Dogs are such an important part of our families, and I love including them in senior portraits. There is such a strong bond between a senior and their pet, especially if it is one they have had for many years. Photographing pups with a high senior during senior pictures is incredibly special and I am always honored to do so. I know these photos will mean even more in the future than they do today. Plus, they are always a family favorite!!
Can I Include My Dog in Senior Photos?
As I mentioned above, absolutely 100% YES please include your dog in your senior portrait session! Not only do I want to create a senior photography experience that is customized just for you, including your special pup helps reflect your life as a high school senior.
There are, however, some things to consider when thinking about bringing your dog. Not all dogs are great candidates for photography sessions, and while that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t include them, it does lead to some additional planning. More about that in a minute! For now, let’s look at some inspiration from senior sessions with dogs!
Senior Pictures with Dog Near Water
For dogs that love to go for walks in the park and jump into the water, it could be fun to choose a location for your senior photos that showcases either a creek, pond, or wetlands. We just have to make sure they don’t jump in too early in the session! Paul from Upper Arlington High School and his dog like to take walks in the park so it was nice to do his senior photos with his dog there.
Zach also chose a location with water for his senior portraits with his dog.
What I love about photos with water is the number of options that we have to utilize the water. In some cases, you can walk out onto a bridge or dock with your dog. In others, we can get a nice reflection in the water like we did above!
Summer Senior Photos with Dog
Here are some photos from a warm (ok, hot) Summer day with Katie from Westerville Central! This pup was warm but seemed to enjoy being outside nonetheless. We were able to do several poses of this beautiful senior and her sweet dog. Some of my favorite shots are always the candid moments. This is the best way to document the natural connection between a senior and their loving dog.
This session below was carefully planned before school started so we would have the ability to include Zach’s dog, as the pup was not doing too well. This dog had been a part of Zach’s family for years and as you can tell in these photos, they had a special bond that I was honored to document. In this case, due to his health, we kept our walking to a minimum and I suggested a location that was close to the parking lot but also had a lot of background options so that we would be able to walk away with a lot of variety without making the dog walk very much.
Senior Pictures with Letter Jacket and Dog.
Many high school students wear their letter jackets for senior portraits, but Gowan from Thomas Worthington also brought his dog along for those photos and I couldn’t love it more! Aren’t some of these poses just the best?!
Should I Bring My Dog for Senior Pictures?
While seeing photo inspiration of bringing a canine to a portrait session may have you feeling excited, it is important to consider whether brining your own dog will be what you imagine it will.
Is your dog calm or excitable? Calm dogs are easier to photograph (duh) so having an excitable dog may take more time and patience. How will your dog react when seeing another animal? Public parks are often full of kids, joggers, squirrels, birds, and other dogs. It is important to consider how difficult it would be for you to manage your pet among these unpredictable variables.
Do you think you will enjoy your time taking pictures with your dog or do you think having your dog there will stress you out? Since dogs don’t generally take good posing direction (haha!) we do often do some work to create images like you see above. If you feel that you (or your senior or your parent) will be stressed out with the lack of cooperation, then it may not be worth attempting. The last thing we want to do is take a wonderful, fun, exciting day and have everyone feeling stressed and upset.
Get in touch to learn more about how we can create a senior portrait experience customized just for your senior (and their dog!).