7 Tips on how to prepare for a dog photoshoot
This is the day where you get to have fun with your dog for an afternoon.
I suggest a few things you do need to do beforehand to help prepare your dog for their photography session
- Bath time: First on the list is a bath. If possible, a day or two before your session is recommended. Yes, your dog will probably be rolling around in the grass within 5 minutes of having their bath but you want to at least try to keep them relatively clean so they’ll look good in their photos.
- Grooming: If you normally groom your dog, then go ahead and do that before their session. Pay special attention to the eye area. If you have a long-haired pet, it's often more difficult to see their eyes in photos so you may want to trim around that area a little.
- Collars and Harnesses: Next up, is your dog’s collar and/or harness. Your dog's collar can often get a lot of wear and tear without you noticing so it's a good idea to check these before your session. If it is looking a little old and worn then swap it out for a prettier collar or harness. While I can remove the lead from the majority of your pet's photos, the collar will stay on in your final images. And it's the same for your dog's harness. It's usually not possible to remove a dog’s harness in post-processing, so if your dog needs to wear one for their session, make sure you like how it looks on your dog because it will be in their final images. Also, check the name tags. they can be distracting in images so you can remove them for your session. BUT make sure you put them back on after their session.
- Exercise: If you have a high energy dog or they are prone to excitement then a long walk before your session can be a good idea and help to calm them down.
- Arrive Early: Dogs like to sniff and explore. Whether it's an entirely new area that they've never been to before or if it's the same park they go to every day, it doesn't matter. Each experience brings with it different sights, sounds and especially smells. That's why it's a good idea to arrive at your session location early. This will give your dog a chance to explore and sniff the area before your session starts. By giving them a chance to explore first, it allows them the opportunity to be themselves before we attempt to take any photos. And it keeps them happy and relaxed, which we definitely want for their photos.
- Treats: During your session, I'll be using a variety of toys, praise and treats to gain your dog's attention. Treats are often one of the most effective and popular ways (from the dog's point of view) to gain their attention. As long as you are ok with it, I'll be using treats throughout their photoshoot, you shouldn't feed them too close to the session otherwise bribing them with treats won't be as effective.
- Energy: Last up on the list is your energy. Your pets are very in tune with you and how you’re feeling. They can sense when you're happy, sad, anxious etc and respond in kind. If they know that you're stressed or anxious then they will often be too. They feed off of your energy, so try to remain calm for the session and they will too.
Just remember that your photography sessions are simply a chance to hang out with your dog and play.
These are just a few of the ways you can help to prepare your dog for their photoshoot. So when you’re ready for your own pet's session, I hope that these tips help you.
If you're ready to book your session now or if you just want some more info then you can contact me here.