We require that all dogs be accompanied by an adult (18+) human who is familiar to the pet and comfortable handling them.
This person does not have to be an owner, but should be someone who the dog trusts. We actually do a fair number of “surprise sessions”, where a client brings a dog that they have been tasked with dog sitting, and later surprise the unwitting owner with prints. Many clients find these surprise pet portrait sessions are a great alternative to Puptrait Studio gift cards.
Why must a dog’s person be at the studio?
Becoming a competent animal handler a prerequisite of becoming a professional pet photographer. In many ways, understanding dog behavior and how dogs communicate is almost more important than skill with a camera. But with that said, photoshoots can be a weird and potentially stressful experience for even well trained and the best behaving dogs. Having a familiar face in the studio can go along way towards making a dog feel at ease.
Your dog’s reactions are just as important as their manners
A visit to the Puptrait Studio isn’t the same as a day at doggy day care or a dog training class. When photographing a dog, we are less concerned about obedience and more focused on expressions. In fact, we find that it’s often the dogs that aren’t perfectly trained that lend for the most interesting and imaginative pet portraits. While this might seem counter intuitive, it makes a lot of sense when you see how uber trained dogs get located into the command zone.
When photographing a pet portrait we want a dog to listen and follow basic commands, but they need to feel comfortable enough that they can still be themselves on camera. By having a person your dog trusts in the studio while we work can go a long way towards encouraging authentic expressions and capturing the perfect dog portrait.