tips for dogs at shoots

If you have a pet, likely they are the center of your universe. As a Toronto photographer I often encourage people bring their dogs to their session. It makes sense you want to include them in the big moments of your life. After all, they are a part of your family and having portraits taken with them is a natural desire and a wonderful way of capturing your relationship with your furball. Here are some tips for having your dog at your photo shoot.  

Communicate. If your dog or pet is not friendly with strangers or other animals, let your photographer know. No one wants to see their pet bite a human or run away when they see another animal. 

Treats. Bringing treats and water are great for keeping your dog distracted, happy, and motivated during the shoot. 

Props. Things such as hats, signs, and outfits are cute but aren’t required. My aim is to capture your relationship with your pet. Often outfits irritate them, so it’s best to do these kinds of props quickly at the beginning of the session. This is where treats come in handy and encourage them to stay still.  

Mix it up. I like doing a mix of posed and active shots with pets. Cuddle up with them and pose for a family portrait. Bring their favourite toy or a blanket for you to sit on and hang out with them. Keep them in motion by playing with them or walking beside them. Be playful with them and let them show off their tricks. Capturing moments like this are so precious—they really show the special connection that you and your pet have.  

Helper. If you’re shooting outdoors, it’s important to have a handler nearby to help take care of your dog. This person can keep your fur baby company while you take some photos without them. Locking up the dog at a nearby tree or post isn’t ideal, as they can become anxious or possibly get taken. If you’re shooting indoors or you’re not able to get help on the day of your shoot, bring your pet’s kennel or carrier, something they’ll feel safe and cosy in while they wait for you.  

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed these tips for including your pet at your photo shoot!