I am a wedding and portrait photographer who keeps things light, fun, and full of energy. I’m based out of Springfield, Illinois however I love traveling all over the midwest and beyond.
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I get this question ALL THE TIME! Can my dog be in our engagement photos? And the answer will always be YES! Your furbaby (or furbabies) are part of your family! So why wouldn’t they be part of your engagement photos? I am a dog person, who’s had a pup in the house for the majority of my life. We have two of our own dogs now, a Black Lab mix Roscoe and a Husky/Pitbull mix, Kodi! These guys are our babies so of course having them in photos is great!
Now I will admit, as a dog mom and as a human mom, we have only had our pups in photos once since we have had both of them and Harper. It’s hard work to get EVERYONE photo ready! But, for your engagement photos, it may be a smidge easier with only having to worry about the two of you and your dog. However, you will still have to put a lot of effort into getting everyone in the right frame of mind for photos. So here are a few of my best tips if you are planning to bring your dog to be part of your engagement photos to make the experience as stress-free and fun!
Plan On Having Your Dog For Only A Portion Of Your Session
Your dog will most likely only be interested in photos for a short amount of time. Determine if you want to have them at the beginning of your session or towards the end. You may decide this based on the locations we have planned to hit up. Or it could strictly be a logistical decision. Either way this leads me to my next tip.
Have Someone Available to Help With Your Pup
If you’re trying to wrangle you dog on your own on top of making sure you look your best for photos, 9 out of 10 times you will be completely stressed out by this balancing act! Which is definitely not what I want for your session. Plan to have a family member or close friend either come pick up your dog after we are done with their close up or bring them for a few photos towards the end of your session. This will allow us to give you dog a break if needed and a few more of just you two in-between. Plus you guys won’t have to worry about if your dog is in a safe spot while we are busy with photos. Your helper has this under control!
Exercise Your Dog Before The Session
Your dog will be SO EXCITED to be out and about at a new spot with tons of new smells! Their energy will likely be at it’s highest! We will take the time to let them get used to their surroundings and calm down a bit before we jump into photos. However, if you take your dog out to run a bit, chase a ball, whatever gets them moving BEFORE the session, this will be super helpful when it’s time for them to shine in photos. If they are tired coming into the session, they will most likely calm down a bit quicker for the perfect pooch photos!
Who wouldn’t smile for some yummy treats?! Bribery works for most dogs so I would have a bag readily available just in case. We won’t bring them out right away since I have lots of fun noises and trigger words like, “Walk” or “Ride” to get your pups attention. But, if they decide they aren’t as excited about those words after a bit the treats will be the next step and are usually effective!
Have Fun With Your Furbaby
Simply enjoy the energy, fun, and silliness of your sweet pup with your fiancé! I will handle the rest!
To see more engagement sessions with and without furry friends, visit the engagement section of the blog! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more of my recent work.
Are you a 2020 or 2021 bride looking for your wedding photographer? Shoot me an email and let’s see if we can work together to make your photography dreams reality.