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Shoot action images of your dogs

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

We know how it is. You're in the millionth day of lockdown, you feel like you've run out of photography subjects, and you're staring at the wall or out of the window waiting for something exciting to appear.

If you've got dogs, however, there are so many ways to practice your camera skills and take some brilliant action shots – whether this is in your garden, the local park, or wherever you go for their daily walk.

Before lockdown, we spent the day shooting dogs with pro pet photography Alexandra Robbins (opens in new tab). Why not have a go at following her steps for capturing animals in action?

5 steps for capturing dogs in motion

1. Use a telephoto

It’s challenging to frame and focus on dogs in motion, and having a flexible telephoto will enable you to capture a range of distances as they run. Alex switched to a 70-200mm lens to recompose without having to move, cleaning her lens before use.

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

2. Manual settings

Alex uses Manual exposure mode. For moving targets, a fast shutter speed is a priority; she sets the focus mode to AI-Servo (continuous focusing) to ensure a sharp result.

Alexandra Robins

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

3. Get down low

Shooting animals at their eye level is the best way to capture compelling portraits. Alex sometimes employs knee pads to make this approach more comfortable.

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

4. Ask for help

Having a friend or family member on hand to help direct the dog(s) can leave you free to focus on the photography. While Alex works, her partner keeps up the communication with the owners, or holds dog leads.

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

5. Ready, set, go

Once Alex is ready to shoot, she asks the owner behind her to call the dog. As it runs towards her, she makes use of her DSLRs 7fps continuous shooting rate, shooting off a burst of images to ensure that she captures a range of frames and expressions.

(Image credit: Alexandra Robins)

For more:

Alexandra Robins' pet photography website (opens in new tab)
FREE pet photography eBook guide with Digital Photographer magazine 233! (opens in new tab)
Capture incredible indoors pet portraits (opens in new tab)

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Digital Photographer
Digital Photographer

Digital Photographer is the ultimate monthly photography magazine for enthusiasts and pros in today’s digital marketplace.


Every issue readers are treated to interviews with leading expert photographers, cutting-edge imagery, practical shooting advice and the very latest high-end digital news and equipment reviews. The team includes seasoned journalists and passionate photographers such as the Editor Peter Fenech (opens in new tab), who are well positioned to bring you authoritative reviews and tutorials on cameras, lenses, lighting, gimbals and more.


Whether you’re a part-time amateur or a full-time pro, Digital Photographer aims to challenge, motivate and inspire you to take your best shot and get the most out of your kit, whether you’re a hobbyist or a seasoned shooter.