Fall is in the air, leaves are changing in much of the U.S., and many pet parents are excitedly planning their dog's fall photos! Whether you're planning a formal portrait session with a local photographer or trying to capture a casual snapshot on your phone, check out these tips to help you take great photos of your dog this fall.
10 Tips to Take Great Fall Photos of Your Dog:
Pick a Dog-Friendly Location: Choose a dog-friendly location that has the right fall vibes you're seeking in your photos. Whether it be in front of pumpkins on your front porch or backyard, at a local park, on nature paths, at a pumpkin patch, or at an apple orchard, there are lots of options for photos. Pick a location that works well for your dog - if your dog gets overly excited or nervous in busy places, pick a quieter or less visited location or go during a less busy time of day. NOTE: Be sure to check ahead of time to make sure your chosen location is dog-friendly! Not all parks, apple orchards, or pumpkin patches allow dogs, so be sure to check before you go. A quick search online will usually answer this question.
- Plan Your Session With Your Photographer: If you're having a session with a local photographer, we strongly recommend having a short planning call with your photographer to help him/her learn about you and your dog, your dog's needs and personality, select a dog-friendly location, and plan your session details. Some photographers will even be able to offer an indoor studio option for you and your dog.
- Practice the Basic Commands: The basic commands: sit, down, and stay are incredibly useful and make posing your dog for photographs easier. Before your photo session, make sure you've practiced the basic commands with you dog.
- Walk Your Dog Before Your Photos: Walk and potty your dog shortly before taking photos to help get out some extra energy before asking your dog to sit or stay for photographs.
- Let Your Dog Get Comfortable in a New Location: If you're having your session in a park or other location, arrive a little early to let your dog sniff, potty outside, and get comfortable with the location. If you're working with a photographer for your photos, arriving early will also help your dog get used to your photographer.
Calm Energy: Stay calm and confident before, during, and after the session. Dogs read our energy and will mirror your energy. If you are stressed or overexcited, your dog may also become stressed or overexcited making photos more challenging and stressful. The more relaxed and calm you are, the more relaxed your dog will feel.
Keep Your Distance From Other Dogs: To help keep the calm energy and focus during your session, keep a good distance away from other dogs at a dog-friendly location. Even if your dog is friendly, others may need more space and many dogs get excited and lose focus when other dogs are around.
Reward Your Pup! Use high value treats that your dog enjoys and responds well to. (Chicken, cheese, and fragrant soft training treats are popular choices and easy to break into small pieces and avoid stomach upset.) Toys are also a great way to reward your dog for doing a good job throughout your photo session. Also have water available for your dog during the session and take water breaks.
Positive Reinforcement: Give lots of positive, calm praise and reinforcement for good behaviors like sitting still or staying calm.
Fun Accessories for Your Dog: If your dog is comfortable with wearing a small accessory, feel free to use them! Popular choices include a snazzy collar and leash, bandanas, bow ties, or collar flowers. You may want to consider Cheerful Hound's Fall Collection of accessories to help your pup look their best for their fall photos. Note: Not every dog likes to wear things like costumes or accessories, but every dog can wear a collar and a leash.
We hope this helps you as you plan your fall portraits with your dog!
Columbus, Ohio Friends - Want to capture the people and pets that mean the most to you? If you're in the Columbus, Ohio area, be sure to check out our sister business, Muschlitz Photography. Cheerful Hound owner and head pet photographer at Muschlitz Photography, Amanda, has been photographing clients professionally since 2006 and would be honored to help capture all of the members of your family for all time.