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enjoying the lake together

5 Must Have Photos for your Dogs Portrait Session

Often times a pet photo session is planned at the spur of the moment, when the dog owner finds out that their beloved pet may not be here much longer. Ideally, I would love to have you plan a portrait session several times during your pets life, from the time he first arrives in your home to the last days. This would help chronicle your journey together and create a Collection of memorable art pieces that you would be able to cherish throughout the years. We often feel though, that we have all the time in the world to have a portrait session.

My business was built after a devastating loss of my dog Midnight. He was not quite 4 years old when we heard the word lymphoma and there was nothing to be done. Midnight received medications to keep him comfortable, but it was only a couple months and he was gone. Being a photographer, I had taken some photos of us, but often look at those photos and find that they never showed the true bond we shared. Those photos were always set up on my cameras self-timer, with me running into the picture at the last minute. They were always posed and did not show the emotion. I have one snapshot my sister captured that I feel embraces some of the connection- but I wish I had more. For my business I determined that I would like to capture that bond between pet and owner. Therefore, my list of MUST-HAVE photos includes you- the owner in at least some of the photos. I want you to be free to enjoy your photo session with your dog and let me capture the magic between the two of you.

When you are considering a photo session, be sure to do some pre-planning of your own. Think about the types of expressions or things you want to remember about your pet! What type of images are you looking for? The following are my list of 5 MUST-HAVE photos.

Face- to- Face OR an Embrace

My favorite image is dog and owner looking at each other with those loving eyes. There is nothing like having an image of those loving eyes looking up you as you are looking down at him. I made sure I got this type of photo of my next dog Shamus. It is my favorite photo ever. I know some owners are not comfortable in being in the photos themselves, but I always encourage owners to get in for a few. What do you have to lose, you don’t have to purchase anything you don’t love.

If you are still reluctant to be in the photo, there is another way to show your bond. You can show an embrace in some way. I will focus on the dog and your arm or hand and not focus on your face. This is a great way to still show the connection.

Your favorite Activity together

Including photos of you both enjoying time together is a great way to build a wall gallery or Album. What better way to spend an afternoon just doing the thing you like to do, while I capture your interactions. Maybe taking a walk through the woods, or spending the day at the beach is the way you like to spend your time. Maybe it is with your pet curled up in you arms as you are reading a book.

Their Quirky Habits or Expressions

What expressions or quirks does your pet have? What will bring back memories and a smile to your face when you are flipping through your album years from now? While I can’t guarantee he will show off his quirks during our photo session, if you let me know what they are- I will be on the lookout for them.

Detail Shots

The soulful eyes, or the flair of the nose are other items I wish to remember through time. Be sure to get a few details when having a photo session.

A Full Body Image

There always needs to be one full body image- that highlights the dog himself without too much clutter in the background.

Well, that’s my list for my MUST-HAVE photos. What is your list? I would love to hear!

This post is part of circular blog with other Professional Pet Photographers. Our goal is to focus on a particular topic/assignment each week and put our own spin on it. There are photographers from all over the world participating.  Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

+++++ NOW head over to:

Linda Perdue with VP Shoots Photography capturing your pets with 3 must have shots in Tampa, Florida

Come and find your Best Friend!
Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs. This program gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life.  Appointments currently required related to Covid-19 protocols.

Aspen the rescue dog

Aspen is looking for his forever home

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078

Are you ready to Capture your Journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a pet and nature photographer serving  Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch. Travel assignments welcomed.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Angela Schneider

    Those detail shots are great. I never seem to remember them!

  2. Linda Perdue

    Thanks for sharing – some beautiful images…..I love the details ones – I did those with other dogs of mine, need to do that with these I have now. I like what you have done with the ‘sharing at the lake’ photo – since I live 2 blocks from the river, I need to get something like that with my kids.

    1. N Kieffer

      Thanks! yes, I think those detail shots are special or my clients after their beloved dog has gone.

  3. Tammy Snyder

    I like how you photograph the face-to-face. It’s a nice way to show off their dedication to each other. Beautiful photos Nancy.

  4. Elaine

    I really like the way you approached this blog, and I think you and I are on the same wavelength!

    1. N Kieffer

      Yes, it does seem we are on the same wavelength. Great minds think alike. LOL

  5. Kim Hollis

    LOL the stalker dog, hilarious and really cute!

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