You guys....Let's get real for a second. This is serious.
I love dogs.
I don't have dogs, but I love them. I love them so much. Don't we all!
[Disclaimer: If you do not love dogs this post is not for you. (But also, why don't you like dogs? It's ok, I'm not going to hold it against you, stuff happens and of course, this is between you and the dogs. I'm just curious. ) ]
Why do I love dogs?
Have you seen a dog? Do you use the internet? Dogs are the best. Like check out this little guy:
[So majestic. Look at this angel go.]
Just the best, so carefree. Wow. If you're like me and love dogs a little too much, welcome my friend.
Are you getting married too? Talk about niche-ing down: this post is for you! Very specifically.
A Doggy Dilemma
So ya love dogs so much that you want to bring your dog to your engagement session, but should you?
It's a good question.
The short answer is: Yes.
Because I love when dogs are at engagement sessions because they're the cutest.
You already won your wedding. Congratulations. You did it. You, your fiancee and your dog, in this single action you have beaten out all other weddings. You should all be very proud.
The longer answer is: Maybe.
I have cats, cause dogs can be a little of work, and I'm so lazy (someone send help - that's a different post probably). Meanwhile, outside my personal issues, there's a little bit of wrangling to take care of when your dog is a part of your session. If you're already nervous about your shoot you may want to leave your doggo at home.
[ Look into your dogs eyes, is it up for the challenge?
This one was!! You can see it. It had the eye of the tiger...but in a dog.]
Some Things to Consider
Timing & Your Puppy's Personality:
The average engagement session, might take an hour. That's a long time in dog years if you do that math. Know their limitations. Your dog is of course very happy for you and your new best friend (who is not a dog but your dog won't hold that against them). Still, it's not their special day, and they might have things on the dog calendar to do. It's good to take into consideration, what they can handle so they won't get overstimulated or cranky (and of course if they had puppy plans that day.)
Is your dog going to get restless? Do they get overwhelmed with new people or in crowded spaces?
These are good things to think about.
Location & Weather:
While we have local spots we like to suggest, you may have a specific place in mind for your engagement session. It's good to make sure they allow dogs before getting all the way there and finding out
your dog will literally explode if they set foot on these grounds or that you'll get arrested by the dog police.
Also, depending on the season, you may want to consider your dog's constitution.
Do they do well in the heat? Are they going to be a little chilly and need a cute puppy sweater?
[ Need some rainy day engagement session tips? Click here ]
Did it rain recently and maybe they need some doggy goulashes? Keep your dog safe and comfortable while they support you during your session.
Suggestions for your Schnauzer:
Bring a friend - John's only got two hands, and they're busy with the camera. He can't shoot and handle the dog if needed. If you're bringing your puppy pal along, it's good to have someone else there who can hang on to them so you can get some shots without your dog.
"Why would I want shots without-" Just....you will, you will want those shots.
As cute as this is:
[ Don't get me wrong, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen ]
You're going to want a few of these:
[ Just Lovely!]
It's also helpful if your dog starts to get uncooperative in some way or needs a break. We also will not leave a dog tied up or in a car while they wait for your shoot to finish, it's just not going to happen. Make sure you ask your friend in advance so they can be prepared to handle all your dog's accoutrement and know what's required of them.
Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?
If your dog is anything like my dog....wait I don't have a dog, what am I thinking of? Oh: Me.
If your dog is anything like me, it might need a little incentive. Snacks. I'm saying, bring snacks.
[ "Did someone say snacks?" - me and this dog ask ]
Who's a good boy? It's your dog! They're out here hoofing it all day with you while you're off being the cutest. Let them know with a treat! More practically though, if it's hot, be sure to have something so they can get some water if needed. Nothing ruins your engagement shoot like a dehydrated dachshund. (Again your friend will be in charge of carrying these things as we walk around so make sure they know what to look out for if your dog's getting a little listless etc.)
Let's Get Creative!
This is what it's all about: Doing cute stuff with your very helpful, very supportive, very loving dog.
The kind of dog that wants you to have really cute Save The Dates
And other wedding reminders for your friends and family.
[ Again, getting cute shots like the last one in this set, means you can't always have your dog around. ]
As you can see, dogs are generally very photogenic and know when to mug for the camera. They're really the ultimate adorable prop. If your dogs into it, dress em up or give them a little sign or bandana with your wedding colors. Again of course, knowing your pup's limitations and, I think the professional term is, goofability, thresholds.
So if you've thought about it, then definitely! Bring your dog to your engagement shoot!
Just make sure you tell/ask your photographer before hand so they can prepare themselves as well and give you any more specific tips for your session and session location.
Then we shall see who the good boy is.
It's still your dog, but you did a good job too.