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The frustrations of Tantalus: photographing pets

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Everyone has tried it. Fluffy or Reginald or Snowball does the cutest thing: leaps two feet into the air; curls up in a hat; climbs inside a cereal box.

Unfortunately, the moment you go to snap the picture, your pet turns into that grandchild who waits until Grandma and Grandpa have hung up the phone to start babbling. Even with the advent of cameras on cell-phones, animals seem to instinctively know when they are being "watched."

This is especially true of posing with pets! That particularly frustrating procedure follows a certain order--as illustrated by the attached images.

Luckily, there are solutions, one of which is a professional pet photographer! In the Greater Portland area, the following professionals will photograph cats and dogs:

Charlotte Stuart Photography

(207) 310-1214

Joanne Lee Photography

(207) 450-9641

Bell's Furry Friends Photography

(207) 356-2353

Starting the process
Starting the process JJJ

Starting the process

The first step in the process, of course, is to convince your pets that having their photo taken (with you) is a fabulous idea! Here, Max is deciding whether or not to participate.

Posing for the camera
Posing for the camera JJJ

Posing for the camera

The next step is to get your pets to pose. Unfortunately, animals, like little children, have the capacity to become instantly enamored by anything and everything in the opposite direction from the camera: a bird outside the window, a fly, a speck of dust. Yelling “Cheese” from the other side of the room doesn't work. Cats especially like to ignore anybody who is trying to get their attention!

New approach
New approach JJJ

New approach

If a seated location doesn't work, try getting down to the pets' level. Sitting on the floor is also a good way to trap them! (And you can always sprinkle treats around to keep them interested.)

Come back here
Come back here JJJ

Come back here

Escape! 90% of the day, your cat is perfectly content to sit and contemplate string. The moment you try to take a picture, your adorable pet will decide, “I think it’s time to check out a different part of the house.”

Take what you can get
Take what you can get JJJ

Take what you can get

If the pets show up in the same room on the same rug, hurry up and snap the picture. You can always Photoshop later! And even if you don't, at least you can prove that Kate, Aurora, and Max (in this case) are members of the same household.

One always moves
One always moves Kate Woodbury

One always moves

Photos of pets without humans are easier--but be subtle! The moment one of them hears the "whir" or "click" or "snap" of the camera, up come the heads!

Catch them napping
Catch them napping Kate Woodbury

Catch them napping

The best trick, naturally, is to catch your pet napping. And there really is nothing else in the world like a big mound of curled cat to create a relaxing and lasting image.

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