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Ellie- Class of 2023

We photographed Ellie's session this past week, and it was so much fun! It rained the entire morning and I was so worried we would have to reschedule but thankfully it stopped just long enough for her photos.

We frequently get asked about photographing seniors with their animals so I thought I would give you some of my top tips for getting the most out of shots with your pets.

Having a pet in your session is always a fun idea. It makes it that much more meaningful and adds a more personal touch to your photos.

Here are a couple of our top tips for including your furry friend in your session.

1- Don't forget the treats! This is how we will get them to look at the camera and reward them for all of their hard work posing.

2- Know your pet, and plan accordingly. Does your cat hate being outside because of noise? Let's not photograph them in a busy park. Is your dog sensitive to heat? Mornings or late afternoon once it's cooler may be the best bet. Also, if your pet is super hyper- make sure you have help that can wear them out before the session.

3- Bring help! You and I will already have our hands full so bringing help, even if it's just for this part of the session, is HUGE! Extra hands to hold the leash and treats, someone to make noises to get their attention and just having back up if you need it is always a good idea.

4- Plan to have someone take them home as soon as they are done with their part of the session. We are usually shooting for several hours and trying to wrangle a dog that whole time or expecting them to be up for sitting in the car is a lot to ask.

5- Remember that they are animals and will have an option of their own on if they want to participate. (See the photo about 4 down from this to show you what I am talking about!) Getting mad at them will usually just cause them to start reacting to your attitude and not in a great way. Stay calm, remember that this isn't normal for them either, and sometimes just be willing to roll with whatever gets thrown at you.

What other tips can you think of for getting the most out of photos with your pets? Would you include your pet in photos, and if so, tell us what kind of furry friend you have?

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