"The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with dogs." - Bridget Willoughby. Dogs are family, they are faithful friends and they are the little entertainers that turn the crappiest of days into the best of days. I am a dog mama of two golden retrievers aka "The Golden Girls" and each day truly is an adventure. My home is filled with lots 'o love and lots 'o dog hair.
More and more I am getting requests from families to have their fur babies included in photo shoots and I LOVE IT! Pets are absolutely welcome to join in on the fun and without a doubt will make your shoot even more memorable!
Just like people prepare for photo shoots, it's important to think about what to do to get your dog ready as well as how to keep them comfortable during the shoot. To set them up for success and reduce your worries, following are some useful tips.
Prior to the shoot
Pick a location that your dog has been to before and where he/she is comfortable.
Let your photographer know what kind of personality and demeanor your dog has.
Consider scheduling a grooming/nail clipping a day or two before the shoot.
Practice commands like "sit, stay, wait" so that the day of the shoot they respond to them with ease.
If you want to capture a special trick your dog does during the shoot, ensure you do a few run-throughs before the big day.
The day of the shoot: DO
Take your dog for a walk before the shoot to burn off some energy.
Brush the dog's coat.
Pack treats (aka "bribes") to help motivate them to respond to commands.
Pack a travel bowl and water.
Pack the poop bags.
The day of the shoot: DON'T
Don't feed your dog a huge meal before the shoot so that they are not too sleepy or have to take too many bathroom breaks.
Don't forget their favorite toy/blanket if it will add some fun to shoot or help calm them.
Rush around/be late. If you are a hurried mess, your dog will pick-up on that and might emulate this energy.
At the shoot:
Arrive early to let your dog reacquaint themselves with the location and get all the good sniffs in.
Give your dog a few minutes to love up on your photographer and get to know her.
Have a leash available if you have an escape artist on your hands.
Tell your dog he/she is a very good boy/girl while they are getting their photos taken.
Give them a pet, back rub, butt scratch if they get anxious.
Work with your photographer to give your fur baby breaks in between some shutter clicks so they can get the wiggles out.
Be prepared to do shots with the dog first; humans-only photos should come second.
“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.” – W.R. Purche. Don't hesitate to bring your best friend to your next photo shoot and capture the happiness they bring to your life.