Whether it's elopements, engagements or families, your pets are invited to your photoshoot.


Written by Diana Lustig

When my good friends Melissa and David asked if they could bring their new puppy to a holiday mini-session at Mussel Rock Park Beach in Pacifica, California–of course I said yes! I love animals and dogs, they offer positive and contagious energy that always makes couples and families smile. Cats are wonderful too, but they tend not to cooperate unless it’s on their terms.

An LQBTQ couple struggles to hold two cats during their family photo shoot in San Diego.
An LQBTQ couple struggles to hold two cats during their family photo shoot in San Diego.

There’s nothing quite like inviting your furriest family members on your couple’s adventure photoshoot.


So, how can you make the most out of a family photoshoot with Fido?


What to Do and Bring for a Photoshoot with Your Dog

First things first, we need to get this disclaimer out of the way—every dog is different, and as the owner, you know what your dog can handle and what they can’t. Some dogs get overstimulated in crowds, while others are perfectly comfortable with people around. Young dogs might love an adventure in the elements, while an older dog might struggle with the temperature. If your dog is bombilating with energy, you might want to leave him or her at home or in an Airbnb to avoid distractions during your photoshoot or elopement ceremony.


However, if your dog is down for some glamour shots, here are some tips for how to make the best of your photo session:

  • Bring a leash. As you might expect, most areas require dogs to be on a leash. But even if it’s an area that lets pups roam, it’s best to at least bring the leash for safety. Nobody wants their pooch to get excited and runoff. So remember safety first and bring that leash!
  • Check local restrictions (OR) have your photographer do it. Certain parks have restrictions regarding pets. This is especially true for national and state parks. Yosemite, for example, only allows dogs on leashes in parking areas and campsites. Dogs are not allowed on most trails in Yosemite to avoid negatively impacting wildlife habits by introducing doggy pheromones into the environment. Love & Latitudes is big on “Leave No Trace,” and we understand the importance of following these rules to preserve the state of the natural environment. Every place is different - so make sure to know before you go!
  • Check the weather! Dogs are sensitive to temperatures and weather just like we are. Consider the conditions. Will it be hot? Bring your pup plenty of water and a handheld fan. Will the ground be rocky? Grab some booties for your furry buddy. Freezing cold? Grab a sweater or adorable bandana. We want your dog to be comfortable and happy during the shoot.
  • Bring toys and treats. Nothing keeps a pooch’s attention like a ball or treat. For this photoshoot, Melissa and David handed me a squeak toy so I could get their pup, Penny’s attention. The results were stunning! Pro-tip—the same trick works for kids and adults too.
  • Be prepared for candids. You might be worried about a slobbery kiss interrupting your concentration, but those make for the cutest photos! While you’re distracted with a delighted doggo, I’m snapping plenty of photos to make your family look its best.
  • Bring a lint roller and disposable baggies. Fur happens. And so does the other stuff. Lint rollers can clean up big tufts of hair on your clothes. The photographer will edit out anything you miss. As for potty breaks, it’s essential to clean up after your pup.
  • Be patient and have fun. Pets are rarely photogenic. Don’t worry about it. Just have a good time and let your positive energy guide the moment. Your photographer will do the rest.


Book Your Pet Photoshoot

Looking for some pet and family photos of your own? Reach out to Love and Latitudes and book your adventure photoshoot!

A couple stands with their dog during their engagement photoshoot in Pacifica, California.
A couple holds their dog during their engagement photoshoot in Pacifica, California.
A view of Mussel Rock in Pacifica, California during an engagement photoshoot.
A couple holds their dog during their engagement photoshoot in Pacifica, California.
A couple sits with their dog at Mussel Rock Park Beach in California during their engagement photoshoot.
A couple laughs while holding their dog at Mussel Rock Park Beach in California during their engagement shoot.
A couple poses with their dog at Mussel Rock Park Beach in California during their engagement shoot.
A couple poses with their dog at Mussel Rock Park Beach in California during their engagement shoot.
A man holds his new puppy during his engagement photoshoot in Pacifica, California.
A puppy sits on the sands of Mussel Rock in Pacifica, California.