I am totally one of “those people” when it comes to pets. My cat, Lucy is an important member of my family, which is why I never miss an opportunity to snap a photo of her. Although Lucy doesn’t leave the house very often for photo sessions, I work with a lot of couples who have pups or other pets they want to include in their photos. After shooting lots of sessions with dogs included, I decided to share a few tips for including pets in photos!
Choose a location that is pet friendly
It’s really important to set yourself up for success and part of that means choosing a location that will work well for your pet. That means most likely selecting a place that isn’t super busy all the time so that there are less distractions and it’s easier for your pup to focus.
Know your pet’s personality
Some pets are just not going to do well in photos. If you have a pet that’s very anxious or is aggressive around new people, they may not do well with having their photo taken. If your pet doesn’t like other animals (you never know when there might be some other animals in the vicinity…especially outdoors!) it might not go well either. Does your pet tend to be really wild and unruly? Or is your pet pretty calm and easy going? Knowing your pets personality and making decisions based on that will help set you up for success!
Pack all of your pet’s necessities
While you’re packing up the essentials for your shoot (lipstick or gloss for touch ups, props, etc) you should think about packing your pet’s necessities too! This might include treats, a favorite toy, poop bags, a special leash, or any other extras that might help put your pet at ease or enhance the session.
Wear them out before the shoot
This is especially helpful if you have a young puppy or a pet that’s very hyper. The day of the photos be sure to take them to the park or get them out on a run ahead of time so that you can help get some of their energy out beforehand.
Bring along a pet sitter
This is one of my top tips! I like to suggest bringing along an additional set of hands to help out with your pet at the session. This person can walk your pet while we are shooting without it, can carry treats, and can help me catch your pets attention if I need it for photos. Your pet sitter can even take your pet home after we’ve shot some photos with him or her if you prefer! In general, bringing along a “pet sitter” makes things much less stressful for you and less stress = a better photo experience.