Some of you may remember that great photo Kelly Watkins took of Quigley for our holiday card two years ago...

it included custom lyrics for the age old frosty-the-snowman tune. With holidays on the horizon, it got us to thinking you may want to take some photos of your own pets for gifts or cards. Other than baby photos, pictures of pets are probably the most popular in any "haus". So read up on these helpful tips to improve snapshots of your pups and when possible, start with a clean polished pooch.

  1. To capture your pup's gaze, tape a treat to the the top of your camera - your dog's eyes will surely follow the lens.
  2. Shoot in a natural light, ideally in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid harsh shadows.
  3. Avoid using flash. It may bother your pet, give them scary glowing eyes and flatten out your photo.
  4. Want to make your dog smile? Take you pupster for a short run around the room or throw a toy around. He'll be panting and "smiling" wide with his tongue hanging out.
  5. Use simple, colorful backgrounds that are free of clutter. It will help bring all the attention to your dog and brighten up the photo.
  6. Get down on your dog's eye level. Most pet pictures are taken from the perspective of a human looking down, so change up your angles for a more interesting shot.
  7. Take pictures after you take your high-energy dog out for exercise. He'll be more relaxed and cooperative. Catch him sleeping or lounging in his favorite spot.
  8. Lure your dog into fun action shots. Set photo "traps" that your pup will not be able to resist - a pile of leaves, a roll of toilet paper, an open bag of dog food in the middle of the room, an open screen door... you get the picture.
  9. Get close up shots of your dog - his shiny nose, big round eyes, curly tail, soft ear - and then frame them into one photo group.
  10. Let your dog take the pictures for you. Use a flexible tripod (like Gorillapod) to attach a camera to your dog. Set a photo timer and see just how talented you puppy is!

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