Holiday Pet Photography Tips - BC SPCA
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Holiday Pet Photography Tips

December 3, 2021

‘Tis the season to send greetings and what better better way to wish friends and family happy holidays than a card featuring your pet!

Professional photographer Viktoria Haack, who has a portfolio full of spectacular nature and landscape photography including many images of her dog Jack, shares her tips on taking the perfect photo of your pet.


1. Getting started: Make sure your pet is happy and ready for photos before you start. Know the signs your pet is stressed and if you see them, stop and give them a break.

2. Get help: Find a friend/family member to assist you. They can help get your pet’s attention while you are taking the photos. Use toys and treats as motivation to get your pet into position.

3. Camera position: Get down to your pet’s eye level to take the shot.

4. Backdrops: Indoors a tree or a string of lights make a great backdrop. They should be positioned behind your pet to naturally fall out of focus. If you are using a smartphone, use portrait mode to get that same effect, simply tap on your pet’s eyes in the photo to focus and adjust exposure. If you are going to use a holidays card background (make sure the image is non-copyright) use a plain wall as your backdrop when you take your pet’s photo.

5. Lighting: Head outdoors if you can to take advantage of natural light. Indoors, lighting your pet from the front can be done with window light or even by moving indoor lighting around.

6. Props: A bow tie or holiday collar for your dog or cat is the only accessory you should use when you are taking a photo of your pet. The safest and most creative option is to add holiday props after you take the photo. For example, the Picsart app offers a number of sticker options you can use. Simply search for the image you want, click and drag them onto the photo.

CTV’s Ann Luu created this Holidays greeting card featuring her dogs Ramsey and Nitro.

And the final tip? Enjoy sharing a personal greeting with everyone on your holiday card list.

Additional Resources:

When taking photos of your pet, ensure that they are not stressed by the activity. If you notice signs of anxiety in your pet, stop and comfort them. Do not proceed with the photography session if their anxiety level remains high.

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