Animal photography is a lot like photographing children. Most of our clients are a bit anxious, excited, fidgety, talkative, or distracted. No pet or horse is the same. What works for one may not work for the next. So, for the first 10-15 minutes of our scheduled session, pets are allowed to roam and get accustomed to the surroundings if we aren’t shooting at home. I usually take that time to get to know your pet and their likes and dislikes. Based on what we discuss during the first few minutes determines how we will approach our photography session. Some pets would rather start things off getting to know me and investigating all of my strange equipment while others may be a bit more comfortable stretching out our introduction through the entire length of our session while sticking close to their human.
Keep in mind that you know your pet the best. Never hesitate to speak up if you have ideas as we work together to get the best shots of your pet!
Let’s be honest! When it comes to our sweet fur babies, things such as eye boogers, mud, slobber, and tangles are part of the package so it’s always a good idea to spruce up your pet before a session and be sure to bring a comb or brush for long haired pets as well as a hand towel for His Royal Slobber Lips. 😜 Don’t forget fresh drinking water if we are doing a session somewhere other than our studio where fresh water may not be available.
Most sessions are done with your pet on a leash or lead. (Indoor sessions are an exception) It may be removed on occasion at the joint discretion of client and photographer. When possible, humans and leads will be removed from photos during the editing phase. Collars and bridles will NOT be removed from photos unless discussed with photographer prior to session. Please choose your favorite collar or bridle prior to beginning our session. Below is an example of how we can pose your pooch on a leash without risk and how it is possible to remove the client in post processing.
To get that great photo, please bear in mind where your pet is most comfortable and safe. For instance: If your pet doesn’t do well on leash or lead, then our session would be best done in an enclosed area. Or if your pet is more relaxed and comfortable in an outdoor setting, please consider this when choosing your preferred session location.
- What should I bring? Clean leashed pet, favorite treats, favorite squeakers, and any articles of clothing that you may want the pet to wear.
- Can my pet wear an e-collar and you remove it in photoshop? We do not remove e-collars or any other collars from photos. However, we will work together to keep the box part of the collar behind the dog during our session. You are also welcome to bring a wide collar, scarf, or bandanna to wear over the e-collar.
- Does my dog need to know how to sit, stay, or lie down? No! While a well trained dog is very helpful in capturing that beautiful photo, it is not required.
- My pet doesn’t do well with other pets, can we still do a photography session? Absolutely! We will work with you to decide on the best and safest place to take photos.
- Do you do anything special for old or terminally ill pets? Special attention is given to these Furget-Me-Not sessions and we will do our best to get you in as soon as possible with a few other additional perks. No hidden fees. Please tell us up front about your situation so that we can prioritize your session and make things go as smoothly and as stress free as possible. PLEASE book these sessions AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! DO NOT WAIT!
What to Expect (Horses)
Horses… What can I say? Just like dogs, they come in all sizes, colors, and personalities. Placing emphasis on that last one. With horses, judging how a horse will react in a specific situation is vital to capturing great photos but also vital for everyone’s safety. Your photographer will not start waving around plastic bags to get your horse’s attention for a photo and set off a nuclear explosion underneath your horse. Honest! I’ve had several years of experience training, backing, riding, and keeping horses and I know that whatever works for one may cause a train wreck for another. All things considered, these sessions always go very smoothly and safely. Extensive discussion between photographer and horseman will help us jointly make the best decisions on “attention getting” items or noises. During our session, these special items are not used without first warning the rider/horseman so that if this 1400 pound animal decides to investigate, everyone is well aware of his or her intentions before hand and are prepared.
Horse photography sessions usually take place on the horse’s home turf or place where the horse feels extremely comfortable with it’s surroundings. If you’re wanting black background sessions, please be aware that these special sessions require an indoor arena, or a dark barn with a large open doorway. These lighting conditions create the most natural looking photos. The following photo is directly from the camera in ideal lighting conditions without any editing:
Frequently asked questions:
- Will you remove the halter in editing?
No. Unfortunately, halters will remain unless discussed with photographer prior to a session an a special halter is worn during the session. This allows the photographer to easily remove it from the images without creating an unnatural appearance of your horse.
- Can I be in the photos with my horse?
Absolutely! I always encourage owners to capture special moments together with their heart horse.
- Should my horse wear a bridle or a halter for photos?
This choice is entirely up to the owner. My personal taste is to use the bridle, remove the reins, and attach a lead to the bit or underneath the bridle. The lead will be removed from photos when possible.
- How does the weather affect our session?
Heavy rainfall during a scheduled session or a few days prior to a session can seriously impact our ability to have a clean horse or keep a horse clean. Mud can also affect a horse’s behavior if we are shooting in that beautiful location of choice and the weight of the horse causes the hooves to sink. For these reasons, your equine session is more likely to get rescheduled due to weather than any other pet’s session.
Please ask if you have any other questions! I’m always glad to help!