6 Ways To Include Pups in an Engagement Session

6 Ways To Include Pups in an Engagement Session

Do you have couples who want to include their pups in their engagement sessions?! They are members of their family, and they tell you on the call that they would like to bring them, and you say yes, but you aren’t sure how to work with a pup from behind the camera. I have had many many couples ask me if they can have their dogs come to their engagement session, and my answer is always yes! They are family members, and I am a huge dog lover and want them at every session.

At our holiday mini sessions this year, we had many couples bring the dogs to their sessions. Andrea and Danny brought Phoebe to their engagement session, and Amanda and Paul brought Teddy.

Every dog is different, and they behave differently. Some are easier to work with than others, but they all love being there and make great additions to the final gallery.

I have 5 tips to include pups in an engagement session and the best ways to photograph them. 6 Ways To Include Pups

6 Ways To Include Pups6 Ways To Include Pups

1. Make sure your client brings someone along

Obviously, the dog won’t be used during the entire session, and you can’t hold the dog and photograph at the same time, so when you’re meeting with the couple for their engagement session, ask your couple to bring someone along with them to watch after the dog or dogs when they aren’t being photographed. It is super important to know the dog’s name and have someone stand next to you so they can get the dog’s attention. 6 Ways To Include Pups

2. Don’t begin or end with the Dogs

When pups arrive, they are usually hyper and wanting to sniff everything around them. It is hard to photograph a jumping bean on four legs. Dogs get easily distracted, so allowing them to get comfortable with the location gives them a chance to calm down and get ready for photos. Also, ending with the pup can sometimes not be good because they sometimes will be dirty, and no one wants a dirty puppy in their photos. 6 Ways To Include Pups

6 Ways To Include Pups6 Ways To Include Pups

3. Try and include them in at least a quarter of the session.

Including pups in the session more than once doesn’t make it a waster of the couples time bringing the dog and arranging for the person to come with them. It also adds variety to the final gallery. Branding your company to include dogs in your client’s engagement session markets way better and brings more clients to your business. 6 Ways To Include Pups

4. Treats are important

Dogs love treats. They are always looking to snack and will do anything to get one. Bringing a small bag of treats like their food or favorite snacks can be a good way to get the dog’s attention. In one session, I had the couple had a container of cooked chicken for their pup, and it got her attention right away. It always brings their attention back to the session if the dog gets out of control or too distracted. 6 Ways To Include Pups

6 Ways To Include Pups6 Ways To Include Pups

5. Show some love to the dog

Always make sure to give the dog some love. Pups love people, and when they know you’re a good person, odds are they will cooperate with you from behind the camera. Sometimes, you get lucky, and they will pay attention to you without a treat. No matter how you greet them, pups just won’t pay attention to you and can be misbehaved. It happened a few times before and that can make the session really difficult. Your clients will apologize time and time again but just remain calm, reassure them that everything is going to be alright, and keep shooting.

6. Location is important

Location for a session that includes a dog is super important. Most places will allow dogs on the property, but some prohibit them. Make sure you do your research and find out if the location allows pets. Calling is the best way to get a whole of the information but check their website first, and if you can’t find it, then call the place and speak to someone in charge; Odds are, they will have the answer.

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