Who doesn’t love a cute puppy pic? At Snappy Snaps we’re massive fans, and this week we were lucky enough to sit down with Steph Walton, owner of @stephandthespaniels and @spaniellife on Instagram.
If you have a pet, the chances are your phone gallery is full of photos of them. But we know it can be tricky to get the perfect shot – whether you’re dealing with an overexcited dog, a cat chasing its tail or a smaller scampering pet.
We love to print photos of our furry friends. Pet photos work incredibly well as framed prints, cushions and mugs, whether they’re for yourself or to surprise a loved one.
With this in mind we asked Steph for her advice on how she takes photos of her dogs, and how she loves to display her prints.
It's thirsty work! Steph and Sev with their personalised Snappy Snaps mug.
We’re big fans of your photos of Lily and Severus – it must be tricky to get them to stay still for you! Do you have any tips for pet parents to get crisp shots of animals?
It can be, Lily is a one shot one and knows the sound of the shutter speed and moves quickly after that. Making sure basic obedience is up to scratch can really help. Sev and Lily also know that photos mean treats so they’re always keen to try. Practicing your photography and knowing your animal are the main things, you don’t need the best equipment, but you need to know how to use it and work with the best light.
Speaking of shots, as a family you visit places with some awesome landscapes. How much of your travel is influenced by photography and your dogs?
We mainly base our trips around what I’ve seen online or other people’s visits, I don’t plan my photographs until I’m there (usually) and just see what would work in that certain place. We always make sure we find the best walks & beaches for the dogs - they certainly take most importance for the trip.
What are the ingredients that make the perfect dog-friendly trip?
Finding the right accommodation is most important. The rise in popularity of taking your dogs away has seen more places allowing dogs. However, ‘dogs allowed’ and ‘dog-friendly’ are very different things. We much prefer self-catering, but some hotels can feel super luxurious - even with the dogs. We then work around finding walks, pubs & cafes in the area and maybe anything else that would be fun to do with them.
You can’t keep a good dog down. We think Sev loves his personalised cushions.
How long have you been running @stephandthespaniels and @spaniellife for?
And where did the inspiration come from to focus a social channel entirely around your furry friends?
Stephandspaniels has been going since I got Instagram, it’s certainly changed to a very casual and personal account. Using it to post photos I love, but not thinking any more about it. SpanielLife got started very casually with my family dogs, but we started posting more seriously about 3 - 4years ago.
You’ve gathered over 25,000 followers for Lily and Sev on Instagram – that’s an amazing milestone! What are some of the things you’ve learnt along the way of amassing such a big following?
Thank you, it really is, and we love the dog-friendly Instagram community so much. I think making sure you use it in the right way, and also showcasing what you love as I think you can get caught up in what others want to see and what you should post. We’ve certainly changed our ways - for example, we love more of a story format rather than point and shoot, just because our followers may like it. Showing our Spaniel Life is what it’s all about!
Do you often print out photos of Lily and Sev, and what do you do with them? Do you have photos up around your home, or are you a fan of scrapbooking etc?
I used to print so many photos out, and I have many, many albums. We love having photos around the home though & like to change these up every now and again. I think I use Instagram as an online diary and photo album, that’s why it’s so important to me, looking back on previous years’ photos is wonderful.
I love that Snappy Snaps gifts can be printed with our favourite photos. I’ve created some cushions and mugs, both for myself and as presents for our family. I love being able to personalise items for around the home.
It’s a dog's life. Lily relaxing next to her personalised Snappy Snaps cushions.
Lastly, could you tell us three of your favourite pet Instagram accounts to follow?
I have so many! Freddy_Merlecury BriannaMadia AdventuresofDoodles
I love so many accounts. Dogs that travel and show beautiful places around the world with beautiful photography are always appealing, but I love fun and easy photos too. You can follow Steph and The Spaniels at @stephandthespaniels and @spaniellife . Got a favourite pet pic? Make like Steph and turn your social media snaps into the perfect prints for your home.