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10 Tips For Taking Fantastic Fall Pictures Of Your Dog

10 Tips For Taking Fantastic Fall Pictures Of Your Dog

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Are you guys excited as I am that it’s officially Fall?

Depending on where you live it might not feel like Fall just yet, it’s 85 degrees here in Ohio today, but according to the calendar Fall has arrived!

Besides Winter, Fall is my favorite time of the year to take pictures of Sherman and Leroy. I’m sure I already told you that about a gazillion times, but I have no problems saying it again.

This year I have tons of ideas swirling around in my head of what I want to try and capture this Fall. After almost 10 years of taking pictures of the boys you would think that I would run out of ideas but I have not, I just have to get a little more creative!

Since I often get asked about some of the pictures I take of Sherman and Leroy I thought I would share some basic tips about capturing some great Fall pictures in case you wanted to give it a try this year.

Before we begin, let me say that I am in no way a professional photographer and I don’t want to play one either. I’m a pure amateur. I have a basic DSLR camera and an iPhone that I use most.  I do dream of upgrading to a Canon one of these days.

But truthfully, I’m just a girl who likes to take pictures of her brown fur babies.

So now lets get’s on to the fun stuff.

10 Tips For Taking Fantastic Fall Pictures Of Your Dog

Here’s a few tips that have helped me over the years get some great Fall pictures of the boys.

  1. Fall is here so start thinking like it’s Fall.  Despite what it’s doing outside you need to get in the Fall spirit. Go to your closest right now and get those Fall decorations out. I can guarantee you that 500,000 people are already way ahead of you so you need to get your butt moving before Christmas pukes all over the place.
  2. Use your Fall decorations for props. Pumpkins, scarecrows, flowers, acorns, corn husks……etc. Think what would look cute next to your dog. I planted ornamental corn in my garden this year so that I wouldn’t have to worry about buying corns husks! They’re just about ready to be cut and dried. If you need to restock on Fall decorations, check out the Dollar Store. I was just there this week and picked up some spider decorations and they have a lot of cute things to choose from. Just go there with a creative mind!
  3. Natural Light. Forget about fake lighting and turn off that flash! Natural light is your friend and you should be outside enjoying the beauty of Fall with it.  99% of my pictures use natural light.  The best natural light photos usually come on overcast days, early in the morning or right before dusk. You can use the sun too, just make sure that you’re not shooting into the sun. It’s usually best if the sun is behind you, not in front of you.
  4. Leaves and trees. Leaves are the perfect backdrop or prop for nice Fall dog photos. They might still be green but they are going to start changing fast and you need to take full advantage of it! You can check out this handy map that tells you when your area will reach full Autumn peak. It says that Ohio will reach its peak by October 14th and be past peak by October 21st. That’s not much time and according to some experts in this area, Ohio might reach its peak well before that due to the lack of rainfall that we’ve had this year.
  5. Scout areas. Now that you know when your area will reach its Autumn peak, start scouting areas filled with trees that will make for a great Fall photo. I have a list of 5 places and I’ve visited 2 of them so far. They’re mostly in parks and I’ve tried to watch the way the sun moves through all of them. More than once I’ve gone to a place that I thought would be great only to find out that all the trees made it impossible to get a good picture, so try to look for a place that has a lot of trees but is also in an open area.
  6. Fake it. Some areas aren’t as lucky to experience Fall colors so there is nothing wrong with faking it. You can bet your bottom dollar that I have a bucket of fake leaves in my Fall closest. Good news-the Dollar Store has them too. Fake it till you make it.
  7. Pumpkins. Oh pumpkins how I love thee. Pumpkins are fun and they come in different shapes, sizes and colors. This can create so many opportunities. I’m a traditionalist but this year I’m all about white pumpkins. I also spray painted a few plastic pumpkins brown. You know, to match the color of Sherman and Leroy. They’re actually suppose to be planters for some mums but they look really cute next to the boys! #brownistheneworange.
  8. Pinterest. Pinterest is your friend and it’s loaded with endless Fall possibilities. That’s actually where I got the brown pumpkin idea and I’ve since found many, many more cute ideas! Just search for Fall and you’ll be stuck on there for hours. You can even search for Fall Picture Ideas. I have an old picket fence that I’m thinking about turning into a back drop for a little pumpkin patch shoot that I saw on Pinterest.
  9. Halloween. Halloween is still over a  month away but if you plan on dressing up your dog, you better start now. There’s a lot of planning that goes into having a good costume and some costumes may need a good location. I always try to keep Leroy’s costumes simple but fun.  Dog costumes don’t come in giant breed size so you have think outside of the box a little. I’ve never spent more than $10 on a Halloween costume so you don’t have to break the bank to have a good costume, it’s more about execution.
  10. Time. Autumn officially starts today and ends December 21st. That’s almost 2 months of Fall, so don’t rush it! You can still take beautiful Fall pictures in November. Some of my best and favorite pictures were taken in November when the trees are just about bare but still alive with Fall. Fall comes with a feeling so sometimes you have dig down and find your Fall feeling. When you do, it will shine through in your pictures!

Fall can be a great time to capture some amazing pictures of your dog that will last a lifetime so remember to have fun and think ahead. Also, it’s important to remember that patience is key and you should never put your dog’s in harms way, no matter how bad you want that perfect picture.

So how about you? Do you have any Fall picture tips to share?

Next week we’ll talk a little bit about the fundamentals of taking pictures of your Newfoundland!

p.s. If anyone is interested in doing a Fall photo challenge I would be more than happy to set one up!

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Kelly Goswick

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

What fun ideas! Thanks for sharing! It really put me in the Fall mindset. Here in AZ everything is still very green. I'm going to have to check out the dollar store soon.


Monday 10th of October 2016

Best of luck Kelly! It's such a fun time of the year!

Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom

Tuesday 27th of September 2016

Yeah, I'm late again. Oh well, so be it. Shadow and Ducky don't sit still long enough for me to get posed pix; but that's okay. I kinda like the "Candid Camera" type shots better anyway. When I'm quick enough on the trigger, I can get some fun, goofy shots of Ducky. I've never been one for dressing up my dogs, other than putting coats on them on cold or rainy days. But you always come up with great costumes for Sherman and Leroy.

Monika & Sam

Sunday 25th of September 2016

Alas, my only tip to add is hire a professional if you want to truly have award winning photos. That said, I'll still be pointing the ole iPhone at the mutt and his new baby sister and perhaps drag out the DSLR for 'formal' shoots. She's already beginning to sigh at me like a petulant teenager. Just wait till Christmas comes around're not gonna have a free moment from the lens. ;)

Sharon Gilbert

Friday 23rd of September 2016

Great ideas thank you so much. Very helpful!

Jan K

Thursday 22nd of September 2016

You've inspired me to get some fall photos this year! This weekend I'm on the lookout for pumpkins and mums, must haves for fall decorating here in New England. I definitely need to get more stuff though! We found some cool old things at our new old house; a radio flyer wagon, plus some baskets and wooden crates that I would love to fill with pumpkins! It's tough to do this on a budget though. It's been a dry season so crops are down, which probably means prices are up! Next year I hope to have my own pumpkin crop, and what a great idea about planting the ornamental corn too!

Kelly Goswick

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

More great ideas! Totally inspired.

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