As you near the next chapter of your life, it’s natural for you to want to include your close furry friend who was with you through it all! A proud pet owner, I remember including my own cat, Calico, in my senior pictures. When she passed away, I loved having those portraits of us together as a way to commemorate the years we spent together. As you plan how to include your dog/cat/alpaca in the best way possible, it’s important to follow these tips! Animals can be hectic, but no need to worry as I’ve worked with countless animals and incorporated them in senior portraits.
1. Give your photographer a head’s up!
Before the session, make sure to inform your photographer that you plan to invite your pet to your session so they aren’t taken off guard. When you fill out the proposal, tell me a bit about your dog/cat so I know how to make them as comfortable as possible during the photo session! For example: What’s his/her name? What activities do they enjoy? Are they an energetic puppy or a sleepy cat? All these small details help me comfort your pet and make him/her as comfortable as possible during the senior photo session! In addition, I’ll know to help you find a spot that’s pet friendly and I’ll schedule the order of pictures accordingly. I normally take pictures with pets near the beginning of the session before they become annoyed by the ritual of photo taking.
2. Consider scheduling a grooming appointment!
If you want your dog/cat to look a certain way, consider planning an appointment ahead of the session so your furry friend looks posh and ready for pictures! A fresh cut is a great way to make your pet photo-ready. Adding a cute little bow or accessory is another way to add a bit of personality to your little puppy/cat/pet friend! Maybe bring their favorite ball that you play together with, or even a leash they’ve had their whole life! Cater your session towards your pet and your unique relationship.
3. Fit in a walk or some form of exercise
To ensure that your pet (this is most important for dogs!) isn’t too hyperactive by the time of the senior photo session, be sure to sneak in a walk beforehand. This is the best way to ensure that your dog has all his sniffs and rabbit chases out of his system by the time of your session!
4. Bring water, treats, toys, and waste bags to the session!
You want to make sure your little pet is comfortable and content during your session. Happy pets that are ready to smile and pose are kept that way through careful care and treats!
5. Invite a family member or friend to your session
This is a great way to allow you to focus on looking your best and smiling during the photo session. Bring along your mom, bestie, or boyfriend to take care of your pet during the session and also help carry your things and make you laugh.
6. Think about what activities you and your pet enjoy
Do you love snuggling with your pup? Get some up close pictures of you and your fluffy friend! Do you love going on jogs? Maybe an action shot is best. Remember, your senior session should be unique to you and your pet.
I hope these tips have made you excited to bring your pet to your senior pictures in the Pittsburgh area. Hope to see you and your pet pal soon!