The ONE thing I know about pets and families | Calgary Photography

We named him Zugo.  He was a tiny force with a little bark and sharp teeth when we first brought him home, and he was our first furry baby.  Zugo was a black labradoodle - or Poodador as my husband referred to him thinking it made the name sound more manly - and became 70lbs of amazingness.  His love showed through wags of his tail, keeping our feet warm at night in a bed he knew he was not meant to be on but we loved him too much to tell him now and dribbles of water through the hallway as he drank his water and ran to greet us his chin dripping wet.  We had to say goodbye to our dog 3 years ago and there isn't a day that we don't remember him in our hearts.  Dogs are part of who we are. 

So when a family asks me if they can include their dogs in their photo session, for me it is resounding YES!   One of my latest sessions this past fall included the kindest family and their loveable Weimaraner down in Griffith Park.

Dogs are our Fur Babies

I get it, my family nucleus is 4, with extended family that branches off in all directions and provide us with the greatest of joys - trying to get us all into a photograph at the same time let alone adding a dog is often akin to herding cats! doesn't have to be that way.  

A little preparation goes a long way

Dogs are just like our kids, they need love and attention too, they may be squirrelly (or get distracted by them!), having a few things to keep the session moving smoothly goes a long way.  

weimaraner, treats, sunlight, backlight, mom and field, calgary, photographer, family

An outdoor photo session is not unlike us going for a walk, so it's a good idea to bring the basics, leash treats and doggy doo bags.  When working with children,  I typically suggest that treats are reserved for the end of the session so that kids are not expecting it after ever snap of the shutter button...but our pooches are another thing all together and a little food reward can help get them looking in just the right way and is welcome praise for a job that is always well done.   There is nothing more freeing that romping around a field filled with beautiful light, having a leash on hand helps to make it look cohesive so we all stay together. 

Everyone deserves portraits

mother and son field, golden hour, calgary photographer, family, Griffith woods

I loved my Zugo there is no question and I love all my photos of him.  Equally I love the images I have of just me and my kids and husband.  Sometimes it can be helpful to have someone to help hold our furry friends.  Depending on the situation we always find a way to come up with a solution to make sure we get all the portraits we are hoping for!  

boy Griffith woods, bridge, calgary family photographer
griffith woods, calgary family photographer, golden hour, field, boy and mom

We tell a story

feet, weimaraner, Griffith woods, bridge shot, family photographer, dog

I can honestly say that I feel a strong bond with those that I get to photograph.  Though I will never force a moment, I will help guide people into place and direct them so that the spontaneous moments that we crave happen and we freeze them in time.  Your details tell a story and your pet is a part of that.  

weimaraner, bridge, Griffith woods, family photographer,

The ONE thing I know about including pets... that we never regret it.  My kids ask about our Zugo every day lately - in fact I am thinking that it may be soon time for us to have another little furry friend join our family - and having the memories of our complete family is always a good choice.  

weimaraner, Griffith woods, family photographer, mom and her son
griffith woods, family photography, calgary, weimaraner,
griffith woods, weimaraner, mom and her son, dog, sky golden hour

together is key

Family is at the core of who we are.  Our pooches are part of that. 

Our families memories, and most notably our photographs, are the first things we think of when we speak of our most treasured belongings.  Family photography isn't just about taking a still photo and trust me they don't stay little forever...if you have questions inquiries and even hesitations, I would love to hear from you.