• Run. Love. Dog. Repeat.

    03 March 2014/ 2 Comments / by Suzy

    A grid of colorful, energetic dog pictures, including puppies and heeler-mixes, from the Instagram account "Run_Love_Dog"Take Some Photo Tips From a Little Red Heeler

    By pure chance I came across Run_Love_Dog, an Instagram account starring a little red heeler mix named Sophie, and managed by the talented artist Lauren LaBeau Steadley.

    And, so far, I haven’t found another dog-centric Instagram account that’s as good, as consistently, breath-takingly good, as Run_Love_Dog.

    What makes Lauren’s pictures so good is her compositions, the way her dog Sophie and, often, her foster pups, take center stage against a backdrop of (usually) Oklahoma sunsets, snowy fields, naked trees. 

    What Works When You’re Photographing Dogs for Instagram (and other social media)

    Lauren’s not afraid to get close to her dogs.  I’m sure she’d tell you she’s spent a lot of time crouching in the snow for these head-on shots of her gorgeous amber-freckled heeler mix.  And you can tell: she spends a LOT of outdoor time with her dogs to perfect this art.

    Check out the picture above.  Lauren’s easily worked in a few guidelines that make her work stand out: A low angle viewpoint.  Clean backgrounds.  Three colors (white, blue, and a hint of red).  Eye contact.  And one awesome subject!

    Her winning combination is:

    Besides getting down low for eye-level pictures, Lauren also uses:

    A red heeler standing in the cold snow, with a warm sunset behind her.Nice, clean backgrounds (and sometimes this means, getting LOW)!  If you can reduce the clutter in your backgrounds by crouching down (or looking down from above, sometimes), you end up with a “cleaner” picture that directs attention where you want it.  And with clean backgrounds, you can really appreciate the shape of a dog — her outlines, the way her ears sit, her knobby knees….





    A red heeler dog jumps into a warm sunset.Peak-action pictures make the most of showing off a dog in motion, either gamboling against the sky or heading straight for her camera.  As a sports photographer (when I’m not making plush rescue pets!), I am always on the look-out for peak action, or anything that can add energy to my pictures.  How often do you see this type of photo (as opposed to the rescue dog comfortably asleep on the couch)?

    Going all-out for peak action can really make your pictures stand out in the crowd.



    A dog panting near a camera with her eyes turned toward the warm sunshine.Full-face portraits that fill the frame.  I mean, why not get as close as you can?  The expression, “Tight is Right” is a mantra in sports photography, and I’d say it applies well enough to dogs, too!

    (and, isn’t Sophie beautiful?  She’s from OK Save a Dog Society, if you’re wondering)!






    A heeler-mix puppy sits in a pile of crunchy autumn leaves.Reducing the number of colors: See the picture on the left?  While it’s colorful, it’s not a jumble of colors, but instead what you see is just a handful of different colors: orange/red, grey and brown.  When Lauren includes color in her pictures, she doesn’t make a mess of it!  You won’t see a lot of different competing colors.  Just edit it down to a few, and you’ll have a picture that’s easier on the eyes.





    A photographer smushes her dog's face into her own, and takes a selfie of the two friends.Lastly, ol’ Lauren’s not afraid of the SWD (Selfie With Dog).  What?  You can be part of the portrait, too?  Absolutely!







    Lauren is a professional artist who paints commissioned pet portraits from photographs.  You can see more of her work (and hire her!) at ArtLaBeau, and definitely check out her Instagram account at Run_Love_Dog. (Note:  All photos here were taken by Lauren LaBeau Steadley and first appeared on her Instagram account.)


  1. Judy C says:

    Thanks for posting- I really enjoyed reading this and cant wait to try some shots with my pups!

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