8 Adorable Ways to Include your Dog in your Travel Photos

We travel to create unique experiences and memories, so the best photos you can take are those that evoke that special experience. When travelling with your dog, their perspective, exploits and reactions are a priceless way of capturing great travel moments, so that you can relive them and the whole trip with pleasure in years to come.

8 Adorable Ways to Include your Dog in your Travel Photos Title traveling with your dog

Take a tip from a photographer – be prepawed for anything from super-exciting to quiet situations to produce a unique, fun or memorable photo. With this in mind, here are some ideas for where and how you can include your dogs in your photos when travelling together.

1. Packing with Pooches

I’m not a big fan of packing. All that decision making about what may or may not be essential on a trip… and trying to squeeze it in, amongst a bunch of other to-do’s before heading off!

Like it or loathe it, packing for a holiday represents a golden oppawtunity for catching a moment unique to you and your dogs.

dogs sitting on a bed with suitcases
{Ready to Go! – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 6400, 1/20 sec, f/5.6}

For example, in our house Keiko and Summer won’t leave our side once the suitcases appear. It’s the ultimate “Don’t forget us!” photo of jumping in or on our cases or the items we have set out to pack.  Nothing like the little addition of some white fluff to clean clothes!

What do your dogs do when they hear the hatch opening for you to get down the cases? How much extra do you have to pack for your furry companions? Be sure to capture those pre-trip prepawrations as the first step on your journey together.

Border Collie dog with a green travel case
{Checking in, Coober Pedy – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 1600, 1/60 sec, f/4.0}

Our dogs also have their own individual travel cases… Cute or what!

2. Travel-dogue

How does your dog like to travel: Curled up fast asleep on the backseat or nose pressed to the window scenting the changing air? Where do you stop enroute? What’s their reaction when you stop for a break?

Remember the journey is in itself an experience for the dog, and recording their experiences and reactions is often overlooked. Be sure to include the day trips, adventures and walkies you have on holiday.  And also don’t forget the little places that you stop for a meal, a leg stretch or a quick visit.  

a white Japanese Spitz sitting on a chair next to a cup of tea
{Afternoon Tea Break – Olympus E-M10 Mark III, 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ @ 14mm, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, f/5.0}
two dogs sitting on top of wooden chairs at a winery
{Wine Tasting, Rutherglen – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F2.8 @ 11mm, ISO 6400, 1/30 sec, f/8.0}

3. Woof-tastic or Snuggle-icious?

What about when you’ve arrived at your destination?

Are you heading somewhere super luxurious or camping close to nature?

two dogs sitting in front of a cottage
{Historic Cottage Accommodation, Kangaroo Valley – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 200, 1/100 sec, f/5.6}

From the exuberant excitement of seeing snow for the first time to curling up in front of a real fire, there are a myriad of different doggie moods right there at your accommodation. Capture their reaction when you arrive, whether it’s doggie yoga stretches as they wake up from the car ride or dancing around with excitement to be let loose and explore…because each place is different and unique, especially to your dog.  Take photos of them in the spot that they make theirs in the accommodation.  And if there happens to be a nice garden or surrounds then be sure to use that in some photos as well.

a dog sitting on a couch in a living room
{Keiko claimed him spot on the couch – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 1250, 1/60 sec, f/4.0}

4. Iconic Location + Waggy Dog = Super Special Picture

Some places are instantly recognizable such as Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Big Banana. Indeed, in ‘Why You and Your Dog Need to Star in your Travel Photos‘ we covered how a canine companion can lift a well-known scene out of the ordinary cut-and-paste category and into something unique to you.

a Border Collie sitting on top of Kangaroo Valley Historic Bridge cables
{Kangaroo Valley Historic Bridge – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, f/8.0}

Plus, it’s a whole load of fun to pose your pooch besides something iconic.

two dogs in front of a large walk-through banana
{Big Banana, Coffs Harbour – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/1000 sec, f/6.3}

Also don’t forget to take a doggie photo of the road sign at your destination (or if you’re really lucky, a sign that incorporates your dog’s name). This is a great way to let friends and family know where you are and recording where you went for the album.

a Border Collie dog sitting in front of Northern Territory welcome sign
{First time entering the NT – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F5.6 @ 14mm, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, f/5.6}

If you need further inspiration, then don’t overlook spots of special significance to animals, such as the Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai, or the Red Dog statue in the Pilbara (which are on our to-see list for our Dog Tales of Australia roadtrip)

