Whether you take your pet to a commercial photographer, you take advantage of the free photos (Dec. 10 & 11) at Petsmart or you take it upon yourself to catch that perfect shot, holiday pictures of your pet can be quite an event. To avoid the pitfalls and make the process as easy as possible, take a couple of minutes to pre-plan.
Things to Think About
Obvious but no less important: make sure doggie is fed, watered and walked before you ask him to submit to the process. You’ll find him to be much more willing to cooperate if he’s happy, calm and even a bit tired.
If you are taking your own photos, it’s a good idea to organize the setting and any props before the model is brought to the stage. Double check the lighting and decide the placement of any props and where doggie will be sit/stand/lie. If doggie is to be wearing a costume, it would be a good idea to have a dress rehearsal to get him used to the outfit or perhaps to determine that your original plan may need a tweak here and there.
Advice of most pros: keep props to a minimum; the setting simple and uncluttered; and make use of a bright color associated with the season.
Capture Your Dog’s Personality
Generaly speaking, the best photos are ones that capture your dog’s personality. If he’s a smiley dog, that’s great. But if he’s not, don’t make him pose in ways that are unnatural for him. Despite your hopes and dreams, most dogs do not find picture taking a happy event.
For the strong-willed who refuse to pose, try offering a holiday dog treat. Let him have at it and just be patient until the right shot comes along.
For the little guys who have a hard time sitting still, choose simple and cute. A big red bow and a Christmas tree in the background can be just as effective as a doggie in full holiday regalia and wrapped in lights.
For the pups who don’t want any part of this silly human tradition, let sleeping dogs lie. Go for a hike, play a game of fetch, wear them out and have a plan. When you believe that doggie is sound asleep, bring in the props and get that perfect shot.
Holiday photos — like everything else — are what you make them. If you’re striving for that over-the-top, studio shot, it’ll take planning and loads of patience. If you’re simply looking for a reminder of the 2016 holidays, keep it simple.
And if all else fails, (gently) let doggie know that a smile is required.