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Don't Expect Pets to Be Anything but Pets
You may think Fido makes an adorable Rudolph, but Fido just wants an antler-ectomy. "We love our pets," Bender says. "They're family to us, and we treat them sort of like they are human." Photos like these were the inspiration for Mike and Doug's new book, Awkward Family Pet Photos; they noticed that the furriest family members started getting the most attention on their site.

Do Bring an Animal Wrangler
Jurick knows that pets are part of the family, so he recommends bringing a friend or neighbor to keep the pet calm while the family poses. Some of Jurick's clients learned that lesson the hard way when they had to sit on their Labrador puppy to keep it from bolting out of the shot. Jurick's advice: Get the human family members settled into the pose first; then bring the pets into the shot and play with them. The instant before the flash, have the photographer call their attention and snap photos rapid-fire.

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