Pet Photography: Santa Paws 2014

Over the last two weekends I ran the Santa Paws Pet Portraits for My Pet Warehouse, where we were based in three stores with our pop-up photo studio in South Yarra, Richmond and Malvern. Customers could come in for a 15 minute session which included two different shots of their pet with Santa (or themselves included), and a variety of choices of prints, cards and mugs with their best friend on it (the cards were a big hit!), as well as a 10% donation to Melbourne Animal Rescue.

It was so much fun meeting all the different pets and so many friendly faces, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Amy at Haus Of Pug as my assistant, or with the help of each of the stores.

Here are some of my favourite shots from the sessions, my top 5 tips for taking your own Christmas pet photos at home, and some cute outtakes at the end. It was so entertaining was when the animals stopped behaving and started to act like themselves – and thankfully there were no bathroom emergencies!

SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_01 Santa Paws at My Pet Warehouse / © Rebecca Houlden 2014 Santa Paws at My Pet Warehouse / © Rebecca Houlden 2014 Santa Paws at My Pet Warehouse / © Rebecca Houlden 2014 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_05SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_07 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_08 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_09 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_10 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_11SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_13SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_15 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_16 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_17 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_18 SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_19SantaPaws2014_©RebeccaHoulden_22

Want to try and take Christmas photo of your pets at home? Here’s some tips that might help you:

1. Be patient. Your pet doesn’t understand what’s going on, or why it’s so important that you get a perfect photo of them looking adorable in a santa hat looking straight at the camera.
If you’re trying and trying to get a good photo and your pet just isn’t co-operating, take a break for a bit and try again later.

2. Have an assistant with treats or a stimulant (such a squeaker toy) or their favourite words to get your pet’s attention. This leaves you free to snap a photo for that split second when they look into the camera.

3. Don’t be forceful. If your pet is hating the Santa hat or antlers, don’t make them uncomfortable for the sake of a photo. There are plenty of other cute accessories you can buy such as scarves or bandannas which are much less annoying for pets!

4. Don’t use flash – it might frighten your pet, if not at the beginning then by the 20th photo it definitely will. Natural light is always best.

5. Let your pet be themselves. It’s not always about getting the perfect pet portrait – often when they start playing and being themselves, that’s what makes the photos cute and unique.

And now for some super cute outtakes from the My Pet Warehouse Santa Paws sessions….

There was lots and lots of licking

There was lots and lots of licking

Rupert

Rupert

Axil in the middle of a yawn

Axil in the middle of a yawn

Lazarus had almost had enough

Lazarus had almost had enough

Killa sniffing out the camera

Killa sniffing out the camera

Chowski and Killa loved playing under the tree

Chowski and Killa loved playing under the tree

Jonah getting sleepy

Jonah getting sleepy

Dog or lion? More yawning

Dog or lion? More yawning

More licking

More licking

Cupcake Jake was so much fun!

Cupcake Jake was so much fun!

Chico waiting for more treats

Chico waiting for more treats

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