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5 Tips for Including Your Dog in Engagement Photos!

This week Kyle and I are celebrating 1 year since we adopted our sweet fur baby, Roscoe from Pet Helpers! We can’t imaging doing life without him and he’s a constant source of joy in our home. We had this “quarantine family photo” taken with him this spring and it is one of our favorite photos displayed on our mantle. ↓


If Roscoe had been with us when we were engaged, I just know we would want to have some photos taken with him! I love when couples ask me if they can bring their dogs for a few photos and these are always some of my very favorite images from the session. 

As I was thinking about this, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for brides and grooms-to-be about bringing their fur baby along for engagement sessions! 


5 tips for including your dog in your engagement photos!

1. Bring a friend or family member

I usually recommend having a friend or family member join us to care for the dog OR bring your dog to you in the last 20 minutes of our session. I’ve held onto a dog and tried to take photos many times and… let’s just say I can do my job more effectively if I don’t have to. 

This person can also help with calling the dog and getting their attention to look at the camera!

Couple kissing while walking their dog at sunset

2. Act natural

You can’t really direct a dog but they’re usually pretty photogenic on their own. During a session with your pet, we’ll do some normal activities with them like walking or loving on them. Also a good thing to note, if you’re comfortable, your dog will be too.

Happy dog being petted by owners

3. Don’t forget the treats!

Your dog actually suggested this one – but really, bring along some treats to help get your dogs attention. You can give them rewards throughout the shoot for being such a good dog!

Couple posing with their dog under a tree at Hampton Park family session

4. Pick a familiar location

To help your dog feel more at ease, pick a location that’s familiar to them – at least for the part of the session your dog will be a part of. If you have your heart set on a different location for your photos, try to take your dog there a few times before our session. 

dog sitting

5. Take them for a little walk before

I recommend taking your dog for a walk before the session begins (or asking your friend or family member to). This way they are able to check out the area first so they are much calmer when we’re shooting and they will have had any potty breaks they need.

Couple plays with their dog during Hampton Park portrait session

While including your dog in your engagement photos does take a little more planning, it’s totally worth it! They’re family after all!

Want to have an engagement session including your dog? Let’s chat!

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cameron, owner of Photography By Cameron, wedding photographer in Charleston, SC



Hey there! I’m Cameron, a wedding photographer based in Charleston, SC. Here on the blog you can see my latest weddings and portrait sessions, read the sweetest wedding day stories, and get all of my best tips for the wedding day and beyond. Grab a coffee and enjoy!   

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