How to Add Your Dog to a Photo Shoot | League City Houston Clear Lake Portrait Photographer

We all see those really cute family portraits with dogs and let’s face it, we all want a portrait just like that.   But I know what you are thinking cause I use to think the same way!  There is NO way ever our dog would ever sit still.   We all think our dog is THE worst behaved dog in the world.   So how in the world, do other folks get those perfect photos with their dogs?

Including pets in a photo shoot is actually very feasible, but lets face it that not all pets can feasibly be added to your photo shoot.   Some pets are just to dangerous or scared to include, but let’s focus on the most common pet, the dog.  Here are the main steps to take so that your sweet “Fido” can be included.

  1. Exercise your pup before the start of the shoot.   For small pups, a short walk and a few minutes of catch will help calm him/her.  For larger dogs, a mile or more walk plus a longer version of catch should lower the anxiety a bit.
  2. Feed your pup before the shoot – not the regular amount of food, but say 1/4 of the normal amount at feeding time. And bring snacks (not messy) with you.
  3. Find a photographer that has experience working with dogs, especially larger dogs.   Not every photographer is comfortable with larger dogs or dogs that can be perceived as aggressive.
  4. Bring dog to shoot on a leash.  The leash can always be hidden in the photographs.
  5. During the shoot, focus on the photographer not the dog.   Let the photographer direct the dog to look at him/her.   If you focus on the photographer, then all the photographer has to focus on is getting the attention of the dog.   The dog will become confused if everyone is giving commands.  Plus if you are busy talking to the dog, then when the dog is focused on photographer, the photographer has to wait until you get back in pose, then the dog moves.
  6. Believe it or not, your dog is not the only hyper dog in the world.  Cameras have great shutter speeds and a really great photographer will get that great shot before your pooch moves even if it is a split second.  But it may take a couple of takes, so be patient.
  7.  Be prepared for the dog not to mind.  Just like children, dogs can act up so do not stress.   A photographer that has experience with dogs will expect the dog to act up and will be prepared and patient.
  8. Stick with it.   Don’t give up on your pup just because of all of the above.  Your pup is part of the family and including him/her is very important.

Please note – no humans or dogs were injured in any of the photos, however, I can not say that the human owners were not mortified 🙂

To book a family shoot (with your pup) or a pet portrait shoot please email the studio at for more details.


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