As a photographer, I often get asked by couples if they can bring their pet along with them to their adventure session, wedding, or elopement. And let me tell you, as a self-proclaimed pet lover, my answer is always a big, resounding “YES”! Your fur baby is absolutely welcome to any photo session you book with me. I love being able to capture not only the love you have for each other, but also the love you share with your pets. They’re an important part of your family, after all!
When it comes to including your pet in your photo session, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Bring treats! This can be incredibly helpful in keeping your pet’s attention and getting them to look towards the camera.
Bring your pet’s favorite toy or toys. This is especially important if you’re shooting in a location that’s new to your pet.
Be patient during posed portraits. It can be tough to get your pet to settle down in a new environment with new sights, smells, and sounds. But don’t worry, I’m always up for a challenge and we’ll work together to get the perfect shot!
If possible, scout out the location with your pet beforehand. This can help them feel more comfortable and familiar with the area, which will make the day of the session run more smoothly.
I love capturing candid shots of you interacting with your pet. The joy and love that shines through in these moments is priceless!
Consider your pet’s personality and energy level. If your pet is particularly energetic or has a hard time sitting still, you may want to choose a location that allows for more movement and play.
Be mindful of the weather. If it’s particularly hot or cold outside, make sure to take breaks and provide plenty of water for your pet.
Bring a leash and collar for safety. Even if your pet is well-behaved off-leash, it’s always a good idea to have a leash on hand in case of any unexpected situations.
Coordinate your outfit and your pet’s accessories. If you want to include your pet in your photos, it can be fun to coordinate their accessories with your outfit or wedding colors.
Consider hiring a pet handler (or bringing along a trusted friend). If you’re worried about keeping your pet under control during the session, or if you want to be in more photos with your pet, consider having someone to assist you.
Have a backup plan. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our pets just aren’t in the mood for a photo session. Make sure to have a backup plan in case your pet needs a break or decides they don’t want to participate.
And, most importantly, shower your pet with love during the session. This is their time to shine, after all!
If you’re planning a wedding or elopement, I highly encourage you to include your pet in the celebration. They’re a beloved member of your family, and it’s always a joy to see them take part in such a special day.
Now, let’s take a look at some of my all-time favorite shots of pets with their humans. Enjoy!
Donna Marie is an inclusive elopement and wedding photographer livin' in New York. Documenting the love story of couples in Watertown, Syracuse, Rochester, Ithaca, Albany, Thousand Islands, and Lake Placid. Donna Marie is a destination elopement and wedding photographer serving worldwide. Skills include backstory construction of characters in D&D, and living on Red Bull.