Is there one of us out there that doesn’t think of their pet as another member of the family? Ever since I started doing maternity photo sessions, I’ve had several requests for the family dog to be included. I don’t have any children myself yet, but this trend started me thinking. My shih-tzu, Eddy, is 15. I call her “Baby” just as much as I call her by her name. I even carry her like a baby sometimes. She gets so much of my attention. With such a big life change, how can we not be concerned how our pet will adjust to a new baby?
The idea of including a pet in your maternity session definitely recognizes the fact that a big change is about to come. It also acknowledges your pet’s important place in your family and in the moment. Personally, I think it’s really sweet. And from the people I know with pets and babies, changes do come, but the love is still there.
Want to include your pet in your maternity session or family portrait? Here are some tips:
Walk ‘em Make sure they go on a good walk a little before the session so they release all their energy.
Calm: Keep the dog/pet as calm as possible when the photographer arrives. I didn’t talk much to Mike and Rose when I walked in, I came in and paid attention to Hollis right away. I talked to him a lot so he felt totally involved in what was going on.
Treats: Dogs respond really well and tend to look in the direction of treats! (I do too actually!) Have lots on hand.
Have Help: Have someone who knows your dog come to the session to hold the treats and get the dog’s attention. They’ll stand right next to me so I can just grab the dog’s gaze away from that milkbone for one second.
Keep smiling! We’ll have to take a lot more shots to get just the right one, so just stay in that position and hold until your pet gets there too!
Be flexible On the photo below, Hollis sat down and was looking right at me. I wasn’t going to press my luck and try to move him over a foot to the left. It turned out great…even looks like I planned it that way. I go in with several different ideas so if one isn’t working, we move on to the next.
Be spontaneous I asked Lynette to sit here and read the book, then Kaylee (her dog) started staring out the window, so I backed up and grabbed it. It’s like she’s waiting for the baby to arrive.
Thanks to all our pets who make our everyday so much better!!!