Pet portrait sessions are amongst the most fun, yet challenging shoots that I face throughout the year.
I mainly cover dogs, though any pet is of course welcome to be booked in for pet portrait sessions!
Don’t forget that you and your family can jump in the pictures whenever you’d like to – some playtime or cuddle pictures are always great. For many of us our dogs are a very key member of the family, so this can be a great opportunity to get a full family portrait.
For owners here are my tips:
If your dog is on the energetic side, it can be helpful for them to have been walked before the shoot, to burn off a little excess energy.
For treat driven dogs please feel free to bring some of their favourite snacks along to the shoot, working on a reward system can work really well, and depending on the time of year don’t forget to bring them a drink.
If they have a ‘key word’ (bare with me here) then let me know. I know this sounds odd, but I constantly use the phrase ‘Where’s the cat?’ with my dog Bruno – it’s the one thing that makes him stop dead in his tracks and do a left..right..straight down the lens pose!
For dogs that can be trusted not to run off, I like to not only remove the lead, but also the collar/harness as this really does make for the best pictures. If this is not possible then a plain collar that blends in with your dogs colouring would be ideal – bright colours and patterns can be very distracting in the images.
Before you book in, have a think about where you might like the shoot to take place and also about the time of year that you’re booking. If your desperate for a bluebell or buttercup shoot, then make sure you book at the correct time of year.
I have two dogs myself and am a keen walker, so can recommend some pretty, local spots for pictures. If you’re local to the Tewkesbury area and would like to incorporate some woodland and hill views into your shoot, Bredon Hill can be a really good choice. I did a shoot up there recently on a walk with my two dogs if you’d like to have a look.
If your pet is of a more senior nature then we can of course have the shoot somewhere close to you, even a sleepy home/garden shoot can work really well.
Having an obedient(ish) dog is helpful when it comes to pet portrait sessions – A dog that won’t sit/wait/recall can be a real challenge for a photographer. So if needed, a little light training on the run up to your pet portrait session can be very helpful. Your pets shoot will last for 90 minutes, so don’t panic if your dog is on the naughty side, we have plenty of time to get some beautiful shots.
If you are planning on including people in your pet portrait session then remember the following when picking your outfit – as with your dogs collar, bright colours and bold patterns can be very distracting in images, so it’s best to stick to more neutral plain items.
I know our weather is completely unpredictable, so if we get poor weather on the day of your shoot we can always reschedule.
Any questions are always welcome, I hope this has been helpful for you!