Tips for Including Pets in your Wedding and Engagement Photos
If you’re a pet owner, you know as well as anyone that your fur children are just as much part of the family as your human counterparts. We agree! For the big moments in your life, it’s always nice to include your pet in the pictures. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips for including pets in your wedding and engagement photos.
Whether it’s your engagement session, your wedding or at home family session, including your pets in your photos is really important. So, for those of you who are considering it or would love to include your pet in your photos, this post is for you.
Tip #1 Know Your Pet
You know your pet better than anyone else. Before you make the decision to have them take part in your photos consider their personality. If they are comfortable and well behaved in public places, chances are they’ll do wonderfully. If they tend to be timid or nervous, it will be a good idea to select a place they feel safe and secure. A quieter place less frequented by the public or lots of people might be a good spot. If your pet is anxious and you’d still like to have them as part of your wedding day avoid having them at your ceremony. Instead, plan on some solo photos alone with them. For your engagement session, we can start things off at home and then move to a second location once we’ve captured some cute moments.
Tip #2 Bring Treats (and your patience)
Unlike us humans, our furry counterparts really don’t get the whole “smile for the camera” thing. The fact is, they just don’t care about photos like we do. For this reason, we don’t try to force anything and just let your pet settle into things naturally. Most pets are either food or toy motivated, so be sure to bring along a few treats to get their attention. A little patience can go a long way here as we wait for the perfect shot to line up. We try to work with your pet’s temperament and be as patient as possible. Our favourite photos tend to be the ones where everyone is just comfortable hanging out and relaxing. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get there but when it happens it’s truly the best.
Tip #3 A Tired Pet is Perfect for Photos
Some pets are full of energy and just can’t wait to run around outside. This isn’t an ideal energy level for them to be at for photos. Although we love capturing candid moments, if your pet operates at 100mph hour getting great photos will be a challenge. Think about tiring them out before your session. A run at the dog park can do wonders. For some dogs it’s a full days at doggie daycare. Every dog is different so we leave it to you to decide what will tire them out the most. If your little fur baby is pretty chill tiring him or her out might not be necessary at all.
Tip #4 Short is Sweetest
We find that pets can only handle so many photos before they’re over it. Therefore, we try to spend about 20 – 30 minutes capturing some cute moments with your pet before moving on to the rest of the session. Some pets need a little more time than others settling in and that’s ok too. Just keep in mind that only about one third of the session will include photos with your fur babies and the rest of the time is for just the two of you.
Tip #5 Bring Someone Along to Help Manage Your Pet
This brings us to another point. Think about asking a friend to help you with your pet after they are done with photos. It might be nice for them to go home once their time in the spotlight is finished. This is especially true for your wedding day. After we have captured some sweet moments with your fur baby, we’ll spend some time photographing just the two of you. Both of us will want to be free for directing and photographing you so we won’t have the capacity to look after your pet for the rest of the session. This tip is especially important for your wedding day but is also a smart idea for engagement sessions too.
Tip #6 Including your Pet on Your Wedding Day
Bringing your pet to your engagement session is usually a breeze. We have lots of time let your pet settle into the session. Including your pet in your wedding day requires thinking of a few more logistics. If your pet is going to be present at your wedding, take all of the above tips into consideration. If you’d like your pet involved in your ceremony you need to ask yourself a few additional questions. Be honest with the answers.
Can your pet handle the spotlight of being front and centre at your ceremony? If they are walking down the aisle with you it’s important they are comfortable in front of lots of people.
Is there someone who can manage your pet if needed? The last thing you want is to be distracted during your ceremony because fido is crying for attention. Appointing a family member or friend who won’t be upset if they have to whisk your pet away from the action if things get overwhelming for them is also a smart move.
Finally, for portraits, we recommend arranging for a trusted friend to bring your pet to the photo location we’ve selected. You can spend a few moments cuddling your fur baby for photos and you won’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day.
That’s it for tips for including pets in your wedding and engagement photos. It’s super easy to have them part of your photos, it just takes a little planning in advance (and some major treats!).
… and if you’re like me and you just want to drool over cute pictures of dogs all day, head on over to this article featuring the most adorable dog weddings ever. You can thank me later.