Six tips on how to prepare for your engagement session with your dog

Couples tend to take on new adventures around the time they get engaged and this sometimes including getting a dog together!  People have asked me how they can prepare for a photo session with their dog, so I decided to write a blog post that I could share with you all that can be applied to any sort of couple's session :)

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Tip #1: Start the session without your dog

Let’s be honest, most people don’t feel natural at the start of a photography session.  It is normal to feel a little awkward being lovey-dovey with your fiancé while someone you probably just met takes photos of you, but you will get the hang of it as the session goes on!  However, throwing a dog into the mix during this warm-up time can potentially make the session start on a stressful note if your pup doesn’t end up behaving like the angel you hoped they’d be.

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Tip #2: Designate a friend or family member to be responsible for your dog during your session

Constantly thinking about your dog throughout the session can be a source of stress and stress is the enemy to being photogenic.  Having a person separate from you, your fiancé, and the photographer to watch over your dog when puppy is not in photos puts you much more at ease throughout your photography session.

Tip #3: Plan for separate locations with and without your dog

Taking photos with just you two at a location away from your dog can help you be in the moment with your fiancé without worrying/looking at what your pooch is doing.  This will ensure you have the essential couple portrait photos in the bag and you can relax even more when you join up with your doggie at the next location.  It might work best to choose your backyard or a quiet park near your home as the location for photos with your dog.  Locations with minimal distractions are best when it comes to photos with pup; it is hard to get dogs to look where you want them to when there are other people walking around.

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Tip #4: Have your dog exercise before your session

Releasing some energy beforehand can minimize your dog being super hyper and hard to settle down while actually taking photos.  A calm dog is a photogenic dog. Your designated dog-watcher can help by playing fetch or taking your dog for a walk while you are taking your couple’s portraits.  Older dogs may be calmer to begin with and might not need this activity, so keep in mind that you know your dog best.

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Tip #5: Remember to bring the essentials!

Remember to think about what collar and leash you want showing up in photographs.  Toys and treats can be great for the photographer to hold and get your dog to look at the camera.  Don’t forget to bring poop bags!  A bag with all of these items consolidated together is helpful (even better if your friend/family member can carry it along).

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Tip #6: Relax and enjoy your time :)

As dog owners, I’m sure you know that these fur-babies don’t always act the way we expect, but these candid interactions with you and your silly puppy can end up being the photos that you cherish the most.  Try to be patient and have fun!

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You can follow me along on my life adventures on Instagram :)

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