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The Scoop - What's new with your pet sitters

​Five tips for photographing pets

Jeff Amlotte - Monday, July 20, 2015

1. Eye level



A lot of pet owners kneel down to talk to their pets (unless you have a horse, or course), it helps establish a bond between them. This applies to photographing pets as well. So get down to their eye level, in fact, lay on the ground if you can. The photos you take at this level help convey a feeling of closeness to the person viewing the photograph. For the horse photographer, get a step ladder to raise your perspective. To give your pet a bit of an authoritative look, take your photo from below eye level with a slight upwards angle.

2. Available light

Turn off your flash. Whenever possible, shoot in natural or available light, whether it be outside light or lights in your house. Using a flash causes a few problems: 1) red eye, 2) scares the animal and 3) it just isn’t flattering.

3. Get close

This has two meanings. Get close physically and get close from far away.

Getting close physically:
Spontaneous portraits of your pets can be great, but sometimes we forget about the little things that make them cute. Move your camera up close, fill the frame with their paw(s), their nose, their odd-shaped ear or their stubby little tail. Combining these different kinds of shots with the standard portrait can make for a nice slide show or photo collage.

Getting close from far away:
Break out the long zoom lens and step away from your pet. Now zoom all the way in with your lens and compose your shot. This effect creates a stronger emphasis on your pet while blurring the background.

4. Be creative

Distorting the visual truth can be fun. With an extreme wide angle or fish eye lens, get very close to your pet’s face and snap the shutter. The exaggerated over-sized head on tiny little legs can create an unusual and comical look. But be careful, when it comes to this effect, there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

5. Be patient

Patience is a virtue. One that is hard to maintain when photographing pets. While you may think you’ve either got all the shots you need or you just missed the “perfect” shot, wait a little longer before calling it a day. Pets know there’s something going on when you’re moving around clicking some strange gadget at them. But if you’re still they tend to relax a bit. Let them settle down. They may even be distracted by a toy or something which can create an opportunity for a whole new series of great photos.


An is now a Certified Professional Pet Sitter!

An Amlotte - Monday, December 29, 2014


We have some exciting news to share... We got word today that An passed the final exam for Pet Sitters International's CPPS program!


Pet Sitters International is one of the world's largest organizations for professional pet sitters, dedicated to educating professional pet sitters and promoting, supporting and recognizing excellence in pet sitting. You may have found this site by using their Pet Sitter Locator, a great tool to find PSI members, see who's bonded and insured, has passed a background check and earned the CPPS credential. We're proud to check all four boxes. Our next goal is to get trained in Pet First Aid through PetTech, we'll write more on that later.


In PSI's own words, "the Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program was created to promote high industry standards, and provides a continuing education curriculum to keep certificate-holding pet sitters at the forefront of modern pet care practices. The curriculum includes topics on pet care, health & nutrition, business & office procedures and more. The coursework was developed with input from the most knowledgeable professionals in the pet care industry, and is designed to provide a complete and well-rounded educational experience for a professional pet sitter. Graduates are knowledgeable in the care of a wide variety of species — from cats and dogs to reptiles, amphibians and more. A graduate also knows how to run an efficient, effective pet-sitting business."


We are confident that completing this coursework has made us better pet sitters, and look forward to many more years of providing our clients with excellence in pet care. Kitty purrs and wagging tails are our best reward!



New software feature: Email visit reports

An Amlotte - Saturday, November 29, 2014


Great news from PetSitClick this week, they've added a new feature that we think many clients will find very useful. You can now choose to have a visit report emailed to you automatically as soon as we mark the visit complete. It will include GPS check-in and check-out time, a link to a photo (if we have uploaded one, which we try to do as often as possible), and of course the visit notes.


All you have to do to start using this new feature is let us know that you'd like to receive the emails, and we'll turn it on for you. We can send the emails to more than one address, if desired.


Please note that we may not type up the report and mark the visit complete until the end of the day, which can be late. So if the time of your visit has passed and you have not yet received an email, don't worry — the visit wasn't skipped! Also, we've found that the GPS can sometimes default to our last known location due to connectivity issues, so please take this information with a grain of salt. We strive for complete transparency, so if you have any questions or concerns at all, just ask!



Featured Pet: Minka

An Amlotte - Saturday, October 25, 2014


We admit it, we have a weakness for shy kitties. Maybe it's the extra challenge they offer — I mean, who else gets us to crawl around on all fours with a flashlight, looking for a pair of eyes under the bed? Or maybe it's just that when your efforts pay off, it's sooo much more rewarding. 


Whatever the case may be, when someone says "you probably won't see [cat name], we consider it a challenge. And so it was with Minka. Most of the time, I'd find her hiding under the bed. We still always look for the kitties and get a visual, to make sure their eyes and noses are clear & clean, a sign of good health. 


I tried and tried to coax her out by dangling her favorite toy, but had no luck. One day, she was in her bed at the top of the stairs, and I sat a few feet away from her on the floor and just spoke to her softly. The next day, I moved a little closer and she sniffed my hand. A little later still, I got lucky and she played with the fishing pole for a while.  


When her guardians returned, we got this nice email: "Minka may not have seemed inclined to interact with you much but your efforts definitely make a difference. In the past, when we'd return from a trip, Minka would not let me near her for a couple of days. In this case, as soon as we got back, Minka let me walk up to her and pet her. She's just less freaked out because you and Jeff were here."


And that, is what makes it all worthwhile! It's why we love what we do and why we work so hard to try to make a difference.



Featured Pet: Shadow

An Amlotte - Saturday, August 23, 2014


Shadow is a mellow and sweet girl with excellent manners. She doesn't lose her cool when people come in the front door or when dinner is served. Even when it's walkies time, Shadow patiently waits for the leash to be put on and never pulls. Her favorite toy is a tennis ball, and the words "WHERE'S THE BALL" fill her with glee. Being brushed is one of her favorite things to do and the fur on the top of her head is just the softest you've ever felt.


The funniest thing (we think) about Shadow is that she hates walking on grass. Any time we take her to the park, she will seek out the smallest strip of concrete and walk on that instead. And in the back yard, if that tennis ball has the nerve to bounce on the grass, well forget that — she's not getting it.


We are honored to call Shadow one of our doggie clients!

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