You marked it on your calendar and now the day you've been looking forward to for weeks is here: it's time for your session! Many of my clients tell me how they've spent the days leading up to their session expressing to their dogs how excited they are for this special day. And a special day it certainly will be! You can count on a fun experience, full of laughter, lovely images, and a little (or a lot of) dog hair!
If this is your first time working with a professional pet photographer, the entire experience may be unfamiliar territory. You may be feeling nervous, second-guessing if your dog will behave, wondering if the weather will hold out, and running through a growing list of what if's...? Don't stress. Those are all totally normal responses.
No two sessions are exactly alike since your pet's demeanor and pawsonality will ultimately determine its direction and pace, so rather than give a day-of rundown, I share what to expect the day of your session in the form of a few frequently asked questions I receive in the second of this four-part series.
Q: how long will my session last?
There is no hard time limit on my sessions; however most average one hour. We will work until we have a variety of diverse shots and always at your pet's pace to ensure he is comfortable, relaxed, and enjoying our time together. Some dogs may require more time, some may need less. For instance, your dog may need a little time to get acclimated to me, my gear, or even the location.
Q: what if the weather isn't cooperating on my session day?
I'll be watching the weather leading up to your session and will touch base the morning-of to confirm or reschedule your session. We will work together to reschedule your shoot for a mutually agreed upon future date.
Q: What should I do (or not do) the day of my session?
To help your session run smoothly and make it a fun experience for you and your pet, I encourage you to
- arrive at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to our shoot to allow your pet to familiarize himself with the surroundings,
- pack your pooch's favorite treats and toys,
- review some basic commands, and
- exercise your dog with a short walk or game of fetch to burn off any nervous energy,
- Don't have your pup groomed the day before or day-of your session.
- Don't try to teach new tricks or commands that morning.
- Skip the harness, which can be extremely challenging (and sometimes impossible) to remove in post-processing.
- Avoid forcing your dog into positions or situations in which he isn't comfortable.
Q: Is it OK to bring my dog's favorite toys or a cute accessory?
Absoultely! For a food-motivated dog or one who rocks an adorable head tilt at the squeak of a ball, play goes a long way in bringing out your pup’s personality. Favorite toys can also fun to include in a few of your images.
Q: What happens after my session? How long before i'll see the images?
About two weeks after your session, we'll get together for your big reveal and in-person ordering appointment. I love this part because there's nothing more rewarding to me than seeing my clients' faces as they view the photos of their pet(s) for the first time--and there's special treats for you and your pet!
During our appointment, we will narrow down your favorite images together, talk about how you wish to feature them in your home, and finalize those must-have images and products. We'll talk wall art, signature books, small display art, and lastly boutique add-on products. From there, your custom artwork order goes into production before it is personally delivered by me for you to enjoy for years to come.
This post is the second in a four-part blog series about your pet photography experience with Bark & Gold Photography. Check back soon for part-three that turns the focus toward your big reveal and ordering appointment.