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From Furry Friends to Family Members: Including Pets in Family Portraits

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Family Portrait Photography including dog

Family portraits are treasured keepsakes that capture the essence of love and togetherness, and what better way to showcase the warmth of your family than by including your beloved pets in the frame? As a pet photographer, I have witnessed firsthand the joy that comes from incorporating furry friends into family portraits. In this blog post, we'll explore the magic of blending human and pet companionship, along with essential tips to ensure a seamless and heartwarming photoshoot.

1. Embrace the Uniqueness of Your Pet

Every pet has its own personality, and that's what makes them so endearing. Embrace their individuality and work with it rather than against it. Whether your pet is playful, calm, shy, or hyperactive, understanding their quirks will help you capture their true essence in the photographs.

2. Familiarize Pets with the Setting

Before the actual photoshoot, introduce your pets to the location where the portrait session will take place. Allow them to explore, sniff around, and get comfortable with the surroundings. This step is vital to prevent anxiety or nervousness during the shoot and ensures a more natural and relaxed appearance in the photos.

3. Timing is Key

Choosing the right time for the photoshoot can make a significant difference in capturing beautiful moments. Consider your pet's schedule and choose a time when they are typically more relaxed. A tired and content pet is more likely to cooperate during the session.

4. Patience, Patience, Patience

Pets can be unpredictable, and that's part of their charm! Be patient and prepared to go with the flow. It may take some time to get the perfect shot, but the candid moments in between can often turn out to be the most heartwarming and authentic.

5. Bring Their Favorite Things

To keep your pets engaged and comfortable during the shoot, bring along their favorite toys or treats. These familiar items will not only serve as great props but also make them feel secure and at ease in the new environment.

6. Collaborate with a Professional Pet Photographer

Working with a professional pet photographer who understands animal behavior can make a world of difference in capturing stunning and emotive portraits. A skilled pet photographer can direct the session while making sure the pets and family members interact naturally, resulting in captivating images that reflect the bond shared between them.


Including pets in family portraits adds an extra layer of love and affection to these cherished mementos. The joy, happiness, and occasional mischievousness that pets bring into our lives are something to be celebrated and cherished forever. Embrace the uniqueness of your furry friends, be patient during the photoshoot, and collaborate with a skilled pet photographer to create unforgettable images that capture the love shared between your family and your beloved pets.

Remember, family portraits are not just about capturing faces; they're about capturing hearts – both human and furry. So, gather your family members and furry friends, and let the love and laughter flow freely in front of the camera, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Happy shooting!

About the author: Teri Moore is a devoted family photographer and pet photographer who artfully captures the heartwarming connections and candid moments that make each family's story unique.


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