It’s all fun and games ‘til Santa gets his beard scratched off! Avoid the stress of lugging your pet to the mall or store for photos with the Big Man himself and take your holiday pet pics at home! Whether you’re a purrfessional photographer or just want a cute photo of your cat in a Christmas sweater to hang on your fridge, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for getting the best possible photos of your cat this holiday season.
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Finding the purrfect holiday outfit can really bring a holiday pet photoshoot to life! Your cat can make a statement in a full-on Santa suit and really put the ‘ho ho ho’ in ‘holidays’! Your cat will look like they’re ready to bring all the girls and boys presents (hopefully not in the form of small, dead animals). Click here to shop our Santa Paws Cat Costume (below) or our Kitty Hippie Sunglasses (pictured above).
Or if you want to celebrate with something a bit more subtle (but still stylish), go minimal with a festive bow tie.
Remember - if your cat isn’t comfortable with dressing up, it’s important not to stress them out just for the sake of a photo! However, there are some steps you can take before the big photo shoot to ensure your cat feels safe and comfortable wearing a costume and isn’t stressed by the experience!
Location, Location, Location
As realtors say, location, location, location! Finding the perfect backdrop for your cat’s holiday photos is almost as important as finding the purrfect outfit. This is your chance to get creative and go all out - or keep it as simple as you like!
You can easily create your own backdrops with a holiday patterned blanket, or incorporate your holiday decorations into the background to add a festive flair. If you’re a fan of fake snow and those miniature Christmas village houses, you could build a winter wonderland (or is that whisker wonderland?) for your cat to play in. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a giant Santa Cat invading a tiny gingerbread village!
Consider the Lighting
Besides location, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to taking pet photos is lighting! Now, we don’t all have expensive light sets just lying around our houses - but natural light will do the trick! If you can’t do your photoshoot outdoors, choose a room in your house that has the most natural light.
It’s also probably best to skip the flash, as no one wants their Santa Kitty to have red, glowing eyes. Okay, that might actually make a pretty killer spooky Christmas card, if that’s your vibe. But if it isn’t, stick to natural light and skip the flash!
To help the photo-taking process go smoothly, it can be a good idea to get all those “zoomies” out ahead of time! Schedule a pre-photo shoot play sesh with your cat’s favorite toy. Catnip toys can be a great way to get them to expend some of that energy and help them relax for the photos later! And if the toy happens to be an adorable Christmas-themed catnip mouse (or abominable snowman), it might fit right in with your photoshoot!
Getting Their Attention
You’ve likely seen it in movies, the exasperated photographer holding a squeaky toy to try and get the kids to smile for the family portrait. Well, the same concept stands for your kitties! Think of what normally grabs your cat’s attention and incorporate it into the photo shoot - but behind the scenes. Do they like the crinkle of a certain toy? A cat that loves to watch birds might be drawn to a feather wand. Maybe even just making a “kissy” sound is enough to grab their attention … Whatever works for you to get your cat to make eye contact with the camera!
Pay Attention to Your Pet
Most importantly, you want to pay attention to your cat’s body language. An unhappy pet won’t make a great holiday card after all. If your cat starts getting agitated (lashing tail, ears pinned back), then it’s time to take a treat break. Remember to be patient with your cat if they’re not cooperating, and be sure to reward them with lots of pets and cuddle breaks ... and treats!