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Wondering how Duke the Frenchie has 50K-plus Instagram followers when your own Hudson the Havapoo boasts only a humble 50 (most of those being all the extended family you could track down)? Here’s a hint: Your photo skills could use a boost. We’ve got seven helpful tips for taking better pics of your pup and capturing all that cuteness in one flash. 

RELATED: Finally: A Dog Kennel That’s Actually Stylish

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Use Your Treats Strategically

Don’t take this the wrong way, but Buddy isn’t going to give you his undivided attention without a little incentive. When you have a treat in hand, though, he’s all eyes on you. Show him the treat, tell him to sit and stay and then hold the treat above the camera lens (or really, wherever you want him to look).

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Use Natural Light

A filter can only go so far. For the best, high-quality photos, take advantage of natural lighting. Pro tip: try nabbing outdoor photos during the “golden hours” that occur around twilight and sunrise. What’s this golden hour? you ask. It’s the time of day when the sun is low in the sky, which gives way to soft light and less contrast (compared with harsh midday light).

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Enlist Some Help

Photographing your dog while she’s playing is one of the easiest ways to capture her energetic, spirited personality. But you may need to bring in some outside help. Have a friend throw a ball or toss around a squeaky toy while you snap away. If you’re shooting on an iPhone, set the camera on burst mode so you can capture multiple shots with just one click. That way, you’ll have more pictures to choose from.

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Some of the best photo ops happen when your furry friend is fast asleep. Just look at that face while he’s having puppy dreams.

Get Down on All Fours

Sure, there are certain times where you’ll want to snap your dog from above, but the best way to capture his adorable features is right on his level.

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Or Switch Up the Perspective

It’s easy to fall into the habit of taking the same photo of your dog when he’s looking so adorable in his doggy bed. But mix things up a bit—take pics from above, below; try close-ups and shots from further away. A little variety keeps it interesting. Heck, if you’re going all out, investing in a Go-Pro or drone will take your photos to the next level….literally.

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Don't Forget About Editing

Your photo-editing tool is your best friend. Download an app like Afterlight, VSCO or just stick with Instagram’s editing tool. Play around with the shadows and contrast (trust us, it works wonders). And take advantage of the saturation tool in to make sure your backgrounds are eye-catching and colorful but not distracting.

RELATED: 7 Reasons It’s Actually Better to Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed

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