5. Say “Woof!”

Travelling with dogs is all about sharing the experience so don’t forget to step out from behind the camera and be included with your dog in the photos you’re taking. The simplest way is to ask a fellow traveller if they’d mind taking the picture.

a woman sitting at a table with her two dogs
{Breakfast with my buddies – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 400, 1/60 sec, f/9.0}

In a remote area, if you want to include the whole family and there are no passer’s by then you might:

  • use your camera’s timer function
  • invest in an inexpensive remote,
  • use a portable tripod or gorillapod, or
  • improvise with a bench, windowsill, or wall (just be careful about foot traffic or cars).
a man and a woman canoeing with their dog
{Canoeing, Clarance Gorge – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F2.8 @ 7mm, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, f/20}

Of course there’s always the selfie to fall back on! Just be mindful of where your positioning relative to the sun so that you don’t end up in shadow or washed out by the sun. And if this all sounds a bit too predictable, then get creative. Take a shot on ground level with your dog’s paws and your feet with a meaningful object in the distance, or shoot your reflections or shadows.

6. Pooch Playtime

Getting out and about and having fun. That’s what travel is about!  Explore the local trails and go hiking with your dog. What we love is learning about the history of a place, and walking around the grounds of a historic site or landmark. Be especially on alert for dog-friendly destinations such as outdoor museum that welcome dogs. We were fortunate to find Pioneer Park in Kangaroo Valley on a recent trip.

a Japanese Spitz dog standing on a paddle board
{Paddle Boarding, Gold Coast – Olympus TG-5 @ 4.5mm, ISO 200, 1/800 sec, f/8.0}

Then of course there’s the downtime: Running on the back hill, chasing snowballs, enjoying a puppuccino, or playing in the local dog park. Indeed, we’ll take a detailed look at taking action shots of your dog in our dog action photos article

a Border Collie dog posing for the camera with angel wings props
{Our Little Angel – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 64, 1/2000 sec, f/2.8}

7. Furry Firsts

From travelling with your pup for the first time to visiting attractions on holiday, the ‘firsts’ are events we like to photograph precisely because they can’t be repeated.

photo collage of dogs posing in front of dog treats displayed in a bakery refrigerator
{Maggie’s Dog Cafe, Coffs Harbour – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/80 sec, f/4.0}

When travelling, you’ll likely to encounter a lot of firsts from crossing a border for the first time, to riding on a steam train or paddle boat, flying or staying in an uber fancy dog-friendly hotel like Larmont in Sydney. Be sure to record these moments as special events that will remind you of the trip and of your dog.

a Border Collie dog sitting in front of no entry sign
{Daydream Silver Mine, Broken Hill – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F2.8 @ 13mm, ISO 5000, 1/60 sec, f/2.8}

8. Tail-Wagging Landscapes and Vistas

No matter where you are, some things just make for a beautiful photograph.  Sunrise and sunset can literally illuminate a landscape in a fleetingly stunning way.

a dog standing at the tops of a tree lying on the river bank
{Murray River – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 7-14mm F2.8 @ 14mm, ISO 640, 1/60 sec, f/8.0}
two dogs posing for the camera at Lake Eyre
{Lake Eyre – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 40-150mm F2.8 @ 40mm, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, f/11}

Take advantage of the amazing locations that you head when travelling to show of both the dog and destination to best advantage.

a white Japanese Spitz dog sitting on a snow-covered ground
{Dinner Plain – Olympus E-M1 MkII, 12-40mm F2.8 @ 17mm, ISO 1600, 1/500 sec, f/5.6}

A Pat on the Back

The photos accompanying this article were all taken with the Olympus E-M1 MkII, E-M10 Mark III and TG-5 Tough cameras. The dogs and I took several trips together with these cameras to truly test them out and found that they were pawfect for the travel photos that we wanted to capture.  And being lightweight meant that it was easy to carry them with everything else that one needs when hiking or exploring with dogs. As the Olympus saying goes, “Never stop the journey”…and of course don’t forget to keep the camera handy at all times!

Want to see more on photography when travelling with dogs?  Check out Why You and Your Dog Need to Star in your Travel Photos.

If you’d like to see more of the photos captured with the Olympus cameras be sure to check out our Dog Friendly Destination Guides for Phillip Island, Rutherglen, Kangaroo Valley, Grafton and Potts Point.

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Kerry Martin

Kerry is 'Top Dog' here at Puppy Tales. With her own adored dogs, she completely gets that your four legged furry buddy is absolutely part of the family. That they sleep on the bed, that you want to take them everywhere, that you plan holidays so they’re included & that their presence makes your life incredible.