5 Things to Know Before Your Pet Portrait Event Session

Pet Portrait Event sessions are short themed sessions I host to help you have fun updated photos of your dog in a low stress environment while also helping raise funds for animal rescue groups. Not only do you get great images for Instagram, you also have a positive experience with your dog and teach them that getting their picture made is awesome! In this post, I’m sharing 5 things you need to know before attending your pet portrait event session.

The first step in fininding the right location for dog photography is to look for the right light.

1. Bring the Good Treats to Your Pet Portrait Event Session

We’re going to ask your dog for their attention in a new environment, so be prepared to pay & pay well in treats they really love. Some dogs are happy working for Cheerios, but most dogs need higher value treats at their pet portrait event session.

Some ideas for high value rewards include:

  • Cheese
  • Hot Dogs
  • Liverwurst
  • A Super Special Toy

2. Be On Time to Your Pet Portrait Event Session

Nearly every pet portrait event day is fully booked, which means your session will immediately follow the session before. Being on time, or 10 minutes early, can help us keep on track. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this event, we aren’t able to see late arrivals.

You’ll notice in your preparation & reminder email sent 24 hours before your pet portrait event session I recommend planning to arrive 15 minutes early to give you a little time for unexpected delays. If we’re ahead of schedule, we’ll even snag you & your dog early to save you the wait.

Choosing the best background for pet photography means eliminating distractions.

3. Wait in Your Car

We’re super lucky to have a private space at Canine Country Academy so I can open this event even to dogs that may be fearful or reactive to new people and/or dogs. To make sure that it’s a positive experience for everyone, we DO NOT allow dogs to see or greet each other in the parking area.

Either myself or one of the Canine Country team will wave you in when we’re ready for you to come in for your session.

We want the trip to & from the car to be a positive experience too!

Model pups lends a helping paw to create a great brand for Atlanta dog walking service.

4. Let Me Know What Your Dog Needs

I’m a dog lover like you & I’d love to love your dog with pets and kisses and treats and squeak funny toys and make silly noises to get their attention, but some dogs hate that.

If your dog needs more space, doesn’t enjoy attention from new people, or just plain hates squeaky toys – let me know!

I work with several dogs at these events that I can only love quietly from afar, and that’s 100% OK!

The number one goal of your pet portrait event session is to make this a great experience for your dog.

Choosing the best background for pet photography means eliminating distractions.

5. Keep it Fun

You might be worried I won’t get any good images or that your dog is too hyper or unfocused or just not behaving as well at your pet portrait event session as he might at home.

That’s normal.

This is exciting stuff for most dogs – new place, new people, new smells (or exciting place & fun people if they’ve been before) – and they’re going to be a little busy.

As long as you’re relaxed and having a good time, your dog will be better able to enjoy it too!

Model pups lends a helping paw to create a great brand for Atlanta dog walking service.

Want to make sure you don’t miss the next Pet Portrait Event?

This blog is a part of a blog circle with pet photographers near me and from across the globe! This week it’s photographer’s choice – so topics can be anything!

Next up: head over to Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA, launching a new way to tell your dog’s story.

Be sure to keep clicking the link at the bottom to complete the circle until you wind up back here!

What to read next?


  1. Elaine

    Great tips! I definitely adore people who are on time at events like this, and always give end of the day private sessions to those whose dogs do not play well with others.

  2. Nicole

    Great topic, and Such good tips.

  3. Tracy Allard

    Those pet portrait events sound fun and great tips to keep everything moving smoothly. It always nibbles at my heart a little when I can’t love on a pet client, but like you, I read their body language and if they’re sayng “I’d really rather not”, then I love them from afar as well.


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