Family Portraits with Pets | Tips for a Pawsitive Portrait Session Experience

dog licking face, mom, dad, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer

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horse, couple, engagement portraits, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer

At Block Portrait Studios, we focus on preserving your memories and milestones by showcasing the relationships within your family. These special connections also include your beloved pets that complete your family. We absolutely love finding ways to adapt to include your pets – whether you want to bring your dog into the studio or if you want to choose an outdoor location to feature your horse! As we plan your family’s portrait session that includes your pet though, we want to highlight a few tips to help make your session a great experience for both your family and your pets!

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1. The Purrfect Look

For dogs, we highly encourage you to have them professionally groomed a few days before the portrait session. Also, if you plan to have your pet wear any type of attire – please try it out before the session to make sure it fits correctly and that your pet approves. We want to make sure your pet is comfortable during the session and if your pet shows signs of anxiety or discomfort, that’s what will be visible in your portraits. In these instances,  our photographers will ask you to remove the attire to ensure your pet enjoys the portrait experience, too!  

cat, couple, engagement portraits, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer
cat, couple, engagement portraits, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer

2. Tell Us About Your Pet (We Love Details!)

During your Portrait Planning Meeting with our team before your portrait session, please tell us about your pet! Let us know if your pet has any special needs, behavioral mannerisms, trigger words, places to avoid petting (as well as your pet’s “sweet spots”), or if there are any specific commands your pet responds to such as “Heel” verses “Stay”. 

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3. Custom Portrait Art

We will guide you through a creatively designed wall art of your fur baby. Get a head start by determining where in your home you will want to feature your custom artwork, as well as any additional ways you want to use your portraits such as heirloom albums, or portrait boxes. Choosing your final art products before your portrait session will allow our team to photograph specifically for the desired portrait design and dimensions prior to your session. 

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4. Get Out The Energy

We recommend planning your family’s portrait session so that it doesn’t overlap with your pet’s mealtime or any other expected routine. If possible, it’s a great idea to take your pet for a walk or engage in playtime before the session – this is especially true for hyperactive dogs. A bit of time to get out that energy can help your pet be a bit more cooperative during the session. But absolutely no worries if your pet is excited and loving up every moment of being the center of attention.

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5. Bring the Essentials

In studio sessions, we ask you to bring items that will help make your pet comfortable. Bring along a couple of your pet’s favorite toys, as well as treats for our photographers to use to encourage your pet to look at the camera and engage with us. We also encourage you to bring a water dish and a lint roller! And don’t forget your pet’s leash and collar for easier control in between setting up shots, as well as any outdoor portraits. 

girl, horse, sunset, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer
girl, horse, sunset, Block Portrait Studios, pet portraits, pet photography, Saint Paul pet photographer, Twin Cities pet photographer, Saint Paul family photographer, Twin Cities family photographer

6. Have a Helper

Whether you choose to have your family portrait session at our studio or at a location of your choice, we highly encourage you to bring along a friend or family member who will not be in the portraits to help with your pet. This person should be someone who is comfortable and familiar with your pet. Your helper can then assist with handling your pet during portraits that don’t include your pet, as well as breaks your pet may need to go outside to the bathroom or burn some energy. If you plan to include multiple pets, it may be a good idea to ask two people to help out. 

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We hope these tips help you prepare for your family portrait session with your pets! We are looking forward to meeting your family – and we can’t wait to dote on your pets! 

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