Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue

When Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue approached me with the suggestion to write this blog, I thought it would be a cool idea to help people take better images of their pets. Of course I have access to very advanced photography equipment – so in writing this – I want to make sure the ‘lessons’ apply to any type of camera.  In fact – for the first several blog entries – I will only use my iPhone.  I want to show you how you can improve your images through proper composition, angle-of-view, lighting, positioning, when to use flash and when not to; what is HDR and do I want to use it?  None of these require fancy gear – of course – the fancy gear does make it easier. You can see much more of my work with animals by clicking on my logo or here.

So for the first entry – I want to talk about Angle of View.

BeforeLike children, dogs are physically smaller than us.  The urge to take their picture from where you are is very common.  It does make for a strange picture.  Consider the following image of Sadie:

While a reasonable image, Sadie is not in a comfortable position.  When you stand above her – she is forced to bend her neck backwards.  In this position, she – and most dogs – would tend to close their mouths and look tense.  We will talk more about dog expressions in a later blog entry, but for now take my word – it is not a flattering pose.

The fix is simple, get down to their level.  Yes that does mean you will need to get on your knees – but consider the difference this angle of view makes:

AfterNow keep in mind, that when you go down to their eye level, they will be very tempted to come towards you.  The better trained they are, the easier it will be to take their picture from that level.  Note how much more natural Sadie looks.  Her mouth is open, tongue in – a typical pose for a relaxed dog.  Now a couple of things to note – Sadie did come to me very shortly after I snapped this picture.  Also – no treats were involved.  This is a common misconception – dogs do not need treats in order to pose.  In fact, treat can become a distraction. 

So this is it – the first in a series of blogs on how to capture a better image of your pet.  I will use dogs for most of my examples, simply because I have more access to dog ‘models’ than cat or other pet models.  That said – the same concepts generally apply.


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Wine and Wags - Sunday June 2nd

June 2nd !!

Mark your calendar for this wonderful 2nd Annual Wine & Wags event, in Livermore. Big White House Winery/John Evan Cellar has graciously offered us a spot at their beautiful winery where we will have our BAGSR table ! More than 15 wineries are sponsoring this event and many rescues are participating. Please plan on a beautiful Sunday and come do ya thing....with the wine glass thing and support our dogs. We will have a few ambassadogs there. Thank you for Carmen and Mark Battle, as well as Kathy Ramirez, who reached out to us. Who wants to have some fun in the sun?

Holiday Pup Pics 2018

Come and join us and get great photos of your dog!

Holiday Pup Pics

Come and join us and get great photos of your dog!


See our dogs

Click below if you would like to see all our dogs. They are available to be rescued right now.



How do I adopt?

Check here if you would like to see just how easy it is to adopt one of our wonderful dogs.



What is BAGSR?

We are a proud group of volunteers who love German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Click here to learn more.