Pets & Their People
Confession, I’ve never had a pet (not even a fish). I’m pretty sure it’s because I had allergies from a very young age. For my whole life I’ve just adopted other people’s pets. My first adopted pet was Thor, a large, older German Shepherd that lived in the backyard behind us when I was a kid. I loved that dog. I remember I’d run up and down the fence line and Thor would chase after me. I pretended he was my dog. He never seemed to be the guard-dog that most German Shepherd are. Maybe he was just used to me.
I loved Thor, but I feared the Doberman Pinschers that lived next door to us. They always figured out how to escape the confines of their yard and were seemingly always on the verge of an attack. One of them snapped at me once, scratching my face just below the eye. It cemented a fear of the breed in my mind to this day.
Despite the unfortunate experience with the Dobermans, I have always loved dogs and animals in general. I just have too many allergies to have one living with me. I do, however, love when my sweet clients bring their adorable, loving and friendly pets to their sessions. I love these furry clients! I also love how excited their parents get about including their fur-babies in their portraits. If I were a dog mom I’d want my pup included in my portraits too!
Dogs are the most popular furry friends amongst my clients, but I also adore horses. I have always been fascinated by their regal nature and intelligence. Plus, I’ve yet to meet a horse that was not photogenic. I pinch myself every time a client asks to include these beautiful animals in a session. I had two sessions with horses this year!
As we celebrate what a great year 2018 was, enjoy this look back at some of my favorite sessions from the year, featuring some of the sweetest pets around! Also, scroll to the bottom of this post for my tips for including your furry friends into your portrait session!
When the sweetest pups ever make an appearance on wedding day, it’s just the best! I’m pretty sure Nova and Elliot would be friends if they ever met!
My cousin, Laura, is a veterinarian. She has always had the sweetest dogs! I call her German Shepherd-Husky mix my “god-dog” because I’m just that obsessed with her. When I flew out to Houston this week for a surprise portrait session for my aunt, I got to spend lots of time with this sweet fur-baby. I also got to meet her brother, Chuck, who is such a gentle giant. We were instant besties. Chuck obviously took posing lessons from his sister because he nailed the whole “smile for the camera” thing.
Tips For Including Your Furry Friends In Your Portraits
- Let your photographer know in advance you want to include your pet. I always advise my clients to not begin the session with their furry friend present. It’s best to get warmed up and in the groove of the session before trying to get those shots with your furry friend. It will make you both more relaxed.
- Bring treats and a special toy. We all get a little nervous in front of the camera and so do your pets. Treats and/or a special toy will go a long way towards getting your pet’s attention. It’s also nice to be able to reward them for a job well done!
- Bring water, especially if it’s hot outside. Pets often get so excited with the activity of a portrait session;. All that excitement can also make them thirsty. Be sure to have some water on hand in case they need it.
- Bring a friend to help. I recommend arranging for a friend, or family member, to bring your pets by for a portion of the session. This way you can focus on your portraits and not be worried about your sweet pet needing attention.
- Don’t worry if your pet won’t sit still. When working with animals, I like to see what their natural personalities are like. Some are great at sitting still for a posed shot and others are more likely to want to explore! It’s best to work with their natural instinct.