Your puppy or dog is a special and important part of your life. Why not include them in your engagement photos? You will love seeing your cute fur baby’s professional portraits! (Yes, dog-portraits is a thing). Here are a few tips on how to prepare for an engagement session with your dog!
1. Consider bringing someone to take care of your dog when you are having your own couple’s photographs taken. (No, your dog doesn’t need to be in every shot :))
Sometimes there may not be trees or a proper area to tie up the dog. Sometimes, the area is too far from the location where we are taking photos. Other times the dog may act up and require special attention. Don’t forget, your dog might also leave some “brownies” on the ground! If that happens, the last thing you want is carry that little treat around with you until you can find a disposal bin.
Whether it is a friend or a sibling, it will make the session go a lot smoother if there is someone who can hold onto the leash or take your dog on a little break. This way, you and your fiance can focus on each other and be able to get some fun, relaxed, and romantic shots of just you two.
2. Speaking of your dog leaving behind “brownies”, bring some doggy bags!
In the excitement of getting your engagement photos taken, doggy poop is probably the last thing on your mind. I know it’s so easy to forget, but it’s also important to take care of our environment and not leave behind a mushy pile of pathogens as our legacy ; )
3. Bring doggy treats! (And water, in case they need it)
Most dogs behave better when they have treats as their reward. I might not know your dog as well as you do, but my dog would do anything for food, whether it’s sitting still or chase its own tail on command (don’t remember how we got him to do that).
Please also bring some water for your dog, in case they need it, especially during the hotter months.
4. Feel free to bring a small number of props, toys, bow tie, or costume. (And maybe a squeaky toy)
But make sure your dog is generally comfortable with them! Certain accessories will cause the dog to tense up, and may not want to move — unless that’s what you want in order to get a still portrait of him!
If your dog will respond and look when you squeeze a squeaky toy, it *might* be worth bringing one so that I can use it to get him to look at the camera. The only reason I say *might* is if you know your dog will be distracted by the toy forever after the squeak and not be controllable again, then it might not be a good idea. You know your dog, so this is your judgment call :).
5. Bring a leather, black, or neutral colored leash, if possible.
Sometimes those bright neon colored leashes are so eye-catching that they might just become the center of attention in a photograph, rather than the people or the dog in it. However, if all you have is a bright colored leash, we’ll make it work!
6. Consider aggressive behaviors in the past.
Does your dog have a history of attacking or biting other people, other dogs, or other animals? While your photographer may love dogs, nobody wants to get bitten!
< insert *no* photo of aggressive dogs 😉 >
7. Consider if the location is a dog-friendly area
Certain locations may not allow pets or animals. You may need to do research beforehand to ensure the location where you would like your photos taken welcomes your dog.
8. Relax, Have Fun, and Focus on lifestyle captures
While it is wonderful to get a perfect portrait of you and your dog, the most precious photos are of you interacting with him as your normally would. These are the candid memories that you will treasure forever.
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