I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
October 24, 2022
Dogs are man’s best friend. We often view them as our own children. We tote them around with us to breweries, family gatherings, the park, and events, filled with pride. They are our special pals. Its no wonder that so many people want to include their dogs in not only their wedding day, but for their engagement session as well. I’m a dog lover myself, so I totally get it!
I don’t mind when couples want to add their pup to their session, but if they do, I have a few tips that will make the process MUCH easier. Below is some advice and tips for engagement photos with dogs!
My number one piece of advice is to BRING A FRIEND to help wrangle your pup for the times they will not be in the photos with you. Yes I understand you want your dog in your photos, but you will still want some photos of just the two of you. For the times we will not add your dog into the mix, it’s *so* helpful to have a friend on standby to take the leash and occupy your pet while we focus on just the two of you.
I like this method (rather that just leaving your dog in the car for the second half of our shoot) better for a few reasons. First being that we move around a lot, and sometimes I like to bring the dog BACK into photos after a few poses or if we switch backdrops. If we were to just have the dog for the first half, then bring the dog to the car, then the pup is missing out on the second half of the shoot! It also takes up some time to return your dog to the car, and then come back to wherever we were shooting. If a friend was there with us, they can quickly take the pup for a few minutes, and then have them come back after a few more.
I also like this way because the friend can help get the attention of the dog to ‘look at the camera’ while we are shooting. They will focus on the person shouting their name rather than keep looking up at their parents.
Another way to distract your pup and have them look in a certain direction would be with a special treat! If they are being a good boy/girl, I can reward them with a few of their favorite treat, and they just might be more inclined to look my way.
Another VERY important key to bringing your dogs along on your engagement session is knowing if they are allowed in the location we will be shooting at. Some very popular places, such as Rocky Mountain National Park, do not allow dogs. It’d be a shame to drive all the way to your photo session with your pup to just be turned around!
Most parks and fields also require the dog to be on a leash. Please follow all rules when it comes to what you can and can not do with your dog. It is for their safety and the safety of others around them as well.
Lastly, let them just be a dog! We understand that dogs are not people, and might not pay as good of attention as we’d like for photos. Sometimes the silly photos of your pup can be your favorite. Let them play around and get some of their excitement out if they need it. Know that it might be difficult to get that ‘picture perfect’ photo with them, but sometimes their imperfections are what make them perfect.
If you’re inspired to bring your pup along for your engagement session, take a peek at Chelsea and Chris’s Boulder Flatiron Vista engagement session with their pup, Ziggy!
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All photos copyright 2023 Shelly Anderson Photography