If you ever email me asking if you can include your dog in your engagement session, the immediate answer is “YES!”. As a dog lover and a photographer, having them be a part of any session is a no-brainer. That being said, as anyone with a dog knows, they can be a handful to photograph. Here is a list of FIVE simple ways to make your engagement session as smooth and stress-free as possible!
1. Have a helper
One of the most invaluable things you can bring to your session is an extra set of hands! Have a friend or family member there to keep track of your puppy when he isn’t a part of the photos. This allows you and your significant other to focus on each other!
2. Bring the good stuff
Make it a point to bring something that your dog LOVES. Some are food-driven who will do anything for their favorite snack…to be honest, this is probably most dogs. Some are toy-driven and respond well to a stuffed animal or squeaky toy. Find out what gets their attention the most!
3. Dress the part
Not everyone may want to go out and buy their dog a brand new collar just for their engagement session, but it is worth it to make sure that your dog’s “clothes” are clean and not distracting. Swap the bright pink collar for a more neutral color and find a simple, non-retractable leash. Also, bowties are always highly recommended for extra adorableness points.
4. Plan ahead
Add these few additional items to your e-session bag to avoid any dog-related clothing disasters. Have a towel to wipe off any dirt before photos. Muddy paws + light colored pants = a bad time. If you have a long haired dog, bring a lint roller for a quick once over after your dog’s part in your session is done. Your photographer will thank you when they don’t have photoshop 50 dog hairs off your black shirt.
5. Go with the flow
The number one thing I have learned from working with animals is that nothing goes according to the plan. Don’t stress if your dog is a bundle of distracted energy who has no plans to sit and smile for the camera. We will make it work and you’ll always leave with beautiful images!