Tips for Engagement Photos with Your Dogs

Education + Planning

August 9, 2023

Including your sweet furry friends in your engagement photos? I am excited to share with you both my favorite tips and photos from some of the sweetest sessions. Dogs are the best, and with a bit of awareness and realistic expectations, taking photos with them can be fun and even relaxing!

Things to consider…

  • How well are they trained? Are they comfortable being on a lease?
  • Will they be able to go with a friend or dog walker during the session?
  • Is your location pet friendly?

If your answers to these questions are “yes” you’re ready to start planning your session with your fiancé and pups!

When including dogs for engagement photos…

  • Have a handler!  Most dogs tire out quickly (regarding attention span) or become overstimulated after a long time. I suggest always bringing someone along who can hold them while we go from location to location. This brings me to tip number two…
  • Feed your dog before the shoot. Your doggy will be much happier if he or she isn’t starving for food!
  • Have your friend or family member give your dog a little pre-shoot exercise. This way your doggy isn’t super hyper when he/she arrives at the shoot. Whatever can be done to ensure a calm dog during the shoot will be much appreciated! This will also help tire him or her out so that there isn’t too much jumping on your well-planned outfits. If your dog loves to jump, plan for him/her to arrive at the end of the portion with your first outfit about 30 minutes into the shoot.
  • Bring Treats. The golden bribery of engagement sessions with dogs! If you have treats, your handler can hold them above my head to help the pups look towards the camera! This isn’t required, but it helps a lot. If your dog is well trained, they will likely respond very well to this “technique”!
  • Limit your dog’s time at the session. Plan for your dog to depart after 10-30 minutes. That’ll be plenty of time to get some walking shots, playful photos, candid moments, and maybe even a photo of all of you smiling at the camera!
  • Expectations. Much like toddlers or smaller children, sometimes dogs just have “off” days. You can’t ever force dogs (or humans) to look at the camera! Know that if I have you walk with them and capture a more casual photo, that could be your favorite photo over something more posed. Some of the best images are found in the “in-between.” Also, it’s ok if your dog doesn’t look at the camera – playful photos with your doggy are adorable, too!
German Shorthair Pointers standing for photos with their owners for Rachel Yearick Photography

Are you interested in having your dogs featured in your engagement photos? Send me a message and let’s get chatting! I would be honored to document this milestone moment in your lives!

Groomsmen standing with their dog for wedding day photos with Rachel Yearick Photography

Would you like to check out more wedding or engagement photos? Click here to see Christine & Michael’s wedding day! That’s their sweet puppy above with the groomsmen!

Couple standing while holding their dogs for their engagement photo with Rachel Yearick Photography

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