Baymont by Wyndham—a popular pet-friendly hotel for budget travelers found all over the US— is celebrating National Dog Day on August 26 with the kick off of a contest! A nationwide search for its 2023 “Baymont Buddy of the Year.”
The chosen fur baby will become Baymont’s official pet ambassador and be featured in the brand’s digital marketing campaigns over the next year. Plus, the winning dog’s owners will receive a $5,000 cash prize, two-night hotel stay for a campaign photoshoot, $5,000 travel stipend, and an upgrade to Wyndham Rewards Diamond elite status.
To get an idea if your doggo is Baymont material, behold the first-ever Buddy of the Year. Frankie, a micro-mini goldendoodle from Virginia, who took home the prize in 2022.
Want to enter your pup? Here’s how:
- Take an adorable photo of your pooch that shows how they can sell a room.
- Write a 250-word description on why your doggy deserves to be the 2023 Baymont Buddy ambassador.
- Submit before September 19th
Before clicking through to the contest, there are a few more things to think about!
.The winner will be announced around October 17. Then, between November 2023 and February 2024, the lucky pair will take part in a professional photoshoot at one of the Baymont locations around the country with a Welcome Buddy program.
If you’ve got a furry family member, the program, available at select properties, provides you amenities like water bowls and treats at check in
Tips for Photographing Your Pooch
Want to win? Here are a few tips from photo pros about how to take the best pictures of your pet:
Morning for portraits. Afternoon for Action.
For portrait-style shots, aim for moments when your dog is sleepy or just waking up. On the other hand, if you’re seeking dynamic action shots, catch them at their most energetic. Prepping them with playtime beforehand can boost their energy levels, allowing you to capture both serene and lively shots in a single session.
Turn off the Flash. Harness Natural Light.
Prioritize natural, diffuse lighting to avoid startling your furry subject and sidestep the dreaded red-eye effect.
Use Faster Shutter Speeds
Capturing the essence of dogs in motion often necessitates fast shutter speeds to freeze their actions. While some cameras feature a Pet Mode, it’s often insufficient for achieving well-exposed, sharp images. Opt for a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or an app that permits manual adjustments.
Make Your Dog Feel at Home
Venture outdoors to parks or your backyard, to let your pet’s personality shine. This relaxed atmosphere will naturally translate into more comfortable and authentic photos.
See How They See
To truly capture the essence of your dog, align your perspective with theirs. Opt for low-angle shots that immerse you in their world.
Tailor the Shoot to Your Dog’s Personality
Like any good portrait photographer, get to know your canine client before the shoot. Note if they’re energetic or laid back, so you can plan activities accordingly. Bring treats for lazier pups, or prepare for unpredictability with hyper dogs. Observing your pet’s quirks can also spark creative ideas to capture their true spirit in pictures.
Get Your Dog’s Attention
To capture stillness, employ a simple trick: let them play calmly and, with your camera poised, call their name. As they look toward you, snap the shutter to capture their undivided attention.
Emphasize Their Eyes
Prioritize autofocusing on the eyes, even if they’re not directly looking at the camera. This approach infuses images with depth and engagement, fostering a connection with the viewer.
Keep your pet engaged and motivated throughout the session by offering rewards.
Snap Spontaneous Pup Pics with Burst Mode
Ditch the waiting game and use burst mode to grab hilarious, unposed moments. The continuous shooting feature lets you rapidly take photos, so you get all the silly faces and action while your dog is on the move.
Zoom In to Give your Doggo Personal Space
Give your subject some breathing room by using a zoom lens to photograph from a distance. This helps pups relax and allows you to experiment with compositions without distractions.
Pets are sensitive to your energy. Stay relaxed to elicit genuine expressions and behaviors.
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