“This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
Getting one dog to smile and sit still for a photo can be challenging, but imagine being able to get not one, but over THIRTY dogs to smile and sit still for a photo?
That’s exactly what Jose Soares did that got him the grand prize for Nextdoor’s 2023 #LoveYourNeighborhod Photography competition.
Over 35,000 photos were submitted into NextDoor’s five categories, namely: #NeighborhoodCreatures, #NeighborhoodsEverywhere, #NeighborhoodFans, #NeighborhoodFaves, and #NeighborhoodGems.
Among all the submissions, Soares’ unbelievable shot submitted for the category #NeighborhoodCreatures won the grand prize.
Talking to NextDoor, Soares revealed the motivation behind the amazing group photo saying, “Buoy, the birthday boy, is very special to us; he was our motivation to take this one specifically.” Soares also revealed, “We love dog photography and doing class pictures.”
He tells PEOPLE that he has been orchestrating these group photos for years now. “We love working with the pack, and it has always been fun to get them to stay still while they look at the camera. Always a challenge we’re ready for – the owners love it,” Soares said.
But even with all the group photos Soares took over the years, his award-winning photo actually took 18 shots before getting the perfect one.
Furthermore, the group photos aren’t done by Soares alone. He said that his life partner and Woof Pack co-owner, Sandra Alvarez, helps compose every one of the photos.
Soares explained the process of taking the group photos saying, “Normally, one of us holds the pack while the other one sits one by one, and after everyone is in position, we snap the picture.”
He also reveals the secret ingredients behind the amazing group photos: patience, playfulness and a connection with the dogs.
Soares said, “Not all of them have done training, so sometimes it takes longer because they are unable to stay still, so being patient is key!”
He continued saying, “The most important thing is to create a bond with your dog, dedicate time to training, and don’t be afraid of making a clown of yourself while attempting to get their attention.”
The photo has even been posted on Reddit and netizens can’t help but be impressed of the photo.
One user wrote, “This picture is a miracle. I’ve never seen that many well-behaved dogs all in one place. Every one of them is looking directly at the camera.”
While users have been amazed by this “miracle”, others can’t help but notice the two Huskies sitting still for the photo. “They deserve the prize on the merits of getting those two huskies in the back to sit and stay still for the picture,” another user wrote.