We know what it’s like. You feel like you’ve run out of photographic topics on the millionth day of the lockout, and you’re looking at the wall or out the window hoping for something new to emerge.

However, if you have puppies, there are so many places to exercise your camera talents and take some brilliant shots of the action, whether it’s in your backyard, the local park, or anywhere you go on your morning walk.

We spent the day shooting dogs with Alexandra Robbins, the pro pet photographer, until lockout. Why not pursue her steps in catching animals in action? Why not?

Here are 5 steps for capturing dogs in motion:

1. Use a telephoto lens

Framing and focusing on dogs in action is difficult, and using a versatile telephoto helps you to catch a variety of lengths while they race. To recompose without having to move, Alex moved to a 70-200mm lens, washing her lens before using it.

How To Shoot Action photos of your dogs 1

2. Manual Setting

Manual Exposure mode is used by Alex. A fast shutter speed is a priority for moving targets; to ensure a sharp result, she sets the focus mode to AI-Servo (continuous focusing).

Use Manual settings to shoot portraits of your dog

3. Get down low

The easiest way to take convincing images is to film animals at their eye level. To make this strategy more convenient, Alex often uses knee pads.

Get down low to shoot best portrait of your pet
(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

4. Ask for help

To help steer the dog(s), having a friend or family member on hand will leave you able to concentrate on the photograph. Her companion keeps up the contact with the owners as Alex works, or carries dog leads.

Ask for help from pet owners to call their pets
(image credit: Anne Geier)

5. Ready, set, go

She asks the owner behind her to call the dog until Alex is able to shoot or capture. She uses her DSLRs 7fps continual shooting rate as it races towards her, setting off a burst of images to ensure that she catches a number of frames and expressions.

Ready, set, go, Ask owners to call their pet while standing behind the photographer.
(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

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