Featuring photo and video work by Kirsten Stanley for the adventurous and fun-loving

Pets: To include or not to include in your photo shoot.


Disclaimer: I am a pet lover so this will be weighed heavily to one side. Our pets are members of our family. Folks who don't have pets (or never did) can struggle with this fact. (It is a fact.) They believe pet owners are a bit cuckoo about how we spoil our furry friends. It doesn't matter if you own a dog, cat, bird or an iguana, you love them and can't imagine your life without them. You post a crazy amount of photos of them (and have a ridiculous amount you don't post), and you have a hard time not bringing them up in every conversation you have.


When it comes to your photoshoot, should you include your pets (particularly dogs) in your photoshoot? I will save you time and let you know that my answer is:
Yes, you should.


BUT.... There are still exceptions and things to consider before you do.

  1. Comfort. Pets provide a level of comfort to every situation. It is easier to forget about your own insecurities and focus on your pet.
  2. Natural. Pets are automatic entertainment. Your smiles will be natural and genuine, which makes for the best photos!
  3. Alleviate awkwardness. They are a great ice breaker for when your start the photoshoot so you can quickly move past any awkwardness of being in front of a camera!
  4. The whole family. You are there for a family photoshoot, so why wouldn't you want every member in the photo?


  1. Distracting. Pets don't exactly understand what a photoshoot means. Even if they are "used" to having their photos taken, they aren't going to stop and sit pretty while you are busy with photos.
  2. Stealing the Spotlight. Pets are cute. They are fun to photograph. It is possible they outshine you in the photos. (Sorry, if that offends you!)
  3. Responsibility. They are going to sniff, explore and relieve themselves. You still have to be responsible for them, even while you are having your photo taken.


Ultimately, it is up to you! Is the extra responsibility and a bit of hassle worth having your furry family members included in your professional photos? I'll let you answer it this time.