Happy Pawlidays

How To Snap The Perfect Holiday Photo Of Your Pup

by Camp Bow Wow // October - November - December 2021

The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to take photographs of your pooch. It’s only natural to include him in the holiday spirit! But no matter which Instagram filter you use, the picture won’t be as awesome as you want if your pup can’t sit still, you don’t have the right lighting, and the background is all wrong … and did we mention if your pup won’t sit still?

This guide can help you snap a paw-fect holiday picture of your pup (and be the envy of your fur-loving friends).

Natural light is best. A flash can make your pup’s eyes look like they belong to a zombie, and the sudden burst of light might frighten him. Try taking the picture on a partly sunny day for the best colors and to avoid flash effects. Very bright, direct sun can cause harsh shadows. Beautiful pictures can be taken at sunrise or sunset too, so try out different times of the day.

Familiar settings. It may come as no surprise, but taking pictures at home may be the best option because your dog is most comfortable there. It’s difficult to predict how your dog will be in a studio setting or any new environment. If you aren’t in an enclosed area, it is safest to keep him on a leash. You don’t want to have to chase Fido down with a camera in your hand! Try safely attaching the leash to a tree or post, so that both hands can be on your camera/phone.

Know your backdrop. Since you’re shooting a moving subject, first scope out a couple of ideal backgrounds and try to position yourself to capture your dog in front of those backgrounds. Seamless paper can easily be cut, discarded, and replaced if your pup has an accident, while vinyl backdrops are also great because they are very durable and can easily be washed. If you’re hiring a professional photographer for your pup’s photo shoot, ask about their stock of specialty holiday backdrops for a festive mood.

Don’t forget props! A few strategically placed decorations and holiday accessories are all elements of interest that can be added to your scene. Remember to keep safety in mind – especially if your pup is a chewer, it’s best to keep toxic and fragile items away.

Get on their level. Instead of standing up and looking down at your pup, get down on your knees or belly to see the world from his perspective. Also, instead of calling your dog over to you, go to him so you can snap the perfect picture.

Look into their eyes. Animals show a lot of emotion through their eyes, so be sure to have them in clear focus to capture the expression.

Follow the rule of thirds. One photography basic is making the focal point of the picture off to one side, instead of right smack in the middle. You can always crop the photo later to achieve this if need be.

Practice makes perfect. Before the photo shoot, practice your pooch’s pose with any props or accessories beforehand. If hiring a pro, make sure he is comfortable around cameras and equipment, and has some time to get comfortable before the picture taking begins.

Surprise him. As we already mentioned, it’s hard to get your pup to sit in one spot for very long. Let your dog do his own thing and position yourself to take a picture, then whistle or call his name to capture his attention. And then, by golly, hit that button as fast as you can! It might take a few tries to get what you’re looking for, so be patient. If your pup is very high energy, wait to take pictures until he or she is exhausted from a long walk, or just woke up from a nap.

Share it with the world! Now that your pup is photographed in all of his glory, the picture must be shown to all of your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and random passersby. Proudly share on social media, display in a beautiful frame, or include on a fun and festive holiday card that is sure to warm the hearts of all who receive it.

Camp Bow Wow

Camp Bow Wow – where a dog can be a dog – offers doggy daycare and overnight boarding.