Family Photos With Your Dog Made Easy

I. The Importance of Bringing Your Dog to Your Family Photoshoot

Hello there, I’m Alba, an Emotivet Family Photographer specialising in capturing authentic moments amidst wild locations. Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a delightful family outing with their furry companion, Flossy, at their side. Initially unsure about bringing Flossy along, the family soon realized she was an integral part of their story, particularly for their daughter, Matilda. Inspired by this experience, I wanted to share some insights to make your Family Photos With Your Dog Super Easy!


II. Preparation for a Stress-Free Photoshoot

A. Choose a Safe and Distraction-Free Location

The first way to have a fun and relaxed session with a dog is to select a location where they will be safe or somewhere with few distractions. For this session, we opted for a sandy beach with cliffs. The dog was off-lead and free to run around in the sandy dunes. The only distractions for Flossy were when she met some other dogs, but she didn’t spend much time with them.

Other locations that could work would be a field or a forest, as long as they are far from the road.

B. Bring Toys or Treats

It’s fair to say that treats will be the best bet if you want to get them to look at the camera. Another trick I’ve learned as a pet photographer is to make a high-pitched noise they don’t expect. My go-to noise is the sound that the raving rabbits make, “bahbahbahbah”; 90% of the time, they will lift their ears and tilt their head. Only use this noise when you are ready for the shot, as they can get tired of it after a while.

You can also bring their favourite toy if they don’t go too crazy about it.


III. During the Session

A. Don’t Expect Them to Pose Perfectly

Don’t expect dogs to pose perfectly during the whole Family shoot. They are just dogs. They don’t understand the purpose of what we are doing, so keep things light and fun for them so they are not traumatized by the experience. It’s best for everybody if they are free to do what they want and then bring them in for a few photos, but don’t force it if it doesn’t work. Your dog roaming in the background is good enough and helps tell the story. If they feel safe, they will come back in the shot, just get ready for it!

B. Remove the Collar and Lead if the Dog Has a Good Recall

If you feel confident with your dog’s recall, try to remove at least the lead, if not the collar, so it’s easier for your photographer to edit the images. Keep an eye on them and call them every so often so they don’t go too far. If you don’t feel confident removing their collar, opt for something discreet in the same colour as your dog’s fur. For example, I would have selected something like this for Flossy.

C. Bring a Handler if Needed

If you think this will help, bring a friend or family member to hold the dog or take them for a walk once you are done with them. You don’t want to be looking stressed or anxious because of your furry friend being a liability during your session.

D. Shoot in Live View as Much as Possible

Some dogs might be spooked by the camera, especially if it hides the photographer’s face. Always keep an eye on your dog, and we photographers should prefer live view instead of the viewfinder if they seem anxious.

IV. The Whole Family Reunited! Get Ready for a Fun, Pet-Friendly Family Photoshoot

Sable cockapoo on a sand dune

I hope these tips will help you get ready; your dog is part of your family and should totally make it to the session. I hope these tips helped you. I also wanted to add to remember to use your gut feeling; if your dog is scared, nervous, or becoming aggressive, it’s okay to take a break or stop the session. After all, only you know your dog!

And if you are looking for a pet-friendly Family Photographer, I am available for you. I offer sessions in epic locations, at the beach, or in a wild forest; I’ve got just the special spot for you.

Ready to book your session? Click here to send me a booking request.






If you’re after a candid, relaxed and intimate photography experience, you’ve come to the right place. 
My work focus on emotions, no stiff poses and forced smile; only gentle love and embraces. I offer a very hands-on experience, connecting over a video consultation with each family beforehand ; we explore their stories of love, loss and wins and turn it into a beautiful, meaningful session. Each family and session are unique and crafted with patience, love and understanding. 

Scroll to Top

Join my newsletter and be the first to know about news and promotions!