5 Must Have Photos from Your Pet Photography Session

Written by Courtney Bryson

What are the 5 Must Have Photos from your Pet Photography Session?

Your camera roll is full of every possible pose from your dog you can imagine – sleeping, a running blur, sitting, tongue out, tongue in, etc and every single one is absolutely adorable!

But, when it comes time for your dog’s professional pet photography session, which poses are absolute must haves from your session? As a professional pet photographer, I have 5 images that I strive to get from every single session because I think every dog mom needs these images of her best friend.

In this post I’m sharing the 5 Must Have Photos from your Pet Photography Session!

A must have image from your pet photography session - a photo of your dogs together.
Atlanta pet photographer, Courtney Bryson, shares the top 5 must have photos from your pet photography session.
You'll definitely want to get images of your dog showing off their best tricks during your pet photography session.

1. A Close Up

Who doesn’t love a close up of their favorite furry face? Having an image where you can count the little furs that just kiss the top of their nose and that face just fills the entire frame is an image that just makes you happy.

The close is up is definitely my number 1 in the 5 Must Have Photos from your Pet Photography Session. Typically the close up feels almost larger than life and really captures the personality. 

My favorite place to showcase a close up is in an album – turning the page to see that face looking right at you is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you thumb through the album we create together.

2. The Environmental Portrait

In direct opposition to the close up, the environmental portrait lets you take a step back and see your entire dog as part of the larger location. When I am planning an environmental portrait, I like to think about the old paintings you see of dogs that we’ve used as artwork in our homes for centuries.

If the angels sing and everything lines up just so – an environmental portrait feels like art that just happens to include your dog as the star. Environmental portraits beg to be printed large and hung over the mantel where you can appreciate all the detail.

A close up photo of your dog is a must have during your pet photography session.
An environmental portrait puts your dog in the larger landscape to great art that begs to be printed large.

3.  All Together Now

When it comes to being a pet photographer, there are two things I am asked all the time:
1. Can my dog be on the leash? (The answer is yes by the way.)

2. Can we take a picture of all my dogs together?

Good news! The answer is also yes! Between managing dogs with leashes (that I remove in post production) and the magic of photoshop, we can absolutely capture images of your dogs together (even if they prefer to not see each other in real life).

You definitely want to get an image of your dogs together when you hire a professional pet photographer.

4. The Action Hero

While we’re talking about the pictures you need a professional pet photographer to capture, we need to talk about the Action Hero! If your dog is bouncy, or ball obsessed, or absolutely nuts about chase – you want to make sure to let me know so we can take pictures of your dog in action!

While cell phones are great for photographing the 7,000 adorable things your dog does (current camera roll count 7,372), they just aren’t great at freezing really fast action. Luckily, professional camera gear, shutter speeds at 1/2500th of a second, fast glass, and a good zoom can freeze motion to get super crisp, clear photos of your dog doing their favorite thing.

5. A Family Portrait

Yes, that means you in the photo. Now, stay with me, I know getting in front of the camera can be scary, but you’re going to want those pictures in 10 years. One of the most special things that exist is the unconditional love that our dogs share with us and having photos that document your unique human animal bond is truly priceless.

If you just can’t imagine being fully in a few photos with your dog, consider letting a piece of you in the frame. I love images with the owner in the picture, but not in the picture if you get what I am saying. Images of you from the knees down with your pup, images with your dog gazing lovingly up, and close ups that show your hands petting their fur all show your relationship in a less scary way.


Be sure to check out my What to Wear Guide for Dog Moms & Dog Families

A photograph of all your dogs together is one of the most requested shots by clients of professional Atlanta dog photographer.
Action photos of dogs can be tricky to photograph without the help of a professional pet photographer.
Images of owners with their dogs are a must have from any pet photography session - Atlanta pet photographer can help you be in the image while your dog remains the star of the show.

There you have it – my 5 Must Have Photos From Your Dog’s Pet Photography Session. Of course, there are so many other options that I love too: details, candids, eating favorite treats, silly faces, doing tricks, and puppy dog eyes are a few of my other favorites. When we’re planning your dog’s photo session you’ll be able to share your favorites too so we can photograph everything that makes your dog so special.

I’m excited to be participating in a blog circle with other pet photographers across the globe! Just follow the links around until you get back here to complete the circle. 

Up next read Angela and Bella of Big White Dog Photography, working through the 13 must-have photos for your dog portrait session in Spokane, WA. 

Capturing photos of your dogs doing their best tricks is a fun addition to any dog photography session.

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In the Press

Courtney of CM Bryson is a pet portrait and lifestyle photographer who takes interesting narrative photographs of all sorts of pets –– cats, dogs, donkeys, you name it. She has an amazing ability to capture the fun-loving side of your pets, as well as their deep attachment to you, all while also being able to stage hilarious photoshoots that bring out the inner comedian in your little guys. Whether you’re looking for a serious, high-concept portrait or a hilarious photo of your pet sure to make you giggle for years to come, Courtney might just be the pet photographer for you.