When planning your engagement portraits you might be deciding on whether you should bring your furry friend to your engagement shoot. When it's possible, I am a HUGE fan of having dogs in engagement sessions! Including your dog is a great way to personalize your shoot, and it can be a wonderful opportunity to have professional photos taken of you with your pet. It is also a great way to keep the fact that you are in front of the camera out of your mind since you will be able to cuddle with your pup!
Here are five things I suggest you do if you would like to include your pet in your engagement photos:
1. Discuss including your pet with your photographer
First ALWAYS ask your photographer if it is ok if you bring along your pup! You never know if they have allergies or some reservation with dogs! Also your photographer will still need to know ahead of time so that they can prepare to make the most of the opportunity. I like to ask whether my clients would like to include a pet in their engagement photos on my Getting To Know You questionnaire right after they hire me, but if your photographer doesn't bring it up, make sure you DO!
2. Bring along someone that can hold the dog.
No matter how much you adore your dog, you probably want a significant portion of your engagement photos to focus just on you and your fiancé. So ask a friend or family member (who is already comfortable with your dog) to come along and take care of your pup during the dog-free portions of the shoot. I usually like to incorporate the dog in the first half of the session that way we can get warmed up there is a conversation starter and you aren't as focused on my camera!!
3. Pack for your dog's needs
This sounds like common sense, but when you're thinking about whether your outfit goes with the one your fiancé is wearing and what the traffic will be like on the way to meet your photographer ... well, it can be easy to forget to bring pet-necessities. So plan ahead and have a little go-bag prepared to accompany your dog to the shoot. This can contain: a water dish and bottled water, treats, a toy, and waste bags -- anything your dog needs to feel safe and well cared for on the shoot!
4. Make sure the location is pet-friendly
Just because a location is outdoors doesn't necessarily mean it's a good fit for your pooch! For example, there is a few parks around here that do not allow pets so I would not want to plan for your session there if you were planning on bringing your pup. Or what is your dog just does not do well with a ton of people we wouldn't want to take him/her to a busy location!
5. Have fun!
One of the reasons your want your dog to be part of your engagement photos is because most of the time they are your baby at this point of your life. So let that connection shine!