Three common myths about pet photography

Jun 6, 2024

Every pet parent should have stunning photos with their pets. But you may think you or your pet aren’t ready or you still have time to get to it one day.” I believe every family should have lasting images that celebrate their biggest loves and best friends, because life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. It’s the stories we capture and share that keep us connected to our greatest loves and happiest memories.

I never want a pet parent to have to say “I wish we would have taken photos.” So, I’m debunking three common myths about pet photography that may be holding you back from booking a photo session with your dog.

Myth #1: Dogs must be well-trained or able to be off-leash

One of the most common myths that keep people from scheduling a family photo session with their dogs is that they believe their dog must be well-trained and able to “sit” and “stay” while being off-leash. 

Does it help if your dog can “sit” or “stay,” sure! But they don’t have to be perfect with is. A dog doesn’t spend his entire life in a sit position so we wouldn’t want to photograph your dog in one pose looking the same in every photo. The majority of the dogs I photograph are on a leash during our photo session. I will instruct you how to hold the leash so that I can remove it digitally afterward.

Pet parents often apologize at sessions when their dog won’t sit. It’s never a problem. We want the dog to feel comfortable and not force him or her into a position if they get overly excited. There are ways to redirect their attention, keep them happy, and make sure everybody has a great time.

Myth #2: We have plenty of time to get photos

The one thing we are not guaranteed in life is time. Ideally, every pet would live to be a senior and have more than a decade of pampering with your family. But we know cancer or accidents don’t care about age. 

One of my most heart-breaking calls was with a woman who had just found out her dog had cancer that day and we schedule a session for the next morning. Her pup had hidden his cancer so well and for so long that the veterinarian said they only had a few days left together. Unfortunately, the pup passed away overnight and we were not able to have our session.

My hope is that you never have to regret the memories you didn’t get to capture.

I have many families that do annual photo sessions with me. I love it! But if I could give you my three must-have stages to capture of your pets, it would be when they are a puppy or kitten, when they are four or five years old and at their prime with energy and you have established years of connection, and when they are older and have a bit more grey on the muzzle or don’t go quite as crazy over the catnip.

Myth #3: All photographers can take photos of pets

You don’t just take your dog to any random trainer, doggy daycare, groomer, or veterinarian. Loving pet parents do some research to make sure the professionals who work with their pets are dependable, trust-worthy and have the experience and training to keep your pet safe and provide high-quality service.

It’s the same when looking for the right pet photographer. Being a photographer that has a dog isn’t enough to guarantee a safe and enjoyable photo session. You want to look for somebody with several years of experience working with pets and make sure that photographer is licensed to legally own and operate a business and insured. Tara Lynn & Co. is a regigstered S-Copr. LLC in North Carolina. I am proudly insured by State Farm (who doesn’t judge dogs based on breed).

Tara Lynn at a dog photography workshop in Charlotte

A professional pet photographer will be familiar with local leash ordinances, know the best locations for active dogs and scaredy dogs, recommend what type of leash works best for photos, be familiar with treat safety, and recognize the signs that a dog may be stressed or uncomfortable. They will also have a few tried and true methods to get a dog’s attention and know when and what methods may overstimulate a dog and be able to make adjustments.