How to Take the Perfect Holiday Photo of Your Pets

How to Take the Perfect Holiday Photo of Your Pets

Hint: It involves a lot of patience.

By Heather Dale

Christmas is SO SOON, which means holiday cards need to get bumped from the bottom of the to-do list to the top, stat! We know you already know how to take a decent pic of your four-legged fur kid(s) — okay, maybe the 1500 pics on your smartphone gave it away — but if you are like me and suffer from HCPPA (holiday card photo performance anxiety), there are tips and tricks to help make the entire process a bit less daunting. 

Now getting dogs and cats to do what you want on cue can be like wrangling a group of toddlers in front of the camera: bring on the total chaos and limited attention spans … not everyone has a 24/7 camera-ready dog like Wacha, ok?! Unleashed recently caught up with Austin-based photographer Nicole Mlakar who makes capturing pets in their element look effortless. She’s so good that Whole Foods enlisted her to take cute photos of cats and dogs for their Whole Paws pet food line. Pet photographer extraordinaire? Check!

Here are Nicole’s top tips for getting the perfect shot of your pup or kitty for your holiday cards this year. You've got this! 

1. Patience

I would say patience is key. You have to go in knowing that animals are well ... animals, and they can also be a lot like children. They're somewhat unpredictable, [they] can usually be coaxed but are also easily bored.

2. Treats

Treats can be a great way to get attention but save them for a last resort unless your pet can hold a sit/stay. Otherwise, the treat might get them overly hyped and then you have to start all over again.

3. Toys

High-pitched small squeakers are great for quick attention and possibly cute head tilts. Cats love crinkly sounds, peacock feathers and sometimes just shaking a bag of treats overhead is all they need. 

4. Did I Mention Patience?

Constant patience is a must!

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