March 16, 2022
Who is your first baby?
Your pet! Your dog or cat that was with you when you were single or when you first got married…am I right?
And usually during your pre-session phone consult you ask about including your pets in your session. And I’m all for it! Let me say that again…YES! Include the pets! Especially during your in-home session! But there are definitely some things you should keep in mind.
My friend and fellow photographer, Christine Dammann, has all the tips on including your pet in your session. And although the blog post focuses on outdoor sessions, the same applies to in-home sessions.
Sure, most of us love family photos at the beach, but beaches may have strict rules/ laws when it comes to pets. Be sure to check what hours dogs are allowed on the beaches, and pick a dog-friendly beach. Be aware that your dog will likely be very excited for the sand, water, and other dogs. If your dog isn’t well trained this may be overstimulating for your pet and cause more stress than you want to take on. If you want your dog to be calm and sit when told you may want to pick a quieter location, like a park, which will have less people, less water, and less ocean noise. If you have a pet that doesn’t leave your home [cat, fish, turtle, chicken, lizard] you could consider having an in-home lifestyle session.
Taking your pet [or your kids for that matter] to a new location and expecting them to sit perfectly and look at the camera every time you want them to is not totally realistic. It’s also not totally natural. It’s a good idea to manage your expectations going into your session that sure, it would be great to get that traditional ‘picture perfect’ pose, but overall you want the essence of your family captured. That means, movement, laughter, and being REAL. Don’t stress out if your pet is excited, doesn’t obey you perfectly. Keep a smile on your face and enjoy the moment together with your family.
If your pet is food motivated treats will help keep them on track with accomplishing your goals for the session. Another huge help is bringing a handler with you. There will likely be some times you dont want/ need the pet in the shot and it may not be possible for your photographer to watch your pet or hold the leash while they are trying to shoot. I’ve found my families that bring a handler to help with the pet are more relaxed. So recruit a friend or family member to help you out.
A little more about Christine – She’s a wife and mom of two boys based in San Diego, California. She also has a major green thumb (unlike me) and loves all things plants! Her pup’s name is Mucho (isn’t that the best?). She specializes in family and newborn photography and many of here sessions take place on the beach – because San Diego…need I say more?
Christine and I met through mutual photog friends at The Reset Conference last September and I was immediately drawn to her fun, outgoing personality! On top of that, her photography is stunning. I mean truly gorgeous. So if you are traveling to San Diego and looking for family photos – Christine is your gal! Don’t San Diego beach pictures sound like the best!?!
I’m crazy excited to see Christine later this month in Dripping Springs, Texas for a photography retreat and thrilled to be attending Reset 2023 with her next March. Have I mentioned how much I love connecting with fellow photogs? It’s the BEST!
Photography can be a lonely business and industry friends make it so much less so!
Want to read a bit more about how I incorporate pets into my sessions? Check out this blog post!
Ready to book an in-home session with your family including the furry ones?