Dogs in Family Photo Sessions

Newborn Photo Sessions

Should you include your dog in family photo sessions?

My family has an upcoming session with a photographer and I am considering if I should include our dog in our family photo session.   Our dog is 13 so I would love to get some photos of the family with her.  However, she is an old, anxious dog and I am worried about stressing her out.  I also want the photo session to be an enjoyable experience. I am worried about myself being stressed out because she is stressed out.  As much as I want family photos with our 4 legged family member, I am leaning toward taking some of our own at home with her, but leaving her at home for the professional photo session.

Mom laying down with newborn and dog for outdoor newborn photo session

I always LOVE including dogs in photo sessions. You know your dog and family best though.  Here are some things to consider when deciding to include your dog in the session and some tips for including your dog in the session.

woman holding dog photo morning light, Sherbon MA

Things to consider when deciding to include your dog in your family photo sessions

couple laying in grass kisses over baby with dog next to them for newborn photos

If your dog is relaxed and adjusts well to new places and people, it will likely do well during a photo session.  If however your dog is anxious and high energy, you may want to opt for leaving your pup at home.  Will having your dog with you add to your experience or take away from it?  If you can enjoy the session without your dog adding stress, then I would love to have them there!

dad hold baby on shoulder for outdoor newborn photo session

Tips for including your dog in your family photo sessions

newborn holds dad finder outside for photo Sherborn MA


This will help burn off extra energy so your dog is more likely to be calm during the session.  Getting to the location early for a walk can also help acclimate your dog to the location.

family stands with baby and dog during photo session


We will get photos of the whole family with your dog, but to get a few without the dog one parent can hold the dog while the other gets in photos with the kids.

baby layes on blanket in Massachusetts for outside newborn photos
dog sits on blanket with newborn for Massachusetts photo session


Your dog isn’t used to staying still for a photo.  You may want to practice a few commands at home in the days leading up to the session, but it’s ok if they don’t sit or lay down on command for long periods of time.  We will try to take some photos standing still, but my favorite ones usually are when the family is walking or playing and interacting with their dog.

family walks with baby and dog during photo session in Sherborn Massachusetts
parents smile at baby and dog sit in grass for Massachusetts newborn Photo session


Your dog can feel and feed off of your energy so relax and enjoy playing and spending time with your family.

parents hold newborn and dog for family photos in Sherborn Massachusetts
woman holds dog and dog sits with baby on blanket for family photo session in Sherborn Massachusetts

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