If you’re like me, your first baby has four paws. I get it! And that’s why I wanted to write this post for everyone thinking about maternity photos with dogs.
As a photographer based in Spokane, WA, I specialize in family, newborn, and maternity photos for more than dog-friendly families. I’m talking about families that take their pups on vacations, grab puppachinos at Starbucks, and let their dogs sneak up on the couch. If this is you, YOU are my people.
Read on to find my best tips for including dogs in maternity photos.
Choose the right location for maternity photos with dogs
Location can be a deal breaker when taking photos of dogs and even more so in maternity photos. Distractions like other dogs, ducks in the water, traffic, or even a new space can wreak havoc on a shoot. By the time you’re eight months pregnant, the LAST thing any mom-to-be wants to do is wrestle with a distracted dog.
Here’s what I look for in dog-friendly locations
- Room to get FAR away from other pups
- Location far away from other busy roads
- Less wildlife. Ducks in ponds always tend to get the best of even the best pup. And duck poop and dogs… don’t even get me started on that distraction.
- If you want to play it safe, choose a location the dog frequents often.
If you’ve gone through the checklist but still aren’t sure how easy to handle your pups are at the end of your pregnancy, try shooting an intimate session at home.
Shots to remember to get with your dog at your maternity photos
During the excitement of the maternity shoot with your pups, here are a few shots I always try and get.
Individual dog and expecting Mom shots. If there is more than one pup, make sure to get 1:1 images with the pup parent.
Walking together as a family. Wiggly dogs often benefit from the relaxed movement of a walk together. Plus, it’s a great way to get a family shot while everyone looks relaxed.
The Christmas Card Shot. The Christmas card shot is where we do our best to get everyone looking in a somewhat organized fashion so you can send it to Grandma for the fridge.
Bump and dog. I love having a shot with both babies, fur, and human. Come in close for an image with only the babies.
Puppy Play Time. Relax and capture what it looks like to love on your pup before the new addition arrives.
Maternity Photos with Dogs Checklist
Love lists? Me, too! Save this to ensure you’re prepared for your maternity photos with dogs.
- Pick a low-stress location for everyone
- Arrive early to let your dog smell the surroundings. At least 15 minutes of free smells.
- Think about 1-2 shots you’d like but remember the most important thing is that you’re together for photos.
- Make sure your clothes don’t perfectly match your dog’s color. Black dogs and black pants are a no-no.
- Find a photographer who specializes in working with dogs.
- Bring a nice leash you’d like in the photograph
- Poop happens, don’t forget the bags
A Few Final Thoughts
If you have dogs, do they need to be in your photos? Well, no.
But if you want them in your photos and something is holding you back like behavior, location choosing, handling, etc. There are absolutely ways to include every dog in pictures with their family.
Even if we aren’t working together, I’d love to chat about how to create a photography session that’s inclusive of all types of dogs. Send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll help you develop a plan for your fur babies.
If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to check out a few more posts on including dogs in photos.
Cheers! MB – A Spokane, WA-based photographer serving wild kids, crazy dogs, soulful brands, and everything in between!