What about your pet’s behavior? What if they aren’t well-behaved? What if they are stressed? What if they are shy?
I have several thoughts on the matter of your pet’s behavior–keep reading for tips and ideas.
First, do not worry!!! Pets can totally read that worry and will act even weirder! I have seen the gamut of pet behavior–one dog even lunged at the camera every time he heard the shutter release. So don’t worry about your pet’s behavior!
I am not a pet trainer. I have fun during a photo session–getting multiple dogs to sit at the same time and look happy is HYSTERICAL and FUN and BRINGS ME JOY! We may not get this “perfect” photo during our time together if your dog(s) doesn’t (don’t) typically sit and stay. But we will try and get great shots capturing your pet’s personality in the process.
Respect your animal. I try to let the animals guide the photography session. Instead of forcing an animal to sit, let’s walk, play, chill. Let’s move slowly (or quickly, depending on your animal!) and allot for time to put the camera down and get to know each other.
Consider your animal’s temperament when choosing a location. I love photographing animals at their home–they are most comfortable and less guarded. I find angles in rooms and yards that photograph well and place the animals in the that location. Parks work well if you animal is used to them, but taking a Nervous Nellie to a new park and throwing her in front of a camera…is not helping with pet behavior!
Some shy animals (particularly “Hidaway Cats”!) may not be a candidate for a pet photography session. If you still want to proceed, placing them in a closed room could work, although I do not want to stress them out too much!
Go away! Sometimes if an pet mom/dad steps away for a bit, an animal will act differently. And, oftentimes, they may relax after an initial searching for mom/dad period. They are no longer trying to please you, and instead embrace the present situation.
Consider treats/toys/language. I prefer to not bring out the treats and toys until we’ve run out of other options–some dogs become so obsessed over food, that it can interfere with the photography! But I do like to have them (and toys) in back pocket (or yours). I also love to know important words like “dinner” “cookie” “squirrel” “walk”.
Do you have any questions about pet behavior during a photo session? Ask away in the comments.