Preparing For Your Pet’s Photo Shoot

Pets are about the most photogenic subjects imaginable. While everyone loves to take casual photos of their dogs, cats, and other beloved animal companions, some go a step further and schedule a photo shoot with a professional. This can be a great investment if you want to have memorable photos that will preserve precious memories of your pets. You can frame these photos to hang on the wall, share them on social media, and proudly share them with other animal lovers.

Just as you need to prepare a photo shoot for the human members of your family, you also need to take some steps to get your pets ready. The following are the top actions to take to get the most out of your pet’s photo shoot.

Think About What You Want
Before you even discuss the photo shoot with the photographer, consider what kind of photos you want and what you plan to do with them. Do you want photos you can frame and hang up? A variety of photos you can turn into an album as well as share online? You may have one or more goals. Think about it and discuss it with family or anyone else who loves your pet. When you can visualize what kind of photographs you want, you’ll be able to plan the session better.

Family with dogs in desert

Plan The Session With the Photographer
With any photo shoot, the better your communication with the photographer, the more likely you’ll be happy with the results. For pet photo shoots, it’s especially important to arrange everything beforehand. Both you and the photographer must know what to expect so you can prepare yourself and your pet for the shoot. There are many possibilities for a pet photo session. Factors to consider include:

  • Location – If the photographer is willing to travel to your home, this allows your pet to be in his natural setting. You may want to have photos taken at multiple locations, which could include your home, the photographer’s studio, a park, or another favorite spot where you take your pet.
  • Time – The amount of natural light will depend on the time of day. Your pet’s energy level may be different in the morning or afternoon.
  • Types of Photos – You may have shots of your pet relaxing, walking, playing, or doing certain tricks. Based on this, you’ll know what you’ll have to bring or have nearby for the shots.

If you were preparing for a photo shoot for yourself, you might go to the salon or hair stylist to make sure you looked your best. You should use the same strategy for pets. Having your pet shampooed, nails trimmed, and other grooming will ensure he looks his best for the shoot. If you normally take them to a grooming service, schedule a session shortly before the shoot. You can also bathe and brush your pet at home if you prefer. Also worth noting, that if your pet has issues with fleas or other pests, it is best to treat him before the shoot, to minimize scratching and discomfort.


Dog in chair

Get Your Pet in the Right State
It’s not always easy to predict an animal’s mood or energy levels. This depends on factors such as age, health, breed, and personality. You know your pet better than anyone. Do whatever you can to prepare him for the shoot. You don’t want your pet to be too nervous or too sedate for the session. You may want to give them some exercise before the shoot. Playing or taking a walk can help them release any extra energy. If the shoot is early in the morning, you might give them a long walk the night before. On the other hand, older pets may need extra rest before the shoot.

Bring Any Essential Accessories
If you are bringing your pet to the photographer’s studio or another location (such as a park or other public place), be sure to bring everything necessary to keep your pet calm and happy. Here are some suggestions.

  • Treats. Treats will make it much easier to get a dog to cooperate and strike the poses you prefer.
  • A leash or harness. Any leashes or harnesses that are needed to manage the pet are also needed. Keep in mind that you can have the pet photographed with a leash and remove it later using Photoshop or another program.
  • Toys, bones, or anything else to keep your pet amused and calm during the trip and in between shots.
  • Water (such as a gallon jug) and dish.
  • A brush for last minute grooming.
  • Poop bags.

Puppy in leaves with tongue out

Feed Your Pet, But Not Too Much
Feeding, of course, has to be tailored to your pet’s needs, age, breed, and other factors. However, as a general rule, it’s best to give your pet a light meal a couple of hours before a photo shoot. You don’t want your pet to be too hungry during the shoot, as this will make it hard to keep him still. On the other hand, if he’s not too full, it will be more effective to offer him treats to get his cooperation.

Plan the Perfect Photo Shoot For Your Pet
Planning the photo shoot will help you get the best possible results. Clear communication with the photographer and doing everything you can to prepare your pet will help provide you with photos you’ll be able to cherish for a lifetime. If you are ready to schedule your pet’s session, have any questions, or just want to see some of our cut pet photos, check out our pet photography page.