What to Expect
From booking your session to your in-home viewing I will do my best to make the photography process as stress-free as possible. You have a busy life so I try to be as flexible as I can when it comes to booking; call, email, or even text me to set up your on-location photo shoot. When you get in touch I'll send you a brief questionnaire to save us some back & forth emails and help me guide your experience. Once we have most of the details down I'll send you a photography retainer agreement to secure your session time. On the day of your photo session, you just have to show up with your pup and have some fun. About two weeks later we'll schedule an in-home viewing of your gallery where I'll guide you through the ordering process. Once your order is finalized your photos will arrive in a couple weeks, some special order items may take longer.
Can I Be in the Photos Too?
Of course! In fact I highly recommend including yourself and anyone your dog considers family in at least a few photos. As adorable as your dog is, we want to capture the love you have for each other not just that sweet face. In fact, you're welcome to bring the whole pack! Just keep in mind that if you have a large family it make take more time to get group photos, especially with kids or lots of dogs. You may not have quite as many final shots to choose from.
Where to Go?
This is totally up to you. Some dogs prefer to stay home and run around the back yard, others like to venture out. If you have a favorite park or hiking trail I'm happy to meet you there. What makes a great location? Look for someplace that has a scenic view that's unobstructed by housing developments. Rolling hills, tall flower beds, or established trees that serve to fill the frame behind you will be great as well. Creeks and small ponds are great especially if they have tall trees around them, but lakes tend to be a little flat and boring, depending on what's around. I generally don't recommend dog parks. They are great fun for your furry friend but usually don't provide the most scenic backdrop, plus all the other dogs will make it really hard to maintain your pups attention. Not sure where to go? That's OK too. I'm happy to recommend some of my favorite spots.
What to Wear
Wear something you'll be comfortable playing with your dog in. Jeans and a nice shirt generally allow plenty of flexibility. Solid colors photograph best. Just keep in mind, you'll be looking at these photos for years to come. And while I don't mind doing some minor retouching to remove the muddy pawprint your dog gave you during our session, I will not be able to photoshop different shoes on your feet. (YES! I have had people ask) Depending on your style, and location, I recommend shoes you can do a little walking in. Sometimes we climb on rocks and if your dog likes to pull you might need some extra stability. You're more than welcome to take your shoes off and on during a session as well. Going barefoot adds to the feeling of being in touch with nature.
How to Prepare
How much or how little you want to prep is totally up to you. Some people like to have their dogs, and themselves, perfectly groomed before a photo session. Others prefer to come as they are. Either is totally OK with me! I'm a firm believer that your photos should reflect who you and your pet are, your personalities and your style. If you want to work on teaching your dog to sit or stay, it might come in handy on photo day. But it's not totally necessary. If you want your dog to do a special trick for his pictures, practice it outside of your home. And don't be surprised if he still totally forgets his manners on picture day.
"My dog isn't very well behaved."
That's ok! I wasn't always a dog photographer. Once upon a time I was a vet tech, and for 3 years, a zoo keeper. I have worked with all kinds of animals at every level of “training”. I have worked with very young puppies who didn't know any commands and very old dogs who were just over following commands. Each dog has a unique personality and I will do my very best to work your photos around your pets personality and capabilities. This might mean less than perfect posing, or changing the shot halfway through to accommodate your dog. If your dog has settled into a good spot I may ask you to quickly slide over next to them. At times it may feel a little awkward or chaotic, but I promise you'll be happy with the final results.
"You can just fix it in PhotoShop right?"
The answer to this is yes and no. Just like the shoes mentioned above, how you & your pet come to your photo session is how you'll be photographed. While I am happy to make minor adjustments in processing your final photos, large scale changes may look obvious. Above all, I strive to keep your photos looking natural, if something looks photoshopped it may do more to ruin a picture than whatever was removed. If YOU are comfortable taking your dog off leash, you are welcome to, as long as they are very reliable under voice control. Also, keep local leash laws in mind. Nothing ruins a fun outing like a ticket. If your dog is not 100% on their voice commands we still have options. You can bring a decorative leash and collar. Also, I'll do my best to position your dogs leash in a way that it wont show or that it can be removed in post. There are times when a leash cuts right across the front of a photo that it can't be removed without causing the photo to look off, but we'll try to avoid that in your photos. Please see the chart below for added clarification. If you have any questions or special requests please don't hesitate to ask.
What I Will DoMinor blemish retouching/skin softening
Remove leashes (when possible)
Wet paw prints that happened during your shoot (when possible, solid colored clothes come in handy here)
Random people/objects in the background (when possible)
If you accidentally wore your ugly hiking boots, just take them off and go barefoot for the shoot
What will cost extra / May not be done at allPutting make up on you
Remove harnesses, change collars
Your shirt is wrinkled because you didn't iron it.
Replace a background
Replace your shoes or outfit
When can I expect my photos?
We'll schedule an in-home viewing session about two weeks after your photo session. We can sit down together and chat about where in your home you'd like to display your new portraits of your best friend. And I'll bring samples of my most popular items from the ready-to-display Folio Box, to a perfect for your office Photo Cube.
All photos are printed professionally, they will last indefinitely. It can take up to three weeks for your prints and keepsakes to arrive.
This should be a fun & stress-free event for you and your dogs, so relax and have fun!
If you haven't already, book now!