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?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here