Can I bring my dog? YES! My answer as your photographer will always be yes. Bringing your dog to your photography session adds so much of your personality to your photos, not to mention they’re freakin’ adorable!!

Dog makes owner laugh at winnipeg's birds hill park

I have been photographing animals for years now and have picked up on a few things that can make both our lives easier! SO without further ado, here are my 10 tips for making the most out of bringing your dog to your photoshoot:

01. Bring treats and toys your pup loves

Obviously they just always deserve treats because they’re goodest doggo. BUT treats also help to keep them motivated and get their attention in photos. They’ll naturally be wanting to take in their surroundings and probably even look at you for direction, so it’s nice to be able to capture their focus and get a few where they’re looking directly at the camera. If they’re a fan of squeaky toys or crinkle toys, bring those! I can use them while i’m taking photos to get their attention.

Couple walks their dog for their photoshoot in Winnipeg Manitoba

02. Make sure to bring the essentials too!

Poop bags, some water for them (especially in the summer), spare collar and leash, and maybe even a long lead if your pup isn’t so good off leash yet.

03. Teach your dog the sit, down, and stay/wait commands

These are incredibly helpful for photos and let us get some more dynamic and unique photos. Let me know if they know any fun tricks – they’re always fun to capture!

Owner enjoys her dogs at her photoshoot in Winnipeg Manitoba
Tips for bringing your dog to your photoshoot
Tips to include your dog in your photoshoot

04. Make sure their recall (coming when called) is spot on

If not, don’t take them off their leash. Not only is this dangerous for your pup, but usually wastes some of our session time trying to catch them!

05. Have them groomed or give them a bath and brush

You want your pup to look their best! Give them a brush, trim their nails, and trim some of their more wild strands around their face. I promise it will be SO worth it, it makes such a difference in photos especially for long haired dogs.

06. Arrive early

Plan to arrive at least 10 min early so your pup can have time to settle into their new environment. They might even benefit from a little walk when you first get there or a run to get all those zoomies out!

07. Bring a friend to handle your pup

This gives you time in our shoot to get some shots with just you and your boo. You can focus completely on photos with them and be present in the moment – you’re not worried about where your dog walked off to! Another great idea is to hire Bark Wedding Date Co to be your dog’s handler for your shoot.

08. Be patient

They’re probably kind of confused about why they’re out on an adventure and not really getting to explore. They’ll probably want to be a little crazy and they’re almost always extra curious with me! Don’t feel too bad if your pup barks at me for the entire session, won’t look at me, or doesn’t want to sit still. I’m used to hanging out with high energy doggos – don’t sweat it if they don’t behave exactly as you’d like. Let’s just have some fun with you and your pup!

09. Act natural (lol I know… but hear me out)

I will do my best to get the classic shot of you smiling at the camera with your pup! But I also really love candids, especially when animals are involved. What do you and your dog normally do together? Let’s throw a ball, play tug, or just curl up and hang out. Try to forget about the camera (I know, easier said than done) and just enjoy time with your pup. I promise these will be the photos you cherish most.

and lastly…

Forget about inspo photos or getting a specific “pose” – you and your pup will direct where our shoot goes and it will be unique to you! Let’s have some FUN!!

Bringing your dog to your photoshoot can be an absolute blast, these ten tips will help ensure that you’re having fun and enjoying the time you have with your puppy. Whether its their birthday, your engagement shoot, or a family photoshoot – bring your dog, you won’t regret it!

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Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba I capture intimate weddings and engagements for sentimental couples.  Timeless images of candid, in-between moments that transport you right back to your wedding day and make you feel ALLL the feels.