How to Include your Fur Babies in your engagement session

As wedding and couple photographers in the Rochester NY area, we have had the pleasure of including many fur babies into the couple’s engagement session. This blog concentrates on Dogs as dogs are the best pets, but cats are ok too 😊

You and your fiancé may be going back and forth on whether to include your fur baby in your engagement session. If you are like me, my Fur baby Cooper (crazy black lab) is a part of my family! I certainly would love to have him in our portraits, but I also have learned with experience a few tips that may help you out if you decide to include them.


First off, you and only you know your pet best, are they friendly? Are they good around strangers? That should be your first consideration. Then ask your photographer if they are comfortable around dogs (or cats), and if they have experience photographing pets, do not feel weird asking, just ask! They will be honest with you. If you decide together on going forward with including them in your session, here are a few tips!

Pack a “doggie bag” with your pet’s favorite treats, and a lint roller if they shed. I find it best, in my experience, to have your photographer hold the treat and get your pet’s attention. This is immensely powerful in getting them to listen and cooperate, make sure your photographer gives them the treat as a reward, this also helps build trust.

Keep your eyes in your photographer

We certainly love to get natural interactions, but when going for an ideal portrait, just make sure you stay looking at your photographer, and keep your smile! Too many times, I will attention of the fur baby and the cutest look on their face, but one person is looking at the camera and the other one is looking at the pet. Like I said for a ideal portrait, it just looks silly one person is not looking in the same direction.

Arrive early

At least 15 minutes before your session, this allows your dog to sniff around, get some energy out and do their duty if need be. Don’t expect to run late and have them ready to go, as our fur babies love us so much that they and can and will sense your stress level and they may not be on their best behavior.

Bring a family member or friend

Most couples enjoying having their fur baby involved in a portion of the session, but they also want some portraits of just the two of them. Bringing a friend or family member can save you from having to tie up your pet repeatedly as we move around for your session. Plus, if you are worried about your pet, then it may be challenging to look natural in your portraits.

If you want to ask us more questions on this topic shoot us an email at If you have a pet other than a dog or cat and you would like to include them that would be fun! This includes a horse, donkey, pig, and whatever else you may have as a pet, besides snakes... nobody loves snakes.

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