Top Tips for a fun, successful Pet Portrait Session.

16th March 2012
Well, Hairy Dog Photography has been up and running for almost a year now and I've learnt a huge amount about what makes for a good doggy photoshoot. All dogs are different and react in their own unique ways to the arrival of a strange photographer, but there are some things we can do to increase the likelihood of getting a stunning set of pet portraits.



Does your dog usually 'Sit' and 'Stay' when told? If so, a studio session will be a lot easier! I can't guarantee a successful studio shoot if not, but we've had great results even with very excitable dogs, so don't write it off! If your pet really doesn't like staying still, a location shoot might be more suitable - Hairy Dog specialises in action photography, so we love a speeding dog!

To get the most out of a home studio shoot, it's a good idea to take your dog out for a good walk or ball-chasing session an hour or so before he or she is due to start posing. Your dog will likely still need 20 minutes or so to get used to having flashy lights and a big white canvas backdrop in the living room but the best photos almost always happen towards the end of the session. It's around this time that dogs calm right down and begin to; a) get tired and b) start ignoring me and my camera!



If you're looking for action shots of your dog on the beach, at the park or in the woods, it's so helpful to have an extra pair of hands. If two owners, or an owner and a friend can call the dog between them, I'm much more likely to get a good set of photographs.

So to summarise;

  • Tire your dog out a bit before his shoot

  • Be realistic about your pet's ability to sit and stay

  • Expect 20 minutes of non-photos at the start of a studio shoot!

  • Wherever possible, get the family involved - photos of your dog are great, but photos of your family with a hairy dog are better!


Have a great weekend and if you have a shoot lined up, or if you would like one, do feel free to get in touch.