How to Take Good Holiday Photos of Your Pets

I don’t profess to be a photographer by any means… I love taking photos, but I still have a lot to learn. That being said, I have a few tricks up my sleeves when it comes to pet photography. Probably because we have so many! As I was brainstorming holiday posts for the blog for the holidays, I immediately knew I wanted to share them with you — especially if you’re like us and don’t have kids. Why do the parents get to have all the fun with holiday cards?? We always put our tiny zoo on holiday cards. I hope you find these tips for how to take good holiday photos of your pets helpful!

Take Good Holiday Photos of Your Pets Like a Pro with These 6 Tips from a photographer! Holiday card inspiration and photo taking tips.

Take Good Holiday Photos of Your Pets Like a Pro with These 6 Tips

Keep your phone (or camera) handy

We all probably have our smartphones on us all the time now, so this tip is easy to follow. Some of the best photos I’ve taken of our pets have been spur-of-the-moment candid shots — especially while they are snuggled up or cuddling with each other! Plus, smartphones have incredible cameras now, so you really don’t need to lug around the big camera to get some cute snaps.

Take a LOT of photos

I am definitely the person who takes approximately 25 photos (if not more!) to get to 1 Instagram post. I always recommend shooting a lot of options. Try different angles like an overhead shot and a close up shot. I also recommend taking photos on burst mode or high-spend continuous. Often, you can get really funny and cool movement, especially if your pet is rambunctious like our puppy. Treats go a long way in helping to keep pets in place, too.

Play with the settings on your phone or camera

Portrait mode is one of my favorite iPhone photo settings. By using it, you’ll get a really nice, blurred out effect called depth of field around the photo’s subject while the subject remains crisp and clear. You’re also able to adjust the f-stop/aperture on the iPhone, too, so you can play with those settings as well. I wouldn’t get too into the different filters though because you’ll have more control over filtering if you use a dedicated app for that.

Take Good Holiday Photos of Your Pets Like a Pro with These 6 Tips from a photographer! Holiday card inspiration and photo taking tips.

Filter your images

If you really want your holiday pet photos to POP off the page (or screen), definitely consider using an app to apply a filter. My favorite photo editing apps are VSCO and Snapseed. I go into a TON of detail about how I use each one in my social media class, but I recommend adjusting the exposure, sharpening, adjusting white balance, and selecting a pre-loaded filter to help you better share good holiday photos of your pets.

Take photos in natural light, during the day

I know it sucks when your pets are cozy at night and it’s too dark to take a photo — trust me, I get it!!! But I really recommend only taking photos during the day and with natural light if you plan to use them for holiday cards. Trying to brighten an already dark image will affect the quality so much so that a printer might say that your image can’t be printed because it’s not high enough resolution or quality.

Take Good Holiday Photos of Your Pets Like a Pro with These 6 Tips from a photographer! Holiday card inspiration and photo taking tips.

Play with props!

Lucy probably hated me when I wrapped her in string lights, but it made such a cute holiday photo! You could also try pet sweaters, holiday decor, a cozy or furry blanket, or even some of those hilarious reindeer hats.

I know this is a very cursory, basic list of tips… but once you start playing with the options on your phone or camera and fine-tuning your editing style, you’ll end up with some GREAT holiday photos of your pets.

Photography by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

Let's stay in touch:

Shop my picks on Amazon

Shop now

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

Leave a Comment