If you have a dog, your engagement photos might not feel complete without including them! Your dog may have been a part of your life longer than your partner, or maybe they were a journey you started together. Either way, there’s no rule against including your dog in your engagement photos. We put together a few tips to ensure that both you and Fido are happy during your engagement session.

Talk to your photographer ahead of time

You definitely don’t want to just show up to your session with your dog. Your photographer has spent time location scouting and planning your engagement session, and a dog can throw a huge wrench in those plans. Instead, talk to your photographer well in advance so they can plan out how best to accommodate you and your dog and ensure you get photos of all of you that you’ll fall in love with!

Ask someone to dog-sit

If you plan to bring your dog to your engagement session, make sure to ask a friend or family member to come along and mind your dog while you’re taking photos of just the two of you. You’ll definitely be the opposite of relaxed if you have to watch your dog while trying to smile and look cute for the camera! Having someone on hand to watch your dog will also ensure that their needs are met, whether they need a drink of water or a bathroom break.

Plan for someone to pick up your pet

Your dog most likely won’t be interested in sitting through your whole engagement session, and they don’t have to! Bring them to the beginning of your photoshoot so we can get a few great shots and then have a family member or friend take your dog back home where they can relax. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing your furry friend is taken care of, and we’ll be able to get some wonderful images of just the two of you.

Check that your location is dog-friendly

Not every place allows dogs, so be sure to check in with your chosen engagement session location ahead of time to make sure they’re dog-friendly. If not, we can plan for a different spot to capture your photos. You just don’t want to find out at the last minute that your pup isn’t welcome and have to quickly think of a new place to go. A little planning goes a long way!

Tire your dog out before your session

A worn-out dog is more likely to behave during your photoshoot. Even if your dog seems super relaxed at home, they may get a burst of energy when you take them to a new location. Do your best to give your dog plenty of exercise before you arrive for your engagement session. If your dog has already gotten their energy out, they will generally be more responsive to commands, ensuring you get great photos. And if you’re able to take them to visit your session location beforehand, even better!

Bring along plenty of supplies

Think of your engagement session as you would any other outing with your dog and bring everything they’ll need to stay happy and comfortable. That includes treats, favorite toys, water and a bowl and any other items you think your furry friend might need.

Have patience

The photos you imagine may be entirely different than the ones you get—and that’s okay! You have to work with your dog and understand that they’re in an unfamiliar situation with a new person (your photographer). Be patient and try to relax and have a good time. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your dog will feel!