Updated: Jan 20
Photography is all about remembering and celebrating the moments that matter most to you, and holding onto the memories . So, what better way to honor your love for your pet than with a professional pet photo session? You can create custom artwork to keep forever.
If you’ve never had professional photos taken of your pet before, you may be unsure how to prepare. After all, pet sessions are quite different from family or other portrait sessions. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about dressing a pet like you do a child, but there are plenty of other things to take into consideration.
That’s why Aaron Gang Photography had put together this handy guide on how to prepare for and get the most out of your pet photo session!
Even Puppies can do it - Yosemite is 17 weeks old here!
Walk it out—or take a nap You want your furry friend to feel relaxed during your session, so take them for a nice long walk the morning before. Getting some exercise is especially important if your dog is high-energy, since the more they run around, the harder it will be for us to capture images that aren’t blurry.
However, if you have an older dog who is more low-energy, they may just need some time to rest and sleep before their session. Know your dog’s personality and what works best for them and plan accordingly.
Bring a few favorite things
Prior to your session, collect some of your pet’s favorite toys and treats. Treats are great for helping your dog to sit still and look their best for photos or even do a trick or two. Squeaky toys are always a great hit and help encourage your pet to make some of those adorable, playful expressions. Toys and treats are also a great way to get your pup to look at the camera.
Get ready to assist!
Your pet is most interested in you, so when you’re not in the photo with your pet(s) you can really help guide your pet’s attention to the camera or wherever else we want it to go. Getting a pet to stay while you back away and come right on top of the camera is a great, fun way to assist and get in on the action of pet photography.
Pack a bag
In addition to favorite treats and toys, pack some water and a bowl for outdoor sessions, as well as bags for picking up waste, a brush for grooming, and your best collar and leash. If the only leash you have is looking kind of rough, you may want to pick up a new one, as it may appear in some of the photos.
If you regularly take your dog to a groomer, try to schedule an appointment the week before your session to make sure that your pet isn’t looking too shaggy. If you do your grooming at home, give your dog a bath and brush them before your session. And don’t forget to trim those nails!
Brush up on basic commands
Getting great photos will partly depend on how well your dog obeys basic commands. So take some time in the weeks before your session to practice sit, stay, down, and any other commands your pup knows. However, if your dog doesn’t know any of these commands or is just too excited during your session to listen, don’t worry! I’m willing to be patient and work with you and your dog to still get some great images.
Choose your own outfit
While this photoshoot may be all about your dog, you want to look good too! Take some time to pick out your own outfit: something casual and comfortable that will allow you to easily move around and play with your pet. As far as shoes, (for an outdoor session) go for something that is comfortable for walking, like a nice pair of sneakers. You want to feel comfortable but also look good in photos. If you’re not sure what to wear, check out the other guides on people clothing!
Talk to your photographer
If your dog has any behavioral issues or anxieties, let your me know ahead of time so I can be prepared. This can be especially important when choosing locations, so tell me if your pet has any specific fears, like traffic noises or other dogs, that could affect where they want to shoot. Most of the time we are in the studio, so the environment is completely controlled.
We get it—you paid for a professional photo session, and you want some awesome images of your pet to hang on your walls and share with family and friends. It can be frustrating when your dog just isn’t cooperating, won’t pay attention, or even actively ignores commands. Or maybe your dog is incredibly shy and won’t show off the charming personality they have at home.
Regardless of your pet’s personality, I'll take photos you’ll love. Folks are always surprisd how many great photos we captured. Just relax, have fun, and trust us! If your dog isn’t being perfect, we’ll just be patient. We won’t yell at them or use a stern tone. We’ll just keep things light and fun. Trust us, your photos will turn out great!