The Ultimate Survival Guide To Your First Pet Photoshoot

So you’ve done it. You’ve booked your first pet photoshoot session… now what?


Just kidding… booking your first pet photography session can be a bit daunting, but hopefully this post will give you some great tips on getting the best out of your photosoot.

puppy's first pet photoshoot in swindon
This little girl’s first pet photoshoot went wonderfully!

5 Tips for surviving your first Pet Photoshoot

1. Arrive in plenty of time

This is a great tip to start off with! Whilst we humans will explore the world with our eyes and maybe our ears, pets usually explore with their noses! For dogs, it’s a good idea to give them a few minutes before your session to get comfortable with the environment, have a sniff (maybe even a pee!) outside to get comfortable. It will make a world of difference!

If you’re having the shoot at your house, I will usually be bringing my pop-up pet photography studio. I try to make sure I leave enough time before we start for the pet to get used to me and do a bit of exploring of my kit.

All too often pet-parent will worry that their pets will damage something by sniffing it and call them away. Well, I’m here to say don’t worry! I will keep an eye on their behaviour so they’re not in danger of damaging anything (or themselves) but I do let them have a bit of a sniff and explore, as well as doing a few clicks with the camera so they can get used to the new smells and sounds quickly.

2. Bring something familiar

Have you ever been somewhere new and felt a bit anxious? Did you have something with you that just made it a bit better, be that a comfy sweater or even your phone? Now imagine you have no idea why you have been brought to a strange place to meet a stranger with this weird thing being pointed and clicked at you? Bit scary right!

Bring a favourite toy or blanket, even a comfy sweater to your shoot, it’s the little things that will make your first photoshoot go a little bit smoother!

3. Bring them a bit tired

Does that sound like a bit of a strange one doesn’t it? Surely you want your pets alert? Yes, but no! If you’ve got a particularly excitable pet (I’m looking at you border collies!), tiring them out a bit before your first photoshoot is a must.

A quick 20 minutes of fetch, a jog around a field or a game of tuggy will do wonders. It will allow them to be a bit calmer for your shoot.

Have a lazy pet? Maybe a Great Dane or a Greyhound? Don’t worry about tiring them out too much but it might be a good idea to have a little game with them beforehand anyway, just to get that brain working and listening to you.

4. Feed them dinner, and bring treats!

If your shoot is in the evening, or just after breakfast time, then it’s a good idea to make sure thyeve had their food. We don’t want hangry pets!

I joke, but keeping their schedule is important! It’s also important to note that we’ll likely be using a lot of treats for bribery! If you need to count calories for your pooch, it’s a good idea to consider the number of treats we could be using. You can always top up their dinner later!

5. Be prepared to get involved

Last but by no means least: get involved! To get the best photos possible of your littl furbabies, its vital that you’re ready to get involved. Whether that’s bribery with treats, holding a lead (don’t worry, we can photoshop a lot of things!) or providing some “good boy!” feedback.

If you’d like a photo with your pet, that could be an opportunity too if we have time in our session (it’s always worth contacting me first). Your first pet photoshoot is likely to be a bit bewildering, but there’s nothing wrong with coming back for another session! 😉

What do you think?

Did these tips help? Do you feel a bit more confident about booking your first pet photography session? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll look forward to meeting you and your pet!

your first pet photoshoot survival guide | Finlay Pet Photography
Pin me!