Kelly from K Schulz Photography has been photographing people and their pets for a while. Today she’s sharing seven tips for having your dog at your engagement session.
Who doesn’t love having their dog be part of their engagement photos?!?
I always encourage my couples to bring their pups if that’s something they want. We can always find a location that suits their fur baby best. If they are a social butterfly or not distracted by much, a downtown location is totally doable. If the sight of another dog or human makes them go a little nutty, then a little bit more of a secluded location works. There are definitely ways to make sure your engagement session with your dog goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Pick the location based on your aesthetics and your dog’s personality.
2. Tire out your pup ahead of time.
Don’t have them so tired that they can’t stop panting but make sure they have a bit of energy out before the session.
3. Bring them to the location early so they can get used to their surroundings.
Otherwise, they might be wanting to sniff that tree while the photographer is trying to get their attention.
4. Make sure anything you want to put on them or use with them has been practiced at home.
For example, if there is a sign you want them to wear around their neck, it’s helpful to practice at home with lots of praise and treats!
5. Bring a friend or family member, somebody who your dog is comfortable with.
That way, we can get great pictures of you as a couple with and without your dog. Also, a friend or family can help your photographer get your dog’s attention. Pick someone you are comfortable being natural and posing in front of as well. If kissing your partner in front of your father is awkward, maybe don’t have him be your dog handler
I always suggest bringing simple training treats, which can get their attention but small enough that they aren’t chewing on it for several seconds after receiving it. I also suggest bringing high-value treats if you need to pull out the big guns. Don’t start with these but have them on hand if need be (for my dogs, that means string cheese; for some, it means a cut-up hotdog). You know your dog best through!
7. Curb your expectations.
You will have more fun, and your dog will enjoy the outing more if you don’t put to much pressure on their “performance” If your dog doesn’t have the best stay in the world, don’t expect them to move mountains for your photo session just because.
I hope this helps prepare you for having your furry friend join you in your engagement session. Remember to have fun, and you’ll enjoy the outcome of your photos so much more.
Here is another post with tips for including dogs in engagement photos.
About K Schulz Photography: Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kelly specializes in wedding and pet photography.