How to take holiday photos of your dog that are worth sharing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- cooler temperatures, festive holiday decorations, sugar galore and plenty of family time. It’s also the time of year when family photos flood your social media feeds. Maybe you even still receive some holiday cards via snail mail. If you’re like the BarkHappy family, you’ll want to include your fur children in your holiday photos. Here are a few tips to ensure your photos are top notch.


  1. Grooming – Give your dog a bath, making sure to thoroughly clean trouble areas like paws and faces. If your pup has long hair, brush it. If this seems like too much work, bring your fur kids to the groomer, or better yet, have a mobile groomer come to you. Make sure to plan in advance as good groomers get booked quickly this time of year.
  2. Attire – Ok, this one is a bit controversial. If you’re feeling festive, dress your dog in a holiday sweater. If that is not your style, there are super cute accessories like bow ties, scarves, hats and collar decorations. A pop of color is always fun. Make sure it doesn’t clash with your outfit and try it on your dog before picture day. Of course, your fur kids also do a lot for your two-legged kids besides improve their health.
  3. Location and lighting – Getting Fido to pose isn’t always easy so chose your location wisely. Avoid crowded outdoor areas with lots of distractions. Make sure the location is well lit. Natural light is best. Early morning and late afternoon usually offer the best light without shadows. Can’t make it outdoors due to weather? Turn your home into a studio by draping a solid colored or holiday themed sheet over your couch. Place this setup near a window for the best natural light and no shadows. Prefer a more relaxed look? Follow your pup around your home, yard or park and wait for the best shot in their natural habitat.
  4. Props – Holiday related props are a great addition, but be sure to avoid anything dangerous to dogs. This includes tinsel, ribbons, mistletoe and fragile ornaments.
  5. Say cheese – Bring cheese. Just kidding, any snack or dog treat your pup likes will work. Use it as needed to get your dog to look at the camera, and as a reward for good behavior. If you have an excessive drooler, skip the snacks. You could also bring a squeaky toy or whistle to encourage your dog to look at the camera.
  6. Have fun! – Don’t be too concerned with getting the perfect photo. Sometimes it’s the imperfect ones that capture the moment the best. On the flipside, if you are a perfectionist like me, consider hiring a professional to photograph your fur kids.


Have any tips for capturing a holiday photo of your pup? Share your ideas and your favorite holiday images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging #BarkHappy.