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5 Tips for getting a great holiday photo with your pet

Holiday pet photos made easy

There's something about the holidays that makes people want to pull out the camera or hire a photographer and get a great family picture -- and for families with beloved pets, they want to make sure their four-legged family members are included as well! Here are five tips for getting a great holiday photo with your pets.

Dog and Santa photo

Pick a photographer who is pet-friendly

If you're having a professional photograph taken with your pets this holiday season, do some research and find a photographer who's pet-friendly or experienced with taking photographs of pets -- it can make all the difference when making your pet feel comfortable and getting a good shot. Don't forget to let your photographer know that you'll be including pets in your photos to make sure they're prepared!

Read these tips on Pet Photography: How to capture Fido's good side >>

Look for Santa pet pictures in your city

If you have your heart set on a holiday photo of your pet with Santa Claus, you're in luck! The Santas in most cities designate a day that's pet-friendly, so even Fido can sit on Santa's lap and tell him what type of bone he wants for Christmas. Often Santa picture days for pets are fundraisers for local animal shelters or charities, so getting your pet's photo taken with Santa is also a great way to give back. If you do take your pet for a Santa photo this year, we suggest going as soon as the doors open to avoid standing in line with an impatient pooch.

Pick the right time of day

Before you get a holiday photograph with your pet, consider the time of day you're taking the picture. If your kitty naps all afternoon, get your picture taken in the morning, when she's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If you have a spunky new puppy that you'd like in this year's holiday photo, naptime might be the perfect time to take the photograph, when he'll be a little less wiggly and may actually hold still for the picture.

Familiar settings are best

There's no doubt that the absolute best place to get a good pet picture is at home, where they are most comfortable. You can never predict how your pet will react if you take them to a studio to have a photograph taken, and a nervous kitty or dog can certainly ruin a picture session quickly. Most photographers are happy to come to your home, often for no additional charge, and it will be so much easier to get a good holiday picture with your pet. Taking pictures at home is also a perfect option if you want your pet to be in some pictures but not every single one -- you can quickly pull your pet into a few shots and then let them go on their way.

Consider an action shot

If you want a really great holiday photograph that includes your pet, realize that having them sit still next to your fireplace or Christmas tree may not be the best way to truly capture their personality. Instead, head to the park or your backyard and take some photos of your pet in their element -- running around and having fun! Before you tackle this idea, talk it over with your photographer to make sure they're prepared for getting a great action shot of your family with your pet.

Taking your own photographs? Use these DSLR Photography tips for beginners >>

More on pets at the holidays

How to keep your pets safe during the holidays
Healthy holiday gifts for your pets
Do pets make good gifts for the holidays?

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