Keeping Your Dog Safe – Dos & Don’ts of Pet Photography

I’m a safety girl. I always wear my seat belt. I look twice before crossing the street. I never blow dry my hair while showering. Ok, that last one is pretty obvious, but safety is a serious business. Anytime we’re working with animals keeping safety top of mind is the first priority. There are a few ways I work hard at keeping your dog safe through-out your experience. In this blog I’m going to share some of my Dos & Don’ts of Pet Photography.

Do Use a Leash to Keep Your Dog Safe

Do you want beautiful portraits of your dog, but worry they’d never behave off leash?

Well, they don’t have to be off leash at all! Nearly every single dog I photograph is wearing a leash in their photo. The first rule about pet photography is pet photographers know how to edit leashes out in post production. I won’t put any dog at risk, and with digital pet photography and the magic of Adobe Photoshop, we can create gorgeous off leash portraits, while never letting your dog off leash!

Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate About Any Safety Concerns

While there are several aspects of keeping your dog safe are general, many of them depend on us working as a team. I rely heavily on my 10+ years of working professionally with animals and continue to seek education about dog body language, training, and safety, and while I know a lot about dogs in general – you are the expert on your dog.
If your dog prefers more space from strangers, let me know and I can plan to use longer lenses that allow that extra space. If I make a suggestion you don’t think your dog will be comfortable with, don’t be afraid to let me know.
For example, my dog Lira will not “down” on a hard surface due to her past surgical sites making it uncomfortable on her abdomen. So for her to feel safe and comfortable, I bring a soft mat to use on top of any surfaces. Or if we’re working in an area and you see another dog, let me know. We can take a break, move to the side, and let the other dog pass by.
Here’s the thing – no one knows your dog better than you do, so please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the experience better for them. The more fun your dog is having the better the final images will be!

Do Set Your Dog Up for Success

Every signature pet photography session begins with planning & preparation.

My goal is to get to know you & your dog so I can design a session just for you. During the planning questionnaire, I’ll ask you to share all about your dog and your dreams for the final images we’ll create together. Using this information we can set them up for success by selecting the right location.

Depending on what your dog needs and how you would like the images to look, I can suggest some portrait locations and times that will work for you. I have options from nearly deserted, but still public, parks to private venues we can rent. I also have my own private studio space where we can be indoors.

By choosing a place your dog will be comfortable, we’ll not only get better, more relaxed images, your dog will also feel safe.

Pet photographer is a pretty awesome job title, but it comes with some pretty big responsibilities – the biggest of which is keeping your dog safe.

This blog is a part of a blog circle with pet photographers from across the globe! This week we’re talking about keeping dogs safe.

Next up head Down Under with Award winning Canberra Dog Photographer Ina Jalil of Ina J Photography share how to keep your dogs safe during your pet photography session.

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

From puppy to adult, keeping dogs safe at their photo session is the number one priority for pet photographers.

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  1. Cahlean

    Awesome tips! Leashes are a given, but the information from your clients about their dog is really cool! As you said, who knows your dog better than you?

  2. Nancy

    I like how you were able to make the leash disappear in that one picture instead of having two sIde by side ones

  3. Tracy Allard

    Big responsibilities is right (but it’s still one of the best jobs in the world!)


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