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.
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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.
Pam Wattenbarger says
I think photographing pets is a lot like photographing kids. You can expect the unexpected with them.
Amber Myers says
Sweet! We don’t have dogs. Only cats. And we’re already married. But we’d so do a photoshoot with the cats.
These are great ideas. I love seeing dogs included in family photos of any kind. They’re part of the family, after all.
These are great tips. I would love to have family pictures with our dog but I’m always nervous it will be to crazy with her.
Sarah Bailey says
These sound like some great tips – I love it when people include their pets in such meaningful photos – after all they are part of the family.
Brandy Ellen says
I never even thought about people having their dog at an engagement photo session but what a seriously cool idea. I love the last photo with the two hands a paw!
Nikki Wayne says
Haha I like the last photo so much. So cute!!
Rose Ann Sales says
Nice tips here and the photos looks so great,they looked perfect.
Jennifer Van Haitsma says
I love when people involve their pets. It’s such a cute keepsake for them, especially after the pets pass on.
Emily Davis says
Such a sweet thing to capture with newlyweds! I can’t imagine trying to capture it though.
Gervin Khan says
Nice tips and I like the idea of including your pets as a part of your engagement session.
Thank you for sharing the tips.
What precious pictures. I love these. Before we could go anywhere with our boxer, I would have to take him on a walk to tire him out a bit so he would enjoy the ride. Great suggestions for others.
Very useful tips! I am sure they are perfect and can help a lot with dogs! I will definitely follow them!
monica y says
Looking at this pictures, make me want to book a shot to have pictures with my dogs, they normally do not stay still for a picture though
Ruth Epstein says
Great post and ideas and I always chuckle as I wonder how many photos are actually taken till you get the perfect one because your pup is doing something different LOL
The Dash Kitten Crew says
I love the tip, get them used to anything they will wear at the photoshoot. Anything else is a recipe for disaster – right? But the perfect shot will allow your dog to steal the show 🙂
Rebecca Sanchez says
Wonderful tips! I love seeing engagement and wedding pictures where the couples have included their dogs!
Britt K says
I love this! We didn’t include our dogs in our engagement session but we have done ‘family photos’ with the pups on a few occasions. I love the pictures that come out of it. After all, our dogs mean SO much to us – why wouldn’t we want to capture those special moments together with them? One of my favourite sessions with the pups took place on our favourite local hiking trail. It’s nothing special, just a short 20min trail, but the photos showed the 4 of us in one of the places that we love visiting together most. It really told our story.
Angela Schneider says
Great tips! I have an engagement session coming up soon, a prep for the couple’s wedding next summer. The bride helped us train Bella and we became good friends through the years. I can’t wait!
Christina DiBlase says
TRAIN YOUR DOG WITH A PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER
Kita Bryant says
These photos turned out so well. I would have loved having my beagles in my photos.