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Preparing For Your Session

  • If possible, please exercise your dog before the session. He’ll undoubtedly be excited about the new place and new experience, and we’ll get down to business more quickly if he‘s already burned off some energy.

  • I always carry a stash of treats, but if your dog is picky or has dietary restrictions, please bring something special that she loves! Tiny pieces work best (think coin-sized pieces for large dogs, pea-sized pieces for small dogs).

  • If your dog has any favourite toys, please bring them with you. We want things that will grab your pets attention!

  • Consider your pet’s “outfit” and bring a clean, regular flat collar for her portraits. (Remember, I can't guarantee that I‘ll be able to remove harnesses or gentle leaders from your dog's final images.)

  • Planning a trip to the groomer? Visit at least a few days before our session. New haircuts tend to look better after the first few days, plus it’s overwhelming for most pups to go straight from the groomer to a portrait session.

The Session Consultation

First things first: If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to schedule our session consultation. This is where we customize your experience to create the magical results that you’re after! We’ll finalize all the details of the session—where we’re shooting, meeting times, and which products you’re most interested in creating. I often conduct this consultation over the phone, but we can meet in person at my home studio if you prefer.

This is a critical step, as your session is tailored to create art that fits perfectly into your home and lifestyle. No need to make final purchasing decisions at this meeting, but having an idea of how you might display your images will influence how I shoot the session. For instance, if you’re considering hanging artwork on a narrow stretch of wall, I’ll be sure to create some images in a portrait (vertical) orientation.

Please don’t worry if you don’t yet know what you’d like to do with your images—that’s what I’m here for! We’ll work together to ensure that you’re delighted with the final results.

What To Wear

If you are going to be in the session as well, while the session is focused primarily on your pet, your clothing is important too! Choose an outfit that’s authentically “you” and that you feel comfortable, stylish and confident wearing. Here’s a quick guide to point you in the right direction....

Yes, please!

Yes to layers: Layers add visual interest, and are a great choice no matter the temperature. Ladies, think scarves, belts, jackets, jewelry and cardigans. For the fellas, layering a long-sleeve shirt over a tee or thermal will add some dimension to your look.

Yes to textures: Textures like denim or a knit sweater photograph beautifully. Patterns can work well in moderation, but don’t overdo it. Less is more when it comes to patterns.

Yes to color: Don’t feel compelled to stick solely with neutrals. While everyone should be working from a unified color palette, feel free to add a splash of color!

Please, NO.

Things to avoid: Gym clothes, low-cut tops, super-short bottoms, baggy or very loose-fitting clothing. Watch these colors: Be aware that bright white, deep black, or neon-like colors (e.g. hot pink, magenta, bright green) usually don’t photograph well.

Don’t throw shade! Brimmed hats can create strong shadows on faces, and that’s a big no-no. Transition glasses can also be problematic, as they turn into sunglasses outside.

And, finally!

Yippee! It’s time to play! The session is strictly a stress-free time. Your furry family will set the pace, and we’ll take plenty of breaks as we explore the area if on location or chat if its in my studio. Don't be concerned if your dog doesn’t want to sit, or if he’s more interested in the sights and smells than the camera. I promise that even if it feels like your pets aren’t listening, or if we need to set up a certain shot multiple times, it’s totally fine. I expect it! Your job is to relax and trust that we’re creating incredible images—because we are!

I’m honored—and excited!—to create something magical for you and your four-legged family. If you have any questions that aren’t covered in this guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch.