I love incorporating pets into your session! However there are a few things to keep in mind in order to have success. Reading this page is required if you would like to bring your pet along, and also remember that I must be informed of this ahead of time!
Animals, especially dogs, tend to find photo sessions stressful. I’m a stranger to them, I’m coming into their space, I’m talking loudly and moving around, and I’m pointing an intimidating strange black object (the camera) directly at them! Sometimes pets who are normally well behaved start to act unlike themselves during a session – not listening, not wanting to face me, and occasionally some aggression. I approach sessions with animals VERY carefully and respectfully – It is NOT the animals fault! Here are some tips to consider as well as things I require when including your fur baby in your session:
LIABILITY WAIVER – If we decide to include your pet in your session, you will be required to sign an additional liability waiver that waives Audrey Nicole Photography from responsibility of any unforeseen incidents that occur with your pet. This includes but is not limited to someone being bitten, your pet running away, damage to property, etc.
SAFETY IN PUBLIC – Safety, both physical and mental for both humans and animals, is extremely important to me. Animals should always be considered somewhat unpredictable, regardless of how well trained and sweet they are. For this reason your pet must remain leashed at all times if we are at a non-home location. This is for the safety of your animal, me, and any other people who may be around that are not a part of your session. Please keep in mind that not all people like animals the way we do, and this can be for a variety of reasons – they are afraid, cultural/religious reasons (certain cultures cannot be around dogs), allergies, etc. You must maintain control of your pet at all times and not allow them to approach anyone outside of the session unless that person has made it explicitly clear they would like to engage with your pet. A photo session can have a different energy than just a walk through a park – there is a lot more commotion, movement, sounds, and me – a stranger. Animals pick up on this and it has the possibility to create extra stress for them, so please keep in mind that your pet may behave differently than normal!
A HELPER – I HIGHLY recommend having an extra person come along to help with handling the pet in-between shots. Trying to manage your pet as well as be present and looking good in the photos can quickly become a lot – for you AND your animal. I can’t recommend enough how helpful it is to have an extra person along who can take the animal off your hands. We do not need your pet to participate the whole time, it may actually become too much for them. So sending them off with someone else for a while is a great idea! I also will not be able to hold leashes or handle your pet because I will need all my hands and brain-power for the photo taking, so keep that in mind.
* I’m sure most of you would support me on this, but pets cannot be left in a car when temperatures are warm or freezing unless the car is left running with AC or heat. I will immediately end the session without the ability to rebook or be reimbursed if this takes place. Please have a safe plan in place for your animal!
WHAT TO BRING – If we are doing photos outside of your home your pet will be leashed. I recommend using a collar and leash that is a very neutral color! Brown is great as it blends in with most animals and won’t be a distraction in your photo. Please also make sure to bring poop bags, a towel for wiping off feet, water dish, and treats! Treats will come in SUPER handy for getting them to cooperate. Also – I will not tolerate a pet being left in a non-running car when the temperatures are warm or freezing