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Our Top Five Dog Christmas Photoshoot Ideas

I absolutely love holiday dog photos. The innocence in a dog's eyes perfectly captures the magic of Christmas. So, every year I try to come up with a new way to capture this joyous season through the lens of my sweet dogs.

Below I have listed five of my favorite dog Christmas photography ideas for you to try this year.

1. Keep It Classic with the Christmas Tree

Because I have small dogs I rarely photograph my pups under the Christmas tree. They are so small that all you rarely see is the base of the tree.

A dachshund under a Christmas tree
So boring, right?!?

So, for small pups, I recommend capturing your pup's photo in front of the tree in one of two ways:

Place Your Dog on a barstool directly in front of the tree. This technique will give you a beautiful full blurred effect from the Christmas tree lights.

A dog wearing a poinsettia collar in front of a Christmas tree.
Turn your Christmas tree into a beautiful backdrop.

Place Your Dog on a chair or coffee table pulled away from the Christmas tree. This technique will give more structure to the tree, but still keep your pup in focus. In the below picture I laid a blanket on a coffee table and seated Bailey on it. The table was directly in front of the tree, but about 12-15 feet in front of it.

A Yorkshire terroir wearing a Christmas tutu in front of a Christmas tree.
Set your dog far in front of the tree to capture the magnificence of the tree.

2. Experiment with Bokeh Overlays

One of my favorite techniques is to add a snow overlay to my photos (yes - even my indoor photos). Bokeh refers to the out-of focus areas of a photograph. Often, you see it in the form of lights. Take, for example, this photo. This was taken using a backdrop that incorporates a bokeh light effect.

A Yorkshire terrier wearing a dog coat in front a bokeh light backdrop.
Beautiful Bokeh light backdrop.

I absolutely love the bokeh light effect of this backdrop, but for Christmas, I love to take it up a notch and add a layer of snow bokeh on top.

A dog wearing a coat in front of a Bokeh lights backdrop.
Transform the Bokeh lights to Bokeh snowflakes.

If you have Adobe Photoshop, or a similar editing program, bokeh overlays are a ton of fun, and can be easily downloaded from many Sellers on Etsy. Just be sure to read the Seller's instructions before downloading as they can be tricky to add to photos if you are not familiar with Photoshop.

A woman kissing her dog who is sitting in a hat box.
Give your photos a beautiful Christmas effect with bokeh snow overlays.

3. Add a Holiday Prop to Your Christmas Photo

Another one of my favorite dog photography ideas is to use Christmas props such as Christmas bulbs, stockings, and wreaths.

Christmas bulbs are so much fun and easy to add to photos. Simply gather up a bunch of your favorite colors and scatter them around your pup (just remember to remove the wire hangers so nothing accidentally pokes your pup). Their curiosity in having the bulbs around is darling to watch and photograph.

A Yorkshire terrier surrounded by Christmas bulbs.
Surround your pup with Christmas bulbs.

A dog inspecting a Christmas bulb.
Always so curious!

Experiment with any Christmas decorations you have lying around. I also love to use stockings, and even tried wreaths this year.