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7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Dog Portraits

Investing in photos of your beloved pet is a great way to capture memories of your time together and celebrate the unique relationship you have with your dog. And if you’ve never had a dog photo session before, you may not know what to expect or how to prepare.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 7 tips to get the most out of your dog portrait session: to help you and your pup have fun capturing images of your dog’s personality!

Visit a groomer

Depending on your dog’s breed and how you like to keep them looking, they may need to be groomed the week before their session. Long-haired dogs should definitely visit a groomer to get a trim, while short-haired dogs may just need a bath and a good brushing. Regardless of the breed of dog you have, you definitely don’t want to get your dog groomed the same day as your photo session, so be sure to schedule their grooming well in advance.

Give your pup a bath

If you have a short-haired dog, you may be able to skip the groomer, but both short-haired and long-haired dogs will probably need a bath the day before your photo session. You may be able to give your dog a bath a little earlier, but if you have a dog that’s especially active outside and prone to getting messy, you might want to make sure that bath is last-minute to ensure they’re as clean as possible.

Practice basic commands

Your dog may be a pro at sit and stay, but keep in mind that they may be distracted and excited during their photo session and less likely to obey. Spending some time in the days before your shoot to brush up on basic commands is always a good idea. Don’t forget to use treats as a reward and bring those same treats along to your session!

Get some energy out (or take a nap)

Depending on your dog’s age and personality, they may need to run and play before their session, or they might need some rest. An active dog would benefit from some time at the dog park or playing outside, while a senior dog may need some quiet time before getting in front of the camera. No matter what your dog’s personality, they’re sure to be exhausted at the end of their session, so make sure they have time to rest afterwards.

Don’t give them a big meal

Even if your dog’s regular feeding time is right before your session, try to keep their meal smaller to make sure they’re still hungry and interested in food (i.e. treats) during their session. Your photographer will tell you a dog who’s eager for treats makes a much better model than a dog who is full and uninterested.

Pack a bag of supplies

There are several things you’ll want to bring along to your photo session, including your dog’s favorite treats, squeaky toys, and waste bags to clean up after them. Be sure to talk to your photographer about what items they recommend you bring and pack everything up the night before, so you’re ready to go.


The best way to help your dog relax and have fun is for you to relax. Dogs are incredibly intuitive and pick up on their owner’s moods and emotions. If you’re stressed and anxious, your dog will be too. Instead, try to enjoy your photo session and trust your photographer to get the best possible images of your furry friend!

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