Engagement Photos With Dogs
Updated: Jul 12
Should you bring your dogs to your engagement photo sessions? Engagement photos with dogs are great! Dog's are often an essential part of your family, and during this memorable moment, you want them involved. I get it; I have a 4-year-old husky who's a big part of my life too! However, dogs don't always cooperate during photo sessions, so what should you do? Here are my do's and don'ts of having your dog be part of your engagement photos.
Engagement Photos With Dogs
Make Sure Your Location is Dog Friendly
Not every place to take photos is dog friendly. For instance, Rocky Mountain National Park doesn't allow dogs off paved areas to help preserve the landscape and protect the wildlife. So engagement photos with dogs aren't exactly feasible everywhere. So make sure your photographer is willing to help find a picture-perfect place that is okay with you bringing your pup along.
Get To Your Location Early and Go For a Walk
My dog is generally too excited to behave how I would like her when we get to a new location. There are so many smells and unique experiences that a dog wants to go for a walk rather than sit and pose. Even the best-behaved dogs have a hard time. Get to the destination early and walk them around, that way, they use some of their energy, and they feel more comfortable before your photographer meets you.
Do An Activity In Your Photos
Does your dog love catch, tug-of-war, hiking, walking, or swimming? Consider doing one of these activities for a few minutes in your photos too. They'll feel more candid and authentic.
Bring Kongs With Peanut butter
Bringing a peanut butter filled kongs is generally a rule with my wedding and elopement clients to keep the dogs calm and entertained during the ceremony. While it doesn't necessarily last long, it can offer a moment of peace if you have a rowdy pup.
Bring Dog Handler to Your Engagement Photos
Some photographers, like myself, may require this. Chances are you won't want your dogs in every shot, and they will take away a lot of time from your session. To make your session run smoother with your dogs, bring a friend or family member along who knows them to walk them around. This way, you're also ensuring their safety, your photographers, and any passerby!
Tell Your Photographer Key Words
There are a few words that guarantee I'm going to get my dog's attention. Equip your photographer or dog handler with these words ahead of time. You generally only have a few split seconds for this to work, so make sure you're looking at the camera and not playing with your dog while your photographer calls them out.
Do Not Leave Your Dogs In Your Car During Photos
While this may seem like common sense, this happens more often than not. Your dog could be seriously injured by leaving in the car, especially during the summer. Some states have laws against this, and some even have laws that a good samaritan can save your dog by smashing your windows. Instead of opting to lock your dog in the car during your photos, bring a handler instead.
Do Your Dogs Behave Offleash?
If the answer is yes, and only yes, would I consider letting them off-leash for photos. And this is only in locations that permit. Your engagement photos aren't an excellent time for your dog to run away. I've seen it happen. If you're not sure, leave the leash on.
Buy a Collar Or Leash You Love
If you're splurging on an outfit, why not splurge on a new collar and leash for your furry friend? Try picking out a solid color that won't be distracting in your photo. Bandanas for dogs are also fashionable!
I hope this helps your engagement photos with dogs go much smoother! It's so important to include them, but it's usually difficult if you don't prepare!
What other questions do you have about engagement photos? We have plenty of resources for Colorado engagement photos, weddings, and elopements here. Check out these other topics:
Are you planning your engagement photos? I'm a Colorado engagement photographer specializing in bold and vibrant imagery. Check out my work and let's meet for coffee (or a beer) to plan your session!