Photoshoot with Dogs || Photography

First, I should disclose that the real title of this should just be family pictures. If you are one of those mom’s that is highly offended by the idea that dogs and kids are the same, look away now. Dogs and kids are basically the same. Our professional photographer even agreed (as far as photography goes, anyway).

Brett and I just had our engagement session done. This was my first time getting professional pictures taken, other than picture day at school and maybe some baby photos I obviously don’t remember. It is an understatement to simply say I over analyzed things. One thing we knew – we wanted the dogs in the pictures. You see adorable family pictures including dogs just acting like furry angels – who wouldn’t want that? Plus, as you know, our pups are our babies.

Thought: The dogs will be so well behaved. It will be adorable – posed pictures of all of us, maybe a few candid shots of those puppy dog eyes and some playful hugs.

Reality: Chaos.

We’ve taken the dogs to the park before. They love it! They also act like they’ve never been outside of our house and forget anything we’ve ever taught them. (See theory about dogs and kids…). I’m not sure what made us believe that taking them to get pictures taken at the park would have any positive impact on behavior. I really can’t complain – they weren’t bad, but anyone considering this should keep the reality in mind. It will be chaotic. When you see these pictures posted online, there is a lot that happened that wasn’t captured. Some things that were captured and your photographer doesn’t show you, for your own (or your dog’s own) good.

Our “good” dog, Maya, forgot the command “sit”. Literally refused to sit. She’s six and will yawn on command, army crawl and even knows how to set traps for Lincoln to get in trouble. Wouldn’t sit. In this picture I’m holding her down.

This looks sweet, but really I’m telling here that we are throwing away all the cookies and toys. 

Just a few tips we learned:

  1. Do not start your photo session with this weird, silly idea that your dogs will be something they aren’t. They are still going to act like dogs. Probably at least 4 notches worse than they normally do at home.
  2. Do not get mad at them for being dogs. This one is tough. It’s frustrating. So very frustrating, but getting upset with them will not improve your pictures.
  3. If you have a great photographer (we did!), just keep smiling and looking at the photographer while he/she jumps, makes goofy noises and dances around trying to get the dog’s attention. A few times we were so focused on getting the dogs to look that when they did, we weren’t ready.
  4. Be as patient as possible. Some of the best shots we got were because we waited until someone walking the trail was behind the photographer, holding stares from both dogs – in the pictures it just looks like they are both looking right at her.
  5. Bring help.

All chaos included, we are thrilled that we included them. And look, they even look like furry angels 😉


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