Engagement Photography with Dogs: Practical Advice for Memorable Sessions

As an engagement photographer who specializes in capturing unforgettable moments, I have a particular fondness for engagement photography with dogs. Dogs have a special way of adding joy, love, and a whole lot of personality to any session, and I absolutely adore capturing those moments on camera. Today, I want to share the heartwarming story of Courtney and Ryan, who brought their beloved dog baby Benny to our gorgeous summer engagement session—and let’s just say, it was an adventure we won’t soon forget!

“Life is an adventure best shared.”

When Courtney and Ryan reached out to me for their engagement session, I was thrilled to hear that they wanted to include their adorable dog Benny. Benny isn’t just a pet—he is a cherished member of the family, and they couldn’t imagine commemorating this special milestone without him by their side. I mean, wait until you see his handsome face!

On the day of the session, we met at one of my favorite locations. As soon as Benny bounded onto the scene, his infectious energy and wagging tail filled the air with excitement. I find that when couples have their dogs around, they focus less on the nervousness of the photo shoot itself and more on their dog which allows for super beautiful candid moments.

The Funny, Not-So-Funny Story: As Benny enthusiastically explored, he managed to stumble upon a patch of burrs—those super pesky, prickly seeds that cling to fur like nobody’s business. We didn’t notice them until after the session had ended, and Courtney and Ryan spent a couple of hours at home getting the burrs out. Yikes. I couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt knowing how hard those darn burrs are to get out of dog fur but they both laughed it off and were so gracious about it.

Now for you couples who are considering including your dogs into your engagement session, here are a few tips and things I do to prepare you for our session:

1. Getting to Know Your Dog’s Personality

Before the session, I’ll take the time to get to know your dog’s personality, preferences, and energy level. This will help me create a comfortable and enjoyable environment for your furry friend. As a dog mom myself to my Australian Shepherd Zoe and my Blue Heeler Shepherd Cross named Moose, I have plenty of experience when it comes to dogs and have worked with so many different breeds and personalities.

2. Choosing a Dog-Friendly Location

When we decide to include your dog in the engagement session, I’ll specifically consider what sort of environment would be best for them. Whether it’s a spacious park, a pet-friendly beach, whether they need to be on leash or off, we’ll choose a location where your dog can safely roam and have fun.

3. Treats and Toys

To keep your dog engaged and focused during the session, be sure to bring along plenty of treats and toys. These can be used as rewards for good behavior and as a way to keep your dog’s attention during the shoot.

4. Be Patient and Flexible

Dogs can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be patient and flexible during the session. If your dog gets distracted or needs a break, we’ll take the time to regroup and ensure everyone is comfortable and happy.

5. Have Fun and Enjoy the Moment

Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy the moment with your dog. Your engagement photography is a celebration of your love and your unique bond as a couple—and including your dog only adds to the joy and memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

Courtney, Ryan, and Benny’s engagement session was filled with genuine moments of joy, connection, and unbridled happiness. Despite the unexpected challenges along the way, their session truly captured the unique bond between them. And as for Benny’s burr-covered adventure? Well, let’s just say it made for one unforgettable story—and some equally unforgettable photos! Thank you friends for the most perfect summer evening and for allowing me to hang out and make magic with you both and Benny.

Want to see more of this stunning couple? Check out their New Years Eve Wedding at The Brownstone in Calgary.


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