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8 Tips to Include your Dog in Family Photos

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If you have a dog, your family photos might not feel complete without them there! Trust me, I know animals are a treasured member of the family. I’ve put together 8 tips to include your dog in family photos to ensure that both you and your dog are happy during your family session. 

 8 Tips for including your dog in Family Photos

8 Tips to Include Your Dog in Family Photos 

1. Always Talk to Your Photographer Beforehand 

You definitely don’t want to just show up to your session with your dog, as your photographer has most likely spent time scouting and planning your session. Bringing a dog can throw a huge wrench in those plans. Instead, communicate with your photographer well in advance. Bringing a dog along impacts the location as some locations do not allow dogs/pets, which is one reason your photographer needs to know ahead of time. Your photographer can also give a few pointers on what to do or expect when bringing your dog, many of which we will go over below!

2. Ask a Friend or Family Member to Help with the Dog During Your Session 

This is super helpful and important! Your dog might not be in every picture! You want someone there who can watch and entertain the dog while we grab other shots. You’ll be able to relax during your session knowing someone is watching your dog and making sure he isn’t running around or barking/crying because he is tied up and wants you.

3. Don’t Forget Treats and Doggie Bags!

Your dog will want and deserve a reward for sitting still and looking good in front of the camera! Your dog might also need some extra motivation to pay attention! Reward your pet for doing a good job and bring along his or her favorite treats!  In addition to treats, I recommend bringing other items to make sure your dog stays happy and comfortable. A travel bowl for water is a great idea, as many dogs will get excited and thirsty. 

4. Bring a Squeaky Toy to Help get Their Attention

This is a lifesaver! A squeaky toy ensures your dog is looking right at the camera (it works on kids too, ha!). Dogs can also play with the toy when they aren’t needed in front of the camera! If your dog has any other favorite toys that you think will be helpful during your family session, bring those too!

tips to get your dogs attention during your family session

5. Bring a Leash 

Most locations require all dogs to be on leashes no matter how good they are. Even if they don’t require it, I recommend it! The last thing you want is your dog to run off to explore a new park or location.  Since you will be bringing a leash, consider the leash color. Some leashes are very bright or patterned and can be distracting. Neutrals always have my vote!! 😀

6. Tire Your Dog Out Before Your Session

Even if your dog appears relaxed at home before the session, they will often get a burst of energy due to the excitement of being at a new location and around new people. I highly recommend taking your dog for a walk/run before the session! A worn-out dog is more likely to behave during the session, as they are typically more responsive to commands, or at least less likely to try and run and jump around! 

7. Be Patient with Your Dog and Have Fun 

I promise that I will do all I can to capture amazing photos of you with your dog/animal. Dogs don’t always do what we ask, and it can be extra hard for a dog to listen when they are in a new environment and around new people. If your dog ends up struggling to focus and listen, I will still be able to capture amazing candid shots of your family, while I will still continue to try to get those shots of everyone looking straight at the camera.  The more relaxed you are, the better your dog will feel, so remember to be patient, relax, and have a good time. 

Little girl and her dog during family photos

8. Consider the Color of Your Dog When Choosing Outfits

This might sound odd, but you should consider the color of your dog when selecting outfits and make sure they won’t clash with their fur color. Being mindful of your pet’s color will produce even better photos that you will love even more. For example, if you have a white-fur dog, you wouldn’t want to wear white pants as your dog will blend in with your pants. If you have a black haired dog, avoid wearing dark colors so that we can see your dog clearly.  However, as you plan your session with me, if you ever have any questions when planning your outfits in relation to your dog, I will always be there to help guide you to the best options.  

I hope these 8 tips to include your dog in family photos helped you as you consider whether or not you want to include your fur-baby in photos! If you are interested in scheduling your next family session with your dog, please Contact me today to start a conversation! I can’t wait to hear from you! 

8 Tips to Include Your Dog in Family Photos 

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I'm Catherine and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, and the amazing families we get to serve. Stay a while and say hello!

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