A heartwarming scene captured at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, featuring a happy and proud family walking two Shelties and a rescued Chihuahua mix. Courtesy of Angierose.com

How to Prepare for Your Pet Photography Session with Angie Rose Photography 

If you’re like me and love knowing what to expect, this is the blog post for you! I want all my pets and humans to feel ready, comfortable, and confident on the day of the session. You might wonder what exactly you need to do to prepare and wonder if this will be a lot of work. My goal is to make it as easy and stress-free for you and your family. 

Here are my best tips on how to prepare for your on-location Angie Rose Photography Handcrafted Signature Session.

Pet Photography Session Planning

But first, I want to mention what happens before the session day. 

Before your session, we will connect at least once (possibly twice) via phone, Zoom or in person. I want to get as much information about your pet such as:

  • Breed and age
  • What motivates them-food? Keywords? noises?
  • Personality
  • Training level 
  • Any allergies?
  • Any fun tricks or quirky things that you just love?
  • All about their story… 

I want to learn more about you and the humans in your family, too! Learning things like your style and vision for the session helps me so much. Feel free to share the interests of each person in the session, what you absolutely love about your pet and want me to capture and lots more. There is no need to fill out a lengthy questionnaire. I take notes as we talk and pick up on your vibe to come up with ideas for the session as I get to know you and the furry and non-furry family members!

The planning stage is a great opportunity for you to ask all your questions about the experience, from pricing and products to “What the heck do I do when you point the camera at me?” and everything in between.  I want you to feel comfortable and super excited before we move forward and meet up for the session.

Location Prep:

  • I visit the location prior to the session (if I haven’t been there before) to ensure it’s perfect for our day and to find the perfect spots to photograph.
  • If I cannot visit the location before the session, I do plenty of research online and get to the session early to scout out before you get there.
  • During the session, we really just go with the flow and follow your pet’s lead, but I like to have an outline in my head. 

What to Bring to Your On-Location Pet Photography Session

1. You guessed it…lots of treats!  If your pup is food motivated, please bring some regular treats and the really “high-value” ones (think chicken, cheese, hot dogs, or whatever they love).  This comes in handy when we really need to capture their attention, and they are bored with my weird noises and their regular treats. Also, bring some water when they need a break.

2. A leash and collar for each pet. Safety is my number one priority at your session and when we are on location, a leash and collar will come in handy. If your pup has 100% recall and doesn’t need a leash, that is awesome. And if your pup needs to be on a leash the whole session, no problem at all.  I will direct you on how to hold the leash so I can Photoshop it out of the photos when I edit.  I do bring short and long leashes to the session. If your dog is used to a harness, I do not photoshop it out.  Your pup can wear a harness and keep it on between photos.

Half Moon Bay, CA Pet Photography

3. Fun dog accessories and toys! If you have a cool bandana or if we are celebrating your pup’s birthday and you have any cute accessories to add to the photos, bring them along.  And if there is a favorite toy that you would love to get photos of your pup playing with, bring that, too!

4. Neutral-colored throw or blanket (optional). If your session is at the beach, park, or trail area, you have the option of bringing something to sit on. Neutral colors work best. I do bring a wagon that holds my gear, and you can use it for your items, too.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Pet Photography Session 

1. Give yourself plenty of time.

On the day of the session, try to give yourself plenty of time before and after so that you’re not rushed. For my signature session, we usually photograph for 90 minutes. Plan on arriving at the location early to give yourself and your pets a minute to relax, sniff, and get ready.

2. Plan what to wear.

Having your outfits selected before the day of the session relieves so much stress. I have an entire guide here on what to wear for your pet photography session.  I offer lots of ideas and tips to help you choose clothes that you’ll love. 

3. Having your dog groomed is optional.

I truly want to keep things easy for you, and grooming is not necessary.  At the minimum, please give your pet a light brushing and wipe around their eyes, ears, and mouth so they look nice and fresh! Don’t forget to clip their nails, if needed. If your pup needs grooming or not, this might be a great opportunity to get them a new collar or choose an accessory that’s meaningful to you. 

4. Think about where you want to display these images.

Even before our session, take a few minutes to look around your home and dream about where you want these images to live. 

5. Make sure people are fed and the pets can wait for their meal.

Make sure all the people are fed before the session, especially if there are little ones. Your pets can actually wait for their meal until after the session…it will make them more interested in their treats. 

Bonus tips!

For the humans, please generously hydrate the days leading up to the session. And the night prior, get a good night’s sleep.  You truly want to feel your best on the day of the session. And most of all, I want you to be prepared to relax and have a fun, memorable session.

What to Expect After Your Pet Photography Session 

About a week to 10 days after the session, I’ll email you a link with a gallery of your online proofs of the best photos from your session! You get to ooh and ahh over these images (without me around). Hopefully, fall in love with a bunch of your favorites from the day. 

Please note this first batch of photos will not be completely edited and will be watermarked. (I call these the “First Edition” photos.)The next step will be to meet on Zoom to review your favorite “First Edition” photos. Together, we can narrow down your selections, if needed, and go over the options for your product order. 

After you decide on your favorites, you can choose how you want to display these images in your home – or office! I would love to save you time and energy by designing, printing, and delivering your pet portrait artwork for you. 

Danville, CA Pet Photography 

Delivering my client’s artwork makes me so happy because I know they will treasure these pieces of art for many, many years. If you want to learn more about my pet photography services, please feel free to reach out with any questions or to schedule your session.