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Tips for Newborn Sessions with Pets

newborn session with pets
Newborn Sessions with Pets

I love when my clients want to include their fur-babies in their newborn sessions! They were your first babies, after all! Dogs (and cats!) are typically pretty curious about this new being you brought home to them. While younger pets can be a little rambunctious around babies, there are a few ways to get some great shots of them together!

Getting them together

Rather than bringing a pet to the baby, it is often easier to bring the baby to the calmed pet. Your bed is one of the easiest spots to get your pet situated, hopefully in a seated, or even better – laying position. I encourage parents to use treats and calming tones with their pets to help set the stage. If your pet is too energetic to be alone in a photo with the baby, I can still capture them together with you in the photo as well. This way, you’re able to hold your pet in place. If you’re feeling bold, (I would reccommend trying this before your session, too!) you can put a small amount of peanut butter or cheese wiz in your newborn’s hand and ask your pup to lick it!

It’s also nice to get a shot in the nursery rocker or living room sofa with pup laying at your feet. This includes them in the photo, and bigger dogs can still reach to sniff baby, without worrying about them climbing all over you!

Let them roam!

I also love getting shots while your pets are doing their own thing – whether that is looking out the window or chewing a bone! It helps capture the atmosphere of what it’s really like having a new baby and a pet as a part of your family & home life.

Typically, pets only stick around for *part* of the session. Just like with older siblings, it is ok for them to take a break. Get some zoomies out and come back for a few more photos later! I hope these photos inspire you to include your furbaby in your at home newborn session, too!

I especially loved getting to include Gunner in Isla’s newborn photos. He was just a tiny puppy when Krista was pregnant! Through their family photos we have been able to watch not only Isla grow, but Gunner as well!

It was so fun to include Potus in Ava’s newborn photos! Since I do newborn sessions at home, it is easier to incorporate less mobile pets like cats 🙂

This was probably one of my most memorable newborn session moments – right after I took these photos, their pup leaped over top of newborn Gabriel! We were holding treats and calling her name, after all! After we made sure Gabriel was okay (he was totally fine!), we all had a good laugh!

Talk about size comparison between these sweet little girls & their gentle giants!

A note on dog hair

If you have a white dog (like me) that sheds, consider wearing non-static clinging dark pants like some brands of leggings. Unfortunately it is challenging to photoshop legs covered in dog hair! Opt for a light colored pant or dress instead. At the end of the day, though, my philosophy is a little dog hair never hurt anybody 🙂 I live my life with little Lemon hairs all over me!

See some of my favorite newborn sessions with pets on the blog!

August // Henry // Gabriel // Isla


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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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