According to a recent study, 68% of American households have pets. Pets have become a big part of our lives!
Here are a few tips to make the experience fun and easy for you and your furry friend.
- Know your pet. Can your pet handle riding in the car? Is it going to be totally stressed out going to a new place? Does it hate strangers? Does it hate being picked up or held? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when deciding to bring a pet to your session. If you think it’s going to traumatize your pet, it’s best to leave them at home.
- Bring them in a carrier or on a leash. A loose pet can get excited and try to run into the street, so for their safety they need to be on a leash or in a carrier when they are not being photographed.
- Bring a pet wrangler. You don’t want your pet to be a distraction during your session, so bring a parent, sibling or family friend available to keep them occupied, or even better have someone available to take them home when the pet portion of the session is over.
- Pick the environment that best suits your pet. If you have a large dog or a hyper one, an outdoor setting might be more appropriate. Some dog breeds don’t tolerate heat well (such as English bulldogs) and do better in the studio. Cats for the most part are easier to photograph indoors.
- Dress to suit your pet. Plan clothing colors that don’t showcase pet hair. Wear clothing that is easy to move in and allows you to sit on the ground. Match your pet’s collar or accessories to your clothing colors.
- All types of pets are welcome! Do you have a bird, fish, rodent, lizard, snake or barnyard animal? They can be a fun and unusual addition to your session! Some large animals (horses, cattle, etc.) will need extra time and space, so let your photographer know in advance.
- Clean up after your pet. No one wants to step in a “surprise”, so please bring a pooper scooper and pet waste bags with you. You will be glad the person before you didn’t leave a mess!
- Treats!!! If your pet is motivated by food or toys (and who isn’t!), bring some to help maintain their attention during the session, and reward them for being such a great model!
- Have fun and “go with the flow”! Some of the best pet portraits happen when things aren’t going as planned! “Blooper” pics with pets are often hilarious. So relax and have fun and don’t worry about them being “perfect”.
– Kimberly Eden, Munson-Cox Photographer