Expert Tips on How to Photograph Your (and My) Black Dog

One of my biggest frustrations as a dog mom is not being able to properly capture the true beauty of my standard black poodle, Kiki. Walking her around New York City is never dull. People often stop me to take her picture and ask me who does her hair. One guy even told me she looked like his ex mother-in-law! Unfortunately, most of my best efforts trying to capture her good looks have ended in failure. When trying to find a solution for getting a better picture, I realized that I wasn’t the only one with this struggle. Black dogs are significantly more difficult to photograph!

how to photograph black dog, Kiki photographed by Marianne Barnett

Kiki photographed by Marianne Barnett

It’s a true and sad fact that a black dog will sit in a shelter much longer than any other color variety of dog. One of the reasons? Black dogs are notoriously difficult to photograph or see in photos.

Here are some helpful and easy tips we have gathered on capturing black dogs with a professional camera or a smartphone from pet photographers and pet influencers:

black dog with contrasting background


You can use nature, a bright wall, furniture or a colorful leash, collar or outfit to accomplish this.

“Since the dog is already so dark, incorporate bright colors or accessories into the shot for some contrast!” – Megan Rose Macari @nycdogmom @pharrellandrosie

professional dog photo


You have some of the finest photography tools right in your pocket!

“On the iPhone camera, you can click on the screen and play around with the exposure settings. A nice, overcast day helps too for an overall even exposure.” Beth @goodboygrayson



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