This year I have volunteered my photography services to benefit Team Memphis Rescue & Support. We will be doing Pet Photos with Santa at Woof Gang Bakery - Cordova. The date is coming up fast - Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 12noon to 4pm.
I have been giving "tips for pets with Santa" on our event page. I thought I would share everything in one post.
At our event, you will receive 2 watermarked digitals for sharing online, with your donation to rescue of $25. (I am volunteering. My retainer fees are normally $225 for studio sessions, so everybody can give $25 to animal rescue!) I am offering prints purchased through my professional lab at a big discount for this event. Print pricing starts at $5.99.
We have volunteers helping throughout the day to answer questions, keep things running smoothly and guide you to Santa.
I have been photographing animals for a very long time! Along the way I have picked up a few tricks and tips. Will this make everything go perfect and no hiccups... NO. Why?
Because we are working with animals and humans. Do the pets come and whisper into Santa's ear everything they want for Christmas? Are they professional models that sit, stay and pose? Is Santa perfect - will his beard slip off? Will he get licked all across the face? Will this professional photographer be able to make my pet look like a professional model?
We love Pet Photos with Santa! But think for a moment what your pet thinks? There is a room of excitement, people are anxious for their turn, we wait in line, watch, talk with each other, then there he is - the man in the red suit and that camera lady flashing those bright lights.
Our pets may do this every year or this may be there first year! Be mindful of your pet and this experience. We want it to be fun for everyone. You are holding your pet or your pets leash and all of your energy goes straight to them. So lets make it fun for them.
Here are my Tips for
Pet Photos with Santa
Humans & Animals - We can only do what animals will allow us to do while photographing. We may have a certain pose in mind or an idea of how the photograph should turn out. But we may get a completely different photograph!
Humans are human. We all make mistakes! Santa's beard may slip, his glasses get knocked off, he might forget to smile in a couple of shots - he is volunteering his time. Go easy on him! The photographer (me) is also volunteering my time at the event and for editing- probably all total will be 20 hours of my time! Will I miss a shot here and there... you bet I will. Will you have some great photos of your pets with Santa... you can count on it! We are all doing everything we can and will have so much fun photographing your pets.
All noises - verbal commands, squeaky toys, noise makers - need to come from the photographer ONLY. I want the animal to look direct into my camera lens. I want to photograph soulful eyes and get those sweet expressions with Santa. If the family or owner - calls the pet, says the name or makes a noise, your pet loves you and will automatically look at you. So please, just watch and see what I can do with your pet. If I need you to dance and sing behind me to get your pets attention, I will let you know.
Enjoy the moment - the whole experience. Talk with other pet parents, shop in the store, talk with volunteers. When you get to the photographer - enjoy the moment. Your pet is the in the spot light! Let them shine. When everyone enjoys the moment and is happy - it shows in the photographs.
Grooming - Photographs do not smell, but, grooming shows in photographs. If you don't see a groomer there are things you can do at home. Brush the hair, remove eye boogers, wipe the mouth, paws, trim the nails, remove matting, remove grass & leaves from fur. White dogs may have staining around the mouth, eyes or feet. You will not get that out overnight. (if at all) If dogs are panting, their mouth hair may show wet. Bring a brush or comb with you and give them a once over before its their turn with Santa.
Mani & Pedi - Get those nails done.
Collars and Leash - I normally edit out these items in my studio sessions. But to cut down on editing time - these items will NOT be edited out. So match them to Christmas theme. Bandana's and scrunchies help to cover collars and tags. You can even find Christmas theme leash covers.
Safety - For safety concerns, please have all animals on a leash with their collar and tags. I will have a small slip lead with me at the event if we need for anyone.
Family - yes, family can jump in the photo. Squeeze in close to Santa and smile!