The Process of a Pet Photography Session

Written by Courtney Bryson

Begin with the End in Mind

While the best place to start is always at the beginning, I find that having a plan for the final product is just as important. This is why one of the first questions I’ll ask you when planning your pet photography session is, “How would you like to enjoy your images?” And about 90% of my clients reply “I’m not sure.” I have designed the entire pet photography process to guide you to your answer to that question. 

When we first start planning your dog’s photography session I’ll spend a lot of time getting to know you & your dog. Are they adverturers or couch potatoes? Do they live for a game of fetch or frisbee or just wonder why you would throw the toy away? Maybe you’re hikers or picnic people or home bodies. Nothing is right or wrong, but the answers help us decide where and how to tell your story. 

the steps to a pet photography session

  1. consultation
  2. session
  3. selection
  4. delivery

Let’s look at each step in the process.


The consultation is just a fancy word for a chat. We’ll talk on the phone, in person, or on a video call & I’ll answer all your questions. This is fun. You’ll tell me all about your dog – full permission to share as many stories about them as you want. I want to know everything. I want to know about their favorite toys & games. I want to know that you love the little white tip on the end of their tail like they’ve dipped it in a paint bucket. Really, tell it all. 

You’ll also tell me about your house & decor style. Do you love reclaimed barn wood? Or maybe things are sleek and modern? Is the art on your walls full of bright bold color or earth tones? 

And lastly, we’ll start getting inspired about what we can create together. Maybe you have a big blank space over your couch that we can fill with a wall gallery or maybe a narrow wall at the end of the hall that needs a square series. Or you love changing out a set of frames you’ve collected from antique shops – an image box might be perfect!


This is going to be easy. You & your dog will be relaxed through out the session. You’ll feel prepared after receiving the session guide and packing list via email. Your dogs only job is to be a dog and your only job is to relax and enjoy. I’ll do all the work.

We’ll spend time together working at your dog’s pace with their comfort & safety top of mind. They’ll be times of portraits where we’ll ask them to sit or stay. There will be breaks to sniff and pee on stuff. If they’re action dogs, we’ll capture them in motion.

I’ll capture the beuatiful moments in between as well as posed portraits so I can tell your story.

There will also be treats and toys. I want this to be a super experience for your dog. They should go home loving the weird lady that lays on the ground, makes funny noises, & hands out delicious food.

Once we’ve captured the images we talked about you’ll head home with a happy tired dog.


This is the most exciting part. After waiting on pins & needles to see your images, it’s here! About 2 weeks after we meet for the session, we’ll meet again for your selection appointment. 

You’ll begin by seeing a beautiful slideshow of all your final images set to music. Just sit back and take it all in.

Now, we’ll go through your images one by one and together we’ll mark your favorites. Don’t worry, most of my clients have a hard time narrowing it down, but that’s what I am here for. We’ll choose your favorties and then using those favorites we’ll finalize your order and design the artwork we talked about way back in the consultation. 


It all comes together. I’m not sure who’s more excited – me – you – or the dogs! 

I’ve perfected your selections, ordered your artwork from artists and professional labs, and now they are here. 

Your artwork is always delivered ready to hang on the walls or display proudly around your home. 

Also, I can’t completely let the cat out of the bag here, but there might be a surprise in store too!

"Such a wonderful experience! A true professional with has an exceptional knack for animals! Totally recommend!"

Trish & Hazel

"I am thrilled with the outcome! This will get a very special place in my home."

Krista & Scarlett

"I had such a great experience with Courtney! She ensured not only that the pups were prepared but that I was also. I had a detailed checklist of what to do to prepare before the shoot. From how far in advance to get the groomed/bathed to Coloring/cutting my hair in advance (if needed), what color and texture of clothing to wear for the best results, recommended collars for the pups. I think she had everything covered. Courtney was very patient with all of us :). If you are looking for photos with your furry family, I would absolutely recommend her!"

Liz, Kaos, & Kali

"We were lucky enough to attend the Love Barks event at Pet Pleasers Bakery in Gainesville, and Courtney captured some amazing photos of my dogs. It can be challenging to get them to sit still, but Courtney is a pro! Everything was set up perfectly to maximize our time there, and she is so fast with that camera. She was even able to Photoshop my hand + the leash out of several of the photos. It was a great experience, and we look forward to doing another session with Courtney soon!"

Kristen, Teddy, & Chloe

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.



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