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Unleashing Your Pet’s Personality: How To Prepare And Succeed On A pet Photoshoot

Picture of Alan Dukes

Alan Dukes

Image of an Alsatian taken during a pet photoshoot

What happens in a Pet photoshoot?

One question I get asked a lot is “What happens at a pet photoshoot?” So I thought I’d write this blog to help you out!

A pet photoshoot all starts with you reaching out. Whether that’s through social media, filling in my contact page on my website, emailing me, through WhatsApp or even the nice old fashioned way of picking up the phone and calling me!

The Consultation

Following this we book a consultation that suits both of us. This can be done either face to face at your house or a coffee shop or through Zoom or MS Teams. These last between 30 minutes and an hour. This is my chance to get to know more about you and your pet. We discuss the types of photography you prefer, be it action shots or posed shots and where you would like this to happen. If you have a favourite walk I am more than happy to meet you there and join you on your walk, or, if you are a little unsure, I’m more than happy to talk you through some options based on your needs. It could be that you are looking for woodland shots, more open , light and airy shots or even somewhere near the water. One of my favourite places is Knypersley Reservoir. There’s even a waterfall there that we can use!

We also discuss what it is that you are looking to get at the end of the shoot. I offer a wide variety of ways to display your images and knowing what you are wanting means I can shoot for that so you aren’t disappointed!

2 people talking depicting what happens in a pet photoshoot consultation

One of the biggest things for me is your pets safety, so we also talk about how your pet behaves. If they aren’t quite ready to be off lead yet, don’t worry! The majority of dogs that I photograph are on leads! I talk you through where to stand for each shot and how to hold the lead. Then, with a little bit of magic in photoshop, I make you and the lead disappear! Also, if your pet prefers quiet environments, we can talk about the best locations where we are least likely to meet others on our walk. After all, this experience is all about your pet!

There is always the opportunity for you to co-star alongside your pet and we discuss this at this session as well. Some doggy mum and dads love the idea of being in front of the camera, whereas others can’t stand the idea! For the latter, we can get you in a photo easily by getting your pet sat by your feet and only having your legs in for example.

At the end of our consultation, we book in our shoot. This usually happens at a weekend to avoid work commitments.

I will usually spend about an hour with you at whatever location you chose in your consultation.

The Actual Pet Photoshoot

The first 10 to 20 minutes I spend getting your pet used to me, the camera stays in my bag until your pet is settled. There’s nothing worse than a stranger pointing something strange at them!

Once they are calm and happy we start the shoot properly. This is where you’ll see me in all sorts of positions on the floor to get the right shot! I will get some shots of your pet being themselves, whether that’s chasing a ball, swimming in streams or just walking along being happy. I have several lenses allowing me to stay out of the way of them so that they feel relaxed and we really capture their personality.

Once they’ve used up some of their energy, we can then start to get some more posed shots and also bring in their owners and any other hoomans that are with us.

What about the great British weather?

We all know how challenging the great British weather can be! Whilst most dogs don’t mind the rain and mud, I want this experience to be memorable for all involved and for the right reason’s! Because of this, I make a call usually the day before the shoot on the weather. If it’s not going to be great, we can rearrange for either a different time on the day or we can reschedule for a different date.

Image of a dog shaking water off it depicting why we don't do pet photoshoots in rain

What do I bring to a dog photoshoot?

If you have a personal favourite, or a best collar, you can definitely bring that with you to show off during the shoot. It’s always a good idea to bring poop bags, lead and treats as well as any favourite toys that they have. We can use the toys to get your pets attention for some of the shots as well as for them to play with! I always have a collapsing water bowl with me and water for them just in case as well

What happens after the photoshoot?

After the shoot is where the magic really starts! As soon as I get home, all the photos are transferred to my computer and backed up to ensure we don’t lose anything.

I then go through the photos to get rid of any that I may have missed the focus on or any which aren’t up to standard!

Once this is complete and I get to work to make your pet look at their best! This includes tidying up anything that takes the attention away from your pet and removing any bits of leads that we may have caught. This process usually takes a couple of weeks.

Once this is complete, we book the presentation meeting.

The Big Reveal!

This is my favourite part of the whole pet photoshoot experience! This is where you finally get to see the completed images!

We start off with a video of all the images played to music. This first play is just for you to enjoy the images. After this we play it again with you starting to think about your favourites.

Then we move on to going through image by image and you start to pick your favourites. There is absolutely no pressure during this process, just you saying yes or no.

Once you have picked your favourites, we discuss how you would like to display them. I have some software that can show you what they would look like in different sizes in your own home so you can really visualise what they will look like.

Image of a group of round pictures taken during a pet photoshoot

At this point you place your order for any products you wanted and I get them ordered. All products are made here in the UK to the highest of standards to guarantee you fall in love with them. Prints are done on archival paper to ensure they stand the test of time. I’m that confident in this, I offer a lifetime guarantee on the products!

Large picture on the wall of a dog taken during a pet photoshoot

So what are you waiting for! Click the button below to send me a message to get started and get your consultation booked!


Alan 😊


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