What to Expect When Preparing For Your Dog Photography Session

In the first of this four-part series focused on a dog photography session with Bark & Gold Photography, we dug into the 10 questions your pet photographer wants you to ask during your consultation and I shared the importance of a consultation call when choosing a pet photographer. This week I’m back alongside some of the best pet photographers around the world to share what to expect when preparing for your dog photography session (and how I make doing so easy and efficient).

How to Book Your Session

Following your pre-session consultation, I will send you an electronic proposal via my customer relationship management (CRM) software, Dubsado. This proposal isn’t nearly as romantic as you’d think, but it’s pretty awesome in that it contains the two most important components to finalize booking your session: your contract and the invoice for the non-refundable retainer required to hold your spot on my calendar.

My goal is to make booking your session as seamless and convenient as possible. An electronic contract coupled with a secure, automated payment processor that accepts your invoice payment in seconds eliminates any back and forth or hassle of printing, scanning, and emailing paperwork…and then having to hunt down an envelope and stamp. (That’s just so antiquated, ya feel me?) Simply review your proposal, sign your contract electronically, submit your retainer, and let the good times roll!

Reserving a Session Date

One of the first things you’ll receive after making it official is a link to reserve your session date as well as a magazine-style PDF of my suggested pet-friendly session locations. These are decisions you’ll make based on the season you prefer, the look you desire for your session, and perhaps even your pet’s personality. Of course, I’m here to offer my opinion as to the best options should you need a little guidance.

Scheduling is done electronically for your convenience using an online appointment scheduling software. All you’ve got to do is grab your calendar, compare my availability to yours, and reserve a session date. Just like that, you’re officially booked!

Client Welcome Package

All the while these first few emails are firing off, I’m also putting together your client welcome package. As someone whose love language is definitely gift-giving and as someone who values communication and those extra special personal touches, I love when I get to put together this little box of happiness. It’s filled with everything you need to help you prepare for your session, from a tote bag designed to help you carry all your session day essentials to a little something from my favorite candle company ever (DogGone Candles), and an explosion of golden-yellow paper shreds for that feel-good sunshiny vibe.

Also included in your client welcome package is:

  • Your session guide filled with everything you need to help prepare you and your dog.
  • A product pricing preview.
  • A wall art comparison card so that you can make the best decision on appropriate wall art sizes for your walls.
  • A special wall mock-up paper to ensure that your room photos are photographed and calibrated correctly.
  • A special treat or two ust for you…because our furry friends can’t be the only ones to have all the fun!

Private Client Portal

All of this information can also be found electronically at any time within your private client portal along with a guide to walk you through how to get the most out of it. This portal is essentially the central hub for accessing everything I send you regarding your upcoming session, including your contract, invoice, forms, emails, and more, and it helps keep all your “virtual paperwork” nice and organized in one space so you don’t have to spend hours sifting through your inbox to find what you’re looking for.

using Dubsado for planning dog photography session

Your password-protected client portal also houses:

  • A copy of your proposal.
  • A copy of your contract and session retainer invoice.
  • Email correspondence sent via Dubsado.
  • A magazine-style PDF of your inquiry guide.
  • A magazine-style PDF of your session guide.
  • A link to Bark & Gold Photography’s complete product and design guide to help with the artwork planning process.
  • A pre-session questionnaire that allows me to get to know your pup, to make our time together safe and enjoyable for everyone, and to ensure I create the experience you’re expecting.
  • A room request form where you can upload photos of your walls so that I can show you exactly how various groupings and sizes will look on your wall when we meet at your reveal and ordering appointment.
  • A magazine-style PDF of your post-session guide.

Preparing for Your Custom Pet Portraits

Together, these components better prepare you for your reveal and ordering appointment, typically held two to three weeks after your session, and for your custom pet portraits. While it may sound counter-intuitive to start with the end in mind, having an idea of how you’d like to enjoy your images following your session allows you to head into your reveal and ordering appointment with confidence in your investment and in your product decisions.

In next week’s post, we’re turning the page to the next steps and giving you a closer look at how I help take the guesswork of preparing for your reveal and ordering appointment, the third (and perhaps most exciting) part of your dog photography session.

To experience a Bark & Gold Photography session with your furry friend, click here or give me a call at 724-913-BARK (2275). For more information on a photography session for your dog, visit “The Experience” in the menu and be sure to join the VIP list.


This post is a part of the Content Marketing for Pet Photographers blog circle and the second of a four-part series. To see what the next pawesome photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “All About a Session With You,” check out Jo of Jo Lyons Photography, who takes you through what to expect when you book a farm photography experience on her stunning farm in Wootton NSW. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

9 thoughts on “What to Expect When Preparing For Your Dog Photography Session

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      It is quite a beast! The only thing it won’t do for me are room mock-ups, but I love Swift Galleries for that!

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      This comment has me cracking up first thing this morning! Thank you for that (and for the compliment)!

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