Thanks to Pamela Webster from Something Wagging This Way Comes for writing this post!
Smartphones take excellent photos. And digital cameras are less expensive than ever. But just because you have plentiful pictures of your dog, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some professional shots.
We worked with photographer Alice G Patterson last year to get some lovely images of our dog Honey. These are the reasons it was a great idea.
Why You Should Hire A Professional Photographer
Sorry to lead with a sad idea. But it’s something we all have to face.
Your Pet Won’t Be Around Forever
I’m thankful for the snapshots I took of the dogs I’ve loved before Honey came into our lives. But most of my pictures are blurry or poorly lit. They’re a simple reminder of the dogs I’ve loved. But they’re nothing like having professional pictures that are well-lit and framed.
I hope Honey is with us for many years to come. But when she passes, I’ll enjoy looking back at Alice’s images of her with love.
To See Your Family Together
I have thousands of pictures of Honey stored on my computer. I have a few less of Honey with my husband, Mike. But I have very few pictures of Honey and me.
Because I’m usually taking the pictures.
A professional photographer not only gives you lovely pictures of your dog. They capture your relationship with their camera.
Your Own Photography Will Improve
I’m sorry to say that I’m a terrible photographer. But I know that with experience, I can get better. And watching Alice work got me thinking about what I need to do to improve my own photographs.
One of my favorite photos found Honey on the bow of our sailboat with the sun lighting up her fur from behind. This amateur avoids taking pictures into the sun. But Alice captured Honey in a halo of light.
I’ll definitely experiment more in the future to learn what different lighting will mean for my photos.
You’ll Get New Types Of Photos
When I take a picture of Honey, I usually ask her to sit and stay in a particular setting. But formal, posed pictures don’t show off Honey’s fun side.
And when we’re out and about, I’m usually managing Honey’s behavior.
By watching constantly and taking tons of pictures, Alice was able to capture images of Honey that were both less formal and more expressive than any pictures I could take myself.
You Can Capture Special Moments
I’ve loved photos of special moments with pets on The Daily Dog tag. It’s great to include your entire family in engagement photos or when introducing your new (human) baby to the world.
We’re living and traveling full-time on a sailboat. We probably won’t be doing this forever. But I expect to look back happily on this time. And I’m glad I have the beautiful photographs to document it.
To Chart Your Changing Family
An acquaintance of mine has a professional photo shoot of her dogs every year. How wonderful must it be to have a complete record of each family member changing over time?
Annual photographs are not in my budget. But if I ever win the lottery, they definitely will be.
A Beautiful Keepsake
Alice gave me permission to use her credited images on my blog, Something Wagging This Way Comes. I’ve enjoyed looking through the digital images stored on my computer as well.
But I’m most thrilled to have ordered a few shots for framing.
It brings me joy every day to look up and see Honey’s smiling face, both by my side and framed on the wall. Having professional pictures of Honey will be a wonderful reminder of our relationship for years to come.
You can see more of Pamela’s and Honey’s adventures by following Something Wagging on Instagram.
Find a pet-friendly photographer near you.
Check out our tips for including dogs in engagement sessions too. Teach your dog “Paws Up,” the perfect trick for great photos.
About Alice G Patterson Photography: Based in Syracuse, New York, Alice specializes in lifestyle photography serving creative women entrepreneurs and dog lovers. Alice is available for travel.
Ruth Epstein says
Amazing photos are usual. I use a camera with Layla as I do not have a smartphone but you have a really good point by saying a professional should take some too. I am going to put that on my To Do List 🙂
These photos are beautiful and really capture this dog’s personality and fun life! It is nice to see the dog through a professional’s eyes – and it’s great how the family can be in the photos, instead of just taking them.
Hindy Pearson says
One picture is more gorgeous than the next! I’ve always been a terrible photographer, never even cared about it. Now that I have a blog boy could I have used some of those images…not to mention the dogs I only had a short time are nothing but blurs, literally! It makes me sad not having those momentos which is why I started taking a ton of pictures and even bought a camera and took a basic photography course. I know phones are just as good, if not better, but I wanted something substantial to hold onto. Your recommendation of having professional photos is a good one, because although some of mine are pretty good now, they couldn’t compare.
