So you've booked your session.
...and maybe slightly apprehensive.
You may have never had a photoshoot for your dog before, or maybe you’ve tried to get your own photos and its not gone well…
Here, I’ve put together my top tips for a successful shoot here at the Top Dog Studio!
First things first...
My #1 goal is for your dog to have a great time here. A sit and stay is always helpful, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that your dog looks happy in their photos, right?
A photo only takes a second to capture. A happy, relaxed and comfortable dog will always give us plenty of opportunity to get some great shots, even if they’re not blessed with the perfect sit & stay just yet!
A dog who is comfortable and having a good time is ALWAYS easier to photograph than an anxious dog who doesn’t want to be there. This is why I always spend time at the start of a session letting your dog have a good look around the studio. They get plenty of time to sniff, explore and settle in. Usually we’ll sit down, chat and have a cuppa while they explore the studio.
Not every dog is the same...
Some dogs are immediately at home in the studio, and some take a while to relax.
Some like to sniff around at their own pace, some settle in best with a game of fetch, some need the focus of a little training session with lots of treats and rewards!
Whichever way it goes for your dog – there is no rush.
To exercise or not to exercise?
Most dogs benefit from a normal walk before your session. They don’t need to be knackered, but a chance to get their zoomies out for the day is helpful!
What to bring...
What should you bring to your studio session? Below are some ideas for you but don’t worry too much – I usually have plenty of these things in the studio for you if required!
Be sure to bring some of your normal everyday treats and some high-value special ones (keep these hidden until we need them!). Try not to feed your dog just before the shoot – we want them nice and motivated!
Does your dog have a favourite toy? Or perhaps they’re a tennis ball fiend? Be sure to bring these with you. Again, keep them hidden until we need them.
I have lots of props and sets we can use in your photos, so you certainly don’t need to worry about bringing any of these. That being said, if there is something in particular you’d love to include, feel free to bring it along. This could be a meaningful item, an accessory for your doggo or maybe just something you really like the look of!
Its entirely up to you if you want to have your dog groomed in the lead up to your session.
You want your dog to look themselves, after all!
If you do choose to have them groomed, try to schedule the groom at least a week before so they have a chance to settle into their haircut before the session. For dogs who have lots of floof around the eyes, its often best to have a little trim in this area to make sure we can see those eyes in the photos.
If you choose not to, its usually a good idea to give them a quick brush before you come, as well as a wipe of any eye-jam!
The little details become very obvious when photographed in the studio, so give your doggo a good lookover before the shoot and make sure there’s nothing you wouldn’t want to see in the photos!
A little bit of training...
Regardless of your dog’s level of training, they will have a great session (especially if you follow the advice above!).
You don’t need to train any new fancy tricks or worry about how well behaved they’re going to be – dogs will be dogs!
That being said, it doesn’t hurt to spend the week or so before your session refreshing their memory on the things they do know! Just a few small training sessions with a sit or stay will be very helpful on session-day. Don’t stress too much, we’ll chat about which commands they know when you come in and we’ll work with whatever we have on the day!
...and just one final reminder...
relax & enjoy the experience!
There really is no pressure for your dog to be a perfect model doggo! These studio sessions are relaxed and fun, taken entirely at your dog’s pace.
See you soon!