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Photographing Your Dog: Tips for Bringing Out Your Best Friend's True Personality

We love when your dog loves us right away. Jumping out of the car wiggly and greeting us immediately. Showing us their goofy side as you giggle, and say, "wow they love you! They're being so silly."


And we also have a special place in our hearts for the dogs who start out a little nervous and warm up to us during their session. When we bend down with a hand full of treats and wait for them to slowly come to us and get brave enough to take treats from a stranger.


Julie and I both have nervous dogs, and totally understand the feeling of hoping your dog will show their true personality in their shoot. Below are a few tips and tricks to help your dog feel comfortable and warm up to us.


  1. Get to your session early and take a stroll: Pretty much every location we shoot at is connected to a hiking trail, or has space for you to walk around with your dog and decompress. Movement is proven to help dogs relax in any environment!

  2. Advocate for what your dog needs, and let us know ahead of time: You're the expert for your dog, and we'll follow your lead. Don't be afraid we wont get the shot if your dog needs space. We're really creative on troubleshooting methods to photograph your dog and are totally fine making sure your dog is comfortable first.

  3. Disclose any behavior issues or stressors you're worried about: There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, if people or dogs, or even just new locations stress your dog out. Please let us know so we can insure everyone is safe, whether your dog is people reactive or dog reactive, keep us in the loop.

  4. Exercise patience: This might be your dog's first time meeting strangers staring at them through a camera. They might be a little extra wiggly, or nervous, and that's okay! Try not to get frustrated or upset if they don't sit perfectly still. Our sessions are designed to give us plenty of time to troubleshoot the best methods to help your dog get comfortable. AND there's two of us for a reason! You'll see Julie and I help each other set your dog up for a photo.

  5. RELAX: Your dog is going to feed off your energy, and if you're anxious for your photoshoot, that's going to elevate them. I hope the photos below calm your mind about your photoshoot. Each photo included is of a nervous dog we've photographed during a standard session. Feel free to reach out with questions, over inform us about your dogs behaviors, anything that will make you ~relax~ and enjoy your session.

  6. Don't be afraid to email us and ask for a private session: We've had clients book Sniff Spots in the past to insure there wouldn't be any of their dog's triggers during their shoot. We're happy to accommodate! Shoot us an email and we'll help you get a private session set up!

You can read what to expect before, during, and after your session, and other tips and tricks: here

Below are all photos of nervous dogs. You'll see they all warmed up and were able to be themselves during their session. We're dog people: and you can see that.




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