April 16, 2018
As you might already know, I’m a total dog lady. I have a schnauzer pup named Susy and I like to get her involved in as many parts of my life as I can!
I also find that lots of my clients have a furry friend (or two, or three) that they want to include in their engagement photos. As a dog person, I’m always into this idea when it’s possible! If including your dog in your engagement shoot seems like something you’d like, I went ahead and created a list of 5 tips for how you can have a pet-friendly photoshoot that’s stress-free and super fun!
Let’s get started.
Even though I love having dogs on shoots, your photographer might not be a huge fan of the idea. After all, they may have allergies or a long-standing fear of dogs. It’s best to get this squared away before you show up for the session or make a deposit.
This one might be tricky. There are two things you should think about in terms of location.
First – Find out if dogs are even allowed there. For example, you would not be able to bring your pup to any national parks, so if you want to have your session in Rainier National Park, your dog would need to stay home.
Second – Make sure it’s safe. Some places may allow dogs but they aren’t actually safe and accessible for our four-legged friends. For example, little pups aren’t going to do well on intense, rocky terrain. If you’re not sure if a certain location would make it safe for your dog to tag along, either ask your photographer if they know what it’s like or scout it ahead of time!
This is pretty basic, but trust me. Engagement sessions can start feeling hectic really quick. Pack a little bag with all the things your dog needs to feel comfortable and safe on the shoot. For starters, make sure you have a leash, plenty of water, and a few snacks! And that takes me to the second point of pup preparation: Maybe pack a few grooming tools while you’re at it.
Before the big day, pamper your pooch with a bath and a bit of grooming. For low-maintenance dogs, this could just mean bathing them at home and then bringing a brush with you to the session. After all, everyone deserves to look their best in photos!
I love capturing my couples with their pets, but I always make sure to plan for some dog-free time as well. It allows me to focus on my couple and get some great shots! During this time, the dog is usually waiting in the car. That said, I know not all pups feel comfortable being in a car by themselves and if yours is one of them, bring a friend who is familiar with your pet and can take care of them while we’re wrapping up your session.
And here’s one last bonus tip: Relax and let dogs be dogs! We love them for being total goofballs, so when they start running amok while you’re trying to nail the perfect shot, just laugh it off. They’ll get it eventually! You’ll create the best photos and memories this way. I’ll take care of the rest 😊