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5 Tips for Including Dogs in Family Photos

Can we include our dog in family photos?

Short answer: YES!

I LOVE when my clients ask if they can include their dog in their family and newborn photos! For a lot of families, your dog was your *first* baby, and they deserve to be included in your session! Dogs also bring so much fun to a session. Playing, running, giggling with them creates such joyful photos! It’s also so special to see them age and grow – I’ve photographed families that have puppies and babies growing alongside each other and it is too precious for words!

Dogs can also be a great distraction for older kiddos that may not be as interested in taking pictures. Giving them something to do like walk, pet, or give a treat to their furry friend can help get some natural smiles!

There are a few tips to consider, though, when preparing to include your furbaby! Keep reading!

A Few Tips

1. Leashes: Be sure to consider your leash color for your session. Leather, black, or subtle fabric patterns are best. Stay away from neon or ratty looking leashes and avoid harnesses if possible.  Bulky handled retractable leashes can also be hard to hide!

Also, remember to ditch the poop bag holder and just keep a couple in your pocket! Here is a great option for a good-looking leash!

2. Treats can be really helpful for photo sessions! Either a parent or I can hold some to help get your pup’s attention & reward him/her for good behavior!

3. Keep in mind your session location, too. If your dog is anything like my dog, and LOVES water – keep that in mind if you’re doing a session by a lake! You can also consider doing your session at a dog park if you want him/her to be off-leash. One of my favorite locations for sessions that is also an off leash dog park is Marymoor Park in Redmond! Dogs can be easily distracted, so it is best not to choose a location that would be overly crowded or busy.

4. Reinforcements: If your dog doesn’t do well hanging on their own for some shots (or leashed to a stable object like a tree), consider bringing a friend or family member to help wrangle your pup. Another option is having your dog included for the first part of the shoot, and then taken away for a walk by a friend, or put away if you’re at home.

5. Let me worry about how your pup looks for the shot. You don’t need to constantly check on him/her to make sure they’re behaving. Hand the treats over to me & I’ll make some ridiculous noises to get them to look my way for some shots! Otherwise, enjoy loving on your family & your dog!

You can check out a couple of my favorite family sessions including dogs on the blog here!:

Bellevue At Home Newborn Session //  Beach Family Session // Rattlesnake Maternity Session

Want to see more tips on how to include your furbaby in your at home newborn session? Check out this post here!

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I believe in all things bright, happy & colorful! Specializing in capturing the JOY of life's greatest adventures!

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