Whether you attend a PetCo Foundation pet photography fund-raising session at your local PetCo, or visit your favorite portrait studio to have your furry friend photographed, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind as you prepare for your pet’s close-ups!
I do approximately 20-30 pet portrait sessions per month, and find that many pet owners could benefit from a few tips to help them prepare for the pet’s portrait session. By following these tips, you will ensure that your dog, cat or other furry friend will look their best on picture day!
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #1: Bathe your pet
Be sure to give your pet a bath the day before your photography session. Use a pet safe shampoo to enhance your pet’s coat. Varieties include formulas especially for white fur, black fur, red fur, extra shine and even dandruff prevention. If your pet has tear stains by their eyes, you can purchase special products at your local pet store to eliminate the reddish stains.
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #2: Brush your pet
After you bathe your pet, be sure to brush out their fur. Use a de-matting comb to remove matts, knots and tangles in the fur. Hard, lumpy fur patches on your pet’s tummy and legs may show in the photographs!
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #3: Groom your pet
If you are having your dog photographed, consider taking him to a grooming salon to have him groomed so that his fur is styled in a traditional breed specific cut. A trim can help make his eyes, physique, tail and paws more visible. If your pet has very long fur on their head, consider tying it up with a cute bow.
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #4: Get dressy
Take a moment and look at your pet’s collar. If it’s looking worn, cracked and discolored, it’s time to get a fresh new collar. Also consider putting a bandana around your pet’s neck. If the weather isn’t too warm, you may also opt for doggie and kitty sweaters, t-shirts, sun-visors, goggles and collar jewelry to spice up their pictures.
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #5: Go for a walk
A few hours before your session, take your pet for a walk. This will expend some of his energy, and hopefully help him eliminate before getting in front of the camera. Just be sure to stick to clean sidewalks and walking paths. This is not the time for a forest run with a stop by the lake!
Pet Portrait Preparation Tip #6: Arrive a little early.
Plan to arrive a few minutes early for your session. This will allow your pet time to get used to the smells and sounds of a new place. If possible walk your pet around so they can see where they are, rather than leaving them cooped up in a crate. Allow a minute or two for your photographer to meet your pet and make a connection with them before starting the session. Once your pet knows that the photographer is a nice person that isn’t scared of them, everything will go purrrrfect!