People have photo shoots with their families all the time. Yet, many view their pets as family members — do they get to share these experiences, too? Here’s why you should include your dog in the fun, plus a few puppy photo shoot ideas to get you started. 

A light-colored chihuahua dressed in a pink harness and bow stands with one foot propped up on a pink camera. 

Why should your puppy have a photo shoot? 

Having a photo shoot is an excellent way to record cherished periods in your family’s history. In a sense, they allow you to pause time, to capture a part of yourself and your loved ones from “back in the day,” candidly and artistically. 

This is probably easier for you to relate to for human relatives and friends, but why would you want a photo shoot for your pets? 

Sure, you can whip out your phone anytime you stumble upon your fur-baby doing something adorable. Yet, can you really do your pet justice with a mobile camera? 

Even if you can hit the proper angles and manage to find a pretty background, a professional photographer could take those photos to the next level. 

Plus, the fact that you’ve taken the time to read this proves that you’re one of the millions — perhaps billions — of people worldwide who view their pets as valued family members. 

In the U.S. alone, roughly 51% of dog owners view their dogs as another family member. Generally, the human-dog bond serves the following three purposes:

  • Projective: Your dog might serve as a symbolic extension of yourself. 
  • Sociability: Your pup operates as a social boost, helping you build interpersonal connections. 
  • Surrogate: You might be inclined to heavily anthropomorphize your dog to the point that its companionship functions as a replacement for human companionship. 

Whether your puppy’s purpose matches any or all of the above, having any sort of companion animal is a form of self-care, or as “being good to oneself,” as the referenced study’s researchers stated. 

Since your dog is such a significant part of your life, it’s only right to capture your time together in a way that even the fanciest mobile phone never could. 

Puppy photo shoot ideas

You may have come across a viral photo from a dog’s maternity shoot before. They feature American Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, and Dachshunds wearing dainty flower crowns, lounging on their backs, showing their pregnant, nipple-studded bellies in full glory. 

These can serve as the jumping point of inspiration for your puppy’s shoot, as many are outdoors (where your puppy will likely be most comfortable) and brightly colored to complement the dog’s bubbly personality. 

However, since your puppy’s not pregnant, you’ll want to make some tweaks to the theme to make it appropriate for the little one. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Three newborn puppies lay side-by-side underneath a blanket. 

 

Photo shoots for newborn puppies

Alright, alright, so puppies are not human children, and we shouldn’t treat them like it. In fact, failing to treat your dog like a dog but a baby person instead can be severely damaging to their behavior, and ultimately, your relationship. 

Still, it’s okay to celebrate their presence in your life with a photo shoot, especially in the case of a newborn litter! 

The best theme for this occasion would be the classic puppy-in-a-basket setup. Since your dog is quite young and probably hasn’t gotten all its vaccinations yet, this is the only shoot I would recommend you schedule at an indoor venue. 

Although, the specific photo shoot location you choose depends on the look you’re going for. 

For instance, let’s say you want to go with a rustic, farmhouse style. In this case, you should choose a place with natural or reclaimed unfinished wood décor. Your color scheme should be full of natural tones, mainly browns, whites, and reds. 

Or, you can keep it simple and set your puppy up in front of a backdrop that complements its coat color. Dark-colored dogs should have bright backgrounds to stand out, whereas brown dogs are a bit more versatile in the settings that’ll work for them. 

A black-and-white dog carries a sandy, purple frisbee in its teeth toward the camera.

Photographing a growing pup

It’s become quite popular for dog owners to chronicle their puppies’ aging. The practice goes much deeper than the “How It Started/How It’s Going” meme, as some snap a photo of their pups every day for a whole year to show every bit of change over time. 

Of course, you can’t do a photo shoot every day — that would be insanely expensive. Instead, you could do one either once or twice a year for as long as you want. 

This follows the pattern of family portraits, where relatives gather once per year to show how they’ve grown individually and collectively. 

The best way to do these “growing up” shoots is to allow your dog to have some fun! What is your pup’s favorite toy at the moment? Bring it to the set and let the dog play with it to capture those adorable moments before it outgrows its attachment to that item. 

As it grows older, you could showcase your pup’s favorite hobbies. For instance, you could rent an outdoor photo shoot venue for a day to photograph your pup leaping around and catching frisbees or diving into a pool. 

Capture timeless moments with your fur-baby

Your dog is an important part of your life. There’s no shame in that! 

Save your favorite life moments with your fur-baby with a photo shoot (or many) throughout their puppyhood at venues like those described above, or find other photo shoot locations that work for you and your best bud.