They’re fast. Sometimes non-stop fast. And oh-so-adorable when they take those precious naps. So how do you capture these precious puppy moments?
So you’ve planned for weeks or even months. You’ve made adjustments to your home. Maybe you’ve switched up your work or personal schedule. But when that day comes – are you really ready for this new 4-legged addition to the family?
Of course you are! Part of the fun of having a new puppy at home is being able to grow together! You’re figuring out your new rhythm and developing that intense bond. A bond that will just be THE BEST, forever.
There will be blood (how can something so soft be so POINTY?!) and there will be tears (please no playtime, it’s 2am!). There will be moments of panic when the house is suddenly a little too quiet. There will be sacrifices to the Puppy Gods. (Why do they prefer the designer shoes instead of flip flops and the Italian leather bags instead of canvas?)
BUT, there will also be heart-melting-into-a-million-butterflies moments of snuggliness and puppy breath. You’re famous on walks because everyone will stop you to “oooo” and “ahh” over your new friend. Enjoy it!
Puppies are also so damn fast. Usually they’re flipping, flopping, bouncing and skidding all over the place. So how in the heck ARE you supposed to get amazing photos of them during this short yet uber precious time?
Call a pro!
I put the “professional” in professional pet photographer. I’ve worked with all kinds of puppies, especially after all the lockdown adoptions (no shade, I’m one of them!).
Puppies usually fall into one of two categories and this is how I deal:
Puppies will be puppies. It’s what they do best. The cuter they are, the faster and sometimes more mischievous they can be. No problem!
Dabby, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was 10 weeks old at the time of his session. He came into the Porta Vittoria studio and was happily trotting around every corner of the place. Sniffin’ this, pawin’ at that, sometimes even going in for a taste!
I realized right away that play was his motivation in life. So with one of the balls I had, I worked with his big (human) sister, Olympia, to throw the ball. We’d go from the backdrop to behind me and the camera and back and forth. We even got a couple of good sits (he’s not trained yet!) by luring his nose back with the ball. All I had to do was be in position to click away to capture those quick moments of stillness.\
Dabby played lots but I also gave him lots of breaks. It’s important for him to not get too bored trying to sit in the same spot. I encouraged him to wander about and sniff around. It’s good stimulation that tired him out a bit and made him sliiightly more willing to pose.
No problem here either. The world is a big scary place for them. And even for older dogs, being in the studio can be a strange place. It may even remind them of the dreaded place where stuff goes in their ears and mouth and sometimes even … other places. Their vet’s office!
Patty, 3mo, is a rescue and was a little timid at first. She hated stairs so her mom, Carol (great name, I know!) carried her upstairs. I ignored her a bit and let her go sniff. Luckily, there weren’t any signs of nervousness with the camera and flash sounds for her.
We went slow! Mom lured her onto the backdrop in about the right spot, I’d snap a few shots. They played and interacted then we’d let her go wander around a bit. Lather. Rise. Repeat. After several rounds, we had LOTS of great shots. She even got comfy enough to try on some hats!
If your pup is a bit shy around new situations and people, let me know. I’ll do lots of tests with the photography gear to make sure that’s not scary to them. We’ll give them plenty of time to explore the studio and get comfy.
Hopefully, with time, they’ll see the experience for the party-fun-good times that it is. But if not, we’ll go slow and I’ll get some beautiful portraits in the most concise way as possible.
Document Their Growth
Puppyhood is such a precious time. Yet, they grow up so fast, even week-to-week at the beginning! If you already have a future date to bring home that new furry family member, we can plan ahead. Or let me know you have a puppy and I’ll try to get you in ASAP!
No need for a wall with height notches written on it (especially if you rent and or move often!). I offer puppy sessions, depending on your needs.
A 2 session pack is available for the puppy stage and when they are full grown. A 3 session pack will include those two as well as those awkward “teen” years, around 6-9mo.
Reach out! Click below for a no-obligations chat to see what can work best for you!
In boca al lupo (good luck!)! And do us all a favor and put those designer shoes away!
KEEP IT GOING!
This post is part of a blog circle of some of the most uber-talented pet photographers all over the world. Keep reading to see how other photographers’ clients prep for their custom portrait sessions.
Follow the circle until you land back on this page. Enjoy!