Four-legged family members are always a welcome addition to your family photoshoot at Twirl Photography! I’m a big fan of including your furry family members and capturing a little of the magic your kids have with them.
All it takes is a little planning so we can have a safe and easy environment for your favorite mutt. Here are a few tips for how to be prepared when adding your dog to your family photos.
And did you know I have a puppy special? If you are adding a new puppy to your family and want to capture the adorableness of this stage contact me!
Let’s Find the Best Location for your Dog
There are a lot of wonderful locations to bring along your dog to your next photo session in New Orleans.
The obvious places such as City Park, Crescent Park and Audubon Park are big spaces to roam, easy to park, and an environment your dog might already be familiar with. If you want to try for something a little more unique, the distinct neighborhoods such as the French Quarter, Bywater and Garden District can be just as easy to maneuver for family photos if we pick the right time of day with low foot traffic to compete with. The French Quarter also has Cabrini Park in the residential area that allows dogs to be off-leash.
For the Twirl Photography Events (offered in the Spring and Fall), these special curated locations can get a little tricky. Some private locations such at the Pitot House will allow dogs but it’s best to let me know if you would like to include your pet in your photo session so I can review the locations current pet policy.
Bring a Handler
This tip is important, if we are including your dog or dogs in your photos it will be short. During your photos, we will be concentrating on getting a beautiful family photo (with your pet) and then several combinations as we walk around. We will focus on you with your dog for only a short period of time, the rest of the session will be your connection with your kids.
Handing over your dog to a well-trusted friend or family member when they are no longer in the spotlight means you can focus on your pictures. Have your handler take them for a short walk or wait in a well-air conditioned car while we finish up. If bringing extra hands isn’t possible, we can break-up mom and dad for a short while to focus on the kids.
Dogs are perpetual toddlers and like paying attention to photographers even less than toddlers. Does your dog love treats or his favorite squeaky toy? Bring it along and hand it to me so I can be the almighty-dog-whisperer for a few minutes to capture amazing pictures.
If they have new and cute toys, it won’t matter if they end up on a few pictures. This is also a great exercise to do with your kids, have them practice making your dog sit so on picture day they are ready to help out and make an adorable picture.
Does your dog have a word that always gets her attention? For mine it’s “walk.” Let me know secretly when you arrive that special word and I’ll make sure to say it at the opportune time.
If you are looking for some cute dog toys, check out these luxury dog toys your kids will be envious of:
Grab a New Orleans themed dog toy here: https://shopsouthernpaws.com/product-category/play/new-orleans-toys/
Or a few modern dog plushes here: https://modernbeast.com/collections/dog
Be Prepared for Chaos and Messes
Even if everything goes as planned, it will feel chaotic to have your dogs in your family pictures in New Orleans. Balancing kids and and an excited dog on a leash is hard. Getting them to sit just right can be frustrating for families.
Don’t worry, it’s supposed to feel this way. I only need a fraction of a second to get the right picture! Showing your dog’s bouncy personality will make for great pictures. Recently one family almost fell in the bayou when their labrador decided to check it out and swung his leash around each member of the family on his way in. The kids thought it was hysterical! All ended well and no one went into the bayou. What will they remember the most from that day? How much they laughed at their dog.
Things happen when dogs are around, it’s one of the reasons we love them so. Whatever chaos ensues, it will make for great pictures for your family. If you can arrive early and let your dog explore for smells, it can ease some of the excitement. Taking your dog for a walk before your session can also be a big help. And please bring along some doggy-bags just in case.
And if your dog doesn’t already know this, here is a great article on how to get your dog to sit: https://petexpertise.com/blogs/news/dog-training-article-sit-down-and-stay-articles
Think About Wardrobe
If your dogs leash looks like my dog’s, it’s seen better days. A week or so before your pictures take time to look for a new leash and maybe collar for your dog. You can even match the color with the family wardrobe, or add a little pattern. We will do our best to hide leashes in pictures, but if they are photo-ready we might not need to. You can even add a bow-tie!
And much like humans, if your dog gets regularly groomed make sure to schedule a grooming a week before your pictures. With longer haired pooches, it’s important to see their eyes. I want to make sure I capture those warm and sweet expressions.
Here’s an adorable website for leashes and collars:
Looking for a cute doggie bow tie: https://www.korriko.com/collections/bow-ties
Let’s Use your Home
If bringing your dog out to a location for a photo shoot seems too overwhelming, let’s do something at your home.
This is especially true if you want to include your other favorite pets like a cat, turtle, guinea pig, lizard, or bunny. Or, if you must, snake.
Your pet is going to be least distracted at your home, an easy place to jump on the couch or run around in the yard. Let’s take advantage of the beautiful home you have created!
I can’t wait to meet your favorite furry family member! Reach out to talk about your next photo session by emailing Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org