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How to Take Cute Holiday Photos of Your Pet

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to holiday pictures with your pets, some of these words include “precious,” “adorable,” and “awwwww!”

Of course, when you’re actually setting up and taking your pet’s picture, those words might also include, “Sit!” “Stay!” “Bad Dog!” and “Arrrrrrrgh!”

You’re certainly not alone if you’re frustrated by getting that perfect holiday shot with your furry loved one. They always seem to have a knack for choosing that specific moment to be an uncontrollable ball of energy, and when you finally get them settled down enough to snap a photo, they end up looking demonic because the flash was on!

While there’s always an option to just flat-out cheat, Pet and Home Care is happy to share five tricks to help you capture the most adorable holiday pet photos in the minimum amount of takes:

1. Choose the Right Location

Find a spot that comfortably fits your family and your pets. Solid color walls work perfectly fine as a backdrop. But if you want holiday scenery, make sure there’s enough background depth to capture the full essence. Since pets don’t like camera flashes, make sure there’s a good natural light source set in front of you so you can snap your picture “au natural.” If you’re going to do your photoshoot outdoors, do it when the lighting is the softest and not directly overhead (i.e. not at noon). Which brings us to…

2. Shoot Early in the Day

Mornings are usually the prime time for photos because your pets will have the most energy around that time. At the same time, taking pictures before feeding time tends to entice them to cooperate for a few extra treats!

3. Use Squeaky Toys and Treats

Always have treats on hand to reward good behavior. If you’re taking a selfie with your pup, you may want to consider using a dog treat selfie clip.

Another must-have? Toys! Squeaky toys are the key to getting your dog’s attention or that cute little cock of the head you want to showcase in your photo.

For cats, use treats or a little bit of catnip sprinkled on the floor. A piece of yarn or a feather teaser will work, too.

4. Strike a Pose

For formal family portraits, line everyone up with the tallest people on the ends and shortest in the middle so that the tops of your heads make a V-shape. For cats and small dog breeds, you may want a family member to pose holding them. That’ll prevent them from wandering off.

5. Have Patience and Take Breaks

We won’t sugarcoat it: sometimes getting the right picture requires patience and bribes and breaks. Moments happen in the blink of an eye, so be prepared and anticipate. And if your pet won’t sit still after all these tricks, take her out for a long walk or play fetch for 15 minutes to tire her out and try again!

Remember: this is the season for joy and spending time with loved ones, so don’t let your photoshoot stress you out. Have fun with it, and let your pet feel all the love that the holiday brings!