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Hey there and happy Thursday! I get this question a lot from couples, so I wanted to address it and offer some ideas!

Okay, so can we bring our dog to our engagement session?

If you’ve booked me for your engagement session, the answer is a resounding YES!

I am a HUGE dog lover, having a rescue dog named Ruby who is, for all intents and purposes, my baby. I always encourage my couples to bring their dogs to their engagement sessions if they can and if their dog is comfortable being photographed! Here are four tips that will help you include your dog (or dogs!) in your engagement session.


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Tip Number One: Tell your photographer! It’s always helpful for us, as the photographer, to know what your plans are, so we can give you some suggestions for bringing your dog! As much as some of us photographers love dogs, not all photographers will be cool with it so make sure to reach out to your photographer before the session and ideally before booking them as your photographer so you know they’re fine with your pet!


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Tip Number Two: Pick a location that’s perfect for your pooch! I typically suggest parks, recreation areas and more secluded areas for engagement sessions with dogs! This way, your pup won’t be distracted and you’ll be in a dog friendly location.


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Tip Number Three: Prep your Pooch! Before the session, take your dog for a walk or let her run around outside so she can expend some energy. Make sure your dog is groomed to your liking and bring any outfits or accessories you want him to wear during the shoot! Also, don’t forget treats and a squeaky toy- this will help your fur baby look at the camera during those gotta-have-them engagement photos. A harness, leash and poop bags are also must- have items.


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Tip Number Four: Bring a friend or family member to handle your pooch! Most dogs will get tired of taking photos pretty quickly and will want to walk around and play. Bringing a friend or family member along to help handle the dog will ensure that Buddy gets a break while you and your partner can get some candid photos and photos of just you two! You can also do half of your engagement session alone and then have your friend or family member come by with your fur baby midway through the session, so the rest of the photos feature your dog!

One more thing! Embrace the silliness of your pet. Bringing your dog along may mean that some photos aren’t exactly “perfect” and some will be downright hysterical— like the photo above! Besides, candid > boring anyway, right? 🙂

Dogs are an important part of the family for many people, myself included! Including your dog in your engagement photos is a fun way to document the beginning of your lives together as an engaged couple and it allows your photographer to get to know you, your partner and your pets! This is also a great trial run if you decide to incorporate your pets on your wedding day!

Are you planning to include your dog or other pet in your engagement session photos? Why or why not?


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