Posted in cats, dogs, guinea pig, pets, rabbits

The ‘Awww’ Factor


Spencer offers a blank stare to the camera. Perhaps a few treats will encourage him to relax a bit for his portrait.

There’s a rumor that those who make items for sale may build a little less quality in an item so that buyers of the goods will have to replace them eventually — “planned obsolescence.” Of course, some things only make sense to expire: would you use last year’s calendar to plan your daily tasks in the present?

But many of us still hang on to items that anyone in their right mind would discard. Who knows? Someday someone may come up with a replacement for that beloved knick-knack that’s even better than the original, in the meantime I’ll hang on to the original. I have trouble parting with my expired calendars because I like the photos used in them. My most favorite ones are, of course, of my favorite pets: cats. I’m not a species snob, though. In fact, a calendar of dogs or other animals would be a welcome gift to me. If I can’t have a 3-D, living, breathing puppy, what better way to admire the canine set if only through the pages of a bright and shiny new calendar?

In fact, pet photography is a challenge in its own right, and the best photos are taken by those photographers who know how to calm the little (and not-so-little) furry friends. They must feed the four-legged subjects before they bring out the camera, since most portraits of pets I’ve seen portray very sleepy pets indeed. But I like to gaze at them anyway, wondering what each one is like when awake and playful.

If you’ve never tried getting a good snapshot of your pet, give it a whirl (your camera, not your pet). Remember to reinforce the good behavior, and try remain calm and cheerful as long as you possibly can. A few well-placed treats can help direct your pet’s behavior, so long as you keep them to a minimum and don’t ruin your pet’s supper. Finding a comfortable way to include your pets in a family portrait probably would be a little hectic, but if you have kids who can help sort out where everyone stands or sits, it can speed things along.

Once you have a few prints to choose from, sit down with all the family and listen for the appreciative “awww”s!




a little off-center, but full of good intentions