8 tips for adding your pet to your branding photos

woman sits with her dog in front of a couch

Adding your best friend to your branding images can say so much about your personal story or your business’s. Staci here wanted her dog in a couple of her images because her business is called Black Dog Financial. And these images help tell her brand’s story perfectly.

Here are 8 tips to know before bringing your pet to your session.

1. get permission

We need to have approval from the session location. It’s important that your photographer knows you want to include your pet so we can plan our shot list and so that we can get permission from anyone involved.

2. groom your pet

Make sure your pet is clean and neat. Schedule any grooming a couple days before the session.

3. Consider accessories

Would Fido look cute in a bowtie (see above, YES!)? Is he used to wearing one? Consider accessories your pet is comfortable in. You don’t want the day of your session to be the first time you’re trying out something new for him to wear. If you go with accessories, make sure they’re on brand.

4. Have a handler

Your photographer needs you to be focused on the camera. Your photographer needs to be focused on taking the shots. A handler who knows your pet and help keep him or her comfortable is great to get and keep your pet’s attention and to help keep your pet in line at the location.

5. bring treats

Today’s the day to reward your pet for any and all cooperation!

6. Bring Fido for only part of the session

Your pet doesn’t need to be at your session for the whole time. It can get pretty boring for them, or it could be pretty stressful. Minimizing their time at the session is key to their comfort. We’ll plan out the shot list to know if he should be there at the beginning, in the middle, or near the end. This is also where the handler is so important!

7. Your pet might be freaked out

Your pet probably isn’t used to seeing someone standing in front of them with a big black box (camera) covering up their face, staring at them, talking to their human, lights potentially flashing, etc. This can be stressful and scary to them. Realize that this is most likely the first time you’re asking them to do this. They don’t know what’s going on. Have patience and a soothing voice.

8. Have patience

Again, have patience. If you’ve been to any amusement park with an animal show, you’ve heard the animal handlers say that they don’t force their performers to do anything. They guide the animals and if the animals want to participate that day, then they do. If not, they don’t. If we aren’t able to get the shots you were imagining it’s ok. We can either try again another day or at another location, or you can rethink having your pet be a part of your brand imaging. Most likely we’ll get the perfect image!