Can we bring our dog to our engagement session? This was the first thing one of my couples nervously asked me when I got on the phone with them to plan out their engagement session a few years ago. My answer (then *and* now) to including your dog in engagement photos? A big, enthusiastic HELL to the YES!
Engagement sessions are a great way to celebrate the love and excitement of a new chapter in your life. I know that for so many people, their dogs are a huge part of their lives. It only makes sense to want to include them! If you’re one of those engaged couples who can’t imagine their engagement session without their dog (or other pet), you’re in the right place!
Keep reading for some of my best tips for including your dog in engagement photos.
Choose a pet-friendly location:
First, we need to make sure we pick a location that allows pets! Parks, nature trails, or outdoor scenic areas all come to mind. We want to have a spot that is safe, and that has a lot of room for them to run around.
You don’t need to plan entire matching outfits, but think of cute ways to dress them up for the occasion. Things like bandanas, bowties, or even floral collars (like this one)! Just make sure it’s comfortable and safe for them to wear.
Bring a friend to help:
I highly suggest you bring a friend or family member who’s familiar with your pet to help out during the session. I’ll take photos of you all together, but there will be lots of downtime where your pet won’t be in any photos. Having someone to keep them occupied, take them for a walk or even to take them home for you while you focus on each other, is ideal.
Treats and toys:
Another suggestion is to bring some of your dog’s favorite snacks and toys to keep them engaged during the session. It is so helpful to offer little rewards for them, and it also catches their attention so they look at my camera!
Candid moments: Some of my favorite photos are candid ones! I like to let pets be themselves and capture candid moments of you two playing with them, or cuddling up to them, for example. On that note, try to stay relaxed and patient even if they start to get distracted or become uncooperative. I always like to leave some room for breaks and giving pets time to come back around.
Can we bring our dog to our engagement session? With me the answer is always YES!
So in conclusion, I think including your dog in engagement photos is a super fun way to celebrate the connection you share with them! And it highlights the important role they play in your lives together. I personally love when my couples want to include their pets. Especially if they aren’t going to be with you on your wedding day! With just a little planning beforehand, we can make sure the experience of bringing your pet to your session is a smooth one.
Have more questions about including your dog in engagement photos? Or want to book an engagement session with me? Send me a message and we’ll get it set up!