In this article, you’ll learn how to plan for an engagement session with your dog or other special pet! Having your beloved fur baby at your session is important to us, too. At HBP, our goal is for you to love every aspect of your wedding & engagement photos – from the way you felt when that day you were photographed, to the way you feel years later when you look at them. By planning carefully and thoughtfully for your engagement session with your pet(s), we can ensure you have the best and most meaningful experience possible!
If you didn’t already know, I absolutely love dogs. I’m crazy allergic to them and I don’t even care, because they are WORTH the sneezes! When our engaged couples ask if they’re allowed to bring their furry friends along to their session, my answer is always a gigantic “YES!”
While we absolutely LOVE when our couples bring their pets to their engagement session, it’s also nothing that should be done spontaneously or without thought. Bringing your pet along to your session is super easy when you plan accordingly, and that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article today!
1. Bring a Puppy-Sitter
First, and absolutely most importantly, plan to bring a handler for your pup! While it may seem simple enough to drop your dog off in the car or tie his leash to a nearby bench, this never ends up working out well! You will worry about your dog’s crying or barking and it ends up slowing down the session, meaning less photos and less options for you!
If you absolutely cannot swing a dog-sitter to come along for the session, we suggest taking photos with your pup nearby your home first, and then dropping him/her off back at home before continuing on to the next photo location!
2. Choose a Pet-Friendly Location
It goes without saying that some locations are obviously unsuited for dogs – museums, coffee shops, and most indoor locations aren’t going to allow dogs in. However, there are other places that also have restrictions for pets. Before settling on a location, be sure to do your research to see if pets are allowed at the location. Even large, open outdoor areas will sometimes have restrictions. If you need help researching or finding answers, let us know! We’d be happy to help you choose a pet-friendly location!
3. Prepare for Your Pet’s Needs
Just like any other outing with your pup, you should be prepared for his/her needs during your session! If you’re one of our couples who also booked us for your wedding, your session will likely be paired with a consultation before or after the photos. This means we’ll be together for about 2 hours (or more!), so have your dog-sitter carry along toys, treats & water. For these wedding couples, we encourage you to have their handler walk the dog or take him out to play while we sit and chat about your wedding day so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
4. Shoot with Your Pet First
Finally, if you bring a pet to your engagement session, you should plan to any and all photos with your pet first. Logistically, this is easiest for you and your pet! We generally suggest that you spend no more than 20 minutes of your session on photos with your pet (as most there is a much shorter variety of photo options when all 3+ of you are in the frame!), so we can shoot all of these early, then your handler can take your pup off for a walk, potty break, etc. and we won’t have to pause or wait on them!
So there ya go! Follow these steps to have a successful engagement session with your pet. And as always, let us know if you have any questions at all!!