teenagers hugging their white dog during family photos

Tips for bringing dogs to your family or couples photos

How to sucessfully bring a dog to your photo session

So you’re thinking about bringing your dog to your photo session but you’re not sure how it will work. I’d love to give you some tips to make sure your photos with your dog will run smoothly! Read on for some things you can do to prepare for your family or couples photos with dogs.

Couple out adventuring with their dog during photo session

Have a plan for your dog when they aren’t in the photos

A lot of times, the families or couples that I work with just want a few photos with their dog, and the rest of the session can focus more on them and their connection. So you should have a plan for where the dog can go when they aren’t part of the photos so you don’t have to worry about them and can really focus on each other.

Bring a helper! (Best option!)

This is my number favorite option when bringing dogs to photo sessions. I strongly suggest bringing someone to help out, so if you can make this happen, please bring a helper. We can either start out with some photos with your dog, or end with your pet included, but either way, it is super helpful to have someone take them on a walk when it isn’t their time in the spotlight.

Leave your dog in the car

This only works when the weather is mild and if the location we are going to doesn’t have a long walk to get to a decent spot for photos.

Tie them to a tree

My least favorite option is tying the dog to a tree or something nearby where we are shooting. This is a last resort if there is no other option because the dog is probably going to be a distraction for you or your partner/kids and it’s much better if you can really focus on each other.

Let your pup roam free

If you decide that you want your dog included in most of the photos, or if you have a very calm dog that will sit and stay where you tell them, then you can just bring them and let them organically be in the background of your photos when they happen to be in them. This only works if we are at a location with barely anyone around and I wouldn’t recommend this one because again, your dog may end up a distraction for you.

Pregnant mama and dad holding their black pup with tongue out

Be prepared for your family or couples photos with your dog

Bring special treats that your dog absolutely loves, and have enough to hand out as much as needed. Also if your session is during mealtime, be sure to feed them first. Same with humans, being hangry isn’t a good look for anyone!

Get to the location about 15 minutes early and walk your dog around so they can smell the area first. Sometimes dogs will be really excited and hyper when they first get to a new location, so giving them this time will make for a much calmer dog (usually).

family with dog by river during family photos

Choose a dog friendly location

Does the location allow dogs? Are there any ducks or water that is easily accessible that might be a problem for your pup? Some of my locations may be close to a dog park, is your dog going to behave well with other dogs around? These are things to ask yourself and ask your photographer about if any of these would be an issue for your dog.

family hugging their dog

Are you ready to schedule your photos including your dog?

I would love to be your photographer! When you fill out the form on my contact page, make sure to let me know that you’ll be bringing a dog along so we can plan accordingly!

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