My pet isn't ready for this photo session!
I get it...you finally booked your pet's custom photo session because you want those amazing portraits for your walls or cool action shots for your albums. Now that the session date is getting closer, you start to wonder: "Can my dog even sit still for the photographer to get ANY good shots?", "My dog is nervous around strangers, maybe I made a mistake.", or "My dog can't be off-leash, but I don't want leashes in all of my photos!".
TIP #1 - STOP WORRYING!
Your pet's photo session will be a fun, stress-free time for both of you! This is your time to leave all the worries to me so you and your pets can relax and ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. Your pet's session will not be rushed -- there will be plenty of opportunity for your furry pals to get to know me, sniff the camera and other photography equipment if they seem curious, and spend some time checking out the area. I've worked with all kinds of dogs, from shy to gregarious and we always end up being good friends by the end of our session. And I carry loads of treats!
Once we've all had a chance to say "hi", we will get started snapping some photos! You may not feel like your dog is cooperating because he won't sit, won't stay, or he's jumping around. Trust me, I expect it and and I am very patient. We may need to set up for a particular shot a few times, but that's O.K.! This is common and I even have to set up my own dog multiple times for one shot - and she's used to being my model! Even if you think we're not getting any good shots, trust me, we are! It only takes a second to capture the perfect shot and my camera's shutter speed is FAST!
TIP #2 - TRUST ME
The time I spend before our session scouting locations, reviewing your session questionnaire and having a pre-consultation with you helps us all have the best session possible. I come prepared with a wide array of dog toys, animal sounds, and treats to grab your dog's attention and get the shot. Most dogs are not off-leash during our sessions. Leashes help keep the dogs where we want them and, most importantly, they keep your pets SAFE! The cool thing is, I can can remove leashes in Photoshop and no one will ever know your dog was wearing one.
TIP #3 - SAY YES
As your photographer, I will ask you if you want to be in any of the photos. SAY YES! I like to get at least one formal portrait of you with your pets. But, even if you don't want to be the main focus in any photos, there are lots of fun and candid ways to include you in images with your pets while still keeping your pet as the primary subject. Many times, these photos end up being my clients' favorites, so trust me and say "yes" to being in at least a few shots. And, you don't have to purchase any images you don't like!
TIP #4 WHAT TO Wear
"My dog always looks cute, but what in the world should I wear?"
- Choose a color palette of three or four colors - think in terms of tones (blue tones, earth tones, pastels, etc.). But, you don't have to stick to neutral tones - a splash of color looks great in photos. (colors to avoid: neon colors, bright white & deep black). Using a color wheel and choosing complementary colors often works quite well. You can find an interactive color wheel on the web. I like this one: https://www.canva.com/colors/color-wheel/
Tip #5 - How to prepare my dog
First and foremost, if your dog has a solid "stay" command, great! We will use that to our advantage. Practice it a bit before our session, but don't overdo it and stress out poor Fido. If your dog doesn't know "stay", that is O.K.! Please don't fret over this and avoid the temptation to give your pets a crash course in obedience. I guarantee that to be the quickest path to an unsure and stressed-out pup. Besides, we really won't need your dog to stay, because I will get lots of great shots without it.
Now that we've covered the obedience skills needed (...or not needed), let's cover what you can, and should do to make this a fun and relaxing photo session for your furry pals:
- If you will be taking your pet to the groomer, please do so at least a few days before our session. New hairdos tend to look their best a few days afterwards and we don't want dogs coming straight from the groomer to the session - we want them to be happy and carefree for their photos! A quick brush-out and cleaning up eyes and feet on white dogs is really all that is needed on the day of our session.
- Bring a flat collar and a 6 foot lead to the session. If your dog usually wears a harness or gentle leader, bring them to the session in these and we will have him change into the flat collar for the session (easier to edit in Photoshop).
- Bring any favorite toys and treats to our session.
- Bring water and water bowls for your pack - they will get thirsty, especially on warm days!
- Exercise your pets before our session. They don't have to be completely exhausted, but a quick walk or a game of fetch will help burn off some of their energy.
TIP #6 - HAVE FUN!!
I would love the opportunity to work with you and your pets and to create something special for you! I promise to deliver that to you and I back it up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don't love the photos from our session, I will refund your reservation retainer! So, no worries...your job is to relax, enjoy the experience and HAVE FUN!