Let’s face it, we love our furbabies oh-so-much, so it is no surprise that my couples with dogs love to include them in their engagement photos.

Here are 8 tips for getting ADORABLE photos with your pup.

1. CONFIRM YOUR LOCATION ALLOWS PETS : Most public areas are dog friendly but some locations (like Cantigy or Independence Grove Forest Preserve) do not allow dogs, so please check that the location we are shooting at is pet friendly.

2. PACK THE ESSENTIALS : Don’t leave home without a leash, treats, a couple toys (something with a squeaky is always great) and poop bags. If it is going to be a hot day, bring your pup (and yourselves) some water too.

3. WEAR THEM OUT : If your pup is full of energy, it is a good idea to arrive early to the location so you can walk them around a little. This way, they can get used to the area we will be shooting in, maybe do their business before we start, and be a little worn out so that they will want to curl up next to you. You know your dog best, so plan based on their energy level and personality.

4. ENLIST HELP : I tend to photograph your dog for about 15 minutes of your engagement session, so I recommend that a friend / family member tag along. Once we are done with your pup, they can hang out (or leave) with your friend / family member. If it is too hard to coordinate bringing someone along, feel free to bring a long leash, and we keep your pup close by us while we continue our session.

5. BRING A LINT ROLLER : If your pup is a shedding machine (or just if their fur is the opposite color that you are wearing), add a lint roller to your bag so post-photos with your pup, you can remove their hair from your clothes.

6. THINK ABOUT YOUR DOG’S PERSONALITY : If your dog is nervous around crowds of people, then it isn’t a good idea to try to take him / her into a busy location for photos. Think about where your dog loves to be and then aim for that — even if that means a cuddly session on your couch (which would be Clifton’s pick!).

7. USE TREATS  + TOYS TO GET THEIR ATTENTION  : I like to pretend I am a dog whisper, but when I cannot get your dog to look at the camera, treats and toys always help me out. Bring along a few of your furbaby’s favorite treats / toys, and I promise it will help us a ton.

8. BE REALISTIC + HAVE FUN : Just like little ones, our furbabies have a mind of their own, and they will let us know what they want to do (and where they want to go). I will shoot photos of you cuddling or playing together AND photos where everyone is paying attention. Don’t stress if your pup is being camera shy or not cooperating. I promise we will get some adorable photos of the three of you.

Are you thinking about having your furbaby in your photos?  PIN IT to save for later!

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