If you're a dog owner then you know, they aren't just a dog... they're family! So why wouldn't you want to include them in your next family session? I love dogs and I'm a lifelong dog owner myself, so my answer will always be an enthusiastic YES! Bringing your dog to your photo session can make for some beautiful memories with your furry companion but there are a few important things to remember when bringing them along. Here are my top tips for bringing your dog to your next session.
1. BRING A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND- While I'll take plenty of photos including your dog, I also love getting a few of just you and your family. A friend or family member can help hold the leash or walk the dog around while we get these photos. If there is no one to hold the dog, we're stuck trying to find a place to tie the dog (which they usually are not fans of!) or I'll be trying to hold the dog leash while shooting (which can be challenging!) Having an extra pair of hands is very helpful when including your dog in your session and making it stress free!
2. DOUBLE CHECK THAT THE LOCATION ALLOWS DOGS- I know of many great locations that allow dogs but unfortunately, not all parks and locations do. Make sure to let me know that you want to bring your pup so we can plan ahead and make sure your chosen location is dog friendly.
3. ARRIVE EARLY AND TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A SHORT WALK BEFORE THE SESSION- A new place can be very exciting for a dog! So many new smells and places to explore! Arriving early and letting your dog get used to location and burn off some energy makes them much calmer for the session.
4. BRING THEIR FAVORITE TREATS OR SQUEAKY TOY- This helps me get their attention and reward them for doing an amazing job!
5. CHOOSE A SIMPLE COLLAR, HARNESS OR LEASH- Bold colored collars, harnesses and leashes can be distracting and difficult to Photoshop out later. Consider bringing a neutral colored collar, harness or leash or one that matches your outfits or your pup's fur so that it blends in. Also remember to remove dangling poop bag holders! If you want to go the extra mile, there are many options for gorgeous decorative leashes and collars online including greenery leashes, bandanas and floral collars!
6. REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN AND LET YOUR DOG BE THEMSELVES!- Dogs are usually excited during photo sessions and anything can happen! Try to go with the flow and not stress if your dog isn't acting perfect. Some of the silly, candid moments are my favorites!