If you ask me if you can include your dog (or dogs!) in your engagement session, my answer is always "YES!!" Ok, it might just be my excuse to cuddle your fur baby, but as a former pet owner, I know how precious our animals are. From seeing W + T's sweet labradoodle Matilda on all their Instagram stories, I knew that we had to include her in their engagement session. Check out their San Jose engagement session below and tips on including your dog in your engagement photos.
1. Choose a location that allows dogs. When deciding on locations, W + T were torn between two that I had recommended. The decision was solidified quickly when we looked into each location and found that only one allowed dogs. The other thing to keep in mind is how busy the location is. If your dog is easily distracted, try to find a more secluded location or go at off-hours.
2. Practice commands such as "sit" and "stay." Matilda the Labradoodle definitely had the boundless energy of a puppy at 1 1/2 years old, but even just knowing basic commands helped make the session run smoothly. We even had her give T a high-five!
3. Prepare your dog for the session. Groom your dog, take him/her on a walk beforehand, make sure that he/she goes to the bathroom. Don't forget to bring their favorite treats or toys!
4. Let go of expectations and just have fun. Most dogs have a bit of a pesky side (which is part of why we love them!), and that means that it might take a bit of wrangling to get them in the right position for photos. Relax and just let it happen! If you're stressed about getting the perfect photo, it'll show in your facial expressions. Cuddle your pup, give lots of kisses, and you'll end up with much more genuine moments that you'll treasure forever.
5. Have a plan for leaving the dog nearby or having a trusted person take the dog after. While I could photograph these adorable three forever, we wanted to make sure to capture just the two of them as well! Knowing Matilda's temperament, W + T had her nearby on a leash. She did manage to break out by taking the entire branch with her, but luckily she didn't go far. If you know that your dog is likely to get restless or you will be moving to different locations throughout your engagement session, it may be easier to have someone take your dog for a walk while you finish up your engagement photos.
Capturing precious moments with your dog isn't limited to just your engagement session! Check out the galleries below for examples of including your dog in your proposal or wedding: