Unlike human children, there aren’t very obvious milestones where we think about photographing our pets. For our kids it’s, their first days of school, birthdays, graduations, extracurricular accomplishments, school picture days, so many moments that are obvious we want to capture. We plan for them, it is almost expected in society. But for pets, it’s often the beginning and the end. We miss the middle. We always look back and wish we captured more moments. We always say wow, time went by so fast, why didn't I...? Our pets are just like our children, so let’s remember to celebrate and capture their milestones too.
Our pet’s lives go by so fast, every day is like a week, every 2 months is like a year, and 10-12 years is a lifetime.
So when is the best time to book a pet photography session?
Lets start with the obvious one... Puppyhood!
Puppies grow quickly within the first six months of their lives, and often experience a growth spurt between 3 and 5 months old. They gain most of their height during that time, and continue to get just a bit bigger over the next six to 14 months.
Hold onto those fleeting puppy moments forever:
Bringing home a new puppy at 8-10 weeks is pure joy. But amidst the whirlwind of excitement and puppy preparations, capturing professional portraits often gets pushed aside. We end up with blurry phone snaps, which we cherish nonetheless, but they don't do those precious first weeks justice.
Just like stocking up on supplies and scheduling vet visits, why not book a puppy photography session in advance? Think of it as an investment in your furry family member's future. Before adorable chaos erupts, secure a dedicated time to capture those fleeting puppy moments – the big paws, the floppy ears, the boundless energy – professionally and forever.
Two weeks later, when your "lil fluffball" starts morphing into a mini adult, you'll be so grateful you did. Imagine looking back at those high-quality portraits, reliving the playful puppy days with a heart full of love and laughter. Those blurry phone pics will always have their place, but professional photos become treasured heirlooms, capturing the essence of your puppy's unique charm in all its glory.
Don't let the first few weeks slip by in a blur. Guarantee you'll have stunning memories to cherish for years to come. Contact me today and let's plan your puppy's first picture-perfect moment! We offer a special Puppy Portrait Plan to capture all of the special milestones during your pup's development.
A Pet Photography Session can also be a fantastic socialization opportunity during a dog's adolescent period. Experts agree that the best time to socialize a dog is before they reach six months old, which is why we plan your first 2-3 puppy sessions during this period.
Ok, so now that we got the first obvious one out of the way, what if your pet is already an adult?
There are still many perfect moments to capture!
- Graduation from training program
- Birthdays / Gotcha Days
- Dog Sport Achievements
- Dog Training Certifications (Star Puppy, Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog)
Many people also choose to incorporate their pets into the family's special moments! I have done pet photography sessions for Birth Announcements, Engagement Announcements, and even wedding decor featuring the couple's pets! It's a fun way to incorporate the whole family, even if the main celebratory event is just for the humans!
Another big milestone is Home Ownership. With a new home, comes a fantastic opportunity to DECORATE :) What could be better than decorating your home with custom artwork of your family or even just your favorite furry family member? Reward yourself after a stressful move, with a family heirloom that will bring joy, and maybe a little envy, to everyone who visits your home!
Pet Photography captures your unique pet's personality and is a one-of-a-kind memory that can't be replaced. A well-captured photograph can instantly transport you back to a special moment with your pet, making you laugh, cry, or simply feel warm and fuzzy inside. Having your own pet's photo displayed in your home adds a layer of personalization and intimacy that traditional artwork cannot achieve. Compared to some high-end traditional art pieces, pet photography can be more budget-friendly and easier to find talented photographers in your area. That's a win, win, win, win..... and WIN!
You can also host a pet themed event to raise money for your favorite rescue, or raise awareness for your business (even if you are not in the pet industry)! Pet photography can be a wonderful asset for any business, (read more on our services for businesses page!). Is it time for updated head shots? Need new content for your website or socials? Studies show that dogs evoke a sense of trust and relatability to your clients. Because of this, many companies are including their own pets in their professional images.
What season is best for pet photography?
Each season has its own benefits, and can completely change the look of your images!
Spring: Spring is a popular favorite because the environment has come back to life, fresh, new, and beautiful. This makes for wonderful outdoor or garden sessions. It is also at the beginning of the year when most people want a fresh start, and are ready to experience the outdoors after a long cold winter. Days are longer, which gives the most flexibility for scheduling sessions outdoors during optimal light. However, there are also rainy days which can disrupt plans. This season tends to also be when you can get the best deals on photography sessions.
Summer: Summer photo sessions are all about FUN. Travel sessions, beach sessions, adventure photography... there are just so many more opportunities during the warm weather for fun photography experiences! More outdoor experiences are open, which gives you more location opportunities. Kids are also out of school and available to enjoy the experience as well! Golden hour last its longest for stunning portraits.
Fall : Fall is the busiest season for photographers. Not only is the environment ,in most of the world, absolutely stunning, it is right before the holidays. Stunning foliage with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows makes for a picturesque backdrop. Shorter days bring back earlier golden hour, perfect for soft lighting. This is the time when most families will book a session for their holiday cards, or updated family portraits. The weather is not too hot, and not too cold, so your outdoor session will be comfortable for both you and your pet.
Winter: This is my least favorite season as a photographer... but there are a few benefits! Unique snowy landscapes can create magical backdrops, cozy winter scenes can evoke warmth and comfort, fewer crowds at popular shooting locations. Plus, snow sessions can be adorable, especially with children and pets. It can be exceptionally cute when it is the first snow a pet has experienced, you can capture the wonder and amusement as they discover bounding and diving into the snow for the first time. You can create some really cool action photography too! If you don't have much snow though, the environment can be very challenging to photograph in. While this does accentuate the subject, you cannot rely on the background to fill the frame with beautiful elements like in the other seasons. You may also have to take breaks during your session because of the cold.
Ultimately, the best season for your pet photography session is the one that works best for your furry friend, your schedule, and your desired aesthetic. Talk to your photographer and brainstorm creative ideas to capture your pet's personality and charm in any season! Studio photography is another option year round. With the right backdrops and props, a photographer can turn a studio into a magical backdrop for your images!
We also offer a 4 Seasons Package, where we will meet with you each season to capture your pet! These make for a stunning wall piece at the end of the year!
Often people will decide to book a photography session when they receive the devastating news that their pet is nearing the end of their life. I work with an organization called The Tilly Project who help owners with terminal pets connect with photographers in their area. I know how important these sessions are, and how much they can help during the grieving process. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy, and the desire to hold onto those precious memories is incredibly strong.
End of life sessions are hard, but so rewarding at the same time. The owners want to do everything they can to honor their pet and preserve the special bond they shared. They desperately want to hold on to the memories of their pet, how they make them feel, the relationship they have, and really showcase how much their pet means to them. Often the pets are not in their best physical condition, and have limitations on what they should do to ensure they are comfortable and don't do anything that could exasperate their condition. The sessions are usually very emotional, and the process of making decisions during this time can be overwhelming.
The emotion captured during these sessions is beautiful. There is so much love in every image, because all the owners can think about is that bond they have with their pet and how much they cherish it. Maybe they feel a certain permission to be vulnerable during these sessions, because they have already shared something so intimate with you. They know there is no judgement in showing their emotions. I always see a higher level of intensity during these sessions.
While we are honored to capture these very important images, it does take a mental toll knowing that this precious pet and loving family you just met is going through this tragedy. You can't help but have all the empathy in the world for them. At the same time, we know just how much the owners will lean on these images to help them get through the grief ahead. We know it may be hard to look at these images at first, but in time they will bring them so much comfort and joy. They will have physical and tangible proof that their dog knew how much they loved them, and that their dog loved them even more in return.
While end of life sessions always will be a service I am honored to offer, I would recommend to every pet owner to plan and capture those other special memories too. When your pet is living their best life, doing all the silly things that make you smile. One day those images will mean the world to you, and you will be so glad you did.