Paws, Prosecco, & Portraits: Engagement Photos with Your Dog

If you’re like me, you’ve been sidetracked a time or two by adorable pet videos. Once you get going, it’s so hard to stop! Animals have a way of adding an extra dose of joy, silliness, and companionship to our lives. So, when it comes to capturing your love story through engagement photos, there’s no reason your favorite four-legged friend should be left out! In fact, I recommend engagement photos with your dog for extra memories. Plus, having your playful pup by your side can banish any camera shyness, too.

Your dog is an integral part of your family, and their unique personality adds a sweet twist to the time-honored tradition of engagement photos.

If your dog is a snuggly (aka stubborn) couch potato or an energetic adventurer, you may be wondering, “How do I get my dog involved without turning the photoshoot into a chaotic, fur-filled frenzy?” I love doing photoshoots with pets, so here’s a guide to help you and your furry friend enjoy a fun-filled photo session.

Pawfect Engagement Photos with Pets: A How-To Guide

Choosing the Perfect Location

Finding a location that caters to you and your pup is key to great candid images. Outdoor settings are generally more dog-friendly and provide a naturally beautiful backdrop for your snaps. Here are a few places that you might want to consider:

Outdoor Wineries: These are great options because they often have open spaces for your dog to roam around. The vines and barrels and built-in ambiance can add character and rustic charm to your photos.

Patios and Public Spaces: These locations, like Pittsburgh’s Strip District, can lend an urban, modern feel to your photoshoot. Just make sure to check if they’re dog-friendly beforehand. Think back to some of your favorite dates at outdoor eateries or bars. You’ve probably noticed that some places put dog bowls out on the patio, and those hangouts are great photo options! If you’re doggo prefers to people watch than walk, this might be the spot for you.

Parks: If you have a very energetic pup, parks, like Allegheny Commons, are practically playgrounds for your pupper and offer a relaxed and casual setting for your photos. Plus, the greenery can enhance your pictures’ vibrant, happy tones. 

Lakes: Summer is right around the corner, and if you have a water dog, we could have a ton of fun splishing and splashing in the lake. Bring some sticks or toys to fetch so we can get fun, playful shots of the three of you enjoying a sunny day together. 

(Psst–We can take things up a notch with some flirty lakeside portraits at sunset, too. Don’t forget your swimsuit!)

Instead of trying to corral your dog the whole time, choose a location that lets him be his happiest, best self. Let me know which places you frequent often with your pup, and we can consider some of those for an on-location engagement session.

Prepping for a Photoshoot with Your Dog

The key to a seamless photoshoot with your dog is proper preparation. Here are a few tips to ensure your session goes smoothly:

Let your photographer know about your dog: Be upfront about your dog’s temperament, personality, likes, and dislikes. Knowing a bit about your dog will help me prepare and plan the shoot accordingly.

Bring a friend: Consider having a friend tag along who can take care of your dog when they’re not in the frame. This will allow you to get additional couple’s portraits without worrying about your pup.

Pack essentials: Remember to bring your dog’s favorite toys and treats. Not only do they keep your pooch entertained, but they can also get their attention when it’s time for a close-up.

Capturing the Pawfect Shots

Getting a great picture with your dog might seem challenging, but with a few tips, you can have a collection of beautiful engagement photos that include your furry friend:

Be patient: Remember, your dog doesn’t understand what’s going on. They might not cooperate immediately, so patience is key.

Keep it fun: Make sure your dog enjoys the process, and we can take plenty of play breaks with treats (these make good photos, too).

Be natural: The best photos usually happen when you’re interacting naturally with your dog. Play with them, cuddle them, let them be themselves, and let your photographer capture these candid moments.

Engagement Photos with Your Dog

Including your beloved pet in your engagement photos can add a unique and personal touch to your pre-wedding memories. It might require a bit more planning and patience, but the result will be a series of heartwarming photos that truly represent your little family. After all, your dog has been there through your relationship’s highs and lows, so why not include them in this milestone occasion?

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