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I'm Too Barky for My Hat. What Do You Think About That?

To get the right shot you need your model to be in the zone. You need to have your dog concentrating and focused. Basically, you need your dog to be exhibiting model behaviour. Easier said than done, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be. Here are six tips on getting the perfect photo of your dog, just in time for Christmas!

1. Works like a treat!

Nothing like some good old fashioned bribery to get your dog to do what you want. Sounds easy enough, but trust us when we say there's more to it than just waving a treat around. Sweeten your pup up first by giving him a few small treats - comfortable and happy is the goal! Once he knows you have the treats and that you're freely giving them out, keep them in your hand and near your camera while you start to photograph.

Another option is taping the treat to the top of your camera - this way your pup's eyes will always be towards the lens! ('Course if you think your pooch might lunge for it, be cautious!)

2. Relax! Please do it!

Before the shoot, take your pup to the park or for a walk; they'll be in a more relaxed and comfortable mood. If pup's not in a sprinting mood, throw a toy around to get him active. Bring him back to the spot you want to photograph. Chances are that your little model will be able to hold their pose longer...as long as it’s not a hard to hold pose that is! Don’t think a dog can hold “The Thinker” pose for long.

3. Come on puppy; light my fire!

When it comes to pets, lighting is important. It is not recommended to use the flash because it distracts animals easily, especially dogs; it even frighten them too! Flashes also create that spooky red-eye effect and while you could photoshop this out, it's best avoided. The only real exception is when you're photographing a dog with very dark or black fur, as the black or dark fur tends to absorb light and flash can add detail.

4. I’m ready for my close up, Mr. Beagle!

Get in close. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes but in most cases, they're smaller or shorter than you (unless you are quite short and you own a Great Dane!). Ss a result our pups tend to end up getting a little lost in photos unless you make an effort to get up close to them. Of course, getting close is not always easy, especially if you have a dog that likes to move around, but it’s worth making the effort as their personality and unique details can be captured by an up-close-and-personal photo; it can really lift a photo to a new level.

5. Costume change!

First off, get your dog used to wearing things. As long as you use positive reinforcement and experiment with simple items of clothing first you should be able to get your dog to wear a Christmas costume in no time.

As with any item of clothing, it might take several days or several months before your dog is comfortable with wearing a costume. It all depends on your dog.

And for everyone’s sake, if your dog just doesn’t like wearing the costume you bought or made for him, don’t force them to wear it. Doing so will really stress out your dog and won’t be fun for anybody around.

And remember: Don't have a nonstop photo shot. Take a break, have a play, and enjoy a treat! Both of you