including your pets in family photos

By November 9, 2018 No Comments

Indiana, Pa Family Photographer

I often get asked….”is it ok if we bring our dog/pet”? Absolutely-pets are family too! I certainly do not claim to be an expert when it comes to animal handling, but I have been doing photography long enough to know a few things that have worked over the years!

Here are a few tips to make the session go smoothly! Of course you know your pet and understand their temperament better than anyone, but here are a few tips that may help things go more smoothly!

  1. Tire out your dog! A tired dog is usually a “calmer” dog. Let your dog work off some energy before the shoot. They will be more likely to “sit” for a few more shots!
  2. Let’s plan the session in a familiar location…and a safe location. If you’re dog is spunky and likes to run, let’s pick a location that doesn’t have any major traffic or perhaps a location that isn’t new to your dog.  Familiar spots are always a great idea.
  3. Lots of praise…and treats! Dogs/pets are very much like children…they cooperate if they want to! haha! With that said, we work in small spurts. Don’t expect them to sit for an entire hour during portraits, we may need to work off a little energy in between shots. That’s ok! Bring lots of treats with you to praise them when they are doing well!
  4. Embrace imperfection. I mentioned above, that pets are like children…they cooperate if they want to. I love spontaneity and sometimes those candid and unexpected shots are the most adorable. So if you go with the flow and allow me to capture “real life” versus those “Pinterest” ideas we can often get those authentic images. We may have those moments when the stars align and but while those photos are fun to post on Pinterest, they usually aren’t as precious as pictures that tell a story, that show a little personality, that give you a bigger memory to hold on to.


Meet Guin….short for “penguin” as in the Pittsburgh Penguins!!

His fur mom and dad may look familiar because I shot their wedding earlier this year at Chestnut Ridge!


How cute is this?!




Smiley face