Including Pets in Your Engagement Photos

Bringing your furry family members to your engagement session is such a lovely idea. After all, the engagement session is all about telling the story of who you are as a couple, and if you have pets- they are totally part of how your story begins. There are definitely some pros, cons, and things to prepare when including your pet dog, cat, or parrot in your engagement session, and I am here to help. 

The first, and probably most important, thing to consider is the location. Not every location allows you to bring your pet. If you want to do a lifestyle-type engagement session at your favorite pizza spot, and you have a pizza-crazed dog, bringing your dog is may not the best idea. If you have a particular location in mind for your engagement session that does not allow pets, this may not be the best idea for you. 

There are loads of options for engagement locations that are pet-friendly, and a lot of the spaces we use are open to the public anyway, and bringing a leashed pet is completely acceptable. Best to check ahead, and make sure the location you have in mind is pet-friendly. You can always ask you photographer for help and suggestions in finding the perfect pet-friendly location for your engagement session. And if you really can’t choose between your favorite pet-friendly and not-pet-friendly location, you can always schedule multiple locations for your engagement shoot!

Also- some pets simply aren’t used to all the excitement at your location of choice, even if they are an amazing animal in other situations. Know your pet, and their individual limitations. You will be the best judge as to whether or not your engagement session would simply stress your pet too much. 

If your location is great for accommodating pets (parks, trails and some beaches are excellent pet-friendly options), and you are confident your furry pal can totally handle it- the next step is to plan ahead to make sure you know what to expect. Bring the appropriate leashes, dog brushes, treats, water and pet-waste bags to make sure you are prepared to have your pet with you out and about on location. This seems like a no-brainer, but you really have a lot to remember when getting ready for your engagement session, and doo-doo bags for your pooch are likely not top priority. Pack your pet’s bag ahead of time to make sure you don’t forget anything.

The last idea to consider, is bringing a friend to help handle the pets. If you want photos both with and without your pets, it may be best to bring along a little help. Especially if it is a dog you are bringing to the engagement shoot— you can always ask you friend the pet-wrangler to take your pup for a walk, so that you can get a huge variety of photos in your engagement gallery- with and without your pets. 

Whatever you decide to do, bringing your pet to the engagement session can be a fun way to make your session just a little more ‘you’. Plan ahead and make sure you are ready to go, so that you can take full advantage of your time with your photographer. And of course, if you are looking for a photographer to photograph your engagement, and tell your love story- get in touch! I love to chat wedding & engagement photography!

Just a few pet-friendly engagement session locations in San Diego: