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How to Prepare Your Pet for a Professional Photoshoot

Preparing your pet for a professional photoshoot can make all the difference in capturing beautiful, timeless images. Proper preparation ensures your pet is comfortable and cooperative, making the photoshoot a pleasant experience for both of you. This guide will walk you through quick tips and tricks to get your pet photoshoot-ready!

1. Grooming Essentials

Some dogs are low maintenance and look good 24/7, if this is your dog, feel free to skip this step. Generally, a well-groomed pet looks better on camera. If you decide that your pet could use a good pamper, I'd start with a bath and thorough brushing to ensure their coat is clean and shiny. Or you could book a spa day for them at your favorite pet groomer. That said, if you're thinking of booking an adventure session with me, you might not need to bother with any serious grooming. Chances are pretty good that your pet will get wet or muddy by the end with all of the fun they're having!

2. Behavioral Training

Basic training can greatly enhance the photoshoot experience. Work on commands like sit, stay, and come, which can help guide your pet into different poses at the session. Use positive reinforcement with treats and praise to encourage good behavior during the session. This is often not something that can be achieved on short notice, so don't worry if your pet doesn't have these commands down perfectly. I work with a wide variety of pets with various training levels and can always capture them looking their best.

3. Choosing the Right Accessories

While your pet’s natural beauty is the main focus, accessories can add a fun element to the photos. It's important to get your pet familiar with the items before our session, so they are comfortable with it in advance. Choose accessories that are comfortable and match the theme of the photoshoot. For example, with sunflower-themed sessions, a cute sunflower, bumble bee, or tractor bandana can complete the look. If your pet isn't comfortable with accessories or you'd rather not use any, that's also totally fine!

A German Shepherd Dog smiles at the camera in front of a field of sunflowers with a sunflower bandana on.

4. Day of the Shoot

On the day of the shoot, ensure your pet is well-fed and has had some exercise to burn off excess energy. Bring a bag with essentials like water, treats, and favorite toys to keep your pet happy and engaged. Arrive a little early to let your pet acclimate to the new environment. The first part of any pet session with me is very casual, where I'll talk with you and let your pet get used to me. Some animals are more wary of strangers, so I do my best to be as neutral and boring as possible to allow your pet to become more confident around me.

5. Share Your Vision

Lastly, let me know if you have a specific vision for your session or if there are any poses or shots you'd like me to capture. I may not always be able to execute it exactly, but I'll give you my best representation of the vision. I love trying out new poses and shot ideas, so please don't be afraid to share your ideas with me! You can send me Pinterest pins or just explain things at the session.


Proper preparation is crucial for a successful pet photoshoot. From grooming and training to choosing outfits and communicating with your photographer, each step ensures your pet looks their best and feels comfortable. With these tips, you’re well on your way to obtaining photos that you’ll cherish forever.

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About Scruff Life Photography:

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a Minnesota-based pet photographer specializing in capturing the bond between people and their pets. I understand that pets are important members of the family and I am here to capture those special moments that you will treasure for a lifetime. Whether you just added a pet to the family or they've been there for as long as you can remember, it's never a bad time for updated professional photos! Reach out today to schedule your pet photo session with Scruff Life Photography!

A woman and her dog look at the camera together.


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