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Helpful Tricks to Prepare for a Photoshoot with your Pet

December 23, 2022

For many people, pets are furry members of the family. It comes as no surprise that they want to include their pets in their photo session.

But now you find yourself thinking about how the shoot will go, and how to prepare so it goes well.

First of all, it's going to be fantastic. So don't worry! You've hired a pro, and they know what they're doing. Professional pet photographers have worked with many different types of pets with different personalities and quirks.

There are a few things you can do beforehand to ensure the shoot goes smoothly.

1. Plan the Perfect Photoshoot with Your Photographer

Communication is key when it comes to planning a great photoshoot. Just as you want to be completely prepared, your photographer needs to know exactly what you have in mind to be able to bring your vision to life.

Tell me about your pet’s particular personality. Is he a puppy who gets excited about everything? Maybe she’s a rescue who needs a bit more coaxing to get comfortable with other people. No matter what your pet’s personality is, it is still absolutely possible to create beautiful portraits of them.

We will go over what the best location is and what time of day will be best for your pet. Your pet’s comfort matters to me so it’s important that we pick a location that your pet will be comfortable in. For example, an urban setting might not be a great choice if your dog is easily scared by loud noises and traffic.

Time of day also makes a huge difference. Some locations are better in the morning than they are in the evening and vice versa. You may be a morning person but your dog may be most energetic in the morning and won’t want to sit still for photos.

2. Get Your Pet Picture-Perfect

You certainly want your pet to look his best for the photoshoot. After all, your pictures with him are going to be displayed in your home.

Make sure your pet’s fur is groomed before arriving for your photo session. If you need to book a grooming appointment, make sure you book it for a few days in advance. This allows his fur to settle into its new style. A good tip to remember is to never book the grooming session the same day as your photoshoot. This may result in your pet being tired or overly stressed before the photo session.

If your pet is fairly low maintenance and doesn’t need a full grooming, make sure to bathe him/her the night before and give her a good brushing. Then cross your fingers and try not to let him get dirty before the photo shoot.

3. What to Bring for Your Pet to the Photoshoot

Think about what motivates your pet the most. You will want to pack a few treats for your pet. (And you will want to bring twice as many as you think you’ll need.) Bring a variety of different kinds of treats.

If your pet is more toy motivated, be sure to pack a few favorites.

There is no need to go by a new leash or collar for your pet unless you really want to! I usually just photoshop the leash out. So, opt for a thinner leash whenever possible.) However, if you want to have a little fun, bring along anything else you might want your pet to wear in the photos such as a cute bow.

Don’t forget to bring the basics: water (for you and your pet), a brush, poop bags, and a hand towel just in case they get dirty or wet.

4. Hunger as Motivation

If you plan to feed your pet before bringing them to your photo session, it’s better to feed them half of their normal amount. (This is for healthy pets only. If your pet requires special feedings, check in with your vet first.)

There are going to be lots of opportunities for treats in the hour or so we spend taking pictures. If your pet comes already full, they may be less motivated for treats and be harder to work with. Being a bit hungry will make sure they are more likely to focus when they know they’ll get a treat as a reward.

5. Manage Your Pet’s Energy Before the Photoshoot

Depending on your pet’s energy levels, you are going to want to figure out how to best manage his energy to help him focus during the photos.

If you have an active pet, it’s a great idea to exercise them beforehand. We just want to burn off a little of that energy, but we don't want them to be totally tired. If you have an older pet or a pet who prefers lounging all day long, it’s probably a better idea to just let them rest the day before the photos.

Just like people, every pet is one of a kind. If you still have concerns or worries, feel free to reach out to chat about your pet's personality and situation.My goal is to make the whole process enjoyable and make sure you have amazing photos that will last forever.

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