Choosing the Right Location
If yours dog likes to swim, take them to the river so we can shoot with some water play time (messy activities get shot last). If your dog likes to play fetch, take them to an area with lots of grassy wide open areas so they have room to run and you can get great action shots.

Most importantly, if the dog is timid or doesn't do well with distractions, choose low traffic locations. Areas where there isn't a lot of foot traffic and few or no other dogs are best. I will even recommend to clients that we do at home shoots in extreme cases. They will be far more comfortable in their own space and you are much more likely to get shots that showcase their personality. If the dog is stressed by people or other dogs walking by, that will show in their photos!

This photo was taken on my parent's front porch. Missy is very comfortable here, so its the perfect place for a quick shot!

This photo was taken on my parent's front porch. Missy is very comfortable here, so its the perfect place for a quick shot!

Get in the photos!
Dogs will always feel more comfortable with their people by their side. Sitting next to their feet so they are close by, or giving big wet kisses, dogs show a great connection to the camera when they are connecting with their owners!

If you have kids, get them in the shot! My favorite photos by far are always with kids and dogs. Kids and dogs never hold back or are ashamed to show how much they care, and that shows!

I had my boyfriend come along to this location, and had him take this shot of me and Olive. I HATE getting in photos, but I'm so glad I have this shot of me and her! Totally worth it.

I had my boyfriend come along to this location, and had him take this shot of me and Olive. I HATE getting in photos, but I'm so glad I have this shot of me and her! Totally worth it.

Bribery
This is always my last resort! I prefer to try to shoot without any treats and to not use many props. However, some dogs just focus better with incentive.

Dogs can be afraid of the camera, and in that case, treats are crucial. I will sit with the dog, press the shutter, and then give them a treat. This helps give them a positive association with the clicking sound, and helps them to forget their fear.

Treats can also help to get them to look at the camera. I will hold the treat right next to my lens so they are focused where I want them to be!

The perfect example of dog bribery! Missy always gets a special treat for her annual birthday pictures. When she turned 5, she had her very first cake smash. The cake helped her focus, and I got some amazing "lick" shots!

The perfect example of dog bribery! Missy always gets a special treat for her annual birthday pictures. When she turned 5, she had her very first cake smash. The cake helped her focus, and I got some amazing "lick" shots!

Patience!
No matter what, be patient! It’s good to go into a session with a plan, but no two sessions are ever alike. Just like people, all dogs are different; but fortunately, this makes every session unique and fun!

This particular shot took quite a few tries, but it was absolutely worth it! If I hadn't insisted on placing the dogs on this bench repeatedly, the owner wouldn't have this special group shot of all of her fur babies!

This particular shot took quite a few tries, but it was absolutely worth it! If I hadn't insisted on placing the dogs on this bench repeatedly, the owner wouldn't have this special group shot of all of her fur babies!

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