If you want that relaxed California lifestyle vibe for your pet photo session, many beaches along the Northern California coast are a fantastic location option.
Stop what you are doing for a moment and close your eyes. Breathe in the clean, salty air while listening to the soft whispers of the wind blowing gently on your face. Feel the sand in your toes and the energy of the waves moving swiftly back and forth that almost put you in a trance.
Awwww…Don’t you feel relaxed already??
Christine & Jerad were looking for just that feeling for their pet photo session experience with their two furry kids. After Christine checked out my website and contacted me, the first step was setting up a short phone chat to answer all their questions. Also, it’s for me to find out more about their vision and decide if I would be the right photographer for them.
I thought their story would be great to illustrate my pet photography process!
First Phone Call with Angie Rose Photography
The first phone call is always a delight! I love getting to know you and your pets while answering any questions about the pet photo session that you may have. Nothing is off-limits. Here are my notes from that call.
Pet Parents: Christine & Jerad, wanted to celebrate their 10th anniversary with photos of their pups, they love Disney & Star Wars and are Giants baseball fans.
-Miya, 12-year-old female Shiba Inu, easygoing, getting older, can do action shots, loves treats, can’t see too well.
-Kemo, 9-year-old male Shiba Inu, likes to run (can be a flight risk), will have a harness and leash on between photos, and doesn’t have the best recall.
-Miya and Kemo don’t like to sit close to each other and don’t like to cuddle.
Location ideas: Wasn’t sure at this point, but wanted a cooler temperature location.
What kind of photos would you love? Nothing specific, but would love different variations of all of us together and some photos of the pups.
What are you planning to do with the photos after the session? Some smaller prints for Christmas gifts and other tangible products.
We also talked about: The photography experience, pricing, possible locations, the day/ time, and more details about Miya and Kemo’s personalities. Yay, Christine decided to move forward, so we set up a second phone call to confirm all the details and prep for the session.
Second Phone Call Pet Session Prep
Now that we’re booked, we schedule another time to chat about your session details. We’ll go over the plan and any session preparation tips I have for you.
Location decision: Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay
Date & Time: The session was planned during the Fall. I always watch the weather up until the day before and confirm the exact time to meet. We met up at 5:30pm. It ended up being a cloudy day, which worked out great. I always ask my pet parents to get to the location 10-15 minutes early so the pups can get familiar with the location and get their “wiggles” out.
What to bring:
-Pups favorite treats, toys, water
-Leash, collars & harness if needed (I do bring different length leashes)
-Any fun dog accessories (bandanas, special collars, etc.)
-Neutral-colored throw or blanket in case we need to put on the sand or ground
-I bring a cart to put items in if needed
Pet Photography Session Preparation Tips
Here are the top pet photography session tips I offer before the session. I tailor my tips to each family and pet as well.
Preparation: Brush pups before the session so they look and feel beautiful!
-I advise pet parents not to wear a lot of bright whites. Neutrals and soft hues are perfect for the beach and other outdoor locations. A colorful belt, fun shoes, scarf, jewelry, etc. can add some personality. If the weather looks chilly, it’s a good idea to wear layers.
-Most of all, pet parents need to be prepared to relax and have a fun family outing.
At this point, my head starts swirling with ideas for the session. In between our second call and the session date, I researched the location, always watching the weather, and preparing the types of shots and ideas that would be custom to the beach location, Christine and Jerad’s vision, and the pup’s personalities.
The Day of the Pet Photography Session
The day of the session, we all took some time to meet and feel comfortable, then we started out with some fun action shots with Miya (lighter face) and Kemo. Jerad ran along with them one at a time, and Christine was behind me to call them over. Kemo, our possible flight risk, was on a long leash while running. It’s no problem to edit the leash out.
Then I saw some interesting rocks nearby and thought we could get a photo of the pups up on a low rock next to each other (remember, these pups didn’t really like being close together). I took quite a few shots in that spot and had to think proactively with regard to editing to make this shot come together. They ordered this photo in a 20” x 30” Framed Canvas Print for their home.
We did a family shot at the rocks, too.
By that time, we took a break and then continued with some candid walking shots along the beach.
And some photos standing together looking so adorable.
I am always paying attention to the story going on and how the photos can work together. I captured these two photos that looked great side by side (in their album that they ordered)!
The “puppy dog eyes” shot is something I try to get at every session. It’s an angle pet parents are used to seeing with their pups.
Finally, they get to sit in the sand and have some solo mom & dad time.
At one point, we watched Miya wander off a little, so we watched what she was doing, and she turned back at us with a sweet smile on her face.
And then she sat down quietly, looking out at the ocean as if to tell us she had a good time and she just wanted to enjoy looking out at the interesting sky and water.
It was a wonderful session experience with Christine, Jerad, Miya & Kemo, and after about an hour and a half at the beach, everyone was ready to go. This was one more of my favorite family photos of the day.
After the Half Moon Bay Pet Photography Session
About a week after the session, I sent Christine an online gallery of all the best photos (they are watermarked, not completely edited, and not downloadable at this point). She got a chance to look them over, and then we scheduled a Zoom call to pick her favorites and discuss the products she wanted. I helped her narrow down the photos to her top 25. And from there, she ordered one of my collections that includes:
-3 Mounted 8″ x 12″ Lustre Prints
-20” x 30” Framed Canvas Wall Art Piece
-Custom Designed Heirloom Album of all the edited photos (which includes all the high-resolution digital files)
I am so grateful to spend time with (the good kind of crazy) pet parents to create such a memorable day that they can always look back on and smile. Thank you, Christine, Jerad, Miya & Kemo!
Half Moon Bay, CA Pet Photography
Angie Rose Photography is a pet photographer in Danville, CA, willing to travel to the surrounding areas like Half Moon Bay. We’ll decide where your pet is most comfortable for the session. I capture pets and their loving families to create portrait artwork of you and your best friend to treasure forever.
If you have any questions or to schedule your first phone call, please send me a message here.