Include your pet in the family portrait.


“Hey, Sarah, would it be weird to have our dog with us at the session?”

I felt my pulse rises as I imagined  a humungous fella with big slobbery drool like the guard dog in Harry Potter.

Knowing it was important to them I figured, we’d be outside, there was time to play, this was the dog’s family, it should be fine. When I arrived at the family session and dad walked around the corner with a tiny-puppy-sized-fully-matured-not-barking-dog under his arm, I started to beam a big smile.

dog_Family_Portrait (1 of 1)


The family had a good laugh as I explained the treachery I would experience walking home in 1st grade past a lonely slobber fest of a teen dog that was kept in the yard all day and screaming to be played with when I’d walk by his fence.

They were also delighted after the fact that their dog was looking at one of them or the camera in every image I sent them. So though I’m no where near a dog whisperer, I’m all about taking images of the family as a whole.

My flexibility and willingness to try should relax you into seeing what we can get. I take enough images to be sure to get to our goal. It can be tricky to get everyone positioned just so and we have to have patience adding the unpredictability of dogs.

I’ve had some people bring dog treats if we are in their yard or go to the park a full 1/2 hour ahead of our meet time so their furry pal can explore and get some energy out.DSC_3901

Just like a small kid, bringing a dog’s favorite toy and a willingness to take breaks is encouraged. DSC_0760

I’ve since photographed tons of families with their pets. On the beach, in their homes, at the park, at their grandparents… And though I’m still using allergies as an excuse against our youngest’s canine wish list, including a pet is not even a question.



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