How to Prepare for a Photography Session with Your Dog

If you’re like me, your dogs are family members! They add so much joy and fun to your life, and you couldn’t imagine it without them. So, you want to include them in your family portraits because it just feels right.

If that sounds like you, keep reading because I’ve compiled tips and tricks to help you have a successful and fun session with your furry friends!

Location, location, location!

Like humans, dogs also have physical and emotional needs. Some dogs struggle with fear and anxiety, some are hyperactive, and others are reactive to other dogs and/or humans.

When choosing your location for your family photos, it’s important to take your dog’s needs into consideration in the process. It can be tough to get dogs to sit still and look at the camera. When we accommodate their needs, it will increase our chances of getting some great shots!

To reduce distractions and make your dog more comfortable, consider a location that is not highly populated and maybe even schedule your session on a weeknight when locations are not as busy.

Food, water, treats, oh my!

It’s important to bring water for your dogs to keep them cool and comfortable. Sessions typically last an hour to an hour and a half. In the heat of the summer, most dogs enjoy a nice, refreshing drink about half way through the session and at the end, but every dog is different. I recommend having a bowl with you that can be available for the duration of the session.

Whether you give your dogs normal kibble or something special and scrumptious when it comes to treats, just don’t forget the treats at home! 😉 We can use the treats to coax your dog into a sitting or laying position for some cute photos!

Squeaky Toys!

Nothing gets a dog’s attention like a good squeak. In addition to treats, their toys can also get them to look at the camera.

You’ll want to assess your dog’s behavior in this instance. If a squeaky toy will cause your dog to run toward the camera and out of the shot, then it might be best to leave the toys at home. But, if your dog will stay put for a little bit and is intrigued by the toy, that can benefit you!

Every(puppy) poops!

Bring poo bags.

The parks I shoot at require that you pick up your dog’s waste, and it keeps the park nice for other visitors! Let’s leave the locations as we found them (if not better)! 🙂

One final, and important, tip: be patient. Your dog might want to take in the environment by seeing the sights and smelling the smells. We may have to take a lot of photos at different angles to get one good one, but if we are patient and flexible, we will get the shots!

Keep scrolling to see more from Peter and Kallista’s session with their sweet pups, Winston and Clementine.

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