How to Prepare for a Dog Photo Session

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*Inform Your Photographer.  Provide Photographer a pet behavioral history, including but not limited to biting, jumping and incidents of aggressive behavior. This will help the photographer plan ahead for achieving the desired photographs.


*Grooming. Give the dog(s) a bath the day before the session. Brush the dog’s fur, if needed. Dirty fur will not be corrected in the post-editing process.


*Practice commands. If you don’t regularly use obedience commands, be sure to practice them a few days before the dog photo shoot to make sure your pup will do what you ask when you ask. Make sure your dog responds to sit, stay and wait. If you want to incorporate any special tricks during the photo shoot, be sure to practice those, too.


*Don’t feed your dog(s). If you feed your dog(s) first, or only feed your dog(s) about half the portion size you would normally give for the meal before the session. You may end up with a sluggish dog who wants to curl up for a nap. A food-motivated dog is more likely to respond to treats. (This tip is for healthy pets only. Check in with your vet first if your pet requires special feedings.)


*Walk your dog(s). About an hour before the dog photoshoot, it’s a good idea to take your pup(s) for a walk to burn off some energy. This will help make your dog more relaxed and photogenic.


*Treats & toys. During the session, have on hand your dog(s)' favorite dog treats and toys for positive reinforcement. The toys can also be useful props.


*Safety first! For hot (or humid) summer days, have on hand water bowls and water to keep the dog(s) well hydrated. (This rule of thumb also applies to humans. We can always take a lavatory break if anyone needs it.) Staying hydrated is important! The photographer has scheduled in the possibility for breaks, so don’t hesitate to ask for a break if you need it!


*The basics. If the photo session will not be at your home, please bring the basic travel accessories - water and bowls, poop bags, brush, towel for wiping the dog(s) down (if they get dirty).


*Use a leash. Be prepared to keep the dog on a leash for most, if not all, of the session. The photographer can digitally remove the leash during the post-editing process. Thinner leashes are easier to remove during post-edit.


*Setting expectations. It is normal for there to be a lot of waiting and repeating of poses or shots. It’s best to show up with a positive attitude and low expectations for your dog(s). And remember to HAVE FUN!


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