13 ridiculously cute holiday pet photo ideas

So you’re getting ready to send some holiday cards (we hope!). And of course pets are family. And of course you want to include the cutest possible photos of them in your holiday cards. And of course they stop being adorable the second you point a camera at their furry little faces. But hey! It turns out Hallmark has photographers who spend entire days (weeks, even) taking pictures of puppies, kittens, bunnies—these folks can make a fully grown chicken look snuggly. We asked, and they came through with inspiration and some holiday pet photo ideas as sweet as your furry friends. Get their very best pro-tips, below.

holiday pet photo ideas: kittens in a basket

HOLIDAY PET PHOTO IDEAS

A few pet photography hints from our photo stylists (and even more here):

  • Avoid surprises. Let your pets get comfortable with camera equipment, props, and festive outfits before you take the pictures.
  • There is no shame in bribery. Equip yourself with treats, squeaky things, feathers on strings—whatever it takes to get your pets to look at you and the camera. Offer rewards for good behavior. (We’ve got a great puppy treat recipe.)
  • There is no shame, period. Also be ready to make goofy noises that get your pet to do that “barrroooo?” thing with its head.
  • Settle in. Know that you may have to take approximately a gazillion and six photos to get the perfect one.

holiday pet photo ideas: puppies with presents

holiday pet photo ideas: dogs with presents

DOGS WITH PRESENTS

Put a wrapped gift in front of your best pal and see what happens.

holiday pet photo ideas: cats in a wreath

CATS IN WREATHS

Do cats really like to sit in circles? Time to add a holiday twist to this important scientific experiment.

holiday pet photo ideas: pets with strings of lights

holiday pet photo ideas: pets with strings of things

PETS WITH STRINGS OF THINGS

Add a garland or light string for a little visual interest.

holiday pet photo ideas: pets in bed

FURBABIES IN BED

If you can get this to happen, there is nothing cuter. Works best with sleepy puppies and kittens.

holiday pet photo ideas: pets with milk and cookies

TREATS FOR WHO?

Let your pets get a whiff of the cookies and milk for Santa. (No drinking, though—unless you’re ready for the shoot to take a decidedly un-photogenic turn.)

holiday pet photo ideas: cats staring at trees

PETS STARING AT TREES

Put your pet on the floor and wiggle some off-camera branches or bells.

holiday pet photo ideas: dogs in a basket

holiday pet photo ideas: kittens in a basket

BASKETS OF CUTENESS

Fill baskets and boxes with puppies and kittens. Or dogs and cats. And don’t feel like they have to fit perfectly: Who doesn’t love a big dog in a tiny basket or a giant cat in an itty-bitty box?

holiday pet photo ideas: pets in hats

holiday pet photo ideas: pets in clothes

OUTFITS AND PET-CESSORIES

If you can get your pet to wear an outfit, you owe it to the planet to take a picture.

Of course, please feel free to mix and match these holiday pet photo ideas. See Dog with Hat in Basket and Accessorized Cat with Gift, above. 

Want to add a DIY touch to your pet photos? Try the felt mistletoe or garland from this post.

Photography by Hallmark’s Union Hill Photo Studio.

If you don’t share your pet photos with us, we’re not sure we can still be friends. Show us on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

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