DIY Holiday Family Photos {+ Pets!}

I’ve always been a Do-It-Yourself kind of girl when it comes to photography, and over the years I’ve done a pretty good job of training and photographing my pets for our holiday photos. But this year… I am overjoyed about having a snuggly little newborn addition to our primarily furry family photos!

Because she is so fresh out of the womb, I don’t foresee too many issues with her participation, so thanks to my fellow Houston Mom Blog Contributors, I have whipped up some advice for photographing children, and then added steps for including your pets. They are family after all.

Holiday Family Photos with Pets | Houston Moms Blog

What You Will Need ::

  • Tripod
  • Camera remote control {How did I ever survive without this?}
  • Dog treats
  • Pacifier/toys
  • Props/costumes
  • A second adult {Wrangling animals is quite the task!}
Holiday Family Photos with Pets | Houston Moms Blog

Situation gone wrong: dogs focusing on treats, cat losing patience.

Holiday Family Photos with Pets | Houston Moms Blog

Pre-baby holiday portrait. Imagine a baby in Daniel’s arms.

Encouraging Toddlers ::

  • Prep your children with a conversation. Explain your expectations of them and why you are taking this special family photograph.
  • Practice facial expressions in the mirror. Set the expectation for smiles, and then have some fun with silly faces too. Everyone loves these kinds of photos!
  • Change up the location. If possible, try to take your family photograph away from home, perhaps in front of a really cool mural. {Tip :: If you are including animals in the photo, this might prove a little difficult, yet it can be done with the right training! Even the back or front yard might be different enough to be fun.}
  • Props and music will help set the mood, but hopefully not distract the kiddos/animals.
  • Incentives! Sometimes your kids need the promise of something fun, and maybe it can even become tradition. For example, holiday photos + ice cream celebration!
  • Cross your fingers and toes that every member {two-legged and four-legged} cooperates!

Holiday Family Photos with Pets | Houston Moms Blog

Encouraging Your Pets ::

  • Make sure your dogs use the restroom first.
  • Get your props and costumes on the animals before giving them treats. Once the treats become available, they are all the pups will focus on.
  • Whip out the treats and get your animals to sit/lay down. Leave some treats near the tripod so the dogs focus there if you are in the photo yourself. If you are taking the photo, holding the treats/toys up should be enough.
  • If there is a cat involved, grab him/her last.
  • Take plenty of breaks. The more frustrated you get, the more frustrated everyone else will become.

Holiday Family Photos with Pets | Houston Moms Blog

Do you take your own holiday photos? What are some tips you have for getting your babies and fur babies to participate?


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