Photo Session, Photography, Uncategorized

How (and why) you need to be in your pet’s portrait session from a professional pet photographer’s perspective

Why I recommend being in at least some of the images

As a professional pet photographer I have many beautiful images of my dogs.  But when my beloved Bentley was spending several days at the emergency vet last year I suddenly realized that I had no photos of me with my pets.  None. It was a sickening realization but I’m always behind the camera and I am shockingly bad at selfies even when it’s just me, let alone if I’m also trying to wrangle a dog.

A chihuahua with all four paws off the ground while running in Tory, Michigan

It literally made me sick to my stomach that I might have missed my chance for images with Bentley and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  I was fortunate that Bentley pulled through and I was able to have a photoshoot with him and our other dogs. But I can’t forget that feeling.  

A smiling dog in front of a woman in a formal garden in Rochester Hills, Michigan

So let me help you avoid my painful situation.  Plan on being in at least a few of the images with your pet during our pet portrait session.  Even if you HATE being in photos. 

A small dog sitting inside a tire swing that her owner is sitting on

Hear me out and if nothing else, look through the images in this post to understand what we can do together.  We have lots of options and I’m sure we can find a few that you like.  

A chocolate lab sitting on stone steps in front it's owners in Georges Georges Park, Michigan

And that’s the beauty of digital images, we can try different things. And if you really don’t like them when you see the final result you don’t have to choose them.  But you may be surprised at how much you really appreciate the images that include you.

A tattooed woman snuggles a tabby kitten

I do understand where you’re coming from. And my style definitely leans towards the more relaxed images that focus on the connection you have with your pet over the formally posed traditional family portrait. Of course I’ll include the formal “everyone facing-forward” images if they are requested, and many people love to buy that kind of image as a desk display. But I really prefer to take the more candid shots of your natural interactions between you and your pet.  That’s where we capture the real magic of your relationship.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking up at it's owner

There are a few ways we can achieve this goal.

How to be in your pet portraits even if you don’t like your photo taken

– Showing just your hands

A small tabby kitting cradled in her moms arm looks up at the camera

– Showing just your feet – feel free to bring some fun shoes if you want to try this option

A white bulldog sitting on it's owners feet on a green lawn

– Looking over your shoulder down at them

A small chihuahua mix dog sitting between it's owners and looking over their shoulders at the pet photographer

– Having you in the background and out of focus

A senior black mixed breed dog with his owners in the background

– Taking the photo from a distance

A woman sitting with a dachshund dog on the steps leading to the Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse in Traverse City, Michigan

– Creating a silhouette – this one takes the right lighting and attention to shape but it can be amazing.

A man in an adirondack chair petting his dog at sunset along Lake Michigan

– Them looking over your shoulder

A happy terrier puppy looking over a man's shoulder

– Both of you from behind

A woman sitting with a small dog looking at the Charlevoix light house at sunset, seen from behind

Let me know if any of these appeal to you in particular. We can talk them over during our consultation call so I can help you be prepared.  That might include bringing a few different pairs of shoes to wear, having your nails done, wearing your hair down, and other wardrobe recommendations.  Otherwise I’ll make sure to take at least a few variations during the photoshoot.

A young Klee Kai dog looks over his mom's arm during a custom pet portrait session in winter at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Michigan

See? Lots of fun ideas that we can try during your pet portrait session. So let’s get started! Tell me more about your pet here and I’ll follow up with a quick phone call.



Jennifer McCallum

Jennifer is the owner/photographer of Pawdacious Portraits. As a professional pet photographer based in SE MI she specializes in working with pets and pet parents. All breeds and pets are welcome (except spiders, sorry but yikes!). When Jennifer isn't photographing pets in Michigan she is usually planning a pet portrait session somewhere else in the world, drinking a glass of wine, or walking her own pack of dogs.