Photographing your Newborn with your Dog

As a  dog lover and owner myself, I absolutely love meeting new parents and photographing the latest addition to the family beside his or her four-legged friend. However, as a newborn photographer, the safety of your newborn will always be my highest priority.

With this in mind, I have written the following advice, which I would ask you to read carefully before deciding whether you should include your family's dog in your newborn session with me.

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_DSC1844_DSC1844 First and foremost, I need you to be as certain as possible that your dog can be trusted around your new baby.  If there is any doubt (for example if your dog has shown any sign of negative/aggressive behaviour towards baby), please do not include your dog in your newborn session.  We all love our pets but we can never be 100% sure how they might react to the sudden introduction of a new family member who will automatically be given a higher ‘pack’ ranking than themselves!  I must stress that the behaviour of your dog will be your responsibility during the session. To help your dog prepare for the new arrival there is a wealth of information on the internet such as this one from The Dogs Trust or this from the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors

Please don't be offended when on the day of the shoot I photograph your dog and baby separately. This is something I do in all instances where I need to ensure safety and you won't be able to tell from the finished image. Its not because I don't trust your judgement, its because in addition to the introduction of a new family member at home, your dog will be coming into the strange environment of my studio (all very exciting!) and I need to be sure I can run the session in the safest way possible. For example, whilst the two dogs pictured right were gorgeous, very friendly and not at all bothered by the introduction of the new baby into the family, they were both quite lively on the day, so to avoid any risk of baby accidentally being bumped in all the excitement, all three were photographed individually and the finished image created in Photoshop. (Don't you just love the bow ties?).

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With regard to the session itself please bear in mind the following:

  • Health and safety in my studio is important.  In addition to the above, please ensure your dog is fully house-trained, healthy and up to date with vaccinations and worming (common sense with a new baby around, I know!)
  • I will be asking you to sign a disclaimer before the session commences to indicate that you understand and agree with these health and safety requirements of my studio.
  • My studio will be very warm for the newborn session, please ensure you bring your dog's drinking bowl with you and, if he can tolerate the warmth, something for him to lie on.  If, like my own dog, he doesn't do well in the heat it would be best to have someone either collect him from the studio or have mum/dad pop him home after the family photos have been done.  As a nice calm atmosphere is preferred for the newborn photos, if your dog is as mad as a box of frogs (like my own!) again, it will be best for him to be taken home after his photos.
  • Please remember to bring some of your dog's favourite treats for bribery/reward purposes!

Many thanks for reading;  I hope to meet you all soon!