With the holidays quickly approaching, I decided that it was time to take our annual portrait of the dogs to send out with the Christmas cards. Not only is it fun to give our friends a cute photo, but it's nice to look back at the dogs over the years. This time we were inspired by an old childhood picture of a friend and her trusty pup dressed up for the ski slopes.
To get a good shot, it certainly helps to have very patient dogs and a good sit stay, but regardless, taking a picture of multiple animals can be a challenge. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re capturing your holiday portrait:
- Plan the shot you want in advance, but allow for flexibility.
- In general, keep it simple.
- Find a solid, contrasting backdrop that is free of objects that will detract from your main subject(s).
- Enlist the help of a friend to get the pets to look at the camera, wrangle them into position, and bribe them with treats to stay in place.
- Turn off your flash and use natural lighting. Outdoors, away from direct sunlight, is ideal.
- Get on your knees and take the picture at your pet’s eye level (not looking down at them).
- Pre-focus your camera so that you’re ready to capture the shot as soon as your pups get into the perfect position (for most point-and-shoot cameras, this means pressing the shooting button halfway while pointing it at your desired subject).
- Make it a positive experience. Keep the session short and feed lots of treats and/or incorporate play. You don't want your crew to hate getting their picture taken!
Good luck and have fun!