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Including Your Dog In Family Portraits

Family beach portraits are about capturing your family the way it is right now. Many of us have a member of the family who is considerably more hairy than the rest...and I'm not talking about Uncle Albert!

If your family has a dog you might be wondering if you should bring him along for your OBX beach portrait session. The answer in most cases is yes! Audra and I love seeing your whole family on the beach and watching everyone interact. It really helps us genuinely capture who you are together and why that's so special.

If you're wondering if you should bring your dog to family portraits, here are some things to consider:

Is your dog easily distracted?

There are a lot of interesting things happening at the beach: people playing, waves crashing, other dogs, the list goes on! If your dog gets distracted easily I recommend leaving them at your rental cottage for your session. It will be hard to get them in the photos if they are constantly trying to run to more interesting things.

Is your dog friendly with strangers?

This seems like an obvious question but we've had a couple sessions where we were not comfortable getting close.

Has your dog ever been to the beach?

If your dog hasn't been to the beach yet we definitely recommend a test run. Some dogs are scared of water, some are scared of sand. Finding these things out first are so much better than learning about them at the time of your family portraits!

How long is your session?

If your session is a shorter one, say 30 minutes, there might not be enough time. In many cases dogs take longer to position in a portrait. If a dog is having a hard time keeping attention or feeling scared we will need extra time to make them feel comfortable.

With all that being said, we accept your decision on whether or not to bring your dog.

It's your session and we are here to serve you and your family!

If you do decide to bring your dog, here are some things you should bring with you for the session:

Dog bags!

The number one thing I suggest bringing are doggie bags in case your furry friend has to go potty. There is nothing worse than enjoying a nice day at the beach and then stepping in dog poop. We want to make the beach a wonderful experience for everyone!

Bring Water

It can get hot on the beach. We always suggest bringing water for both people and dogs.

Dog Treats or A Toy

If you think it will make it easier for us to get their attention with a treat or one of your dog's favorite toys, please bring them! You know what your dog responds to best and we value your help.

A Leash

It's a good idea to bring a leash to the beach whenever you bring your dog. If you feel comfortable taking him off the leash for photos, that's fine with us. But it's always good to have. A leash is also good to have in case you want photos without your dog.

If you ever have questions about your portrait session, including advice, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here for you!


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