Photographing our Pets: Our Top 7 Tips on Ensuring a Great Portrait Session with your Pets.

March 3, 2022

In our last blog, we talked about the importance of Legacy Portraits, and taking photos with your family—and somehow we (unintentionally) left out Pets Aka FUR BABIES

Our pets are such wonderful (sometimes frustrating) members of the family. Just a quick scroll through social media shows you how much we love and cherish our pets. For a lot of people, their pets become family. 

We absolutely love shoots featuring pets and their owners. We actually encourage families to include their pets when we’re photographing in their home, as it represents the family as a complete entity.  

If you’re thinking of booking a photoshoot with your pets, we’ve got some tips for you!

1.) Make sure your dogs have had a full meal and water prior to the shoot, and that you have treats and water on hand. 

2.) Do a dress rehearsal with them by brushing up on “sit”, “stay”, “lay down” commands. If there will be kids in the photograph, teaching them how to command or hold the pet helps. 

3.) Bring their favorite toys. We cannot stress enough how important it is to bring something to catch and hold their attention quickly. 

4.) Grooming such us trimming nails, and de-shedding is helpful to avoid their nails snagging on clothing, and fur getting all over the place. 

5.) Bring accessories. Is your family coordinating outfits? Your pet can be snazzy too with matching accessories such us bowties, outfits, and cool collars! 

6.) Worried that your dogs distract each other, or are rambunctious around each other? It’s all good! Lucky for you, we can always take photos individually, and composite them in Photoshop to create a seamless group picture. Recently we had a lifestyle family shoot featuring 3 of their dogs, who were adamant on play-fighting instead of sitting still. 

We took a few group shots of the family and their dogs together , and then took separate portraits of each dog sitting next to/being held by a family member, in various poses. The result was a few good photo options, instead of multiple failed attempts to keep the dogs peaceful and posed. 

7.) Have fun! Sometimes, the best pictures are the candid and raw ones. We absolutely love “in-the-moment” scenes when pets do something unexpected, silly, goofy, and just downright hilarious.

 We had a puppy shoot with a little girl, her new puppy from Santa, and the older family dog. Puppy was so sweet and peaceful—older pup—NOT HAVING IT. The cutie pie absolutely refused to sit still, did not listen to any commands, and had to be carried back into the scene multiple times because he was always running away. 

What did we do? We took a TON of back to back photos for options, let him settle down while we took more pics of the little girl and her puppy. Eventually, he got comfortable enough to walk over to the scene and sit down. Patience is key when trying to photograph pets that refuse to sit still. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that what’s normal for us is not normal for them, after all, we are strangers coming in with big flashing equipment. 

At the end of the day, the best part of booking a family custom session with your pets, is in the experience itself. Including pets in your session can lighten up the mood, and help make you and your family appear more relaxed in photos.

Interested in booking a lifestyle family shoot featuring your fur babies? You’ve come to the right place! We make every shoot an enjoyable experience for you and your family—and absolutely love the laughter and joy that family pets bring to every shoot.

Are your pets ready for their close up? Contact us at or 941.524.0888

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