I love animals, from dogs, cats, hamsters, a furbaby is part of your family, and I love it when a couple incorporates their pet in their engagement sessions.
It can be tricky incorporating our four-legged family members and making them perfect models, so I have come up with some fantastic tips for getting your furbaby comfortable and being a start in front of the camera.
Make sure we chose a location that is pet-friendly and allows your fur-baby present
I know this seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many places do not allow pets. You can normally find out this information on their website.
Include your fur-baby in a portion of the engagement session
I would always recommend us photographing with your fur-baby first when they have the most attention.
Arrive early with your furbaby, especially a dog
I came across the situation a while ago where the couple’s dog wanted to run around and sniff absolutely everything. So I would suggest getting there early and allowing your pet to acclimatise to the area so that they are more focused when it is time for the shoot.
Get them fresh grooming or a bath
You want to look your best for your engagement session and so should your fur-baby. A nice fresh fluff for the pup will really make them happy and picture ready!
Extra hands for extra paws
It is always best to have someone who can care for the pup whilst we are shooting. The sessions can last anywhere from an hour to two hours, so you’ll want to bring someone who doesn’t mind hanging around with us and taking care of your pup whilst we are finishing up your session.
Props, Signs & Bows
Sometimes couples will have a bowtie, a special collar or a sign saying “My Humans Are Getting Married” to wear around their neck during the session. No need to go overboard, but it is always good to have a prop or two for them.
Make sure you arrive prepared with the following things in case you need them
- Extra Waterbowl/Water. If we are going to be shooting outside in the middle of July and it’s hot, your pup will get thirsty so make sure you bring water for them to drink
- Pooper Scooper. Enough said really…
- Lint Roller. Dogs tend to shed, and we don’t want doggy hair all over you in the remainder of the photos. Stick one in your bag before leaving the house in case you need it
- Your dogs’ favourite toy/treat. Your dog definitely has a favourite toy or treat that they love the most. Bringing this along will help to keep their attention focused and will help when posing them for a photo
- Nice leash and collar. I would suggest either buying your dog a new leash and collar or cleaning the one you use at home to make your photos look more appealing and so we can include it in the photos and not have to photoshop it out later.
I hope this helps prepare your fur-baby(s) for their photo op during your engagement session. I do encourage bringing them to your session and including them in this special moment in your life. They are part of your family, so why not? Drop me a message for any specific questions you may have in regards to your session and bringing along your four-legged friends.