9 tips for taking great JRTRO foster dog photos

Why are photos so important?

The photos we use in your foster dog’s Petfinder bio have a big impact on how quickly we can find an adoptive family. Bios without a photo get very little traffic, and those with dark, blurry or cluttered photos don’t get much more. Often, a dog that has received very few views will suddenly garner a lot of interest when old photos are replaced with newer and better ones. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you with photographing your foster Jack:

1. Get down to the dog’s level: Photos taken at the dogs eyeline convey more personality to potential adopters

2. Take photos outdoors: Outdoor shots create lots of natural light and tend to have less clutter than indoor shots

3. Take photos of the dog alone: As cute as a photo can be with another dog or child, the size of the photos allowed on the Petfinder site makes it hard to see the foster dog in detail when others are in the picture too.

4. Ensure adequate and even light: Make sure the dog is well-lit, shadow-free and that the light source is coming from in front of the dog, not from behind.

5. Avoid clutter: Try to use simple, bright and natural backgrounds that are free of distracting elements.

6. Take a variety of shots: Close-ups, full-body and dogs at play and at rest give a well-rounded impression of your foster dog. Don’t be afraid to show your dog’s personality off in the photos!

7. Avoid using your cell phone camera: If possible, use a camera instead of cell phone to take your photos. Better quality photos make a dog more adoptable. If you don’t have a camera, use your cell phone outside with lots of light.

8. Share your photos: Let your friends and family know about the wonderful little Jack you are fostering. You can also share photos on JRTRO’s facebook page. You never know who might be looking to adopt!

9. Nothing fancy: We don’t mean to be boring, but photos that are simple are best. Avoid fancy frames, textures, vignetting, sepia or other photo processing techniques for your foster photos.

Follow these tips and you will have some great shots to share with potential adopters. Snap and send as many photos as you like – we love to receive them. Photos can be emailed to fosterdog@russellrescue.org. As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions about taking photos of your foster dog, please contact the JRTRO team!

UPDATE: Many of our foster parents are having problems with reducing giant photos. Try paint.net – it is free software that you can use to resize your photos, as well as crop out distracting elements, brighten the photo etc. Improve your foster photos even further with this free app!

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