Pose Your Dog for Holiday Photos
By Suzi Sevcik
The Holidays are just around the corner. This year youâ€™d like to something unique with your Christmas cards. You know your friends would get a kick out of seeing your pet either on your Christmas card or a picture in it. Getting Fido to pose for that perfect Kodak moment is another story though. Here are some tips to make it easier on you & your dog.
You have two options. First is to take your dog to a professional photographer. The other is to do it yourself. While there are many qualified photographers out there, this article will cover the do-it-yourselfer. With a little patience and help from a friend itâ€™s actually pretty easy & the photos you get will show the dog more relaxed than if you bring them into a busy mall photographer.
Now that you made the decision to take your Dogsâ€™ holiday photos yourself. The first step is to choose an appropriate background. A festively decorated fireplace is always a nice choice. If you have a small dog, a miniature Christmas tree will look great â€“ maybe even decorate it with a doggie theme. What to consider when choosing your backdrop is the number of dogs, the size of them, their coat colors and the weather conditions if youâ€™re taking them outside. Choose a backdrop that complements your dogs coat color & accommodates nicely the size and number of dogs. For instance, your white bichon will be washed out if you take her picture outside in the fresh snow and your chocolate lab will blend in with your brown carpeting next to your fireplace.
Once you have your backdrop chosen, youâ€™ll have to decide if youâ€™re going to dress your dog up. Whether itâ€™s a cute holiday sweater or silly antlers, either choose items that theyâ€™ve worn before or let them get accustomed to it for a several days before your shoot. Or you can just let the dog go au-natural. Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll thank you for it.
Youâ€™re almost ready. Youâ€™ve chosen the backdrop & have it decorated, youâ€™ve had time for your dog to get used to wearing silly Santa hats and itâ€™s time to get down to work. If you have a friend willing and able to help you, this always makes the task easier. The main thing to remember is to keep it light & fun. Start by a quick 1-2 minute training refresher. Have on hand small, but really delicious treats – the kind that your dog does anything for. Go through sit, stay, down. Keep it simple and fun, but not highly playful. You want your dog to be paying attention to you, but not jumping up and down in excitement.
Work with your dog in five minute increments. Bring them to where you want them posed and in what position: sitting, standing or lying down. It works best to use a digital camera for these types of shots. This allows you to take as many shots as youâ€™d like & then delete the ones that donâ€™t turn out. If you feel yourself start to get frustrated, take a break. The dogs can sense frustration and become tense. This will come through in the photos as well. Your dog will look stiff and unnatural. This break sometimes is all the dog & you need to get it all together & finish off that perfect holiday photo.
The two main things to remember in taking your dogsâ€™ Holiday photo is preparation and patience. Have your setting prepared. Your dog groomed & accustomed to any clothes youâ€™ll put on him & then a little bit of patience when working with them will go a long way.
Suzi Sevcik is photography buff & owner of PetLabels.com, a company that produces high quality, full color address labels with your petâ€™s photo on them. For more information, go to: http://PetLabels.com or email her at email@example.com
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