When someone books a family portrait I always have to ask what that means. Family is a confusing word and it means something different to each of us. For all I know the shoot will be a person with all of their college friends. At a time in my life that was my family. At another time it would have been my coworkers. At this point in my life a Family Portrait means one thing in particular, “Animals Included”.
I am a dog lover. If I were to get a family photo it seems obvious to include my dog, maybe before my some members of my actual family! At this point the portrait would also include my boyfriend and his dog Joker. Between the four of us it would feel complete. While the shoot can be a little more challenging when animals are involved, it is just that and nothing more. A dog wants to be told what to do and as the photographer, I need to understand that and come ready. I like to arrive and establish trust with the animal straight away. I should know in advance that the pup will be there and I can bring toys and treats. I should be the only one giving them out at the shoot. When I get everyone in position, I need to be able to call out to the pup and have them know I am the one with the snacks. The dog should be comfortable being moved and adjusted by his or her parents. If everyone, including the pup, is looking my way and genuinely smiling, the image is great and my clients have choices. My goals are met.
|Engagement Shoot with Pup in tow|