It’s a tradition that every year I take a holiday photo of my dog. Although I don’t send Christmas cards, I still like to have a festive photo of Hunter to share with friends and family.
Lucky for me, Hunter is pretty good at taking photos. I usually only have to take a few shots to get a good one. He is always smiley and goofy, and he is very comfortable with the camera (he’s had a lot of practice).
Here are photos from our first Christmas together and last year, two of my favorite photos of him:
This year I had the challenge of getting a photo of Roscoe, my foster dog. Roscoe is a shy, scared dog who doesn’t know the sit command and doesn’t like being picked up or having anyone walk toward him. Although he is fairly treat-motivated, he won’t always go for the treat if he is too scared.
Needless to say, it took some time to get a good photo of him and even longer to get one of the two of them together. Here are some outtakes from the session. For some reason, I had a hard time getting the dogs close to my tiny tree.
And, here are the best photos:
Any my favorite:
Although I am no photo expert (as you can see above), I have spent a lot of time taking pictures of my dog and I think I’ve learned a few things. Here are some of my tips for getting a good “posed” photo of your dog.
- Carry a lot of small, chewy treats. Choose a high reward treat, not something they get all the time, so that they are especially excited about the treat.
- Keep a squeaky toy on hand or try the app “Pet Snap.” Pet Snap is a photo app that takes pictures and provides sound effects to get your dog’s attention. You can choose from noises like doorbells, meows, squeaky toys, barking dogs, crumbling paper, etc. (My favorite pic was a result of this app).
- Set up your scene, whether it’s in front of a Christmas tree, out in the snow or wherever and wait. Sometimes your best photos will come after your dog has settled down and isn’t so focused on trying to figure out what you’re doing. Or, you may even get a better photo than you tried to pose. If you have to walk away for a bit, do it. It’ll be worth it to get a calm, relaxed photo of your dog (see the photo above of Roscoe laying next to the tree, this came several minutes after I stopped trying to get a posed photo)
- Keep snapping! Just keep taking photos. It’s kind of basic, but important. Sometimes it’s hard to get your dog to be still but the more photos you snap, the more likely you’ll get a good one. You don’t want to get frustrated and give up too soon!
Here’s a cute one I got once the “shoot” was over. Back in their natural state, being best buds.
Happy Holidays from Hunter, Roscoe and me. I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Holiday season!