The big day has finally arrived. You're excited, you're pumped, you're a bit nervous...
But you have everything planned. You've got the shoes, the dress, the veil...
Whoops... hang on.
That's your wedding day. We're talking about your pet photography session today.
This is the day where you get to have fun with your pet for an afternoon. And I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be on the ground with them at some point during your session. So you probably shouldn't be wearing a white dress for that :)
But... you do need to do a few things beforehand to help prepare your dog for their photography session.
First on the list is a bath. If possible, a day or two before your session is recommended.
Granted your dog will probably be rolling around in the grass within 5 minutes of having their bath but you want to at least try to keep them relatively clean so they’ll look good in their photos.
If you normally groom your dog, then go ahead and do that before their session.
Pay special attention to the eye area. If you have a long haired pet, it's often more difficult to see their eyes in photos so you may want to trim around that area.
BUT it's up to you - if you aren't comfortable with trimming OR it's not how they normally look then DON'T do it.
ONLY groom them, if they need it.
Remember you want your photos to show your dog as you usually see him. So if that doesn't involve a groom and trim then leave it off your to do list.
Collars and Harnesses:
Next up, is your pooch's choice of neck wear, aka your dog’s collar and/or harness.
Your dog's collar can often get a lot of wear and tear without you noticing so it's a good idea to check these before your session.
If it is looking a little worse for wear then swap it out for a prettier collar or harness.
While I can remove the lead from the majority of your pet's photos, the collar will stay on in your final images.
And it's the same for your dog's harness. It's usually not possible to remove a dog’s harness in post processing, so if your dog needs to wear one for their session, make sure you like how it looks on your dog because it will be in their final images.
Also check the tags. Council tags can be distracting in images and look a bit ugly so you can remove them for your session.
BUT make sure you put them back on after their session.
Or, if you aren't comfortable taking them off for the session, you can leave them on, that's fine too.
If you have a high energy dog or they are prone to excitement then a long walk before your session can be a good idea and help to calm them down.
It gives them a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some of that excess energy so that they are a bit more relaxed for their session.
Dogs like to sniff and explore. Whether it's an entirely new area that they've never been to before or if it's the same park they go to everyday, it doesn't matter.
Each experience brings with it different sights, sounds and especially smells.
That's why it's a good idea to arrive to your session location early. This will give your dog a chance to explore and sniff the area before your session starts.
By giving them a chance to explore first, it allows them the opportunity to be their doggy selves before we attempt to take any photos. And it keeps them happy and relaxed, which we definitely want for their photos.
During your session I'll be using a variety of toys, praise and treats to gain your dog's attention.
Treats are often one of the most effective and popular ways (from the dog's point of view) to gain their attention.
Since I'll be using treats throughout their photo shoot, you shouldn't feed them too close to the session otherwise bribing them with treats won't be as effective :)
Last up on the list is your energy. This one is for the pet parents more specifically.
Your pets are very in tune with you and how you’re feeling. They can sense when you're happy, sad, anxious etc and respond in kind.
If they know that you're stressed or anxious then they will often be too. They feed off of your energy, so try to remain calm for the session and they will too:)
Just remember that your photography sessions is simply a chance to hang out with your dog and play. You’ll just have a puparazzi in the background :)
These are just a few of the ways you can help to prepare your dog for their pet photography session. So when you’re ready for your own pets session, I hope that these tips help you.
If you're ready to book your session now or if you just want some more info then you can contact me here.
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