If you’re like me, your dogs are part of the family. (My fur daughter Paris the mini schnauzer can attest to this!) No matter how many socks they chew holes in or how many times they pee on the corner of your bed you still love them to pieces and many times you want to include them in the important moments in your life. So naturally as soon as you start the wedding planning process you’re immediately drawn to the idea of a doggie ring bearer or a furry flower girl– and although that’s totally an option, most couples find it can be pretty challenging to coordinate the care of your dog on your wedding day where there are already a million things going on.
The next best option is to include your pup in your engagement session! I love it when my couples choose to bring their dogs to their photo shoot. It adds so much fun and personality to the images and it allows me to capture another facet of your relationship. Since the photo session is usually no more than 2 hours long it’s also a lot more manageable, although there are still a few important considerations to keep in mind so the session goes smoothly.
Keep reading for some pro photographer tips on how to successfully include your best furry friend in your engagement photos– as told with super cute GIF’s of course! ;)
#1: Bring along a helper
Enlisting the help of a bridesmaid, your future mother-in-law or a friend to come along to the session with you is always a good idea. They can help wrangle your dog as needed so you can focus on staying in the moment and not running after your pup in heels. It also helps to have an extra set of hands once we are done with the first half of the session so that they can look after your dog while we do some more romantic shots of just the two of you.
#2: Take them on a long walk before the session
Letting them release some energy and tiring them out just a bit will help during the session, especially if you have a more energetic dog. Getting them some good exercise or playtime prior to the session will help make for a more calm dog come picture time.
#3: Choose a location that suits your dog
If your dog is easily distracted by other dogs, it would be best to choose a more secluded location where there will likely be less distractions to work around. Same goes for squirrels or cars — you know your dog best so let your me know about these things as your photographer so I can advise you on the best location.
#4: Practice with props
Many couples choose to have their dogs wear cute signs for the session that have their wedding date or choose to incorporate other props for their dog. If you’re planning to have your dog wear something out of the ordinary, have them practice with it! Put it on them and make them sit just like you will need them to for the engagement photos. Of course make sure to have lots of treats on hand and they should get the hang of it in no time.
#5: Treats, treats and more treats
Speaking of treats– bring lots of them! We will be asking them to sit & stay a lot and bribery totally works.
Author: Elle Baez, Orlando wedding & engagement photographer and admirer of all things furry