Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 11 in the 12 Days of Christmas Event

So, everyone loves to take photos of their pets, especially ones around the holidays. Pictures in front of the tree, pictures with goofy hats and antlers, and many times they end up in the family photos. BUT.... out of all of those how many do you have with your pet actually looking at the camera? If you are like me its probably not many, so today I wanted to share with you some holiday pet photography tips.
I would like to introduce yall to a friend of mine, her name is Stephanie Millner and she is an awesome photographer! International award-winning and certified photographer Mrs. Millner has a way with pets! My dogs were immediately relaxed in her studio and ready to be put in the limelight!
After we got a few sneak peeks of the session, we could not be more pleased with how they turned out. She did such an amazing job.

 Meet Tucker (left) and Bailey (right). I am sure yall have seen them on here before or on our Facebook page. My two pups are the best any dog Mom could ask for (I also have two amazing kitties, but as cat attitude's go I spared them the "humiliation" of wearing antlers this year).
I am truly thankful for Stephanie and her beautiful photos but, lets face it we all can't be as amazing as Stephanie Millner! Sometimes we have to take our own photos. It could be because we don't know a great photographer, or its not in the holiday budget to hire one this year. We get it, so that is why we have composed a list of some great photography tips that you can do at home to improve your pet photos.
Tip #1: Never put your pet in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
The shot is never worth harming your pet or making them feel uncomfortable. Pay attention to your pets body language. Make sure your pet is comfortable next to the Christmas tree or with antlers on. You may have to work your way up to them wearing a hat or sitting under the tree before the actual day of the photo shoot. If at anytime your dog or cat become visibly uncomfortable stop your session immediately.
Tip #2: Find out what motivates your pet.
Does your dog have a favorite toy? Does your cat perk up when you shake the treat bag? These are things you want to use to your advantage. Each time we do a photo shoot we have some type of motivation to get the animals attention. Is it a tennis ball? Is it a certain word like "Play?!" or "Treat?!" Use a high pitched voice, toys or treats to get their attention so they to look at you. This will help them give you that expression you love so much. Be quick though, you will only have a very small window to capture these expressions. The trick is to try and capture as much of their personality in the photo as you can.
Tip #3: Get down on their level.
Nobody wants to see nothing but the top of your dogs head or you looking down on your cat at each shot. Try and mix it up. Lay down on the floor, zoom in, and get up close. Try to make your photo interesting and personal. Do you love your cat's big ears? Photograph them. Is you dog a ham in a Santa hat? Focus on that, use what your pet gives you and try not to have too many expectations.
Tip #4: Patience really is a virtue!
When you are photographing pets they get wiggly, or distracted or sometimes have a diva moment and just walk off! Try a little pre-shoot exercise. Get out the cat toys, throw the ball or go for a walk. Your pet will most likely be a better subject if he/she is a little tired. Also, you may get the best shot when you least expect it so try and be patient, good things come to those who wait!

 Tip #5: Have a buddy!
This is probably one of the best tips I can give! Sometimes you need someone to help you out. Between fixing antlers, straightening hats, giving treats, squeaking the ball and trying to get the perfect shot it my be impossible to do it alone! Get a friend, kid or spouse to be your assistant during your photo sessions. Make sure it is someone who is comfortable with your pets and who understands what you are wanting out of your photo session. This will create less stress for you and your pet.
We hope yall enjoy our tips and I hope they help out this holiday season. We wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Just because I am a proud mom, here is another of our Christmas photos from this year. Thank you again Stephanie Millner for doing such an amazing job!

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