They’re our sons and daughters. Our furry soul mates. We even love them like real kiddos. Our pups are family and for many of us they’re the start of our families. It’s why I’m all for including your dogs in your engagement photos. (Other than selfishly just wanting to play with your puppies!)
To help make a session, here are my top tips for getting great shots with your fur babe.
Top tips for including your dogs in your engagement photos
- Plan ahead and get that energy out before the session. Usually I’m shooting at sunset with couples, which means you have all day to help get your puppy’s energy out before the session. Whether that’s a long walk, doggie daycare or lots of mentally stimulating toys, getting some energy out of their systems can help make your pups more relaxed at your session.
- Consider your location to ensure it’s pet friendly. Some nature preserves, breweries and downtown spots don’t allow dogs, so keep be sure to check your furry friend is allowed wherever you decide to hold your session. You know your dog better than anyone. Be sure you’re taking into account what environments they will do best in, too.
- Have a plan to get photos with and without the pup. Most likely you’re going to want some photos of just you and your fiance. That means your pups will need somewhere to go while we shoot with just the two of you. This can look like having a friend or family member come pick them up, drop them off at the end of the session. Or you can even starting/ending your session with some cozy photos at home with the fur babies.
- Bring their favorite items to help get their attention. You won’t believe the number of weird noises you’ll hear me make to get your puppy’s attention, but I can always use a little help! That might be treats if your pup is food motivated or their favorite tennis ball. A good, loud squeaky toy can be a lifesaver for a distracted pup, too!
- Embrace the chaos. Your fur baby is most likely going to get distracted, want to lick all over your face and jump up to say they love you. That’s okay! We don’t want a bunch of boring posed photos of you and we don’t want a bunch of boring posed photos of your pup, either. Just smile through the chaos and you’ll be sure to get super sweet photos, full of smiles (instead of frowns and frustration!) at your pup doing all the cute sh*t you’re going to want to remember one day. Let them be themselves and just roll with the crazy.
- Talk to your photographer ahead of time. The more you can prepare your photographer for what you expect from the shoot, the better. Let us know you want to bring the dog so we can help remind you of all these helpful tips and bring some extra treats for our new bestie. Tell us if your pup is a lover or will take more time to warm up. The more you can talk to your photographer ahead of time, the better your photos with your fur baby will be.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for including your dogs in your engagement photos.