Tips to taking great pet photos

7:39 AM, Dec 5, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Every pet owner is familiar with the moment when their pet does something extra adorable, but the camera is nowhere in sight and the moment quickly passes by. 

This holiday season, over 15 percent of pet parents will dress their pets, but many will never be able to fully capture that "Kodak moment" because it's often difficult to get pets to sit still long enough to get a great photo. 

Here are some tips to capture the moment: 

• Let Individual Personality Shine: All pets are not alike. Letting a pet's personality shine in photos is a must. If the pet likes a good snack, say "treat" or "cookie" to get their attention so the perfect head tilt occurs.
• Prep Time: When capturing photos of pets in their holiday apparel, it's important to let pets get used to the outfit prior to their big shoot. Purchase the outfit well in advance, but dress the pet just before their photo shoot so they don't grow tired of it midway through the escapade.
• Location, location, location: Choosing the right setting for the photo shoot is key. A place that pets are comfortable with, like a bed, is ideal. Or you can arrange a more candid setting. Pets always look extra excited and happy when they come back running to their owners." For themed photo shoots like Christmas, decorate the area with some holiday toys such as the Petco Santa Toy or a dressed up Holiday Stuffed Turkey. Toys can also keep pets occupied so they are less focused on the camera and more focused on being their adorable selves.
• Don't get Flashy: Most amateur photographers do best with sunlight, rather than artificial flash, so open windows in the home to allow as much natural light in as possible. However, in the middle of the day, the sun shines its brightest and does not provide ideal light for taking photos. Instead, shoot in the morning or evenings to avoid photos becoming washed out. Turning off the flash also helps eliminate red eyes. However, be sure to increase the ISO and shutter speed on the camera to decrease blurriness. Pets move quickly and dart around, so getting a clear photo may take some practice.
• Have Fun: Having fun with pets is the most important thing to ensure great photos. Get down on their level, roll around with them and shoot away. If the photographer is having fun, most of the time the pet will too! Plus, getting down at their level makes for wonderful photos at a unique angle.

Tree of Hope Campaign and Photos with Santa

• For families that want to give back this holiday the Petco Foundation will host their annual Tree of Hope campaign. 

Every year four million pets to not live to see the holiday season and Petco is encouraging those who are passionate about animals to donate from November 29 - December 24, 2013 at their nearest Petco store, Unleashed by Petco store or Pooch Hotel location or online at

Donations help feed homeless pets in shelters, give lifesaving medical assistance, enable rescuers to grow their resources so they can help ease the burdens of overfull shelters, and provide venues and grants to help usher those without a voice into loving homes who will continue to be their voices. 

• Tis the season and all pets - naughty or nice - are invited to Petco stores nationwide for Photos With Santa on December 7 & 14, 2013.

(Copyright 2013 KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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