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5 Tips to Include your Pets in Your Family Photos

April 17, 2023

Here are some helpful tips for including your pets into your next family photo session!

1. Bring a friend or family member to watch your pet while you take photos without them.

The last thing that you want to do is to add stress to your day by including your pets in your family photo session! Many people choose not to include their pets into their sessions to avoid the extra responsibility during the session. So how can you include your furry family member without the stress? Bring a friend or family member to be responsible for your pet during the session! Plan to have them be part of your session and then have your friend or family member take them for a walk. They can always bring them back near the end of the session for a few more photos.

2. Bring treats!

Treats can be a great way to get your pet’s attention during family photos. You can either keep them yourself, or give them to your photographer to get their attention. It can also be fun to tuck it into a place you want them to pay attention to, like your baby bump!

3. Bring a nice leash set

Most parks require pets to be on a leash so why not have a stylish one for family photos? A bright coloured leash will distract from the moment, so try to stick with neutrals or a nice leather set. Instead of worrying about taking the leash off, you can have your pet under control and looking stylish at the same time!

4. Discuss the best pet-friendly location with your photographer ahead of time

Locations are so important when it comes to getting the right vibe for your family photography session and it is especially important to choose carefully when including your pet. Photographers look at locations a bit differently as they pay attention to how busy the location is (ie: will there be a ton of other people in the background of your photos), the best time of day for the lighting, how much room there is to move around for storytelling sessions, what the tide is doing on that particular day, how accessible it is, if it is pet friendly, and so much more! Think about the type of session you are looking for and communicate your vision with your photographer so you can choose the best location for your needs!

5. Smile through it and don’t come with expectations

My final tip to include your pets in your family photos is to come without expectations! The last thing that you want to do is look frustrated or upset during your family photos. Just like the kids, a pet is going to do their own thing! Even if they are misbehaving, smile and act like they are the cutest thing ever! Who wants angry faces in their photos anyways!? When it comes to expectations, don’t worry about having them look at the camera etc. Your photographer will try their best to get their attention, but ultimately, it is about capturing the connection and genuine moments.

Hi! I’m Angela and I am a photographer based out of British Columbia, Canada. I specialize in capturing natural and emotive images and I love to include storytelling into my sessions! I grew up on a hobby farm and have been around animals my whole life. I currently live in Maple Ridge BC with my husband, my 2 boys, and our 2 dogs. When I am not out photographing beautiful families, you can find us exploring nature, traveling, and spending time with our friends and family. If you would like to know more about the services that I offer, please feel free to reach out here! If you are looking for more tips on how to prepare for your upcoming family photography session, check out my blog post here!

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