I have a confession to make...
My dog’s Instagram is better than mine.
I know, I know. You may be thinking what kind of confession is this? Or, you may be wondering why I even have an Instagram account for my dog. The plain truth is that it is fun! To me, he is this wonderfully glamorous dog that has a larger-than-life persona and I get to share that with others on Instagram.
Creating a brand and starting from scratch is a task!
That bio has always been the hardest part for me when creating a new account. Especially if your account is private, that bio gives a quick synopsis of what you are about and leaves an impression on others. Whether it is a quick one-liner or a bullet point list of your main information, that influences how you are found on Instagram and describes what you are about. I personally think one-liners can be hilariously entertaining and prefer to use them for my dog accounts, but many people use bulleted lists for easy reading. Many successful accounts include contact information for collaborative projects and features!
Taking Instagram-Worthy Pictures of Your Dog
There is certainly a learning curve that will go on as you figure out what your dog’s best angles are, what vibe you are going for, and how pictures will look next to each other on your profile. Sometimes photos taken from too high up make your dog look like a big head and pavement or photos taken from too low are just beard and snoot.
Personally, I am a fan of the eye-height angle. This is where the camera is centered off of the height of where the dog’s eyes are, which can be several inches or a couple of feet off of the ground. It really depends on how tall they are and where they are positioned (laying down, on a chair, etc). Now since I volunteer with OC Pom Rescue, the dogs that I am taking photos of are between four and twenty pounds, so I have to get low to meet their eyeline. I typically find it helpful to sit on my knees so that I can move forward and sideways easily, but you will get your stance as you start taking photos.
Common Questions: What do you do if your dog won’t stay still? How do you get photos in populated or crowded places?
A lot of the time I am taking photos of new fosters that come into the rescue and they do not know me or know commands, and so I have found that it is impossible to perfectly pose a dog and get photos from that. They move around! Getting low and onto their level helps a ton. Squeaky toys that they do not hear often also helps redirect their attention. The Holysteed Latex Dog Squeaky Toys on Amazon are my personal favorite because of their high pitched squeak sound and bright color options.
Get your thumbs moving! The attention span of your dog is going a mile a minute and it helps to be clicking that shutter button repeatedly as you move around and give commands or keywords to get their attention for a quick moment. If the dog knows keywords such as “walk”, “treat”, or “toy”, use these to get them to look at you with their ears propped up.
In crowded places, I have found that it helps to give them pets or ear scratches between takes. This helps them calm down and redirect their attention towards you. They are more apt to listen to your commands and focus on you when they know that they can trust you in a chaotic environment. Be aware, they may slowly walk towards you for more pets!
Common Questions: What kind of photos should I take? How do you get a theme going?
Take photos that show their personality! Norman, my long term foster, loves the outdoors. He photographs well sitting on rocks, bridges, at the beach, or really anywhere in nature. Norman is very playful and will roll around on his back, wrestle with toys, or run around me. I simply point and shoot or give him the commands I have taught him if I want a certain background. Play around with what displays their personality and change up the poses or angles. The app UNUM is helpful in planning posts and deciding which photos look nice together.
Because most of his photos are outdoors, the color scheme tends to be earthy tones. I love the color blue, so I like to get lots of photos that show the sky and will play around with photos at the height of his eyes or below his eyes.
Something I did not realize at first was the importance of switching up where you take photos. I would think taking photos in a similar place would keep the colors and background consistent; however, using other aspects to keep your theme going seems to be more effective. Color scheme, a filter that you use, or the dog’s placement in the frame can keep your theme alive as you switch up the background and maintain your audience’s attention.
Tip: Keep your audience in mind! Sometimes what you want to post aligns with what your audience wants, and we love to see it! Other times, videos of your dog playing with toys get better engagement than ones of them taking a nap. The analytics feature on UNUM also helps you see this data and can inform your future video and photo taking endeavors.
Common Questions: How often should I post?
This is up to you! I have seen people post once every week and others who post three times a day. It really depends on the level of engagement you are going for and what the end goal of having this account is for. There is some conflicting information out there, but posting frequency is going to depend on your optimal posting times. Your prime posting times are going to be specific to your audience and what times they are on Instagram.
Most importantly…HAVE FUN WITH IT! This is your chance to tell your dog’s story or the story of you two together. Don’t waste that opportunity being bogged down with trying to reach follower count goals or getting a certain look. It is about sharing this activity between you and your dog, and that time spent together should be stress-free and natural.
I cannot wait to see your new dog instagram follow OC Pom Rescue! Tag us in your ridiculously cute photos and videos for us to repost. If you have any questions about getting started or really anything dog-related, we are one direct message away.