Ashley and Micah’s engagement session was a walk in the park. Literally and figuratively. It was held at one our most favorite places to shoot in the Boston area; The Arnold Arboretum. Besides the location and the awesome color coordination of light summer blues, beige and khaki in their outfits, we absolutely loved how the Ashley and Micah were ecstatic about incorporating their cute puppy Watson in their engagement shoot, and how superb they were with handling him and keeping his attention all throughout the shoot.
As many of you know, we have a French Bulldog named Oliver, and we could not imagine doing one family photo shoot without our little guy. So, naturally if our couples ask to include their pet/s in their session we are 100% all in. But, while we like to think animals are the precious at all time, we are well aware that they aren’t always the most cooperative. Like us, they have moments when they say enough is enough. So today we are gonna give you some tips for making the most of your shoot with your furry friend.
1)Have a sitter:
For the engagement session, we may not include your pet in every photo – so it’s helpful to have a friend or family member join us to hold onto them while we photograph just the two of you. Of course with this summer’s heat waves it’s never safe for a pet to be left alone in a car for an extended period of time and those frigid winter aren’t fun either! Having an extra hand to attend to your pet during the shoot is always a great asset. We loved that Micah’s sister was able to join us and help out with Watson.
Sometimes treats can be a great way to keep an animals’ attention when we need them looking into the camera. Soft treats are usually the best way to go since hard, crunchy biscuits tend to make a mess. Bringing treats to the shoot could also encourage good behavior. Don’t forget to reward him or her when they are cooperating well 🙂
3) Pre-Shoot Exercise:
This tip can often be overlooked in the madness of prepping for engagement photos but it’s truly one of the most important tips we can suggest! A tired dog is very happy and photogenic, a rowdy dog with excessive energy may need to wind down a bit before we begin.
A long walk or a couple extra minutes of play can certainly help your pet relax and feel at ease before the shoot.
4) Get your pet’s attention:
Don’t be afraid to have fun and make a fool of yourself. We are not afraid to bark or make any other unexplainable noises to grab/keep their attention! In the end we are willing to sacrifice our dignity, so to speak, and make fools of ourselves if that means keeping your pet entertained and getting some good smiles and laughs out of the two of you as well.
5) Don’t get hung up on posing:
The unpredictability of pets certainly makes for some of the best pictures. Those candid moments tend to create lasting memories. A laughing couple with a barking dog could be perfect.
Hopefully this post is helpful for all our pet owners reading! We absolutely love photographing pets at engagement sessions, portrait shoots, and on wedding days, so don’t be afraid to bring them along.