8 ways to capture the perfect vacation photos with your pets

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The holidays are coming up fast. Are you ready? Don’t wait until the last minute to snap the perfect Christmas card photo like you did last year. Tap or click here to learn how to design and print your Christmas cards. This year, take a fun or stylish photo of the whole family, including the furry members.

Our pets are part of the family, so it only makes sense to include them in this year’s greeting cards. Not sure how to highlight the pet in this year’s photo? We are here to help you.

We love our pets, so we’ve got some tried-and-true ways to get your pets involved this holiday season. Check out these eight ways to include your pet in this year’s family holiday cards.

1. Get dressed

The whole family can dress up, including your pet. If you have a cooperative pet, nothing makes a more adorable greeting card than a puppy in a bow tie or a cat in a sweater.

Find seasonal costumes like a turkey outfit or a snowman for fun picture ideas. You can also try to illustrate your pet’s unique personality traits with accessories like a little halo, devil horns, or a sign around their neck that shares a fun anecdote.

For fun but a little less silly photos, try a theme. Dress up your pet as a sheep for a family nursery, or add a Santa hat and beard for your North Pole photo. No matter how you dress your pet, always make sure it’s willful. Your pet should be comfortable and safe in the outfits you choose.

Looking for professional shots or inspiration, tips and advice to achieve your own photographic goals? Check out Dreamstime for all the professional imagery and inspiration you need.

2. Family portraits

Go online to research silly poses or have everyone face the same direction while keeping a hand on the shoulder of the person next to them. Fido can have a paw on someone’s shoulder to complete the look.

Have fun with classic portrait styles or include a fun backdrop. Wear matching ugly sweaters or the same hats. You can even wear pet ears to match your dog or cat’s natural appearance.

3. Everyone knows who the favorite is

For a fun family vacation card photo, make your pet the star. Set them apart from the rest of your family to reveal that your pet is and always will be center stage.

Dress the kids in soft colors while the parents and pet wear something bright. For a fun take, try holding your pet while the rest of the family is in the background or slightly blurring everyone but you and your pet.

4. Get the best shot

Don’t take your camera and point it at little Fluffy. While this makes for an adorable photo, it’s not quite right for a holiday card.

Get down and take pictures at your pet’s eye level. This will help capture their expressions and provide a fresh perspective that will make your furry, feathered, or scaly friend stand out.

You can also capture more attractive and natural poses by squatting or sitting on the floor. Ask the whole family to sit on the floor in front of the fireplace or the Christmas tree for this photo.

5. Be natural

You don’t need to take pictures of your pets in a professional studio or behind closed doors. Grab his leash and lead him outside.

Take photos with Christmas lights and decorations in the background. If the weather isn’t cooperating, try a shallow depth of field (low f/stop) to blur the background. This allows your pet to stand out without losing the outdoor feeling.

6. Reveal your personality

Is your pet active? Take a picture of them chasing after their favorite toy. Do they like to cuddle? Snap a photo of your pet with their favorite blanket or cuddled up next to you. Tap or click here for the best phone tripods for amazing photos.

Show Goldie playing hide and seek in her fish tank if that’s her favorite pastime, or capture a picture of your cat playing with a catnip mouse.

The best photos reveal the endearing traits of your pets. That’s what makes them so special, so showcase your animals doing their favorite things in this year’s greeting card.

7. Try something new

You probably have tons of animal photos saved on your phone and on your high-end camera, but it’s time to mix things up.

Consider taking photos from different angles to reveal something new about your pet. You’ll never know if Thumper’s cute little bunny profile is better on the right or left if you don’t try both.

Add an artistic touch by filming your pet from below, or try your hand at wide-angle and specialty lenses like a fisheye to accentuate that cute little guy you love so much.

Creativity is key when looking for the best side of your best friend. Have fun and don’t forget to include a few toys or comfort items in some of your photos.

8. Keep Their Attention

Getting an animal to look at the camera is not easy, but you are in luck. We have all the right strategies to get Rex looking your way.

First, try using food. Place their favorite treat above your camera lens. Get creative and toss their favorite treat at them while taking pictures. You can capture your pet jumping through the air, or you can snap a photo of them grabbing (or missing) the treat altogether.

Give your cat some catnip before the shoot, then place it on a cute little holiday-themed rug. Take several photos of them rolling around, looking adorable.

If your dog likes his squeaky toy, squeeze it quickly to get his attention. You can also make an unexpected noise, like jingling your keys or clapping loudly in the direction you want them to look.

Everyone loves to receive a greeting card with the people they love. But we all love it more when you include pets. Use these techniques to capture the perfect greeting card photos this year. Good luck and good snapping!

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