What should we expect during a pet photography session?

Each session is unique and tailored to your needs. But basically, most sessions feel like we are going on a walk together in the park and we stop every so often to take a few photos. It is very casual and laid back. I tend to go with the flow and listen to what the dog wants to do and also the children if they are also in the shoot. I want to capture their personalities so I love it when they act themselves. Of course, we will have to get into pose mode every now and then to get that perfect shot that mom wants!

Where will the session take place?

I live in NW Calgary so I tend to use a lot of the parks around here like Bowness Park, Baker Park, and Bowmont Park. I also love doing photo shoots at urban locations like Stephen Avenue Walk, East Village, etc. I do travel across town for photo shoots and I am always open to suggestions from my clients as to where they would like their photo shoot to take place. Also keep in mind that I shoot in natural light so almost all my sessions are done outdoors on-location. I do make exceptions to this if the pet is too ill to go outdoors for a photo shoot or has special needs that requires the photo shoot to be done indoors. I do love to include at-home lifestyle photography for those who appreciate that style or for those who choose their home as their special place for their pet's "remember pooch package". I do NOT do indoor studio photography.

What happens if the weather does not cooperate on the day of our photo shoot?

The quality and style of my images relies on great natural sunlight. If it looks like the weather will not cooperate, we will have to re-schedule. Keep in mind that overcast skies are PERFECT for photo shoots. Bright sunny skies are terrible for photo shoots as the light is too harsh and causes unsightly shadowing . Rain can be beautiful and fun for photo shoots. Snow is also beautiful in pictures. But if the temperature dips below -1 degrees Celsius, it's probably best to re-schedule. I will typically not be shooting outdoors during the months of January to end of March. That is my hiatus and I pursue other things with my time.

What time of day will the session take place?

I am a natural light photographer so the quality  of the light is very important to my images. Bright sunny skies are not flattering in pictures therefore I tend to book photo sessions for the late afternoon, a few hours before sunset. The "golden hour" in photography is considered the magical hour where the light is at its best for photos. The light is softer and redder. This happens an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. Those are the ideal times for a photo shoot.

Do you only photograph pets?

I am a pet and people photographer. I photograph pets alone AND I photograph pets with their people. However, since I am predominantly a pet photographer, the focus of my work will always be on your pets even when the family is included in the session. I do NOT typically book people-only photo shoots. I do some people-only sessions but they are usually personal projects or they are part of my pet-and-people sessions.

How much editing do you do on the "people" subjects? Can you make me look slimmer in the images?

I do some editing on my "people" subjects, but they are minor edits like removing a pimple. Do not expect "glamour" edits and please do not ask me to make you look slimmer in the photographs! I will not do that. My art is to capture the relationship between you and your beloved pets, not to do glamour photo shoots. 

Are we a good fit to work with each other?

That is a good question. I do not take every potential client or project that is presented to me. I take great care in selecting the clients and the projects that speak to me. My photography is very much passion work for me. I have to really connect with the project, the clients, and the idea. This is one reason why I don't do mini sessions. I believe that I need to have the time to get to know you and your pet in order to truly tell your story genuinely through pictures.  You and your pet are worth the time to draw out the deepest connections, the warmest smiles, and the candid love you express to each other. In turn, you also have to trust in my approach, in the way I frame my pictures, and in the moments I choose to capture. 

How should I get my pet ready for the photo session?

Some people like to have their pet groomed before a photo session but that is totally up to you and this also depends on the type of dog that you have. A long-haired dog for example may need grooming versus another breed of dog. We usually use treats (with your permission) during the photo session to get your pet's attention, so if your pet comes a little hungry for the photo session, that would help. We supply treats or you can bring your own. We usually use beef liver bites by Crumps' Naturals. Also, please bring along any toys that might get your dog's attention or toys (stuffies, tennis balls, frisbee, etc.) that are special to your dog that you would like in the photos. You are also welcome to bring along a towel if you think your dog would like to go for a swim during the photo shoot. That would be awesome to capture in photos especially if swimming is something your dog really loves to do.

What should I wear for my session?

I always say dress nice, but casual. You certainly want to be comfortable when on your photo shoot especially since we will be doing a lot of walking around. Pay close attention to your shoes (and your toes if wearing open-toe shoes) as feet tend to be in a lot of the photos when photographing pets. For more style ideas, please check out my "what to wear" board on Pinterest. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Use coordinating colours for family members, but don't match.
  • Stay away from the colour white. It does not look great in photos. Off-white or cream colour is a better choice.
  • Don't wear colours that will blend in with your dog's colour. For example, if your dog has black fur, don't wear a black top.
  • Keep it simple. A simple solid colour top with a scarf for added colour pop is a definite winner. Layering looks great in photos.
  • Pay attention to your footwear as feet end up in photos very often in pet photography.
  • Comfort is key!

Can you give me more info about the session add-ons?

Session add-ons are print products that are not included in the session fee but are purchased separately later if you choose. You can pick and choose which print products you would like to purchase. There is no obligation to purchase session add-ons. You still get your digital files as part of your session. These are just extras that you may want to consider to display your photos as artwork and create print products that can be treasured for years to come.

When is payment due and how do you accept payment?

A non-refundable retainer fee of 25% is due at the time of booking for each session. The balance of the session is due no later than one day before the session. Payment for session add-ons is due at time of order placement. Payment can be made by cash, email transfer, or by PayPal invoice. Other forms of payments will be considered on a case by case basis.

You took 1000's of images but only gave me 25. Where are the rest of my photos?

You may hear a thousand clicks during your session but this does not mean I will be providing you with a thousand edited images. I carefully go through each and every photo from our session and edit only the best of the best. The final edited images will be nothing less than frame worthy. Please do not ask to see the rest of the images. They have most likely been deleted during the culling process.