My husband and I consider our unit of five a tight knit family. After Mylah was diagnosed with two more diseases we wanted to make sure we remembered our time as a family of five. We started taking more photos and videos at home but I wanted something more. I wanted professional photos to capture us, as a family.
Some people I told gave a laugh, others who consider their dogs their kids (like me) now want to do the same thing. But there is definitely an art to photographing one dog and humans, let alone multiple dogs and humans! I wanted to share what we learned from this experience that I highly recommend to other pet parents.
We are so happy with the way these turned out and are glad we spent the time and investment in quality photos that we will have for the rest of our lives.
Tips for Professional Photos with Your Dog(s)
1. Pick a pet friendly photographer– there is seriously an art to working with one dog or multiple dogs while you point and shoot a camera. Make sure your photographer has the skills necessary to capture the attention of one or more dogs while placing people in the right spots. If you are in the midwest area, Ashley Fischer Photography is amazing. That is who we used and she is fabulous with all types of pets.
2. Have one or more helpers -Ashley had a photo assistant to help wrangle the dogs, capture their attention and hold their leashes too. This was extremely helpful. We probably could have used one more person the dogs really knew like my sister or a close friend. If you have multiple dogs, I would recommend at least one, if not two, additional handlers to help.
3. Scout your location -This should be an area you and the dogs are familiar with. We chose the lake we go to in Wisconsin because the dogs know the area very well. Don’t bring your dog to a new place and expect them to pose for the camera. If you want a specific location that is new to your dog, help your dog feel comfortable by bringing them there multiple times before your photo shoot.
4. Bring the essentials -Poop bags, treats, water, a towel in case of dew or rain (or for us, if you are by a lake), proper leashes, and anything else your dog might require. If your dog is toy motivated bring a few of their favorite toys for the photographer and assistant to hold so it can capture their attention.
5. Go for a walk or run before -You don’t want to exhaust your dog before an hour or more long photo shoot, but you want them to be fresh and ready to go. I would recommend a walk or play time before you head to the shoot. They shouldn’t arrive tired but they shouldn’t arrive with a ton of energy either.
6. Patience is key -You need to be patient and your photographer needs to be patient (which is why a pet photographer is so important to have). It can often be frustrating for any parent when their kid shows up to something like a photo shoot and doesn’t act perfectly. Well, that is going to happen. It happened to us but we rode it out and were able to take multiple types of photos with patience. Let your dog have their moments, give them a break in between set ups, and if you are calm they are more likely to be calm.
7. Wear neutral clothing -You don’t need to get all dolled up for photos. Less is more in this situation. I didn’t wear any jewelry, fancy shoes, etc., and I am so glad I didn’t. Had we been wearing more accessories or bright colors it would’ve taken away from the dogs and the overall look of the photos.
8. Schedule your shoot sooner than later – I love how these photos came out, like beyond words love them, but a part of me wishes we had done them a few years ago. If we had done them a few years ago I would probably want another round of updated ones. And we might even do this again in another few years. Point is, don’t delay on it otherwise you could regret not having them.
9. Get individual shots of the dogs – Be sure to have the photographer do individual portraits of your dog. You will LOVE these!
10. Have fun and enjoy the experience – Our outtake photos are hilarious, like ridiculous, because we had a lot of fun during the entire photo shoot. They might not be the prettiest but we can look back and go through all these hundreds of photos and remember what a fun and special day this was. Enjoy the experience and time you are having with your dogs!
Do you think you’d do a photo shoot with your dogs, or have you? Let me know in the comments!
Read about other Dog Moms and their experiences with their families! Click here.