Dog Photo Session Tips: Getting Fido Ready

Like me, you probably take photos of your dog every. single. day. But what isn't every day, is a professional pet photography session! There's no need to be worried about your pup not being trained for posing, I work with dogs of all kinds, temperaments, and ages and guarantee I'll create art that you'll love! But I do have a list of things you can do to help make super duper sure our photo session together is a success!

1. Grooming

Visiting the groomer and having a photo session all in one day can be a little overwhelming for your dog. If your has a special cut that you prefer, I recommend scheduling a visit to the groomer at least a week prior. This will also give the new haircut a few days to grow in.

2. Exercise

It's a great idea to exercise your dog before our session time. Generally, if our session is in the late afternoon I recommend a good long walk or play session in the morning or early afternoon. It's always exciting for dogs to be in a new location and meeting new people, so a well-exercised dog lets us get down to business faster.

3. Treats and Toys

I usually bring some high-reward treats me with to the session (after checking with you about your dog's dietary restrictions, if any) but it's always a good idea to bring some treats of your own. Especially if your dog is a picky eater, bringing treats he is familiar with might help with his focus.

A few other items that might be helpful during our session: your dog's favorite toy, bowl and water, and a bag to carry it all in.

4. Flat Collar Leads

If possible, bring a regular flat collar for his photo session as well as a basic six-foot leash. Flat collars are easier to remove later in photoshop. If you normally use a harness on your dog, that's totally fine! If you feel comfortable, we can remove it once we get to our photo spot. Full disclosure: removing full harnesses is rather difficult even for photoshop.

One of my most important tips is to please do not bring a retractable leash to the session. I've found that you have very little control when using one of those and it makes things a little more complicated when trying to take photos.

German Shepherd running through water in Houston Texas

Equine Photo Session: Tips to Prepare Your Horse

I want your horse to look great and also to be in a calm state of mind for our session. Here are my favorite tips for getting your horse prepped for our time together.

Leading Up To The Session

  1. Brush up on your groundwork. Also, practice positioning your horse and getting his feet square. Get him used to standing still next to you for a few minutes at a time.
  2. Clean the tack you will use in your photos. If you plan to use a halter, lead ropes that are leather, black or a muted color look best in photos. You can also use a bridle in place of a halter. Keep in mind, we might be switching your lead rope from side to side as necessary during posing.
  3. If your horse has started to grow their winter coat, blanketing the night before will help the hair lay down.

Session Day

  1. Exercise your horse! Especially if they have to stay in the stall for a few hours after bathing.
  2. Bathe your horse early, and make sure he is completely dry by the time of our photo session. You can also use some shine spray too!
  3. It's also a good idea to feed them before our session.
  4. I'll usually bring an assistant with me but you can also have a friend or family member present to help out with your horse too.
  5. Have some fly spray handy!
woman with her arm over horses neck in Houston texas

Ready To Book Your Session?

Now that you know my top tips for preparing for your photo session, what are you waiting for? Let's connect and start planning! I can't wait to work with you on creating incredible artwork for you and your best four-legged friend.

This blog is part of a community of other professional pet photographers sharing their top tips based on their years of experience. Next up: Siberian Husky owner and Massachusetts Dog Photographer Darlene Woodward shares the best tips to get you ready for at-home grooming of your dog.