First Things First...
Dogs will be dogs. As a photographer, I am a firm believer that the best portraits are created when the subject is relaxed and can be themselves. That goes for dogs AND people! I don't shoot with elaborate sets, backgrounds, or shot lists. (Dogs can't read anyway!) The plan is, there is no plan! I want to create images of your furry friend that captures their personality and will become keepsakes you will treasure for years to come.
Practice Basic Commands
Relax. Your pet is not required to know any commands for the session but if they do know any commands and are willing to listen to commands it helps! If they can hold still just a second or two at a time they will be more manageable and open more possibilites. Try practicing sitting, staying or laying down with them prior to the session so they are prepared to show off what they know at the session!
Who doesn't love treats? I recommend bringing plenty of treats to the session to reward your pet when they listen to commands and to gain their attention. This will help to motivate them to cooperate during the session. Please let me know prior to the session if your pooch has any allergies or dietary restrictions.
Bring Their Favorite Toy
Being a supermodel is hard work! Bring their favorite toy so they feel comfortable and get some play time both during shooting and between shots. Playing with their favorite toy is also a great way to let their personality shine and to act like their true self.
Fur Real. If they have a cute little bow tie, a cute vest, sweater, hat etc., feel free to bring any accessories that you would like to incorporate into their photos.
The key to having a successful dog portrait session is, preparation. You know what happens if your pet is feeling frazzled before and during a photo shoot? They will look frazzled! To prevent this, don't wait until the last minute to get everything in order.
But don't worry!
Here is a short list of ways to make your pooch look and feel their best!
Getting your pet groomed is important so they will look their best for the photos. I recommend that you have your pet groomed prior to the session day. Having too many appointments in one day can cause undue stress and we want them to be relaxed and happy for their photos!
It's recommended that you trim your pet's nails to the recommended length prior to the session date. If their nails are overgrown it can be noticeable in the photos.
Give your pet a bath the night before the session to make sure they look clean and fresh as a daisy!
I recommend brushing their fur right before the session to eliminate any stray hairs (shedding) they might have.
Clean Their Eyes
This is one many people don't think of... Wipe your doggo's eyes right before the session so their eyes will be clean and clear of the dreaded eye boogers for their close-ups.
Rest vs. Exercise
Having the right amount of rest before the photo session will help your pet have good energy and attentivness. However, if your pet has excessive amounts of energy, taking them for a walk can help them burn off some of their energy before their photo session. In other words, find the balance point.
Collars & Tags
Please make sure that your pet is wearing the collar that you would like to appear in your photos. Double check to be sure it is clean and tidy and remove any excess tags.