Jocelyn Cruz Photography is a fine art brand and wedding photographer based in South New Jersey.
If you have a dog, your engagement photos might not feel complete without including them! Trust me, our family dog, Jedi, is a treasured member of our family. Your dog may have been a part of your life longer than your partner; or maybe they were a journey you started together. Either way, there’s no rule against including your dog in your engagement photos. I’ve put together a few tips to ensure that both you and your dog are happy during your engagement session.
You definitely don’t want to just show up to your session with your dog. Your photographer has spent time scouting and planning your engagement session, and a dog can throw a huge wrench in those plans. Instead, communicate with your photographer well in advance. That way they can plan how best to accommodate you and your dog and ensure you get photos of all of you that you’ll fall in love with!
If you plan to bring your dog to your engagement session, make sure to ask a friend or family member to tag along and mind your dog while you’re taking photos of just the two of you. You’ll definitely be the opposite of relaxed if you have to watch your dog while trying to smile and look cute for the camera! Having someone on hand to watch your dog will also ensure that their needs are met, whether they need a drink of water or a bathroom break. They could even be there to help get your dog’s face to turn towards the camera!
Your dog most likely won’t be interested in sitting through your whole engagement session, and they don’t have to! Bring your dog to the beginning of your photoshoot so we can capture a few great shots with them. Then have a family member or friend take your dog back home where they can relax! You’ll feel more comfortable knowing your furry friend is taken care of, and we’ll be able to get some wonderful images featuring just the two of you. It’s a win-win!
Not every place allows dogs, so be sure to check in with your chosen engagement session location ahead of time to make sure they’re dog-friendly. If not, we can plan for a different spot to capture your photos. You just don’t want to find out at the last minute that your pup isn’t welcome and have to quickly think of a new place to go. A little planning goes a long way and can ensure we pack everything we can into our session together!
A worn-out dog is more likely to behave during your photoshoot. Even if your dog seems super relaxed at home, they sometimes get a burst of energy at a new location. Do your best to give your dog plenty of exercise before you arrive for your engagement session. If your dog has already gotten their energy out, they will generally be more responsive to commands, ensuring you get great photos. And if you’re able to take them to visit your session location beforehand, even better!
Think of your engagement session as you would any other outing with your dog, and bring everything they’ll need to stay happy and comfortable. That includes treats, favorite toys, water, and a bowl, and any other items you think your furry friend might need.
The photos you imagine may be entirely different than the ones you get—and that’s okay! You have to work with your dog and understand that they’re in an unfamiliar situation with a new person (your photographer). Be patient and try to relax and have a good time. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your dog will feel!
Interested in scheduling your engagement session? Let’s connect so we can reserve your date today!
And be sure we’re connected online! Let’s connect on Instagram. 🤍
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