At my house, our dogs aren’t just pets – they’re members of our family. In fact, our blue Great Dane and King Charles Spaniel mutt have grown to be such an important part of our lives that it’s difficult to imagine our family (and lives) without them.
So, I always love it when my clients decide to bring their dogs along for a photo session. Here I’m sharing some of my favorite tips to consider when bringing your dog along for a family session, couples session, or elopement —
Consider what you already know about your pet.
You know your dog best! Prior to making the decision to include them, you might ask yourself whether they’ll do well at a photo session and if there is anything we should consider when making specific plans, such as how they typically act around other people and animals. Be sure to mention these details to your photographer and consider them as you begin planning.
Invest in coordinating doggy accessories.
In the same way you coordinate outfits for the humans in your family, why not invest in accessories for your pooch, too?! Collars, leashes, or bandanas in a complimentary color will often do the trick!
Choose a dog friendly location.
With your dog’s demeanor and your vision in mind, be sure to select a location that both allows dogs and has beautiful scenery. If a specific place doesn’t come to mind, ask your photographer!
Bring your pup’s favorite treats.
In addition to feeding your dog prior to the session (dogs can get hangry, too!), make a note to bring along plenty of their favorite treats as well, just in case we need a little “something extra” to capture their attention, especially if we’re photographing in an area with distractions.
Allow your dog to get the sniffs and wiggles out.
It’s great to arrive about fifteen minutes prior to the session when bringing your pup along. This allows them to get familiar with the area, sniff (or mark) to their heart’s content, and get out most of their hyped up energy before we begin snapping photos.
Choose to include your dog at either the beginning or the end of your session.
Ask your photographer if they have a preference, but it’s best to include your four legged friend at either the beginning or end of the session. Again, you know your pet the best, so if there’s a chance they won’t be on their best behavior, you may choose to include them at the end of the session to eliminate the possibility for any undue stress or frustration.
Have a plan for when your dog isn’t being photographed.
Your dog’s safety and well being is a priority when you bring them to a session! The absolute best way to ensure your pet is cared for while they’re not being photographed is to bring along an extra friend or family member to be the “dog handler” for the day. This way, your dog is with you when we want them included in photos, but busy and loved on for the rest of the time. If you’re unable to bring a designated dog handler, we can discuss other options prior to your session, such as keeping them in an air conditioned car, tied to a tree close by, or while less preferred, letting them roam close by (depending on your dog and the location of course!).
Are you ready to schedule a session with your dog?
I hope you’ve found these tips and tricks helpful as you begin planning your upcoming session. If you’re looking for a photographer in Colorado, Florida, or Washington DC, I’d love for you to say hi, so we can discuss all the details. Ready to put a date on the calendar? Hop on over to my schedule to make it official!