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  • Writer's pictureRachel Snider

How to Prepare for a Photo Session with Your Pet

Like people, your pets need to look their best for their photos! So today I will be sharing some helpful tips on preparing your fur babies for their photos.

1. Exercise

If you have a high energy breed pet, taking them for a good walk or run around prior to the photography session can really pay off!   You don’t want to exhaust them completely, as their personality and playfulness needs to shine through during the session but just enough so that they aren’t completely over the top when we start, and so we can capture some quieter moments towards the end of our session.

2. Grooming

Like people, your pets need to look their best for their photos!  Many people want to give their pets (dogs in particular) a bath before their photo shoot and that’s awesome – please go ahead.  For most pets though, a good brush can be sufficient to have them looking their stylish best.

3. Accessories

If you're like me I always buy my pets cute, themed accessories that match the photo session. Like a collar with a flower on it or a stylish bandana.  If you love to dress your pet in a fabulous little bow tie or jacket then bring that!

4. What Gets Them Excited?

All pets have something that gets them really excited.  What words, actions or things can be used in your session to achieve that excited look from your pet?  Be sure to let me know what it is, so that I will have a trick or two up my sleeve during the session!

5. Treats

For food motivated pets, treats and snacks are the ultimate go-to means of keeping them focused for their photos and especially when working with more than one dog or cat. Their favorite snacks work as a great reward for staying still or for performing tricks.

6. Toys & Things

A pet’s favorite things will help get the most emotive and personal shots.  Having your pet’s favorite toys, blankets, or even a much loved chewed up old shoe, at the session is great to get their attention or to reward them.  I do have toys and props for use during a session; however, nothing is better than your pets own favorite things – they are familiar with them and when you look back on the photos they will hold greater meaning for you.

7. Arrive A Little Early

Plan to arrive a few minutes early for your session. This will allow your pet time to meet the photographer and get used to the smells and sounds of a new place.  If it’s been a little bit of a car ride it also gives you a chance to take your dog for a little loo walk without it being during your session time.

8. Your Assistance

Your pets know you and are most comfortable with you being close to them. That is why you will make the best photographer’s assistance! I will often ask for your assistance  with directing your pet, gaining their attention and keeping them focused.

9. Don’t Worry, Don’t Stress

Your pet probably won’t behave perfectly for the whole session, if at all!  Your pet may not do exactly as you are wanting them to do.  It happens – pets are unpredictable and don’t take photography direction all too well!

For most pets, professional photography is a new experience and often in a new and strange place. Don’t worry that your pet is not performing as they ought to or would normally do – it only takes me a fraction of a second to get THE shot. And, therefore, try not to stress!  Our pets easily pick up on our stress, and most of the time it’ll rub of on them. So as much as possible, try to relax.

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