Planning for Your Pet’s Photo Session

To ensure a successful pet photo shoot, it's important to prepare your furry family members. Here are some steps you can take to get the best results from your pet's photo session.

Think About What You Want

  • When planning a pet photography session, it's important to think about the type of photos you want and how you plan to use them. Are you looking to frame and hang them up, create a photo album, or share them on social media? Communicating your vision to the photographer is crucial for them to bring your ideas to life and capture the perfect shots of your furry friend.
  • Understanding your pet's unique personality is key. Whether your furry friend is a playful puppy or a shy rescue cat, we can work together to capture stunning portraits that truly showcase their individuality.
  • You might want to have photos of your pet relaxing, walking, playing, or even doing tricks. When preparing for a pet's session, you’ll know what supplies or items you will need to bring with you.

Plan Your Session With The Photographer

  • Picking the best location is a great way to capture your furry friend at their best. Whether it's in the comfort of your own home, a local park, or their favorite spot, these different locations can provide unique backdrops.
  • Some locations are better in the morning than they are in the evening, and vice versa.
  • The amount of natural light outside will depend on the time of day. Also, your pet’s energy level may be different in the morning or afternoon than other times.
  • Arrive at the location at least 10 minutes prior to the start and take a little walk around so that your pet can get used to the location and work out some of their excitement.


  • Have your pet shampooed, nails trimmed, and other grooming done at least the day before. Or bathe and brush your pet at home if you prefer. This will prevent your pet from becoming overly tired or stressed on session day.
  • Make sure to address any flea or pest issues your pet may have before the shoot. This will help minimize scratching and discomfort during the session.
  • Remember to remove any hanging tags from your pet's collar to avoid distractions in the photos.
  • Dress up your furry friend with a fancy collar if you wish, including bows and bandanas. However, it is generally advised to avoid using harnesses, unless there is a specific medical or important reason for your pet to wear one. Harnesses can often take away from the natural beauty and charm of your pet in the photographs.

The Right State of Mind

  • To ensure that your pet is calm and relaxed during a photo session, it's a good idea to give them some exercise beforehand. Taking them for a walk or playtime can help them release any excess energy they may have. If the shoot is scheduled for the morning, consider giving them a long walk the night before to help them feel more settled.
  • When it comes to older pets or those who are more laid-back, give them some extra rest before their session. If you have a senior pet or one that prefers to lounge around, it's best to let them relax and conserve their energy the day before the session. This way, they'll have plenty of energy to play and participate during their photo session.
  • It is recommended to feed them a light meal a few hours before their session. This ensures that they are not too hungry during the shoot, which can make it difficult to keep them still. However, don’t overfeed them, as offering treats can be a helpful way to encourage their cooperation.
  • What motivates them the most? If your pet is food-motivated, make sure to pack some of their favorite treats. On the other hand, if your pet loves to play, be sure to bring along a few of their favorite toys to keep them entertained during the journey.
  • You don't need to stress about your pet posing perfectly or behaving like a model. The majority of dogs and cats are just regular pets without any special training. Capturing their unique personalities is what makes the photo session so enjoyable. We want their true selves to shine through in the pictures.
  • Before the photo session takes place in your home, it is important to clean up the areas that will be used for the photos. This will help create a clean and visually appealing backdrop for the pictures.

Misc Tips

  • Treats will make it much easier to get a dog to cooperate and strike the poses you prefer.
  • Have any necessary leashes or harnesses to manage your pet. Your pet's regular collar that they normally wear and a standard leash will work perfectly fine for the photo session.
  • Toys, bones, or anything else to keep your pet amused and calm during the trip and in between pictures.
  • Water (such as a gallon jug) and dish.
  • A brush for last-minute grooming.
  • Towel for droolers, or for water/mud.
  • Poop bags.

Resources to Download

To download this information, and several other documents, please visit my Resources page.

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