'Pupparazzi' Star Shares 5 Tips for Perfect Pics of Your Pooch (PHOTOS)

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©Dog Breath Photography/Kaylee Greer

1. Get Low
Pet Photographer Kaylee Greer says, “Get down low when you’re photographing a dog because, here’s the thing, dogs are not an anomaly. They’re not necessarily extraordinary in the way that we see them every day. As a human being, it’s a pretty normal thing to see five or six dogs a day. But we always see them from the same angle: standing. We’re five or six feet above the ground, looking down on them, seeing them from that same, very regular, angle.

“Get down low and change your perspective. When you get on the dog’s eye level, all of a sudden, you’re in his world. He’s like the king of his dominion. It really changes everything. It forms a connection that you don’t feel when you’re standing.”

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National Geographic

1. Get Low
Kaylee gets wheel-y low while photographing Kanga and Roo at the Florida’s Mounts Botanical Garden.

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©Dog Breath Photography/Kaylee Greer

2. Make it Positive
Kaylee tell us, “Number two is make it a positive experience. So many people that I meet, when I meet them and tell them what I do, they go, “My dog hates the camera. I try all the time to get pictures of him.” Even if it’s just a phone or a point-and-shoot camera that they’re using, what’s typically happening is they want a cool photo for Instagram or Facebook, so they’re like, ‘Fido! Look! Look! Look!’ And the dog is like, ‘What is happening?!?’ and the dog is horrified.

“You don’t mean to, but you’re making it a stressful and confusing, and overwhelming experience. A lot of people say, ‘When I take out my phone, my dog turns his head or goes to hide.’ That’s just because it hasn’t been the most beautiful, treats-flying-out-of-the-heavens experience for them. Try to always make it positive.”

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National Geographic/Timothy Shumaker

2. Make it Positive
Greer and her boyfriend Sam pose with Veronica in front of a prop plane at Chuck Hall Aviation. Kaylee chose the airport motif to celebrate Veronica’s rescue from the Thai meat trade by the Soi Dog Foundation and her journey across the Pacific Ocean to a new life in San Diego.

The joy-filled photo shoot was a paw-sitive experience for Kaylee & Sam, the lucky pup and her owner.

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©Dog Breath Photography/Kaylee Greer

3. So Many Treats
Kaylee says, “Make it so that the heavens open up, and the clouds part, and treats fly out of the sky. It can seem a little excessive, but for a really special photo, it’s okay to overdo it. It only has to be one time.

“A really good tip about treats is to use really stinky treats, ones that really smell. Fish-based treats are the ones I use the most because they’re really stinky. Basically, you’re just leveraging a dog’s strongest sense, so make sure that the treats are really stinky and that they get rewarded a lot.”

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National Geographic/Troy Knechtel

3. So Many Treats
Here, Kaylee offers Pointdexter a tasty treat to get the photo could help him to be adopted from the National Puppy Mill Dog Rescue.

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©Dog Breath Photography/Kaylee Greer

4. Use a Cool Sound
Kaylee shares, “It’s especially true with puppies, but almost any dog will respond to a really cool sound. As a dog owner, you’ve probably all seen your dog do that most gorgeous, most beautiful, most coveted thing, the little head tilt where you’re kind of talking to them and you’re saying their favorite word—whether it’s, ‘Wanna go for a walk? Wanna go see Grandma Jackie?’, or whatever it is—they tilt their head because they’re trying to get a better sense of the sound.

“Beyond just using trigger words, use cool sounds—like squeakers, or duck calls or a kazoo. A kazoo is a cool one. We use an app that just makes farm animal sounds, that’s a great one. So, you can kind of download a silly sounds app.

“The secret to this one though is don’t overuse it. I see owners who mean well, but they bring a squeaker—don’t ever let the owner have the squeaker if you’re a professional photographer—they come in and they’ll go [squeak, squeak, squeak!] for an hour and a half. The dog’s head is gonna pop off its body because it’s so stressed out.

