Dogs & Photo Sessions

I love dogs. And I love when people bring their dogs to their photo sessions. I photographed a record number of dogs last year and a few things stood out here and there, which prompted me to put together this list of simple ways to make your photo session that includes a furry family member really successful.

Use a simple, neutral coloured leash

You will want to have a leash in any outdoor public place, but by using a thin, short, neutral coloured leash, we will be able to hide it more easily so it doesn’t show up too much in the photos. Consider getting a beige, grey or black leash and avoid retractable ones with a plastic handle.

Bring poop bags; keep them hidden

You absolutely need poop bags handy when heading outside with your dog, and a lot of excellent dog owners like to attach a roll directly to the leash. Remember to take those off before your photo session as nothing says fancy family photo more than a random roll of poop bags in the background!

Bring treats… only if they help!

My dog would go crazy if she sniffed a treat in the vicinity. Some dogs do really well with treats and it helps them follow commands better. So use your own discretion while deciding whether or not to bring treats.

Plan to take photos with and without your dog

Over the course of your photo session, we will take photos that include your dog, and some that don’t. Some dogs do really well when tied to a nearby tree and some get really anxious. Consider bringing another person to your photo session so they can act as a dog sitter and take them for a little walk while we focus on the rest of the family.

Don’t expect your dog to be a perfect listener!

I work with toddlers and dogs. I am completely used to questionable amounts of cooperation at times! So keep in mind that I am super patient and don’t expect any dog to listen and do as they are told. Even really well trained dogs can get a little unpredictable in front of a camera. So don’t worry about it and try to just have fun with it.

Show off your tricks

Dogs are simply the best. If you’ve taught them tricks and you want to show them off, or just have some fun during the session, then let’s do it!

Oh and cats are welcome too!

If your cat is up for it, curious, and interested in having its photo taken, I love including them too. You might not take them out for a walk to the park, but if we’re at your house, you might as well include the whole family!

I hope that you find this helpful and I can’t wait to meet your furry family member (and you of course)!

Valerie Richer | Calgary Wedding and Lifestyle Family Photographer

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