Including your dog in your engagement photos is a great way to add your personality. Dogs and puppies are the best and they’re a huge part of our families. So it’s safe to say I love when my couples decide to include their dog in their engagement session. As cute as they can be, sometimes they can be a little overwhelming when you already have nerves to be in front of the camera. After photographing countless furry friends, I have compiled my best five tips for including your dog in your engagement session for you.
Asking someone to be an extra hand for handling the pup will ensure that everyone is happy. There is nothing worse than the dog running off at your session or getting antsy. Having a handler who knows your dog is extra helpful so they can watch the dog and bring the dog home for you.
After you have warmed up to the camera and learned your poses, this is the best time to add in the lovable fur-baby. This will help everyone stay calm, have a sense of confidence and guarantee you already have a bunch of really awesome photos without the dog so this portion of the session can be focused on getting all sides of your dog’s personality.
Getting a dog to look at the camera for a photo or listen to commands in a new environment is sometimes tricky, so having lots of rewards to lure its eyes to where we want them will help. Even loosely trained dogs will at least sit for a treat, so come prepared. You can also skip its dinner and bring its food instead if you are worried about them having too many treats.
Before your session, have your family member or friend take them on a long walk beforehand. A tired dog is easier to handle than a dog who is ready to go on an adventure outside. Getting as much of their energy out as possible will help make sure they aren’t overly excited and rambunctious once they get to the location filled with people, sounds, smells, and potentially other dogs.
Remember dogs are a lot like little children – easily distractible and not always great listeners when excited. Dogs can be uncertain in new places and experiences so if you have time, practice walking the location with your dog to get them familiar with the area, and make him/her sit and stay often leading up to the shoot so they know what is expected of them. Including your dog in your engagement photos is one way to add your personality to your session, and I’ll make sure we get adorable photos with you both and your dog no matter what!
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