Lola The Rescued Cat says
These photos are amazing! I’ve been considering having a professional photographer take photos of my cats, but they would definitely have to come to my house. I think when I move I”ll definitely look into it.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Honey looks gorgeous in all the shots! Candids really show off her being in her element. We won a photo shoot last year so I need to schedule it.
Dear Mishu says
wonderful photos — Honey looks so happy and healthy, which is all that matters! Great point about having photos of your dog AND her humans… that’s important!
These are beautiful photos! I’ve never thought about hiring a professional before, but this post makes me want to! I think the most compelling reason is because we would get some family shots from the session. Most of the photos where me or my hubby are in them are selfies with the pets. Ha!
Alice G Patterson says
This was such a fun day! I absolutely loved meeting and photographing Honey and her humans!!
Jana Rade says
I always come here to admire the absolutely marvelous photos. A professional touch certainly makes a difference.
OMG THESE ARE SO CUTE! I don’t know why I never thought of professional photos of my pups but it’s such a good idea!
What gorgeous pictures! I would never have thought about having professional photos taken of our dogs but now I’m really considering it. We have a beagle that is really starting to show his age so pictures are a must before it’s too late. He is after all our first baby.
I hope you are able to get some great photos of him!
Irene McHugh says
Tearing up as I read this and looked at all of the beautiful photos. That action shot of Mike holding the stuffed animal with Honey jumping up to grab it and Pamela looking on is probably my favorite because it does capture a fun spirited side of Honey that you can’t always see in posed shots. And Pamela’s point about wanting quality keepsakes is such a good one. Matthew is a professional photographer, but he’s never busted out the Nikon to take pictures of our pups. Maybe I should hire someone else for a photoshoot for me with the dogs. hehehe…
We treasure our pictures of our pets. They hang proudly beside our pics of our kiddos!
That is awesome!
Cindy S says
Beautiful photos. I too have lots of pictures of my dog Winnie, but very few (and no good ones) of me with Winnie.
I hope you are able to get some good photos of the two of you together!
Chirpy Cats says
What beautiful photos of the family. Having a professional photo shoot with a few of my cats (those who wish to pawticipate!) is on my to-do list. I am also always the one taking the photographs and when I am in them, selfie stick to the rescue! lol
Honey is beautiful and these photos will serve as wonderful memories for years to come.
Great photos and great idea! Our pets are an important member of the family.
Cathy Armato says
What a fabulous article! I so regret not taking Alice up on her offer to do professional photo sessions during the BlogPaws conference in Myrtle Beach. I just couldn’t afford any extras that year. I so want professional photos with my dogs – I live in New York now so I might contact Alice and travel upstate for a photo shoot with her. These photos are so beautiful, what a treasured groups of photos these will be for a lifetime.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Alli Smith says
What a beautiful dog! The photos are amazing and I know you’ll cherish them always. It’s a great idea to get pro pics of your dog.
Taking photos of your dogs seem to be the thing to do now especially since so many people are not having children. I am told dogs are the new kids. Nice to remember our fur family.
oh my gosh i could not agree more w/ this- i dont have a dog but i think its important to take as many pictures of possible with who and what you love and if thats your dog who is SUPER cute then so be it!
Melissa Chapman says
I have never taken professional pictures but have so many of my dogs that I have taken. We do love our guys so this would be a great idea. Your dog is so beautiful in those pictures.
These look so beautiful. I would love to get some professional pictures taken of my dog. They’re not around really as long as humans and I would love to have some beautiful pictures that I always can keep with me.
Liz Mays says
Aww, what lovely memories to keep! The pictures turned out so well. I definitely have to consider this.
If only I had a dog haha! It would be so cool to take professional photos of/with them. Honey is so cute and photogenic.
Amber Myers says
If I had a dog, I would! We only have cats and I don’t think they’d be willing. I’d try though 😉 We do have guinea pigs who can be somewhat patient.
Fatima Torres says
I’ve been meaning to do this with our dogs since one of them is at an age when you never know when will be his last day. I’m going to look into photographers in the area for this.
Marcie W. says
I wish I knew about professional pet photos before my Harvey passed away. He got terminal brain cancer at five and fought for a year. Having beautiful pictures of him would have been so comforting.
I take pictures of my dog as often as I can. I love it! We even used peanut butter to get some fun tongue shots of her.
