Include Fido in your family photos

February 26, 2015

Holiday or couples photos with the dog via

Holiday or couples photos with the dog via

I’m no stranger to photographing dogs (as evidenced here, here, here, and here). In fact, it’s one of my favorite things ever. Not just taking their pictures, but looking at dog photography too. I just love everything about it. There’s something about looking into a dog’s eyes and seeing their soul and their story that’s incredibly touching. Every pooch has a story to tell. I’m seriously wanting to learn more about animal photography and expand my photo biz to Dography. Dream come true right there.

With dogs it can be really challenging to get the right shot – I mean, it’s super hard to do it with people that you can direct, let alone a dog who’d rather be chasing a squirrel. In case you’ve never tried to photograph dogs and cats before, they never really stop moving. And just when you’re about to click the shutter – they move again.


If you’re trying to get some great pics of your pet, or are wanting to include them in your next family photography session, here are a few tips to get them photo-ready:

  • Wear them out. It’s incredibly hard to get a good shot of a hyperactive anything. Kids, dogs, you name it. So be sure any excess energy is gone come photo time. I would have NEVER gotten this shot of Bea (see below) had she not been worn out from a hike.
  • If you’re having pictures done, bring your dog’s favorite treat and toy. When I did Kristin and Blake’s photos last year, we brought Sadie’s favorite squeaky toy and it helped a lot. Whenever I was having a hard time getting her to look my way, one little squeak was all it took to get her attention.
  • Know who you’re dealing with. Some dogs, Juneau included, can be really wary of strangers. Make sure your pet is familiar with the photographer before you get started. If they’re happy and excited to see them, it will show in the photos. Just like working with people, it always works out better when they’re at ease.
  •  Work on important commands. Even if your dog is well-trained, it will be easy for them to get distracted during a shoot. Work on the basics like sit, stay and lay down for a couple days before the shoot – a little refresher course never hurt anyone :)
  • Have fun and go with the flow. Dogs, like toddlers, are going to do their own thing. Get over it. Some of the best shots are the ones you don’t plan on getting. Loosen up and have fun with your dog. Photos are about making and preserving memories – make them good ones.
It’s getting to be time to book your family, engagement and senior portraits for summer 2015. Visit my photography page or contact to learn more about photo sessions.


More about Andy

I'm a north-Idahoan, a WSU grad, local writer, content marketing specialist and photographer with a passion for where I live. I love the outdoors, animals, good food, wine, and time spent with my husband, family and friends.

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