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National Trust 
Festive Dog Photo Studio

National Trust Santa Paws Festive Photo Shoot - Fell Foot Park

Santa Paws Festive Photo Studio 

Collaborating with the National Trust at Fell Foot Park, I was asked to be the dog photographer for a Festive Dog Photo Studio event which ran each weekend from mid-November to mid-December.


When the idea was first broached to me to set up a pop-up studio at Fell Foot dedicated to dog owners I was immediately on board with the idea.


We would offer 15-minute slots for owners and their dogs to have a mini-festive photo session. It was something that hadn't been tried there before, but the aim was to give dog owners an opportunity to have a bit of a festive fun with their four-legged friends.

Christmas is quite rightly focussed around children but this event was focussed just as much on those without children but whose dogs are every bit a part of the family. Of course many of those who took part were also parents to children as well as their dogs so we would have parents, children and dogs for a full family portrait. 

Family and dog portrait photography shoot
Girl kissing her pug, pet dog.

We had many couples as well as single owners who attended the event, but the one thing that everyone who came along had in common was a deep and genuine love of their dogs. Capturing that bond between them was for me as joyful as it was a privilege. 

The pop-up studio was set up in one of the National Trust's historic boathouses along the shores of Windermere at Fell Foot Park. Emma and a small team of brilliant colleagues dressed the boathouse beautifully with festive fruits, firs and ivy and lights, and the studio was completed with a fabulous Christmas tree. 

As often in Cumbria we experienced some challenging weather: a foot of heavy snowfall on one weekend that fell so quickly a major incident was declared for south Cumbria, followed the next weekend by torrential rain and flooding, all of which was worked around and was all part of the fun! 

Customers were able to book a 15-min slot online on the National Trust Fell Foot website page at a cost of £10. For this each customer would receive a professionally edited hi-res digital image sent to them a few days later, which they could then have printed or share via social media or email.


Many chose to use the image as a unique and personal Christmas card, others as a precious memento. 


Santa hats and a selection of festive accessories were made available for willing dogs (Santa hats for humans too!), and many owners donned their Christmas jumpers too to really get into the spirit of things! 

If you didn't get a chance to try the Santa Paws Festive Photo Studio last year, we're already making plans to run the event again this coming year in November and December 2024. Look out for details and a chance to book a ticket for the Santa Paws Festive Photo Shoot later in the year. 

Family and dog festive portrait photography shoot.
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