#Protips for Your Session
Here's a few tips on how to prepare yourself and your pet for your photoshoot!
Get Your Pet Groomed
In the week leading up to your session, I recommend that you have your pet professionally groomed, including nail trims, face trims, and/or a brush out if needed (depending on the breed). You’ll be keeping these photographs for years to come, and you want your pup to look spectacular!
Think About Styling with Accessories
Please bring a long, thin leash if your dog cannot be off-leash during the session. Many of my clients’ pets are on leash - it’s nothing to worry about, and I can always remove the leash in post! The longer the leash is, the farther you can stand off to the side if you’re not planning to be in any photos. This allows you to keep full control of your pet, but not be in the frame. Also, make sure the leash matches the collar if you intend to keep the leash in the photo.
Bring your favorite collar, or if you don't like the collar, buy a new one for your pup to wear and show off in their photos.
Many people don't think about this before their shoot, but something like a bandana, bowtie, flower, sweater, sports jersey, etc for your pet can really make a photo pop! That being said, look for colors and patterns that compliment your pet's fur color. (i.e. black on black and white on white is probably not the best combination, I am always willing to give advice on this.)
How to Dress Yourself:
If you’ve requested to be in some of the photos with your pet, you’ll want to choose your outfit carefully for your session. Try to stay away from busy patterns or flashy colors. Even deep blacks or pure whites can be difficult to show nicely in a photograph. You’re always welcome to talk to me prior to your session about your outfit choices and I can help you decide on the best one for your big day! Having a fresh manicure or pedicure if you are wearing open toe shoes is also something to consider before your shoot.
Bring Plenty of Positive Reinforcement
Bring along your pet's favorite toys, treats, or anything else that will keep them focused. If your shoot is in the morning, maybe skip breakfast for your pet so that they will respond to treats more readily or in the afternoon withhold food until after the shoot. Working with your dog on basic obedience before the shoot is the best way to ensure the shoot will go smoothly. However, I know some dogs are just too rambunctious to sit still, and in this case I ask that we keep our patience. Always use positive reinforcement with your pup on the shoot, it is paramount for your dog to be engaged and expressive in the photos.
Pack a Bag
Majority of my photoshoots are on location. I recommend bringing along a backpack with a few essentials in it:
Clean Towel - in case of puddle mishaps, snow, or dew for morning sessions.
Wet Wipes/Pet Wipes - in the city you never know what your pet might roll over in!
Lint roller - if you have a pet that sheds
Treats and Toys
Brush - for long hair breeds
Props and extra apparel for dog (if you decide to bring any)
Makeup and outfit change for you
Arrive Early at the Location
I recommend that you arrive 10-15 minutes early to our chosen location, to give your pet a chance to explore the area and get comfortable. And if you notice that they’ve got a lot of energy, you can take them for a quick walk to expel some of it. The more exercise they’ve had, the calmer and more focused they’ll be during the session.
For In-Home Sessions
The key to making an in-home session beautiful is to declutter busy backdrops. Before the shoot be sure to put away kids toys, cleaning up excess mail on counter tops and end tables, and put away anything brightly colored that doesn't belong. Vacuum and dust the area we will be shooting in and keep a lint roller handy for any pets that shed.
Chill Out and Enjoy Your Session!
Once our session time arrives, all the prep is done! You can relax and enjoy our time together with your pet. My sessions are relaxed, positive, and usually filled with humorous bloopers. If there’s an idea I’d like to try, but your pet just isn’t feeling it that day, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of options and we can just go with the flow. These photo sessions are all about the pets, after all!