Dog photography sessions are very personal and we’re here to provide you with photoshoot tips in preparation to make sure we get the best photos of your dog on the day.

Whether your dog has a nervous, excitable or easy-going disposition, I am used to dealing with them all but there are some things you can do ahead of time and on the day to ensure that both you and your dog feel prepared and at ease.

I’m going to walk you through some of my top tips so that when the big day arrives, you end up with beautiful images that celebrate the heart and soul of your family and capture all the quirks, expressions and personality traits that make them uniquely yours and oh-so loved.

dog photoshoot tips
dog photoshoot tips

Dog Photoshoot Tip 1: Perfectly preened or au natural?

This is entirely up to you and there is no right or wrong. If you’d like your dog to look perfectly preened and polished for your dog photoshoot then don’t forget to book in a grooming session beforehand. I recommend doing it at least a day or two ahead of the photoshoot so your dog doesn’t have too much going on in one day. Otherwise, you might prefer to turn up with your dog in all their natural beauty. It’s your call and you’re the one who will cherish the photos for years to come so decide what feels right.

Dog Photoshoot Tip 2: Collars, leads and accessories

Do you want your dog to be wearing a special collar in their photos? Or perhaps a smart coat? Whatever you want them to wear on the day, bring it along. And while some dogs are fine to go off-lead, many aren’t and that’s absolutely fine. If we need to photograph your dog while they’re on the lead we can photoshop it out in the editing process so it’s as if it was never there! What we can’t photoshop out are collars and harnesses. If you dog pulls a lot and you usually use a harness, bring it with you and we can just take it off and switch to the collar when needed. With many years of experience working with dogs of all sizes, breeds and energy levels I am well practiced at getting the best out of them on the day and promise we will capture beautiful photos that you will cherish forever.

Dog Photoshoot Tip 3: Take a walk to burn off some energy

If you can, I always recommend taking a walk with your dog before the photography session to help them relax and burn off a bit of energy. Particularly if you have a high-energy dog or an excitable puppy, letting them have some time to run will help take their excitement level down a bit. For some of the shots I will want you to help try and lure them into being still or moving slowly and this will come a lot more naturally to them if they have had the chance to blow off steam beforehand.

Dog Photoshoot Tip 4: Helping your dog to settle

A photography session is likely to seem like a strange experience for your dog. Even if they’re a born poser and regularly feature on your phone’s camera reel, the studio or shoot location is likely to present a range of new experiences and smells for them to get used to. And with a lot of attention paid to them, they may behave a little excited or a little nervous. But most dogs find the experience a positive one and to help them get off to a good start, when you arrive, I will encourage you to allow them to explore the area, have a good sniff and enjoy a few treats. They will quickly settle in and enjoy the attention and treats that follow.

Dog Photoshoot Tip 5: Feed your dog, but not too much

While this tip depends on your dog’s breed, health and dietary requirements, if you can it’s best to give your dog a light meal ahead of the photo shoot. Throughout the portrait session we will be using plenty of treats to reward and motivate and if they’re too full they may want to sleep or not be interested in what we’re asking them to do. I’ll ask for your help to get your dog into position and being just a little bit hungry will help to make sure we can use their favourite treats to get their cooperation.

Dog Photoshoot Tip 6: What to bring on the day?

What do you need to bring to your dog photography session? On the day, you just need to bring a collar and lead, and anything that your dog loves. Whether they have a favourite treat or beloved toy that they can’t bear to be without, bring them all along and we’ll use them to focus their attention and capture shots of pure delight.

Portrait of Mark Hewitson

And that’s it for our dog photoshoot tips!

If you have any specific questions or need anymore dog photoshoot tips, I am always here to answer them. I want you to feel prepared for what is sure to be a fun and memorable day for us all!

And if you have yet to book your dog photography session, you can book through my website where you can also see lots of examples of the kinds of images I can capture in the studio or outside in nature.