Man’s best friend. We all know this saying and, as dog owners ourselves, we know exactly how true that is. Our little terrier, Lexi, is pictured below proudly displaying her obedience certificate. She’s cute, but she is cheeky, fast and curious. As professional dog photographers we know how wonderful it is to be able to capture a beautifully posed portrait of them that you can treasure forever. However, we have noticed that some people have found the idea of a pet photoshoot a little daunting. So we decided to put together a simple guide on how to prepare for your dog photoshoot.

Don’t worry if your dog is not fully trained.

two dogs jumping in grass

Let your photographer know about your dog’s temperament, especially if he’s aggressive toward new people. That way your photographer will be able to prepare accordingly. We used Barkbusters for some obedience work, but there are many out their if you did want to start some training.

Treat your dog to a grooming session

yorkshire terrier having a photoshoot

Clip at least a week or 2 before your shoot. If you don’t have your own dog groomer already why not try Furstclass Lounge in Chesterfield – it’s like a doggy spa! Just remember how your dog looks JUST after his cut.  Generally we are shocked at how short their coat is and we can’t wait for it to grow a bit!! 

Give your dog a bath on the day

little dog wrapped in a yellow blanket with a rubber duck on his head

Give your dog a bath the day before and avoid taking out on a muddy walk. Treat him to a pamper and even trim his nails. Then he’ll be looking at his absolute best and not like he’s been out all night chasing rabbits.

Exercise your active dog before attending your shoot.

Depending on the personality of your dog, it may be necessary to take two separate approaches. If your dog is old and slow or just spends more time napping than anything else every day, a bit of quiet time before the session might be best. However, if you’ve got a wild child on your hands your dog will likely benefit from some exercise. But please be cautious… don’t wear your active dog out! The Photographer wants to capture your dog’s true personality and expressions!! 

Bring a helper along to the shoot

girl laying down holding dog on a lead

If you have more than one dog, and unruly or particularly large dog, it would be best to invite someone to come along with you to help. Similarly if you would like everyone to be in the images, then bring along the kids too. After all, our four legged friends are part of the family too. (See Chrysalis Gallery)

Carry your dog from the car to the studio

woman holding her golden cockpoo dog

We’re not in a field, but our car park at Renishaw Hall for instance, leads to the farm. So, if it’s a muddy day, treat her like the princess she is and carry her to the studio if you can.  If you have a large dog then please bring a towel and save your back!! 

Remember you might be photographed as well

If you are intending to make an appearance in front of the camera, please do think about your outfits and grooming too!  It wouldn’t do if your dog was better groomed than you. Why not have a look at our gallery for some inspiration.

girl in field with brown dog

Bring some tempting treats to your photoshoot

Please remember to bring along their favourite toys and some treats (use with caution as they might get transfixed) to get their attention and to praise when performing well in front of the camera.

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Had a lovely pet photo shoot with my cavapoo Jeffery not the easiest dog to get to relax but Chris did a great job and some fantastic photos

Benita Sears

Chrysalis Photography

The Stable Courtyard,

Renishaw Hall,

Sheffield, Derbyshire

S21 3WB



If you are interested in booking a dog shoot with Chrysalis Photography, please contact us for further details.