Get a professional holiday photo of your dog when you help animals

Each year around the holidays you can find organizations that host holiday photo events.  Your dog can have a photo taken with Santa, or get a photo with a beautiful holiday or wintery backdrop.  The photos are usually taken by professional photographers who donate their time and studio for a donation to an animal welfare organization.  The donation can be as small as a bag of pet food, or as much as $50. 

A photo session with a professional photographer normally runs anywhere from $75 on the low end to hundreds of dollars or more.   These are not the same photos you shoot of your pets in front of the Christmas tree at home!  These are photos taken with all the fancy equipment and a great studio scene or backdrop.  Usually the photographer will give you one free copy of the photo taken.  You can then order additional prints, holiday cards, etc. if you want.  Most photographers will offer them at a discounted price for those who participate in the event. 

To find holiday photo events in your area, start by searching online for holiday pet events being held in the area.  Scroll through listings to find pet photo events.  You can also check out the events section on the web sites of nearby animal shelters, animal rescues, and other organizations that serve the pet industry.  For example, in Long Island New York there are several; the Bideawee Home hosts photos with Santa, the ASPCA is also hosting photos with Santa, and the Long Island Dog Owners Association hosted a photo event with a top professional photographer.  It featured a gorgeous wintery scene designed by an upscale local floral designer.

Once you locate some events, find out the details.  Find out what type of donation and how much of a donation is required.   Ask who is taking the photos and where; is it a professional photographer and studio, a photography student taking the photos in a park, or a staff member of the organization taking photos right in their office?   Find out exactly what is being promised.  Will they provide a hard copy 5x7 photo, or a digital copy of the photo?  Make sure there won’t be a watermark on the photo or anything that prevents you from sharing it on your social media networks.  If there are any other expectations, such as requiring you to order additional prints you will have to pay for, make sure you know that beforehand.  Match the required donation to what it being provided and decide whether or not you want to participate.

 If you can’t find a holiday photo event you like, try creating your own photo shoot.  Brush up on your pet photography by checking out sites that offer tips on how to take great pet photos.   I found several sites by searching on “how to take professional looking photos of your pets”   Make it extra special by including some of your friends’ dogs or family members’ dogs.  Invite them all over for a group photo session by the Christmas tree, or outside with a pretty Wintery scene.  Serve cookies and some doggie treats and make it a party.  You’ll capture a beautiful holiday memory!       RYUTXUUUQ8J6

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