Family photos always seem to find their way into holiday celebrations. Everyone lines up in their holiday dress and smiles big for the camera. And while most might be thinking that it’s all about the parents and the kids, we can’t forget about our four-legged family members too.
Dogs always seem to have some of the cutest pictures, but that’s because we have to work at it. It can be difficult to catch the right angle or keep your young pup looking right at the camera. They always seem to look away right as you press the button.
What day is it?
Of course, keeping your dog’s attention isn’t the only concern of a photographer, because it all comes down to setting up the right scenario that gives your pup the holiday spirit. So, what type of occasion and theme does your holiday have? Christmas? Birthday? Doggy Birthday! (Celebrating your dog’s birthday is a completely legitimate holiday for dog lovers everywhere). Consider what type of theme you want to capture, then you can focus on making it happen.
That leaves you considering how exactly to put your puppy’s pictures into perspective. It’s up to you to set the moment with the season, which means it may be time to be a little creative. For a holiday picture, you’ll definitely want to make sure your dog is in character. Try going with a theme, and be sure that your dog’s theme coincides with the rest of the family. If everyone is in costume, have your dog in costume as well. Consider theme holidays such as Thanksgiving or Halloween. These are great opportunities to set your dog in a theme, like featuring them with a stuffed turkey or a pumpkin to maintain simplicity. You don’t have to take extreme pictures to capture the moment.
Start with a quality situation
So, what about taking pictures in general? Dogs almost always seem to have an unnatural talent for looking away at the last second. Sometimes you even end up with a little “red” in their eyes from the flash. For starters, getting your dog’s attention and keeping their attention are two very different things. Consider only taking a picture when you first get their attention instead of trying to maintain their attention while you try to get the right angle.
Getting rid of “red” glare is actually much simpler than you might think. The “red” is actually just the reflection of your flash. You can solve this by putting your dog in an already well-lit area, such as outdoors, and avoid using the flash in general.
That brings us to the live-action moments. While getting your dog to sit still for your photographs, it doesn’t really capture what makes our dogs so lovable in the first place. Capturing your dog in a moment of curiosity or an excited jump in the air that says “I’m having a great time” can really give your holiday card some extra spirit. Sometimes all you have to do is follow them around for a while and they’ll present you with the perfect picture you’ve been looking for (dogs can be real hams sometimes).
Are you getting the right angle of your dog? Maybe your photos just don’t seem to put your dog in the right perspective. Of course, you must consider the fact that because they walk on four legs instead of two, they tend to see the world from an entirely different angle. What they see is completely different, and getting a picture from their point-of-view can sometimes give your photo just the canine style you want.
Making a decision
What about choosing the best pictures? By the end of your photo session, you may end up with a plethora of different styles, angles, and themes. Some you may not like, while others can be difficult to decide between. Holiday pictures should really maintain a theme, but if you can catch a great moment that you and your dog shared together, you may have exactly what you need to capture the meaning of holidays. After all, nobody can say “happy holidays” like a happy pup.
Setting up and capturing your dog in the right photographic moment is a fun challenge that will really set the mood for your holiday celebration. Whether it’s an invitation, a family newsletter, or a holiday card, a picture featuring your family with your faithful canine companion will be the perfect way to express a special holiday occasion.
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