Around Christmas, pet owners flock to Santa to have a cute photo done with the jolly old elf and their pet.
Pet photo sessions are often done as fundraisers for various animal organizations, so they are a great way to have some fun, support something you believe in and get a nice memento.
This year, COVID restrictions have shut down some of these events so you may be on your own creating the 2020 holiday picture. Here are some tips on how to take the very best picture of your pet:
- Try out a few locations before the big day. Outdoor light is the very best. A neutral background – like a lawn or shrubs – works great. Keep colors in mind: if your dog is brown and you pose him in front of a brown fence, he will sort of blend in. Look for a contrasting background, but don’t try to go all matchy-matchy with the yellow in his eyes.
- If you must take photos indoors, turn on all the lights – don’t be shy – and move a few floor lamps close to your set. Tidy up your house so you don’t end up with a full laundry basket in the background of that one perfect shot.
- Before you start, make sure your pet gets to have some fun exercise time. Take your dog for a good, long walk and let your cat play with her favorite toy - keep things fun and easygoing. After playtime, your pet will be much calmer to work with.
- Don’t skimp on the treats: get “special occasion” treats, something that will really get your pet’s attention. And don’t forget a few squeaky rattly crinkly toys to help your dog or cat look at you. Props (like giant wrapped presents or stuffed animals) can be fun as long as your pet has seen them before.
- If you are into dressing up your pet, make sure you let Bowser try on his new reindeer antlers well in advance of photo time.
- Finally: get on your pet’s level and get up close. Yes, this may mean getting down flat on the ground – or maybe you stay on the floor while your pet is up on the couch – whatever it takes, try to get on their level, and then get up close.
- Have fun! Take lots and lots of photos. Make sure anything you do is safe for your pet and end the session as soon as Felix isn’t feeling it any longer. You can always do another session in a couple of days.