9 Tips for Including your Dog in your Engagement Pictures – Heaven's Storm Photography

April 25, 2019

9 Tips for Including your Dog in your Engagement Pictures

Your dog is basically your baby…they sleep with you, they are your phone screen background, so it’s natural to want to include them in your engagement pictures.  Sometimes having a dog can be tricky to get them to do what you want them do to, so here are some tips to help your session with you dog go as smoothly as possible.

Tips for taking your dog to your engagement session | Heavens Storm Photography

1. Bring treats

This is one of the many tricks I use to get pups to look at me.  However it only works for so long…usually.  I think my dogs would sit and look at my camera all day long for a treat.  So it just depends on your furry friend.

Bethany IL Engagement Session by pond with their dog

2. Enlist help

We don’t want your pooch there for the entire session!  That is just one extra worry for you.  I recommend we do the pictures with your pet at the beginning of the session, then have a family member or friend come get them and take them until we are done with the session.

Shelbyville IL Country Engagement Session featuring gorgeous light and their mastiff dog

3. Act natural

Some pups can get a little freaked out by my camera being in front of my face and the click of my shutter.  A lot of times you can’t really direct them either, but if you just do things that you normally do with your pet, they are more likely to relax and I’ll get photos that are spontaneous and natural.

4. Accessorize your pup

Yes, you read that right.  I admit, I used to be one of those people that put clothes on their dog….actually a bought a Christmas sweater for my Great Dane last year.  Theres nothing wrong with a little bow tie, or sweater to jazz up your dog for pictures 🙂

Peoria IL Bradley Park Engagement Session with dog

5. Don’t groom your dog the day before

If you have a dog that needs a haircut, I recommend getting it done a week or so before your session.  Just like I tell humans, don’t get your hair cut the day before your wedding day, the same applies to pets.  You want to give it a chance to settle back in so they are not shedding all over you.

6. Bring a toy

If you dog has a toy or a ball they love, bring it!  If it squeaks thats even better!  The expressions dogs make when they hear their favorite toy squeak are the best!

Bethany IL Engagement Session by pond with their dog

7. Make sure to have a leash

If you are lucky and have a dog that won’t sprint the second they hear the clink of the leash coming off them, just be sure to still have one on hand if we are in an unfamiliar place.  Some places actually require you to leash your pets, so best to have one if needed!  If your dogs are like mine and run the first chance they can get, we will keep the leash on the whole time.  I’m sure the last thing you want to do is chase your pet in your nice clothes or mess up your hair chasing an ornery dog.

8. Choose the right photographer

Some people are terrified of dogs…you obviously wouldn’t want them to try and capture you and your pet.  Be sure to ask your photographer how they feel about you bringing along your furry friend.  (For reference, I love dogs!)

Peoria IL Bradley Park Engagement Session with engagement ring on dogs nose

9. Be realistic and have fun

Don’t stress if your pet isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do!  They are likely excited to be someplace new, meet new people, and play with you!  So if your pet won’t sit still and look at the camera, don’t worry about it!  We will get what we can and move on to just you and your fiance!

Want more engagement session tips?  Here’s a post on posing tips for your engagement session!

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