How to Prepare Your Dog for Pet Photography | Herepup
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How to Prepare Your Dog for Pet Photography

Woman TAking a Photo of Dog

Your dog is a part of your family, and the family album is not going to be complete without it. However, there are challenges to getting your dog ready for a professional photography session.

Even humans need multiple takes before getting a few good shots. What if it’s worse with your dog? What if it refuses to behave, and you end up getting no useful pictures at the end of the session?

Aside from wasting the money, you would be disappointed. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

No matter how disobedient your dog is, there are a bunch of tricks and tips that you can use to make your dog photograph-ready.

1. Bathing

A good bath is necessary for your dog so that it can look clean on the camera. An energetic dog will need a bath the day before the photo session, as it may get dirty easily.

However, if you are lucky enough to own a calm and obedient dog, you don’t need to worry too much about dirt. Just make sure it’s clean before it sets foot in the studio.

We don’t recommend you let your dog sit in front of the camera unclean and smelly. Just make sure it has had a warm bath with soap and shampoo before the big day. Bathing is needed to remove debris, loose hair, and grime from its body.

2. Grooming

Just as bathing is a crucial process in pet photography, so is grooming. You are paying a professional to take photos of your dog. You don’t want you or the photographer to be disappointed in the photographs that come out.

Your dog needs to be well-groomed to look its absolute best in photos. If you feel confident, you can groom your dog yourself. For a professional model look, you may want to check out the nearest pet grooming center.

You can groom your dog at home by brushing its hair, clipping its nails, wiping its eyes, nose, and ears, trimming the coat, and brushing its teeth. Read this article for tips on grooming your dog at home.

3. Practice Commands

Once your model is looking clean and pretty, it’s time to teach it how to behave in front of the photographer. We all know that looks are not enough to get a good picture; skill plays a role as well.

It’s important that your dog follows the instructions of the photographer, and you have to help with that. Polish up on the basic commands, such as sit, stay, lay down, don’t touch, come, etc. To learn more about the basic commands for dogs, check out this link.

You may even teach your dog some cute poses that it can mimic at the studio. You can use other god pictures to help your dog get an idea of what it’s supposed to do. Feel free to practice photography with your dog by roleplaying as you act as the photographer.

4. Relax or Exercise

Relaxing before the big day is important. Make sure your dog is not doing anything strenuous before the photoshoot. The last thing you want is a tired model at the studio.

On the other hand, some dogs need to exercise before big events to function properly. Letting them exercise and play before the photoshoot will ensure they are happy and relaxed on photography day.

You must know even a dog photography session can take hours and lots of movement. So, you don’t want to tire out your dog completely before the important day.

5. Prepare the Location

Preparing the location of the photoshoot plays a big role if you are the one taking the photos. The location must be tidy, and it must have lots of light.

Getting a few shots in the garden will require you to mow the grass and prune the plants. If you find any debris in the lawn, make sure to remove it before the shoot.

Shy dogs are better off at home or in the backyard. However, you have to consult with the photographer about the location for professional photography. Usually, studios are kept clean and pretty for shoots.

Outdoors is the best place for active, sporty dogs. You will also have more ideas for photography outside.

6. Things You Must Carry

Whether you are going to take photos of your dog outdoors or indoors, you need to have a few items with you. You will need them to make your dog behave during the photoshoot.

Some of the items that you need to have at your disposal are a grooming brush, collar, waste bags, water, dog jacket, toys, and treats. Use the brush to smooth out its coat during the photoshoot.

You won’t be able to get anything done without the toys and treats. Your dog won’t even understand why it has to pose in front of the camera unless it gets some reward for it.

Since your dog will be working very hard at the studio, the water and snacks will give it a reason to keep going. Most importantly, it needs you by its side for unwavering support.

In Short

You probably didn’t think about how tough it can be to prepare a dog for a fabulous photoshoot. You have to take out a big chunk of your day to get all the things done.

Bathing, grooming, and trimming may take an entire week, depending on the personality of your dog. If it’s too much, your local pet grooming center is more than happy to help you.

An obedient dog isn’t going to concern you, but a naughty one will put up a fight. Let the photographer know so that you can both be mentally prepared for this.

Your photographer needs to know about the temperament of your dog as well. Generally, pet photography studios have tackled one or two aggressive dogs, so you can rely on them to know how to handle your dog’s personality.


Clint Worthington has a bunch of writing jobs across the web for more than 10 years. He is involved in writing and hosting podcasts as well. The brilliant personal approach to any topic he writes about and his own pet parenting gave him the ability to create high quality content for pet blogs too.

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