I sometimes get emails from my engagement shoot Couples asking, “Should I bring my dog to my engagement shoot?” Engagement shoots with dogs is always a great way to add a personal touch to images (albeit more work). I am always a bit surprised when they try to convince me that it will be a good idea (always telling me they are super friendly and only weigh 15lbs for example) because I never need convincing and my answer is always a resounding, “YES!”
Animals bring so much to your engagement shoot as they allow you to more easily ignore the camera and simply be yourselves! Engagement shoots with dogs probably get the most love across social media channels, let’s be honest…and I’m sure you follow a cute dog profile or two online as well (Spotted Humphrey is my personal favorite, and I even got to photograph him helping in a marriage proposal!) Often, these fur babies are the first “child” for a Couple anyway, and what better way to document your love story by including your pet and entire family!
Should I bring someone to watch over them as we shoot?
While pets can be fun, they can be quite stubborn and having someone watch over them while you are having your photos taken helps tremendously (or better yet help keep them still while they are in the photo). Additionally, finding a location to tie them down, or simply keeping them away from every single photo being taken, might be difficult by yourselves. I can’t be the only one who had a dog that barked every time she was tied up, right? 🙂
Do I need to bring anything for the shoot?
If you enjoy themes or coordinated outfits, it could be a fun idea to have your pet dressed up to match your style. Even something as simple as a flower or “tuxedo jacket” can add a little playful element to your images. The engagement session is all about having fun, being comfortable, and showing off your personalities. What better way to show that than with your coordinated wardrobe 🙂
Pro Tip : Treats and hunger always work! Don’t feed dinner the night before. With your doggie being extra hungry, he/she will likely be even more obedient
The best reasons (photographically) to have your pet with you
You get to more easily be yourselves. By having your pet included in your engagement session, you instinctually act more natural and candid because you have that “shield” to rely on if you feel awkward in front of the camera.
It opens up more creative possibilities and moments that are more unique with an animal. Animal shapes and even animal reactions allow more diversity for the shoot.
And even if you don’t already own a pet together, having animals in your engagement photos adds a little character (and often fills negative space) and is the X factor that makes a good photo great! You have a ton of photos of just yourselves, so why not make your engagement session more memorable with some animals that everyone can remember! And hey… if you don’t like how you look in the photos, at least you can say the animals looked cute! 😛