There’s nothing I love more than a couple that loves their dog. Any opportunity to include your beloved pet in a photoshoot is one that should be taken.
We’ve all ooh’ed and ahh’ed over adorable puppy engagement shots – and who doesn’t want to announce an engagement with the help of your furbaby?
I’ve worked with tons of couples and pups over the years and I’ve put together a shortlist of tips to help making including your four-legged love in your Engagement Session.
1. Plan for a Dog-Friendly Location
This is first and foremost! When you know you want to include your pup, start planning ahead of time. Some parks allow dogs, and some don’t. Also have a way to transport your furry love with you.
Another challenge is that though a location may be pet-friendly, if your dog struggles with distraction or isn’t well adjusted to other dogs and there are lots of dogs at your chosen location – you could spend more time managing your pup than getting the most out of your session, which brings me to tip #2….
2. Bring Help!
Help! Yes! Bring someone to help you handle your dog so that you can spend some of your time enjoying your Engagement Session! You might not want EVERY photo to involve your pup, so if you have someone to hand him over to while you focus on other things, you can avoid stressing or being worried about his wellbeing.
3. Bring Treats!
Every pup loves treats. As a photographer, it helps for ME to have treats to entice and get the attention of your fur baby so her ears will be perky and her face will be pointed right at me when it’s time for her close up
4. Train ahead of time!
We all have dreams of Pinterest wins, so if you want your cute doggie sweater or wedding date sign to be photographed on your doggie without any hassle, let them practice ahead of time! The more training sessions the better.
5. Make Sessions Short and Sweet
Your puppers will only have tolerance for so much intense focus on them, so keep the pet portion of the shoot limited to a smaller stint. Point 2 comes in handy here because you can hand your pup off to a friend and return to a more intimate photo shoot of the two of you. This is especially important for younger or more energetic dogs. Which actually leads us into a bonus point..
Sometimes, a trip to the dog park or a long hike earlier that day can help keep your dog more focused and paying attention once they’ve gotten their full wiggles out. So make sure you have some time before your shoot to get them get a few ball chases in.
I hope this list and these sample images have helped you with ideas (and inspiration!) on how to include your best friend in your engagement session! Email me for more ideas, or if you have any questions on making your Engagement session a pup-friendly event.