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Jenn McKinney Photography

Family Photographer Serving Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Apex, Cary, Raleigh, and Surrounding Areas



January 12,2021

If you are like our family you have a beloved fur baby at home. For most people having a dog/cat in their house completes their family. These animals are part of your family and therefore should be a part of your family portraits. You might be thinking that sounds crazy, or your dog would never cooperate for pictures and it will be a disaster. I have had the privilege over the last several months to photography many families and their fur babies. I want to share some tips to make your session run smoothly.

Some other helpful tips from previous blog articles:
Tips for Choosing a Family Photographer .
Tips for What to Wear in Family Pictures .
How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Tips For a Great Photography Session

Don't forget to think about the color of your dog's collar/leash for family portraits. If you have planned for everyone in your family to wear neutral colors and your dog normally has a bright pink collar - you might want to purchase a different color collar for the session. You can also consider purchasing a sweater etc if your session will be during the colder months. If you think you will need to keep your dog on a leash during the entire session, make sure the leash is a color that will blend nicely and not too bold of a color. Make sure that the collar/leash will look nice in your family portraits. Don't forget to groom your pet before your session, make sure they have had a bath/haircut and will look adorable for your session.

Family Photographer Dogs Fuquay Varina NC

By arriving to your location early, it will give your pet a chance to get comfortable with the area and hopefully not be anxious. Be sure to have your leash for your pet. Even if they are the most well behaved pet, it's a good idea to have him/her on a leash when you arrive incase they decide to run. You do not want to be chasing after your pet right before your session.

Family Photographer Pets Fuquay Varina NC

In addition to a leash, make sure you have a few necessities with you just in case you might need them. You never know when your pet might need to go #2, so have some bags with you just incase. Also bring along some of their favorite treats. Your photographer might have some dog treats available, but a lot of dogs can have sensitive stomachs so the best idea is to bring with you your pet's favorite treat with you to the session. If your family session is during hot weather, make sure you bring with you some water and a water bowl for your pet.

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I like to include the poses with the fur babies first in the session. This allows the family to get these poses done first, then the pet can be put in their carrier etc while we finish up the session. I have found that a lot of times after a certain amount of time the pets are done and ready to go do something else. So I feel it's better to get the poses with them first while we have their attention. I like to get everyone in their pose and looking at me smiling then I will either use a noise maker or do a loud noise to get the animal's attention and they will look directly at me and snap, Family Portraits with your Fur Baby! This noise can only be used a couple of times however b/c the dog will become used to it and not necessarily look at the photographer every time.

family portraits dogs Fuquay Varina nc

During and after your session you should reward your pet with their special treats that you brought with you to the session. Encourage him/her during the session to keep doing a great job.

family portraits animals Fuquay Varina nc

Yes the majority of people want a beautiful picture of everyone looking at the camera including their pet. But also make sure the photographer gets some REAL portraits of you and your family. The dog being silly, chasing the kids etc. This is real life and should be recorded and treasured for many many years to come.

family photography session pets Fuquay Varina nc