That's a great question and one that every dog owner should ask before setting forth on a photo journey. Let me outline the steps for you so you can know how the process usually flows.
• If we’re meeting at my place for some studio type images, I’ll meet you as you arrive so Pupper can have a sniff around, stretch his legs and maybe relieve himself at least once. All on leash, of course, as we don’t want to be racing down the road after him as he gives chase to one of the neighbourhood cats!
• Next we’ll either make our way to my in home studio or our back yard “shedio”. At this point, again, we'll let Pupper get a good look and sniff of the surroundings. He might even like a drink at this point. The idea is to let him start to relax, get to know me and see the equipment that will be used. When he’s more settled, I’ll see how he reacts to a flash. I’ve never had a negative reaction yet, but there is always the first time! If we’re inside, I’ll have the doors closed so you can decide to keep him on or off leash. Yes, he can jump up on the furniture LOL
• We’ll keep a close eye on his body language the whole time, and when he seems ready, we’ll start taking some photos. There will be lots of “Good Boys” and scirtchies and little breaks. If you think he needs a bathroom break, that’s what will happen. Right away!
• During our session, to get Pupper’s attention, I’ll try a variety of things from my bag of tricks. and you will already have let me know if there are any "key " words to use for expression. Usually, I don’t give treats (with your permission) until the end as many dogs really become fixated on them. If they work, though, you can let me know and they will come out earlier😊
• For a special event session of 20-30 minutes that will result in 1-5 images, we will probably only need about ten minutes of photo time to get our looks. For a longer, regular session, we’ll discuss your image needs beforehand and divide our time between doing the photography and making sure Pupper has lots of play or down time and positive reinforcement. These longer sessions usually take place on a trail or in a park, so there’s lot of variety for the photographs and lots of new things to keep the Pupper’s interest!
• If, at any point in our session, Pupper’s anxiety level begins to mount, we’ll stop and let him reset. If this doesn’t happen within a very few minutes, we will call it a day as the last thing either of us want to do is cause any distress. If enough images have been taken to meet those image needs we talked about, that is great! If not, we can try again another day, in a location that is more comfortable and familiar.
I always recommend keeping the leash on when we are outside, as I can show you how to hold the leash and where to stand so I can more quickly edit out things we don't want in the photo. If you are doing to be in some photos, which I truly hope is the plan, I'll also help you with posing and leash holding.
So, that is pretty much how a photo session with your best dog works, and it's one of the best jobs in the world! I hope I've put your mind at ease, and you know that I welcome any questions you may have!
Pet Session Guide
If you'd like me to send you the link to my Pet Session Guide, just check off the box in my contact form and I will send it to you!