I LOVE when my clients bring their dogs along for their engagement sessions. Mainly because if I was engaged now, I can guarantee you James and I would have our dog join us! If you can’t imagine doing engagement photos with your dog, and are planning on incorporating them in your session, here are my tips to help the photos go as smoothly as possible!
- Bring Treats and/or their favorite toy! You know your dog best, so bring something that’s going to be a high-value motivator for them. Those treats or toys can be so useful for your photographer in not only gaining your dog’s trust, but also getting your dog’s attention and helping them cooperate throughout the session.
- Make sure to communicate to your photographer that you intend on having engagement photos with your dog! It’s always welcome, but knowing ahead of time, your photographer can be sure to recommend dog-friendly location options and cater the session to be the best experience possible for everyone!
- Prepare a plan for where your dog will be when not in photos. Rarely do my client’s furry friends hangout with us for the whole session. They simply don’t cooperate for long, and most clients don’t want every engagement photo with them. So it’s best to prepare a plan! Whether that is asking a friend or family member to come along and dog-sit or coordinating someone to come pick them up once we’re finished with dog photos, it’s something important to consider.
- Make sure they get their exercise. If you’re a dog owner you’ve probably heard the phrase, “a tired dog is a good dog”. Naturally your dog will get excited by the new location, situation and people, but having already gotten lots of energy out goes a long way for most dogs lending a better environment to create with them.
- Embrace the Chaos! No dog will ever be perfectly still and looking into the camera for photos, there’s always an element of chaos (which we love and expect!). Don’t come into it with crazy unrealistic expectations for them, or it will feel stressful and come across that way. Embrace whatever your spunk you dog brings to the table that day, and be okay with photos that embrace your dog’s natural temperament and personality.
- Opt for neutral or black leash or harness and ditch those waste bags! Your go-to colorful leash or harness is great for the day to day, but will be distracting in your photos, so consider getting something more basic and neutral for the session.