Each December tons of cute family Christmas card photos abound. You’ve seen them – families decked out in festive wear, posed in a snowy scene or in front of a Christmas tree or fire. When it comes to planning your family’s Christmas card photo this year, don’t forget a very important family member – your dog! Adding a dog into the family photo can make things more challenging, but with some planning you can get a great Christmas photo of your dog.
Brush Up On Obedience Training
Start brushing up on your dog’s obedience training now to have him ready for a photo shoot. Decide which behaviors your dog will need to do for the shoot – will he need to sit or lie down? If so, those are excellent commands to work on, along with “stay” and “come.” Consider taking your dog to training classes or sessions to get the most out of your training time.
Keep the Situation Natural
When it comes to planning the background of your Christmas photo shoot, try to keep things natural for your dog. Setting up a shot in your own house is an excellent idea, since your dog will be in his natural environment and should be relaxed. If you opt to go outside, you may want to work on your dog’s obedience training and relaxation in different locations before the photo shoot.
Introduce Costumes or Props Ahead of Time
Using props or costumes can change the atmosphere of the shoot for your dog, and can also be a source of anxiety and distraction. If your dog is accustomed to wearing a coat or other clothing, he may be able to readily adjust to a costume. Other dogs will need an introduction to costumes well in advance of the photo shoot. Remember that props can also distract your dog, so introduce any props that you plan to use before the shoot so that your dog becomes used to them.
Schedule the Session Carefully
The success of a photo shoot can depend entirely on when it is scheduled. For instance, scheduling a shoot during a busy time of day when your dog is ready to go for a walk or play will make it more difficult for him to concentrate and behave. On the other hand, if you schedule a shoot for a time when your dog has already had a long walk and is home to relax, you will be maximizing your chances of having a productive and positive shoot.
Remember, things don’t always go as expected, especially when working with dogs. Stay patient, keep the experience enjoyable for all involved, and realize that you might have to try the shoot again later to get the photo that you want. And don’t just throw out the “blooper” photos, too – sometimes those mishaps make the best and most memorable shots.