Q&A: What Makes a Good Space for a Backyard Session?

A backyard session is especially good for dogs who can’t leave their home due to health issues or who may be very fearful in new situations or locations, but how do you know if your yard is suitable for your pet’s session? There are a few elements to look for and considerations to keep in mind before asking your photographer for a backyard session.

Start by seeking out spaces with architectural variety and unique landscape features. For example, does your backyard have a pond or a cobblestone pathway that winds through a boldly blooming garden? Maybe there’s a split-rail fence and distant treeline bordering rolling acreage over which the sunset casts a warm golden glow. These are the spots on your property that you want to incorporate.

A day or two before your session is a good time to do a quick sweep of your space. For instance, pick up the poo. Not only will your lawn look better in photos, but you won’t have to worry any “landmines.” You may also want to tend to any overflowing flower beds at this time.

rottweiler rests among a plot of wheat grass during backyard session

Homes that do not offer much variety or HGTV-worthy landscaping require a little more creativity. I will typically look for pops of color, such as a brightly colored door, or shoot with a wide aperture to create beautiful bokeh, or aesthetically blurred parts of an image. Careful composition works wonders in creating the illusion of a larger, more interesting space. So does removing any unnecessary clutter. Let’s keep the focus on your furry friend by eliminating distracting elements.

black goldendoodle prancing on the deck stairs during a backyard session in Pittsburgh's North Hills

The most important factor in determining if your yard has session potential: light. Venture outdoors around your desired session time to examine where the light is coming from and how much is available. Different times of day and different seasons affect the intensity and quality of light. Avoid areas with dappled light and harsh midday sun. Aim for evenly lit, slightly shaded spots, or those that present the opportunity for backlighting or a sun-kissed Golden Hour.

If you would like to book a Bark & Gold Photography session for your pet, click here or give me a call at 724-913-BARK (2275). For more information on Bark & Gold Photography sessions, visit “Your Session” in the menu.

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