Sometimes that's a big decision for families. They might feel their pet would not behave or act right in their photos, or that it might be an added burden to manage a pet while also managing the family for a photo session.
I am always happy to have a discussion with a client about the fear of including a pet in their photo experience. There are so MANY reasons to include vs not include them.
I find we tend to worry more than necessary about things that probably won't ever happen. We build these little scenarios in our heads and then laugh at ourselves after the fact, because we knew--and actually heard ourselves telling ourselves--that things probably would not be as bad as we predicted.
Here are some of things I hear on a regular basis:
- my dog won't sit
- my dog won't stay
- my dog jumps
- my dog drools
- my dog might pee on something
- my kids get my dog too excited
- my dog isn't good off leash
- (fill in the blank)
- I need three solid seconds for a clear shot of your dog
- I have methods and tricks to keep your dog's attention
- Your dog can jump on me...I won't be wearing my Sunday best...I get down on the ground a lot
- Yeah....drool...it's a fact of life...I have towels
- Clean up tools are available for any accidents
- Your dog is never going to be off leash. (Check out the photos above and below. Can you find the leash?)
If your kids grow up with their pet, you will want to include that pet in your memories for sure!
Did you know: Kids are more relaxed when their pet is present for a photo session? Kids smile more and smile more authentically when they share posing time with their pet? Yep. I've seen it time and time again.
To prepare your pet to be included in your family portrait here's all you need do:
- groom two days before your session, then bring along a brush to your appointment
- bring treats your pet likes (or favorite toy)
- use a plain leash (preferably clean and newer) and a nice flat collar (preferably a martingale-type collar)--I wrote a blog about collars. CLICK HERE to read it. You will also find more on collars later in this blog circle.
- do not use a harness on your pet, as I will not be able to edit a harness out of your photos
- practice sit and stay with a few treats for about three days prior to your session (10 minutes 3x a day should do it) holding each for at least 5 seconds (remember, I need 3 seconds)
- exercise your dog on leash prior to arrival to our designated meeting location, and give them a potty break just before we start our session
- bring clean up bags to clean up after your dog if needed
My Dog is Afraid of Everything
I totally understand. I have one of these dogs, too. Bringing an already somewhat fearful dog to a location they do not know is probably not going to get you the best photos, but having me come to you at your home or back yard location, where your dog is already at least comfortable with that portion of the exercise, usually results in great photos.
And I always find a spot that will work for your family...even if sometimes it's the back of your couch.
You can schedule either a portrait or lifestyle session by heading to the contact tab, under "more..." above, where you will find a form to fill out and send, or by contacting the number posted on this website (also above).
Lifestyle sessions are not as posed as portrait sessions and will usually have us focus on elements of your typical day, like the couple walking their dogs below.
Pets play such a big part in our lives, and we need to have their images intermingled with our own, because as we all know, the only flaw pets have is their lifespan.
I am part of a weekly blogging group of professional pet photographers located all over the planet. To see what others have blogged about in this week's topic (photographer's choice), start here with Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, Washington, with five reasons to take adventures with your dog.
Then find the link at the end of each blog to click on to the next photographer, until ou find yourself back here.
Enjoy! Have a great weekend!