Awesome! You’ve scheduled a professional photo session for your dog and the day is quickly approaching.

While we’re preparing for your photo session, we know you’ll want to take care of some important photo session prep work on your end too.

In addition to everything we cover with our clients during the Portrait Planning Session, we like to share these tips and tricks as a refresher.

Prepping your Dog for the Camera



Depending on the breed of dog you have and the look you prefer, grooming needs will vary. Of course, you’ll want to plan your dog’s grooming in advance. If you have a breed of dog that is “scruffy” around the face, we highly recommend a trim of the hairs around the eyes.

However, we don’t recommend booking a grooming appointment and photo session on the same day though so be sure to plan ahead.



As you might imagine, a good bath is essential for your pup to look his best in front of the camera. With active dogs, you may need to wait until the day before to bathe to ensure your dog is as clean and shiny as possible.

If you have a pup that has a hard time staying clean, you may want to limit the opportunities your dog has to become dirty on the big day! You also may want to bring pet grooming wipes for touchups.


Nail Trim

Long nails can pose a health concern and present a less-polished look in your dog’s final artwork. If possible, we recommend a nail trim the week of your photo session.

Some clients may prefer to leave the job to the professionals but it’s not a necessity that you hire a pro. You can trim your dog’s nails at home too. If you need some tips, this article from Dogs Naturally Magazine has some helpful information.


Practice Sit

While by no means a requirement, a little brush up on basic commands is never a bad idea! Pre-photo session you can condition your dog to be an even better model for us! Be sure to have a handful of treats and ask your dog to sit, reward him for doing it, and extend the period of time he holds the sit.

Bonus points if you also work on stay, lay down, and/or shake! (just saying!)

PS- As you know, we pride ourselves in being able to work with any breed, personality, level of training, and situation presented– so don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have a clue about this thing called “sit” or any other commands. We’ve got this!


Exercise or Rest

Depending on the personality of your dog, it may be necessary to take two separate approaches. If your dog is a very laid back senior citizen who spends more time napping than anything else each day, some quiet time and rest before his photo session will likely be best.

However, if you have an active, wild child on your hands your dog will likely benefit from some exercise or a trip to doggy daycare for a few hours. But we must issue a major caution here… don’t wear your active dog completely out! We want to capture your dog’s true personality and expressions!!

Regardless of the personality and activity level your dog has, we promise we’ll be sending home a tired dog at the end of your photography session, so don’t plan much for your dog (and maybe yourself!) for the rest of the day.


Lighter Meal Before

If your dog’s feeding time is before your photo session, we suggest feeding a smaller portion. While we don’t want your pup extremely hungry if he’s a little more interested in food that will be to our benefit. Let’s be honest, a dog who we can bribe makes a great model!


In Your Bag… 

Various types of high-value treats (the more the better!

Favorite toys (we suggest new ones and a color that will photograph well)

Waste bags

Best collar and lead

Brush for grooming


And anything else you’d like to bring


In Our Bag…

We don’t travel light! You may be surprised to see all the things we carry with us to each and every photography session. As a matter of fact, we can’t fit it all in just one bag!

We’re well prepared for any situation from an extra thirsty dog (hello summer in Texas) to the presence of those dreadful mosquitos.

And of course, we have many types of treats, all kinds of toys, even a stick! (And oh so much more!)

Camera Gear

Our photography gear collection needs more than one bag too!

We utilize Canon’s professional level camera gear and everything we might need is brought out for each and every photo session. Even if we don’t use it, we have it! This ensures we are prepared for any lighting situation, lens need, gear malfunction (heaven forbid) or a dying battery.

We even carry backup cameras just in case the worst case scenario happens! All throughout the process, you can rest assured you’re in great hands and we won’t miss a thing.

Get Ready!

After you make your final preparations all that is left is to rest up, relax, and get excited for the fun experience headed your way. We promise we are just as excited as you are!

Questions about your dog’s photo session?

Contact us! We’re happy to help in any way we can.