Tom and I have been blessed to have many of our couples include their dog(s) in their engagement photography sessions. Because we do lots of dog photography (see our dogs photography gallery) and love dogs ourselves, we attract dog owners.
Recently, when a couple brings their dog, we started doing an individual photo of the dog if time allows. This is a win win because we get potential images for our portfolio and our clients get a picture of just their fur baby.
Having a dog on a photography session does take some extra planning but the results make you say "Awwwww!!"
Here are some tips for a successful session when bringing your dog:
- First of all, definitely let us know. We usually plan out our shoots when the location is determined and have an idea of what shots are going to be where so this helps. I also have a backpack filled with items for dog photography sessions that I bring along.
- Pack everything that your dog could possible need such as water, water bowl, leash, tons of treats, favorite toy, poop bags, etc.
- Think about the temperature and plan accordingly.
- Have a third person come along to be the dog handler. This person can bring the dog in and out of shots as needed. Usually only a portion of the shoot will involve the dog. Although Tom and I are both there on most shoots, I will be holding lights and cannot hold a dog at the same time. It is also common that we move fairly far away from where we park our vehicles so putting your pup in the car is not always convenient or safe.
- Have a clean and color coordinated leash and collar and remove any distracting ID tag, poop bag holders, etc. from the leash or collar. If your dog wears a harness, we can take it off if its safe to do so. We do not do leash removal as part of an engagement session package. That would be extra so a make the leash part of your color scheme so it’s not distracting.
- Plan for a place and time that will keep distractions to a minimum if possible. Weekdays in the park are quieter than weekends due to the amount of other people (and dogs) around.
- Does your dog have difficulty standing still? Let’s plan for motion posing; shooting while walking or playing is great.
- If your dog is difficult to manage (like ours), we could do part of the shoot at your home if they are more comfortable in their own environment. This may not make the ideal backdrop, however, but our engagement session package includes two locations so we could do one location without the dog.
- If you want to tie a save the date sign around your dog’s neck or use other props, practice in advance. Don’t wait until the session to find out that your dog freaks out with the sign or that your ribbon is not long enough. Practice a lot and make the prop equal treats!
Have questions? Feel free to contact us! Also check out our engagement session package. You don’t have to have your wedding booked with us to have an amazing engagement session. Any finally, dogs come along on family sessions too but that's a future blog post.
Take a look at these photos! ~ Tom and Lucy