Your dog is so cute! It looks in every shot I found his smile and happiness having this family. Aw! So sweet. Stunning photos!
Love all these pictures…they are all amazing! Having a pro take the pictures is always a great idea.
Tabitha Blue says
Such beautiful photos!!! So great that you had them taken of your sweet pup. You’ll cherish those for so long. 🙂
Terri Steffes says
It’s true that I also have few pictures of me and my dog. I am like you, I am always taking the photos.
I would love to get professional photos taken of my girl but shes so awkward in front of the camera…HA! But maybe she would act better for someone else? LOL!
I agree wholeheartedly. We list our beloved Reese just last week. It made me sad to realize I won’t be able to take any more photos of my beautiful girl. I am also glad I have so many photos of her to cherish.
One of the photographers near me has started offering pet sessions. I think it is such a good idea.
I am always mesmerized by the photography on your site, and you are right doing a portrait session is so important. Two of my elder dogs passed away, and the only thing I have from them is those pictures that I treasure. With Bella, my dog I take many pictures of her but would love to do a professional session.
this reminded me of my dog that died in a road accident four years back.
I’m so sorry for your loss!
Rebecca Sanchez says
Absolutely stunning photographs! Definitely agree with having professional photos done of your pets – they are so different than what you get with your everyday iPhone, etc. The life that comes through the images is truly amazing. p.s. Now I want to be on that boat! 🙂
Sandy Kubillus says
I’ve always been glad when I hired a professional photographer and they are not all that expensive. The main thing is to have several sets in mind and to get in the picture as well. I also have a friend who is a professional photographer take some shots when I did her some favors, so sometimes you can do trades. Great photos!
Jodi Stone says
Those are some amazing photos, you know I love me some Honey. 🙂
I had tried to book a sitting with a local photographer a couple of years back, but she never got back to me. Eventually, I convinced my niece (who’s pretty artistic with a camera herself) to take some photos of me with the dogs. There are a number of them I really love and this post reminds me, I must go through them and get a couple of them printed off.
I’m glad you got some great photos to print!
Sweet Purrfections says
Great photos! I keep saying I want to get some professional photographs of Truffle and Brulee.
I totally agree with using a professional photographer to take pictures of your dog and family.
Professional photography is an art form worthy of its place on the wall. Using a professional will not only allow you to be part of the pictures but as stated in the article will also bring a different point of view when it comes to where and when to take the photos.
Britt K says
The biggest reason for us, as you mentioned, is the ability to have photos with all of us in them. I’m always behind the camera in our family. However, every so often we reach out to a local photographer and get ‘family photos’ done with the dogs. Looking back, those photos will become special, important memories of the time that we were blessed to spend with our pups.
Cathy Armato says
Honey is absolutely gorgeous! She looks a lot like my childhood dog, Ginny. I hate that I have just a few crappy photos of her and not one of the two of us. These pics of Honey are incredible! Alice is a terrific photographer, I’d love to have a session w/ her one day. Cherish those precious photos forever.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
What gorgeous pictures of Honey! I have a friend who’s a professional photographer and she always amazes me at what she can do with her camera. I have a few beautiful photos she’s done of my Henry. I wish I could do as well. I’m more like you with my photo skills. Thank you for sharing these tips and beautiful photos!
These photos are stunning. I love the way the light is captured along with the personality of your dog. I would love to get some professional photos done for my dog. You have convinced me!
I should do this with my dogs. I have so many fond memories of my past fur babies, and I wish I had pictures like these of them.
Tara Pittman says
These photos are amazing. I can see a lot of patience is involved with taking photos of dogs.
These photos turned out great. They are so beautiful! I think it’s great to get them done for your pets as well.
Richelle Milar says
These are all really great shots such a lovely photos! I would love to try this with my dogs!
Melanie Edjourian says
The pictures here are all lovely. They make such a great keepsake for the owner.
Lavanda Michelle says
y digs Zeus and Zero love taking pictures. I need to get some professional pictures soon.
wonderful picture, thanks for sharing it.
Beautiful pictures! photography is a great way to preserve the memory of ones pet. thank you.
Jona Shares says
I so love the photos! Reading this and seeing the photos makes me wanna have my own too. I will definitely have some photoshoot for me and my furrbabies probably when my husband comes back.