Holiday Photos with Pets

November 27, 2013

So, human friends: do you subject your pets to holiday photos? My staff did this one year…and never did again. Check out Exhibit A to see what I mean.

cats and santa

Exhibit A. Obviously Pug and I were not super happy about the holiday photo.

The staff could have really used some professional tips about taking photos of pets, holiday or otherwise. Recently, the staff hooked up with the people at Adobe, the makers of Photoshop Elements, which is an easy software program made for the non professional photographer who wants the ability to take okay photos and make them fantastic.

With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share some tips for capturing your pets in their very best light from Bob Gager with Adobe and professional photographer Mark Rogers of San Francisco Pet Photography. If the staff uses these tips instead of the awful job she did last time….well, Pug and I might just sit for a session.

Five Tips for Great Pet Photos

Mark: To catch your pet’s true personality, get down on their level and spend time with them before you point the camera. You’ll already be in the best position to get great shots, and they’ll be more relaxed. They may even act silly for you!

Bob: Just like humans, pets eye will reflect the flash in a camera. To remove this “pet eye” glare, Photoshop Elements 12 includes a new “Pet Eye” tool that removes the glare in a just a few clicks.

Mark: Pets tend to pose wherever they feel like it, so you don’t always have as much control over where the shot is taken. Be ready to shoot at any moment, but be aware of your surroundings so you and your pet don’t end up damaging beautiful wild flowers, or accidentally posing in a patch of poison ivy!

Mark: Posing your pet takes a mix of patience, luck and skill. Wait until they’ve put themselves into a position you like, or lure them into place with a treat or toy. Don’t force them, or it will look forced. Keep your pet looking at the camera with the treat/toy while you shoot.

Bob: Pets can be difficult to capture in photos and often seem to wander off just as you’re snapping the pic. With Photoshop Elements 12, you can gracefully move Fido or Spot right where you wanted him using the Content-Aware Move tool – just circle, drag and drop him where you want him in the photo, and Photoshop Elements 12 will automatically blend the photo to look as if that’s where he’d always been. A quick video demo is here:

Readers! What tips do you have? Have you had any luck taking holiday photos of your pets? Send me your holiday pet photo to caroline (at) and we’ll post them in an upcoming post. It will be awesome!


Jessica Sala-Bonin November 28, 2013 at

We always bring bones and a good attitude! Pets are pets and can’t control their every more!

Sparkle November 27, 2013 at

Great tips! My human is always crawling around, trying to take photos of us kitties, bribing us, etc.

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