Personal branding photo-shoot tips: dogs

“Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.” – anon.

How does the old saying go, “never work with children and animals?”  WRONG.  There’s nothing I love more than when a client asks…

“Can I bring my dog to my shoot?”
“Hmm… let me think about this for a– YES!”

Our pets are family.  They’re a huge part of our lives, and in some cases, brands.  Animals are fantastic points of connection for your clients, instantly initiating an emotional response.  And they’re great at slowing people’s scroll on social media (find me someone who doesn’t want their day brightened with a furry four-legged friend!).

If you’re wondering about including your dog within your photo-shoot, here are my 6 top tips to help make their cameo a success:

1. Think about how and why you want to involve your dog in your shoot - what are the stories you want to tell?  It’s no secret that dogs are great points of connection in branding and marketing - they’re perfect conversation-starters!  But think about what images will be most useful to you and what they’ll communicate to your audience.  Is it walking with your four-legged friend in nature?  Creating a sense of freedom, space, and connection.  Or is it sitting in a beautiful space with them at your feet or by your side?  Creating a sense of peace, quiet and trust.  Or is it involving them in the context of your family and playing together?  Dogs are great at reinforcing your brand values in a subtle and understated way.

2. Speak to your photographer - involving your dog will affect the locations that are used, logistics, and the structure of the day.  If you want to include your dog, the earlier your photographer knows and can plan for it, the better. 

3. Prep your photographer in advance - you all know I’m a dog person, but not everyone will be.  Let your photographer know anything that might be helpful to make the shoot experience as relaxed and comfortable for everyone, your dog included, as possible.  For instance, one of these lovely dogs (in the slideshow below) was particularly nervous with strangers, their owner told me in advance to ignore him completely for a while.  When he got used to me being around and realised I was okay after all(!), he was a dream to work with. 

4. Get them photo-shoot ready!  Give them a quick brush, remove any sleepy from their eyes, and try to stop them rolling in mud the day before! 

5. Have treats to hand!  If your dog is food-oriented have some treats in your pocket to help reassure them and to keep their focus on you. 

6. Remember the essentials - keep them hydrated, and have a lead / harness / collar and doggy bags if you’re going out and about!

If you’re curious about involving your dog in your next personal branding photo-shoot and would like to chat, reach out through my contact form, or book in a time to chat here.  I’d love to hear from you!

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