But, sounds are really awesome, if used sparingly. All you need is 1/100th of a second of them doing something really interesting and just capture it at the right time.”

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National Geographic

4. Use a Cool Sound
Pupparazzi star Kaylee Greer uses a squeaky tennis ball to catch Henry’s attention during a commercial photoshoot for Earth Rated pet products.

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©Dog Breath Photography/Kaylee Greer

5. Use the Light, But Don’t Use the Flash
Kaylee says, “You don’t have to go out in to the world and seek out the most magical, perfect light. You don’t have to necessarily have the eye of a professional photographer, but pay attention to the light. Try not to take photos outside at 12 noon. At noon, the sun is directly overhead and the light that’s coming straight down is casting crazy shadows all over everything. You’ll find that if you go somewhere where the light is very even—event if it’s in the shade of a building, your photos will be much better. If you’re indoors, in a room that has with light coming through it, face your dog into the window.

Don’t use the flash on your camera, because dogs have something—I’m gonna get a little scientific here—at the back of their eye called the tapetum lucidum. It’s what makes them be able to see so well at night. They can see so much better than us humans can in the dark. That comes from their wolf ancestors hunting in the dark. When you fire a flash at a dog, you can see that shiny blue eye, and you’ll get a demon eye-looking dog.

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National Geographic

5. Use the Light, But Don’t Use the Flash
While photographing Faith the Surfing Pit Bull, Kaylee relied on the sun’s rays to catch all of the ocean’s details.

Kaylee shares, “I think my favorite photo shoot this season was photographing a surfing pitbull. I followed this dog online on social media for years so I felt like I was meeting a celebrity when I met this dog. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m starstruck!’ My heart was beating like a thousand miles an hour.

“But she’s this amazing pit bull that was rescued from a parking garage. This awesome San Diego surfer guy rescued her and started to go surfing with her. He found out pretty quickly that she has a pretty natural knack for surfing.”

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Pet photographer Kaylee Greer is one of the most sought-after “dogtographers” in the world, and her impressive portfolio showcases her ability to capture the silly side of man’s best friend. Nat Geo Wild's Pupparazzi, a three-part miniseries that has us begging for more, follows her as she and her fiancé Sam shoot ad campaigns for major brands, create wacky themed portraits for private clients and facilitate photo shoots for shelter dogs in the hopes of helping them find forever homes.

Greer shares that her journey to becoming a famous pet photographer stemmed from her love of helping animals.

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"I didn't even consider photography until I met a dog in need because I was volunteering at the shelter. I was just walking the dog and doing whatever I could with my two small hands to make some sort of difference. That was where I realized a couple of months in, 'Oh my God, I think a photograph really could have the power to change a dog's life. I really think that if I could somehow get good at this photography thing, maybe I could serve to tell their stories in a single image.'"

So she started snapping pics of the animals in the shelter and saw that her images showed each dog in a new light.

(National Geographic/Troy Knechtel)

"A photo says a thousand words. We have such a small amount of time to capture someone's attention. It's all there in that image, in that dog's eyes—their story." And Kaylee realized that helping dogs find new homes had the potential to save the other animals too. "When you rescue a dog really you rescue two because you rescue that dog that came from the cage and you also open up a spot in that cage for another dog."

She says, "When people ask what came first dogs or photography, it's always with dogs. Through that passion and through that love, and my crazy dog lady-isms, I realized that photography could be a path. And never for a business, it was never intentioned for any sort of outcome. It was never financially I want to have a successful business or fame or fortune or anything like that. It was always about those dogs."

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And in celebration of all of the wild, wonderful and wiggly moments that she's captured on film, Greer shares 5 of her best tips to help you take better photos of your own wiggle-butt, as seen in the gallery above.

And after you've checked out Pupparazzi and taken pro-looking pics of your pooch, show off your favorite pet photos in our comments!

Pupparazzi, Saturdays beginning Sept. 15 at 10/9c, Nat Geo Wild