If you’re like me, your pets are incredibly important members of your family. So, when it comes time to take family photos I completely understand wanting to include them and I highly encourage it! I worked in veterinary medicine for over thirteen years, so being around animals is something that brings me great joy. Today, I want to share my best tips for including your pets in your photo session so things can go as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes we have to coax pets to get involved, and sometimes they insert themselves whether invited or not. I think it’s important to let pets adjust to my arrival (when doing in-home sessions) so they might not want to be in photos right away. That’s totally fine with me, I find that *almost* always they will come and join in eventually.
For many dogs, their natural curiosity and tendency to follow their humans around the house means that they will be involved from the start like this precious golden retriever.
As much as we love our pets, it is important to understand that we still have to be mindful of safety. When working with babies and small children, even the sweetest dog or cat can get stressed and incidents can occur. I urge parents to keep a close eye on their kids and pets to make sure that everyone is staying safe. I won’t do any poses that will make a pet (or child) uncomfortable or nervous and I am always keeping a close eye on their body language to avoid any incidents.
Some pets take a while to adjust to a new baby (just like human siblings) and it’s totally normal for them to be nervous and not want to be near them, especially if they are crying.
When I arrive for an in-home session, I encourage parents to allow the pet(s) to meet me right away. The sooner they say hi and smell me, the sooner they will feel comfortable with my presence. Then, I can be a fly on the wall for some of the session while I document your pet interacting with your family! A lot of the time my favorite images come from moments that were completely unprompted, like when a dog comes to sniff a new baby or give a family member kisses.
This handsome husky was such a sweetheart and he was totally trying to get into pretty much every photo. I’d say he succeeded!
This gorgeous mixed breed dog was fairly certain the session was just for him.
I often have parents want to include their dog in an outdoor family photos as well, such as this beautiful session from the NC Museum of Art Park. Not all Raleigh photo locations allow pups, but most in our area do and I’m happy to help decide if this is a good idea for your particular session.
If you’re in the Raleigh area and would like to have me photograph your family with your pet please follow one of the links below. Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions!