The Fascination of Holiday Pet Portraits

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By Adrea

formal christmas portrait
Formal Christmas portrait as requested by cat according to owner on (photo: derekzimm

As it is the time of year when people send out family portraits, it is surprising how many of them a) include family pets and b) only include the family pet.  This includes both silly and format portraits, but a fascination overcame and a search on the Internet for “Holiday pet portraits,” returned no less than some 15 million plus results.  Granted, those are including many hits which have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, pulled up because the words appeared someone in a description although often in two very distant areas, but in fairness it did take up to page 35 of the search results before coming anything that didn’t appear to properly align with the request.

Holiday Pet Portraits Rotator and Channel 3
Upland Animal Services, CA
Cat-candycanes FIX
Noelle Bell Photography, Knoxville, TN

Astounding was the abundance and variety of places that do pet-related portraits.  Some places are simply photo studios that do a rather broad cross-section of photographic images.  Others were exclusively pet-oriented including people who do work in oil and water color.  Others were running special holiday photo events and many of those were supporting local rescues and shelters.  That seemed like a really good idea.  In general, there are plenty of different opportunities to capture your pet’s image, based both on type (photograph verses lithograph) and cause (personal business verses raising funds for local animal programs), and naturally, the interest of the individual.  Think back to the amazing  world’s largest cat painting featuring sold at the end of 2014 by Sotheby’s Auction House.  the 42 cat, 227 pound piece sold for $826,000.  Perhaps that would be going a bit far for the annual holiday card.

Tuxedo Cats Your Holiday Gift by Cyra R. Cancel 1

Reading a recent blog on, someone had mentioned their cat asked for a serious Christmas picture this year.  It does make one wonder what prior years had yielded in the way of cat costumes and general buffoonery, as there is plenty to be found on the world wide web.  Not just for Christmas, either.

kittn in tree
Nashville Humane Association, TN

While there are many different reasons to have a portrait of your cat or dog created, ranging from holiday cards to memorials, people love their pets so wanting a picture or a portrait does seem to be entirely out of the realm of things people will choose to do.  Case in point, how many times have you either a) been shown a picture of somebody’s cat on their phone and/or b) shown someone a picture of your cat on your phone?  It is probably safe to say…a lot.  That’s not really a bad thing, though, is it?





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