Showcase those eyes

The eyes are often the most striking feature of a black dog, so make them stand out by giving them the most attention in your photo. The more detail you can capture in the eye, the better—especially if your subject has unique colouration.

Using a flash on a black dog is tricky—unless you want a lifeless, soulless-looking image where the subject looks like they’re dead—but take care to use it when it’s bright outside to avoid getting “raccoon-eyes” (that’s when the eyes are dark and hollow looking).

Use a soft-focus filter over your lens (or exclusively on your subjects’ eyes) to blur out any background distractions and draw attention straight to those amazing eyes.

Pick a clean background

Choose a clean backdrop. This will make sure your dog is the star of the photo. The background should be simple, not too busy, and not too dark. If you can, find an area with soft evening light for the best photos.

Choose the right lens (not too zoomed in or too zoomed out)

The right lens choice can make all the difference when taking a picture of a black dog.

If you’re using a camera, be sure to keep your zoom feature at an ideal distance. For black dogs, this is generally slightly further away than you’d think—about 30 centimetres from your subject or further. If you zoom in too far, the photo will come out blurry even if the dog doesn’t move.

For those who are not using a camera, it’s important not to get too close to your pet for this project. Sit at least 30 centimetres away from the black dog so that you can see every detail and still capture a clear-looking shot.

Have fun with it!

  • Have fun with it! Take lots of pictures, try different poses and let the dog relax in between.
  • Be patient with your pup—if they’re getting tired or feeling bored, take a break and give them some treats.
  • Keep some treats handy to reward good behaviour.

Anyone can take a good picture of their black dog with these tips

  • Don’t be afraid to take lots of pictures – The more pictures you take, the better your chances are of taking a great picture.
  • Enjoy the experience – If you’re not having fun, neither is your dog!
  • Try to capture the personality of your dog – This is what people want to see when they look at your photo.
  • Share photos with friends and family (and strangers)
  • Have fun with it! Dogs know when you’re having fun!


As you can see, it doesn’t take a professional photographer to take a good picture of a black dog—it just takes some knowledge and tried-and-true techniques. Try using the tips above to photograph your own pup, or share them with someone who’s trying to get a good shot of their favourite canine!