Client Concerns – Part 2: But My Dog is an Obedience School Dropout

I have a confession to make: I (well, not-so-secretly-anymore) love it when potential clients are on the fence about investing in professional pet photography, usually because they don’t believe their dog will ever behave well enough, long enough, at all, etc. for me to get good photos. What I love even more: proving them wrong.

It doesn’t matter one bit to me if your pooch is an all-star wonder pup or an obedience school dropout. In fact, I estimate that between 80-90% of the dogs I work with fall into the latter. What you see as “crazy,” hyper, overbearing, “bad,” or shy (yes, those are all actual words my clients have used to describe their pets) is not uncommon. What I see when I step behind the lens, however, are simply energetic, live-for-the-moment, divalicious doggies enjoying their time in the spotlight. Sure, some pups take liberty in raising divalicious to a whole new level, but that’s where the fun lies!

silly dog sticking out his tongue

What does matter to me is capturing those traits, behaviors, quirks, and moments that make you laugh and say, “That is so [your dog]!” If that means your dog won’t sit or pose, or that he may do his business in a less-than-ideal spot, or that he may excitedly jump all over me, so be it. While it’s totally normal to feel embarrassed by your pooch’s antics during his session, don’t be. Seriously, you aren’t alone. Try to relax and go with the flow.

When you work with pets, you see it all, which is why booking a patient photographer who is able to roll with the punches is essential. In life as in photography, sometimes things don’t pan out the way you think they will and that’s OK. No one expects your pup to be on his best behavior at all times during our session. (Another secret: sometimes I enjoy it the most when he’s not. These moments often produce the best shots!) I encourage you to let your dog be his “doggiest” and to embrace the embarrassing, cherish the crazy, and hold dear the hyper; it’s what makes your dog, your dog. And as pet parents–whether we want to admit it–it’s what you love about them.


This Client Concerns post is the second in a three-part blog series addressing the top three client concerns and myths I hear surrounding pet photography. Click here to read part one. 

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