Couple Looking Out Towards Water with Dog

Tips for Engagement Photos with your Dog

If you are anything like me, having your pup for every big life event is a must-do. Plus, who can refuse an excuse for family photos?!? However, as much as we love those furry friends, they can add a bit of chaos into the mix. So, if you are planning to have engagement photos with your dog, I recommend you check this post out. I will be including some of my biggest tips to having your doggo along for the ride.

Know Your Dog

I cannot emphasize this enough! If your dog is high energy, extra anxious, or has no way to be motivated to listen, you’re going to have different engagement photos with your dog than someone with a laid back dog. Now in my world, there is no such thing as a bad dog. I have a reactive German Shepherd, with a bite history who is afraid of new people and men. I am not judging any dog, but I do think there are ways to have your dog participate if they are not socially the easiest. With my big dog, I will never have photos with him at a public place. If your dog is the same way, maybe starting or ending the session at your home is a great option.

If your dog is high energy, your photo variety may be more limited than a dog who can be molded like a newborn baby. My German Shepherd is good for just a few photos while my Norfolk Terrier will allow anything to be done to him. The main idea is to realize that while I am a self-proclaimed dog whisperer, I am not a magician. So let’s find a way to set your dog up for success.

Come Prepared to Motivate… and Clean

Luckily most dogs are motivated by something. Whether it is a treat, a toy, or some attention, be sure to bring things so we can encourage their best behavior during the engagement photos with your dog! We can even use toys for some more candid/ casual photos. This way they can let out some energy and we get some great photos!

And be prepared to clean up dog poo… Just for the sake of being good people.

Sunday’s Best

Okay, this is not a post to say you have to dress your dog up… HOWEVER… I am never against it. What I really mean to say is make sure your dog looks their best too! Bathe, blowdry, clean their ears, and cut their toenails! The last thing anyone wants is for your white dog to have brown eye boogies standing out in the photos.

Think about their leash and collar as well. Chances are, these will be in the photos too. If you want to add a cute bandana to their collar, my favorites are from The Foggy Dog.

Lucy and Co. also has some great dog gear to deck your pup out for the engagement photos with your dog.

Bring a Friend- Or use Mine!

This is one of the most important tips for your engagement photos with your dog- bring a dog handler. Your dog will not be in every single photo, which means we need a place for them to go when they aren’t the star of the show. There are a few ways to do this- one being to bring a friend. If you choose this, be sure to bring someone you and your fiance feel comfortable taking pictures in front of. If you can’t think of anyone but still need a dog handler, I have some options for you! One option is to hire someone. There are some great companies who will do this. The second option is simple- let me know beforehand! My husband has been the dog handler for an engagement session with a dog before and the pups love him! He will be sure to give him extra scratches between shots.

Choosing a Dog Friendly Location for your Engagement Photos with Your Dog

Before your session, we will choose your location and I will make sure it is dog friendly! However, there is also a factor that only you can consider. Is the location friendly for YOUR dog. Does your dog get excited when there are a lot of people? One of the DC monuments at Sunset may not be a good option for you. Maybe your dog is a specific breed and the location has breed restrictions (booo). Or perhaps your dog is great with people but not with other dogs, which means a typical park where lots of dogs are is not a great option for you. Just be sure you are being mindful about your dog and where we are going. This way you can feel relaxed and at ease during engagement photos with your dog, and your pup can too!

The Happier the Tail, the Happier I am!

Overall, I love having engagement sessions your dog. No matter what, I will never say to leave them at home! With these tips, we can be sure your dog has as much fun as the rest of us. This way you get some timneless family photos, and I get to give ear scratches to a new friend!

If you are ready to book, drop me a message on my website.

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