Dogs + Engagement Photos

Planning Tips

While you’re thinking about your engagement photos during lock down in Cincinnati, do you long to include your four legged fur kid?  If you’re anything like us, your pets are your part of your family.  Often we are asked by our clients if they can bring along their dog (normally their first baby together) to their engagement session.  Our answer is always YES!  We love to meet the sweet doggies; plus, they add an extra element of personality to an engagement session.  As much as we love adding a dog into engagement sessions, there are a few pros and cons to consider:

Being avid animal lovers and fur parents ourselves, we always encourage finding a way to include your dog in your wedding planning as much as possible.  As many may not want to bring their dog to the actual wedding, but still wanting them to be included, your engagement photos are the next best choice.  We’ve put together 5 tips to rock your engagement session, with your doggie!

  1. Coordinate the Collar and Leash:  There is nothing like wearing stunning clothes to have a your dog’s collar and leash clash with the outfit.  We recommend having their collar AND leash to coordinate with your clothing colors and style!  If you’re going for a romantic style of clothing, then a bright/bold collar will be a distraction in your photos.  We also recommend ensuring the collar and leash are clean.  Having an older, well used collar and leash will make the images appear to be dingy.  If you’re thinking of having 2 different outfits (maybe one more neutral and one bright, choosing neutral for the dog is always a good idea.  You’re investing a lot in these photo, so treating your baby is totally acceptable!
  2. Extra Help:  As wonderful as dogs are, they can be like handling a toddler and an extra set of hand/eyes will ALWAYS be helpful!  Asking a friend, parent, or even your grandma to help keep the dog entertained when their on a break during your session is the best thing you can do for your mental health.   There is NOTHING worse than having to listen to your baby whine because he’s tied up to a pole or tree while you’re trying to be all romantic and cuddly.  When working with a dog, we will normally bring them in after the first part of your session (once you’re warmed up/comfortable) and by having an extra person there, they can take the dog for walk to keep them occupied and help you get relaxed in front of the camera.  Not to mention, as much as you love your baby, you’ll want photos without them. 
  3. Attention Grabber:  Does your baby have a favorite toy or treat that will instantly grab their attention.  If yes, then you need to bring it along!  We do our best to get your dog’s attention but having their toy favorite toy usually works wonders.   Also, please remember to bring treats along to give your dog as a reward for doing a good job (and not going to lie, Nicole will be very generous with the treats). 
  4. Groomed & Bathed:  Just as you will get all cleaned up, so should your dog.  Schedule them an appointment with the groomer before the session (even if it’s an in-home mom grooming session).  Once again, their looks will reflect on you in the session.  If your puppy looks a little “scraggly” or “just woke up with bed head fur” then your images will also look less put together.  We recommend taking as much care and attention to getting your puppy ready as you do your fiancé!  (We know there is usually 1 person in charge of getting everyone all spruced up).
  5. Know Your Dog’s Limits:  If your dog does not do well in crowed, public places, then choosing a public park on a warm spring day may not be ideal.  The last thing you want is for the dog to be a distraction and hard to control during your session.   This will result in getting less photos and/or running out of time.  Majority of our engagement sessions are in the evenings and will end once the sun is gone.  If you have to fight with your dog for a little bit of cooperation because of where the photos are being done, you may be disappointed in amount of photos you get.  We recommend choosing a location that will compliment your pet’s personality so he/she will thrive during the session.  If you’re set on a specific place and know it may not mesh well with your dog, then you have a couple of options- 1. Choose a day of the week normally not as crowed or 2. Have a second location where the dog can meet us!

Adding your dog to your engagement session is totally possible and with the right planning, can enhance your experience! If you put the effort in upfront to prepare for the session, just as you would with a child, you’ll be thrilled with the results.  If you are opting to include your fur kid in your engagement session, please let us know!  We love having them and just want you to be able to have the best experience possible!

Have a great day!

Nicole & Ryan

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