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Celebrate Shelter Pets Day (+ tips to get those share-worthy dog photos!)

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Every day in our home is Celebrate Shelter Pets Day (just ask our two dogs and three cats–all former shelter residents) but we can all really pull out the stops every December for this one-day event.

Celebrate Shelter Pets Day - December pet holiday

When is Celebrate Shelter Pets Day?

Celebrate Shelter Pets Day is observed the first Thursday after Thanksgiving. This pet holiday began in 2010 as a joint project by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund as a day for people who have adopted pets to share photos on social media.

First called Shelter Pets Take Over Facebook Day, the day was invented as a fun way for people to show their adopted pets–which would then hopefully encourage more people to consider pet adoption.

The reason the groups took this approach was because surveys they had conducted showed, “People are three times more likely to go to a shelter or rescue group when looking for a pet if they’ve spoken to a friend or family member who’s already adopted.”

Tag Your Photos

Today the pet holiday has expanded beyond Facebook to encompass everyone’s favorite social media channels.

Tag your photos with hashtag #celebrateshelterpets to join in the fun!

Easy Ways to Improve Your Dog Photos

It’s time to get those photos ready for Celebrate Shelter Pets Day! We’ve got some tips to help you create beautiful and happy photos of your dog.

Life + Dog magazine

Several years ago, we co-hosted a #SuperDogPics party with All Things Dog Blog. Our expert guest for the party was Life+Dog publisher Brett Chisholm, a professional photographer, who shared his tips for improving your own dog photos, regardless of your equipment.

We wanted to share some of our favorites from his many tips.

  • TIP: The softest and most even light is in the shade or on a cloudy day. Direct, overhead sun is not optimal.
dog photo tip

We love this lighting tip, especially appropriate during the winter months.

  • TIP: Wide apertures are necessary for indoor shooting in natural light as well.

For more advanced photographers, Brett had some tips so they could take advantage of natural light without reaching for that flash…

dog photo tip
  • TIP: Search YouTube for video tutorials on how to use online software.

We’re just learning post-production tricks on Photoshop, and we’re definitely going to follow this tip of Brett’s:

dog photo tip
  • TIP: We’ll say it again. Natural, filtered light is best. Go near a window!

We love this lighting tip because it requires no special equipment and it’s applicable no matter what type of camera you’re using:

dog photo tip
  • TIP: When using your cellphone, focus on a bright area to darken the photo/ dark area to lighten before taking the shot.

Finally, this last tip is one that applies to just about everyone these days because we’re all carrying phones with great cameras! (And, after all, the best camera is the one that you have with you!)

dog photo tip

Related pet holidays

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Celebrate Shelter Pets Day
Paris Permenter
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