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Pet Pals: Photographing your pet



Wouldn't it make a great Christmas card for next year: Bowser in front of the fireplace wearing a Santa Claus hat?

Most pet owners, be they kitty fanciers, canine lovers (or both) will have great opportunities for pet photos during the holidays. Here are a few tips for getting the best results:

* If you've taught your dog to "sit and stay," you're ahead of the game. Ask someone else to hold a toy or a treat in order to get special glint in the pet's eyes.

* Take mood into consideration. That is, don't try to snap the picture while your pet is totally energetic, and don't picture your pet when it's nap time.

* Declutter the background. Decide where you want your dog or cat to sit, preferably by a blank wall so the subject stands out. Move the footstool, the lamp, the magazines and any other clutter from the area.

* Get the right angle so there will be less of a shadow from your camera flash. Shooting from a slightly higher position may be all you need to do.

* Avoid the red-eye. Some cameras have a feature specifically designed to do it. If yours doesn't, try to get a photo of your pet looking to the side instead of directly at you. Have your assistant do something or say your pet's name to attract his attention.

* Don't forget candid shots. Sometimes they are the most treasured. Include several unstaged shots, like kitty sniffing a present, or Fido sleeping on Dad's lap, or baby and doggie crawling about together.

Good luck. Make the most of your photo ops.

Incidentally, some of these tips work for photographing your kids as well.

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