You've booked your very own pet photo session! This is exciting! You may be feeling a bit nervous, full of excitement, or somewhere in between. Either way, I'm going to tell you how we are going to get the best photos of your furry family member so that you can help me accomplish my mission, which is to GET ALL FURRY FAMILY MEMBERS ON YOUR WALLS.
Okay, here we goooo......
Tip #1 Relax
Whether we've chosen a beautiful location for your session or you've been lucky enough to get in on one of my mini-sessions, I am going to work at your dog's pace. We want to capture your dog's spirit and personality, so this is all about letting your pup relax and enjoy, so I can get click happy capturing the joy. Think of your photo session as a relaxed training session, so they can show off their very own personality and character.
Tip #2 Helping your dog to settle in
A photo shoot can seem like a strange experience for your dog. With a lot of attention focused on them, it may be hard to settle in initially. The best way to help your dog to feel settled and at ease is to take them for a walk to let off steam and explore the environment before the session. Arrive early enough to walk him around outside the venue and inside. Allow him to get a good sniff around to help take the enthusiasm down just a bit. When it's session time, I'll allow him to explore the set and equipment and get a good whiff of everything.
Tip #3 Pre-Shoot Energy Burn
If you have a high-energy dog who just needs to run and have a crazy moment before their walk, then we want to make sure they have that need met before the shoot. We don't want to be trying to lure or force your dog into staying still when every bone of their being wants to run like the wind. Give him a fun and enerjectic play session before you head over for your session. Throw a ball of let him run free and it will feel more natural for your dog to slow the pace a bit once the initial excitement has slowed.
Tip #4 What does your dog love?
Does your dog have a favorite toy or treat that makes their eyes light up with joy? Maybe the squeak of a ball or the smell of those special beef treats sets your dogs world on fire? Please bring whatever that is with you! When your dog has an item or treats that creates immediate focus, it makes it easier for me to get those beautiful shots of pure delight.
Tip #5 To Groom or Not To Groom?
Now this one is very personal, and there is no right or wrong. If you'd like your pup preened and polished for the shoot, then absolutely book a grooming session or a home pampering session a day or 2 before your session. If you like your pooch au natural, then rock up just as you are. These photos are for you. And they are to be cherished for years to come. So decide what feels right for you and your dog, and throw away the rule book.
Tip #6 What about the leash?
Unless we are in a private and well secured location, I always require a leash, for your dog's safety. Don't worry, I can work magic, the leash will not be in the final images. I have slip on leads that work very well or you can use your own, as long as it is solid in color and fairly thin. The collar is completely up to you. The collar (if you choose to leave it on, will be in the final images. Personally, I prefer au natural, but this is entirely up to you. A harness, on the other hand, really does not lend well to the final portraits. If your pup pulls a lot, by all means bring him in with the harness, but lets take it off for the actual shoot.
After your dog's photo session, I go and squirrel away (oops, did I say squirrel?) in my magical editing suite. I'll edit all the usable images, which takes me 1-2 weeks. When the awesome day to reveal comes, I'll upload your beautiful portraits to an online gallery where you can while away an evening (or two) taking all the magic in.
The most challenging part of the photoshoot is actually choosing your final images! It's a tough call. In addition to your initial package, I offer a choice of print sizes, wooden framed prints, metal and acrylic wall art, folios, albums, digital files, and....You name it, I can deliver it.
I am not a shoot and burn photographer. My final work is considered fine art and I take pride in it. I strongly discourage purchasing only digital files and then having your own prints done by 'popular consumer labs". Those labs do not pay attention to detail and most often print on basic yukky paper. Oh, and don't get me started on their 'color correction' results. You've come this far, let's see it all the way through with professional final tangible art.
Now, Let's Go Have Some Furry Fun!