WRITTEN BY JULIA HASS | EDITED BY JENNIFER PARLATI

Welcome to part three of three in our ongoing series on taking great pictures of your furry family members. Part one can be found here, and part two can be found here. In this article we will be covering how to use props in your gerbil photos to best effect, and how to make the experience rewarding for your mini-models so that they are more likely to behave in the way you want next time the camera comes out!

Props Are Your Pals

Gerbils, like Mary Poppins, are practically perfect in every way, but they do have one major flaw: they won’t wear costumes. Believe me, I’ve tried. So if you want to take a picture that has a theme or something more interesting going on than your gerbil standing there, you have to get creative.

The first and easiest way to do something thematic is props. Props are pretty easy to find, actually, because anything works so long as it’s small enough to fit in the same picture as a gerbil. If you look to the right, Rizzo modeling a mug designed by a friend.

Other things that work really well with gerbils are props made for dolls or dollhouses. You can even get those cheap at yard sales or second-hand, just be sure to wash them in warm water either with diluted vinegar or an all-natural soap to make sure there’s nothing on there that if your gerbil tries to put the prop in its mouth (and they will) will make them sick. Also, if the object is really small, you’ll have to watch closely to make sure your gerbil doesn’t try to eat it. (They will.)

And you can of course get creative and make your own props quite easily using construction paper and some ingenuity. My friend was once doing a scavenger hunt and one of the items on it was “a rodent taking a bath”, so of course she hit me up. Gerbils can’t get wet without becoming susceptible to pneumonia, so what I did was I took the nice, sturdy box my iPhone came in, cut out a construction paper bath and regular white paper in the shape of bubbles, applied some tape, and put some treats in the box.

Reward Your Models Handsomely

If taking pictures is rewarding for your gerbil, they’re going to let you take a lot more pictures of them in a lot more different ways. Always make it a fun experience for them by giving them something new to explore, or chew, and definitely lots of treats after. I also always give my boys smooches after they’ve been good. This is really a reward for me, because my boys are definitely not fans of the smooch. That’s fine, though, not everything is about them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our series on taking spectacular pictures of your gerbil friends! We hope you can take away some helpful hints and tips that take your gerbil photos to another level of awesome.

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