How to Take Family Photos with Dogs

How to Take Family Photos with Dogs

Whether you have a dog, cat, or hamster, brand new pets and long-standing furry friends can be tricky to photograph. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of household life with your pets. But when it comes to family photos, having your pet in the shot will add an extra element of cuteness and fun.”

“How do you take successful family photos with a pet? Follow these 6 tips.”

1. Make a plan before you begin

  • Make a plan before you begin

You’ll want to think about the location of your photos, which family members and pets will be in them, what you will wear and what the end goal of your photos is. You may want to take some individual photos as well as family ones so having a plan will help make sure you get everything you need. The best way to create this plan is by writing it down!

  • Use treats!

Dogs can easily get distracted by other animals, sounds, and smell so having treats on hand will help keep their focus on you during your shoot and give a little extra motivation for those that aren’t food motivated. If they are anything like my dogs then they won’t need much encouragement but I always have plenty extra just in case!

2. Watch your dog’s natural behavior

The best time to take a portrait of your pet is when he or she is most relaxed. Watch your dog’s behavior carefully and look for signs of relaxation:

  • The tail will be wagging slowly, if at all.
  • The body and face will appear calm and relaxed rather than tense or stiff.
  • Look out for the ‘eyes down’ look – the kind you see in dogs just before they fall asleep!

3. Give your dog a reason to look at the camera

If your dog is looking at the camera, you’re on to a winner! But if they’re not, don’t worry, there are lots of things you can try to get their attention.

For starters, give them a reason to look at the camera. You can do this by giving them a treat or toy and making sure that it’s right next to the lens (if they think it will drop out of the sky they will look up more often than not!). You could also use a squeaker or make some other noise with your mouth. Some people like to clap their hands but I personally find this to distracting for me as I’m trying to take pictures so I avoid doing that.

You can even call their name in an enthusiastic voice but remember that if you do this too often your dog may start learning only when there is someone behind the camera!

If all else fails, just keep taking pictures of your dog doing whatever it is they are doing and then flick through them afterward; sometimes you get lucky and find that one picture where your dog just happened to be looking at the camera!

4. Always be patient and have fun!

Patience is such a key ingredient in successful family photography. When photographing families with children and pets, there are so many curveballs that you must be prepared for, at all times.

It’s important to remember the “why” behind the session. For example, why did these parents choose you as their photographer? They chose you because they wanted beautiful portraits of their family that they can proudly display in their home forever, or to gift to loved ones.

This is a huge responsibility, it’s important that you invest your time into creating images that your client will treasure forever. However, also remember to have fun! Children will always require some extra patience and care, especially when they are out of their usual environment (like being in front of a camera).

This can often lead to them having a tantrum or an awkward moment where they don’t want to cooperate. Just relax and be patient with them – it will most likely pass quickly and you’ll be able to capture more great images afterward!

5. Find amazing locations.

You have to get your family dog on board. This can be tough, as they don’t understand the concept of a photoshoot or why they’re being dragged along. However, there are things that you can do to help them along. The first is finding amazing locations for your photo shoot. When deciding on a location, you can create a list of places that are meaningful for your family like where you first met or somewhere the two of you went on vacation together.

You should also think about how many people will be in the photographs since this will make it easier to figure out where you need to go and what kind of backdrop makes sense.

Consider the time of day and where the sun will be; this way, you won’t run into lighting issues or have too much glare while taking photos with dogs outside. If possible, choose a location that has good views and is not littered with other people so that everyone has plenty of room to move around and so that strangers don’t photobomb your pics.

6. Bring treats, toys, and other distractions.

  • Bring toys and treats.
  • Bring distractions such as another person or animal.
  • Use food, treats, toys, or any other distraction to get your dog’s attention in the right direction with a command like sit, stay or look at the camera.
  • A clicker can also be effective to get your dog to focus on one spot.

Taking family photos with dogs can be fun if you know what you are doing!

Taking family photos with dogs can be fun if you know what you are doing! Including your dog in the family photo should not be a stressful experience, it should be fun and memorable for years to come. Dogs do not understand the concept of having their picture taken.

The truth is that most of them will not look at you or sit down on command when asked. So how do you get your dog to cooperate? Below are 6 tips that will help you make sure you nail it when taking pictures with dogs.


Remember, taking family photos with dogs can be a lot of fun and yield amazing results. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to capture some of the best moments with your dog and other family members. Don’t forget to display these photos on social media so that everyone can see how much fun you had while taking them!