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What You Should Know If You're Bringing a Furry Friend to Your Photo Session

While many photographers will let you bring your pet to a photo session, I highly encourage it! I believe your fur-baby is just as much a part of your family as anyone else and I love to meet new animals. While I've only photographed a puppy to date, I'm happy to photograph other animals as well. However, there are a few things you should know and keep in mind as you plan your session.

Bring Treats

Even the most well behaved animal can get stressed out by a new situation and a photo session certainly fits into that category! Animals need to know they're doing well and that everything is fine. During the session, we'll take periodic breaks for treats and praise to help set your furry friend at ease. It's helpful if the treats fit in your pocket for quick and easy rewards, but we can work with any treats that your fur-baby loves! The photo below was taken early in the session. The puppy, Sadie, was still getting comfortable with the situation at this point. You can see in other photos from the session that she became more comfortable with the situation after being rewarded and reassured with treats and praise.

Hide the leash

While your animal should be on a leash for the session, there are a variety of options available to minimize the presence of the leash in photographs. If your pet is extremely well behaved, it can work to bring a slip leash which can be easily removed and replaced between photos. If this won't work for your fur-baby, you can get a cute collar and leash or you can put a bandanna around their neck to cover the collar. We can also try to pose in ways that will minimize the presence of the leash in the photos, but this may or may not work consistently. In the first image below, I removed the leash digitally during my editing process because it would have looked exceptionally out of place in the photo. In the second image, we worked with the leash to make it fit naturally. In the last image, we were able to easily conceal the leash since it was taken at a closer range.

Bring a Friend

As your photographer, I'm thinking about a lot of different things during the session, from lighting to posing to composition to exposure. I want to ensure you get the best photos possible. While I'll definitely be spending the session trying to get your fur-baby's attention as well as directing you, it can be incredibly helpful to have an extra person present whose sole job is to get the animal to look at the camera. This person needs to be comfortable with moving around a lot, since they'll need to stay as close to me as possible as I move and photograph. If you can bring a favorite toy - preferably one that squeaks - to use to attract your pet's attention this can be very helpful as well! Because of this trick we were able to get the photos below.

Having an extra person present also allows you to get some photos without your fur-baby should you so desire. I love the photo below because the couple was able to focus on each other. We got several sweet photos of the couple while our helper played with Sadie. This helped work off some of her excess energy and allowed us to get some more photos of her when she was slightly calmer.

Be flexible

No session goes completely as planned. The best results usually come from taking the unexpected in stride. While I always include some posed photos in a gallery, my favorite images are usually taken during the candid moments. Don't sweat it if things aren't going as planned. It's my job to get good photos anyway. Just keep a good attitude and focus on being present and interacting with your loved ones. Love always comes through in the final images. The photo below was completely candid. Sadie didn't want to look at the camera and was crawling over her mama's shoulder. I ran around to the back and I was able to get this image. Even though you can't see everyone's face and hair is blowing a little crazy in the wind, it's one of my favorite photos from the session because you can feel the love this sweet family has for each other.

Schedule a Session

Are you ready to book a session with your fur-baby? If so, hop on over to the contact tab of my website and contact me! I can't wait to meet you and your furry friend!


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