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Everything You Need to Know: Dog Portrait Sessions

Congratulations on scheduling a portrait session for your pet! My goal is for the experience to be fun for all - especially for your dog.

A few tips to help you prepare for the session:


Your dog will be the center of attention, so it's important they look their best. You can give them a bath ahead of time, but that isn't necessary. More important is a thorough brushing. Remember to clean tear stains from under your pet's eyes.


If you pet regularly wears accessories such as bows, bandanas, hats, etc., a photo shoot is the perfect opportunity to capture their signature look, at least in a few of the shots!


Your dog's safety is always my number one priority during our session. This should be a fun experience for all involved, especially the dog!

My preference is to photograph your pet without a collar whenever possible. I have a thin slip leash for your dog to wear during the session that will be edited out in the final images. However, if your dog is not safe with just a thin slip lead we will need a collar and leash. If you have a favorite collar, bring it!

The leash will be edited out of the final image unless it is necessary for a particular photo to make sense. Harnesses will not be edited out of images. Please keep in mind a harness can look bulky in photos and may pull attention away from your beautiful dog.


If your dog has a favorite squeaky toy, ball or stuffed animal that will help to get their attention, feel free to bring it with you to the session. I will have some things in my bag of tricks to get their attention as well.


It is recommended you take your pet for a walk or have some playtime prior to the session to ensure they aren't over-energetic during the session. We will definitely capture your pet's playful side during the session, but will also want to capture some still portraits.


If your pet is treat-motivated, you might want to feed them less food the day of the session. For pets who get full easily, cutting their meal in half or spreading it out throughout the day may help to keep them motivated by treats during their session. If your pet has a favorite treat, be sure to let the photographer know or bring some to the session so your dog will work extra hard for a really great photo!


It is not required that your pet know any formal commands or tricks for the session. Though helpful if they do, most of the dogs I photograph are captured merely doing what they do best - being dogs!


Animals are very sensitive and can sense our energy. If you are happy, so are they. If you are anxious, so are they. So it's important for you to come to the session feeling calm and confident. Remember - this is going to be a FUN EXPERIENCE for you and your pet!


Prior to the session, it's important for you to share any anxieties or special needs your pet has that will need to be taken into consideration. I want to create a safe and comfortable environment for your pet that encourages them to show their true personality.

I can hardly wait to create gorgeous portraits of your pet that you will cherish forever!


Award-winning portrait photographer Shannon Edney's photos have been featured on multiple magazine covers with photos published in print and digital advertisements around the world. Based out of Missoula, Montana, and moving to the Nampa, Idaho area in May 2022, Shannon specializes in pet portrait photography showcasing dogs, horses, and their people. Shannon is known for her ability to catch the perfect expression and capture her subjects in unique lighting, resulting in portraits rich in artistry that will be treasured for years to come - whether it be on a fine art canvas or in a custom artisan album.

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