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Wedding photos with pets: We’ve taken them, we’ve seen them, we can’t get enough of them, and we’ve saved ALL of them on our IG. As a wedding photographer, you might have already honed your people skills, but if your couple’s pet or pets are a part of the guest list, you might want to think about leveling up your communication and wedding photography techniques as well. It’s highly likely that if your couple plans on including pets in wedding, they won’t spring that surprise on you on the wedding day, which means you’ll have enough time to prepare a photo checklist for wedding that features super cute photos of their fur babies. But if you do get stuck somewhere, these 5 wedding photo ideas on how to photograph pets at weddings could help you get exactly what you need to get those super cute family photos with pets. 

How To Take Adorable Wedding Photos With Pets

1. Get Pet-Approved 

a wedding couple posing with their pet dog on a leash
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Your couple has approved you as their wedding photographer, but in case their wedding photography plan also involves wedding photos with pets, we’d recommend getting to know their pets too. Usually, you’ll have plenty of time in-between the contract signing and the wedding day, so if you can, try to get acquainted with their pets before you photograph them. This way, you can create a game plan of how you’re going to get their fur babies to pose for you on the wedding day. Plus, this will also give the pets a chance to get to know you. You never know how a pet can react to a new person, so it’s important that both parties get to know each other for a seamless working relationship. 

If meeting the pets in-person is not an option, you could simply reach out to your couple and ask them questions about their pets. This could give you an idea about their personalities and help you prepare for any challenges that you might encounter on the wedding day. Also, a great way to get the pets to cooperate on the wedding day would be to keep their favorite treats handy. This way, it’s a win-win! Additionally, if your couple really wants to have their dog in the wedding photos but is completely clueless about how to go about it, you could go the extra mile for them and guide them to articles that talk about ‘how to include your dog in your wedding photos’. 

Read More: 10 Questions To Include In A Wedding Photography Questionnaire

2. Capture The PDA

a wedding couple kissing their pet dog while holding the bouquet
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erickelley

Couples often include their pets in wedding photos as a sign of love and connection to an animal that has been with them through thick and thin. And as a wedding photographer, your job is to capture those heart-warming moments between the couple and their beloved pets. For example, you could take pictures of the couple giving kisses to their pets or even photograph their furry companions giving them slobbery kisses! For some candid wedding photos with pets – if your wedding day timeline allows – just ask your couple to play around with their pets. This is the best way to get some picture-perfect family portraits that reflect their sweet bond.

Our tip: Try not to confine pets indoors. One of the best places to take wedding photos with pets is outdoors in big, open fields. So if your couple’s pet-friendly venue also offers space for pets to run and play around, then take that opportunity to let pets be pets, and photograph them in their element.

3. Solo Portraits 

an adorable image of a pet dog with flowery accessories
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Is there really anything more adorable than solo pet portraits on the wedding day? Okay, there could be, but your couple will 100% go “awwww” when they see their puppy’s/cat’s/*enter pet* solo portrait. If your couple’s pets are part of the wedding, there are chances that they will be wearing some kind of wedding attire or accessory. Bowties, tuxedos, dresses, floral collars and crowns, custom bandanas – if your couple’s pets are wearing anything close to a wedding attire, then your job is to ensure that you do a solo portrait session with them. For wedding photos with dogs, consider photographing them on a couch, on the bed, by a window, running around, or even taking a quick little nap before they have to report to duty as the ring bearer or flower girl or just to stand next to the couple as they say their wedding vows. Including a cat in your wedding photography might not be something you do everyday, but if your couple does ask for it, do your research on how to get the best photo possible. 

Suggested Read: 7 Must-Have Angles To Capture During The Wedding Ceremony

4. Enlist A Helper

a wedding couple petting their pet dog
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Holding multiple cameras and lenses, giving posing cues, taking photos, and handling pets at the same time could be a little too much for any wedding photographer. For picture-perfect wedding photos with pets, you might want to consider using a helping hand. This could be your second shooter, an assistant, or one of the guests who is familiar with your couple’s pets. This way, you can focus on taking the best wedding photos with pets. If there’s a dog in the wedding, they might often get distracted and want to run around the place, so when you have a helper with you, they can keep the dog engaged even when they’re in front of the camera. 

5. Be Patient

a wedding bride talking to her pet dog
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @olsondesignphotography

When it comes to pets, you have to be prepared for sudden mood shifts. Even if you have created a whole checklist of wedding photos with pets, don’t be disappointed if your couple’s pet decides to take a nap or socialize with guests instead. Forcing the pet to pose for the camera is certainly not the best way to go about it. You have to be willing to take a break, let the pets do their thing, and then start over. If a pet gets uncooperative or agitated, we’d highly recommend pausing and giving them some TLC (or treats) to get them in a good mood again. Plus, your couple will really appreciate you for showing kindness and being patient with their pets. They are just like another family member to them, so it’s important to remember that their well-being matters to the couple.

Further Read: Must-Have Cute Couple Poses To Include In Your Shot List

Including pets in a wedding is an increasingly growing trend, and it’s such a heart-warming way for couples to honor their furry family members. Wedding photos with pets can be incredibly cute, and not to mention super super precious to your clients. So if you want to keep up with the trend, you might want to brush up on your pet photography skills, learn how to understand pets, and get them to do what you want without having to force them. If it’s possible, meet the pet before you photograph them or get to know them through your couple. On the day of the wedding, go outside and try not to just chase them for photos. And most importantly, remember the treats and stay patient no matter what. Respect the pet, and you shall get respect in return – from the pet and your clients too. 

PS: To perfect your pet photography technique, you could try practicing with your pet if you have one!

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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