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For Families: Including Pets in Your Family Photos

If you have pets, you probably consider them members of the family. Coming from a family with two veterinarians and where most everyone has a dog, or two or three, I get it. Your family wouldn’t be complete without them and including them in the official family photo, well, that’s a given! So I’ve put together a few recommendations for including pets in your family photos.

  1. Bring a friend to help.  This person can help get your pet’s attention during the pictures, handle treats and water, and also handle your pet when he/she needs a break and we want to take a few photos of just the humans!
  2. Feed your pets before the photo session.  If their bellies are full, they’ll be more content and willing to cooperate.
  3. Arrive early to let them explore.  If the photo session is held at a new location, chances are they’ll want to scout it out. If it’s a place they’re familiar with, they’ll probably want to play like they usually do. Arriving just a few minutes before the session to let them run around will help them burn off some of their extra energy.
  4. Reward them for good behavior.  Sometimes love, attention and a few pets will be all they need, or you may want to consider bringing treats (as long as they won’t get your pet too excited!). But reward them when they’ve done well to encourage more of the same behavior.
  5. Relax and be patient.  Animals can sense your emotions and chances are if you’re stressed or anxious, they will be too. And that won’t translate well to the photos — for the animals or the humans!
  6. Keep your expectations reasonable.  Pets won’t last for an hour-long session. They’ll want to run and play. I recommend spending a few minutes achieving the more posed shots. Then once they’re bored, let them play for some candid shots. And finally, allow them to take a break altogether while we focus on the humans. We can always bring them back in at the end once they’ve used up some of their extra energy!

Including Pets in Your Family Photos


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