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Hi there! Welcome to the Magdalena Studios blog, a journal where we share weddings, travel, resources for brides & entrepreneurs, and a glimpse of our lives. When we're not photographing some of the most romantic weddings around the world, we're either fixing up our beach bungalow, surfing and swimming in the ocean, or cooking up veggie burgers. Alongside my (soon-to-be) husband Scott and our trustworthy team of creatives, our life mission is to capture joyful love stories and effortless real-life moments.

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Portraits, Wedding Resources

6 Tips For Including Your Dog In Your Photos | Magdalena Studios

Your engagement session is a fun and flirty way to capture this new chapter of your lives. It is the beginning of a new and grand adventure called marriage, and your engagement session is a wonderful way to document the season before you say “I Do.” Since these will be your first photos as a soon-to-be family, you’ll want to include your four-legged family members, too! More and more couples are including their dogs in their engagement sessions and even the wedding itself. Here are six tips to consider when incorporating your doggies in your engagement session:


1. Timing

So you’re bringing your dog to your engagement shoot, but you want it to go as smoothly as possible. As important as he is to documenting your engagement, you’ll probably want to have some photos without your pup, too. Plan on bringing your dog into the session either at the beginning or the end, to limit potential chaos in your engagement session.

2. Bring a helper

This one is a must-have! You’ll need that extra pair of hands to help you out behind the scenes with your pooch. They will be able to provide water and treats, to take her for a short walk if she gets rowdy, and they can help with getting her to sit and pose for photos. Bringing a helper allows you both to focus more on each other and less on making sure your pup is behaving.

3. Tire him out

Depending on if your doggy is a pup or a senior, his energy levels and short attention span definitely need to be considered when preparing for a photoshoot! Your best bet: take him to a dog park or on a long walk before the shoot. Make sure he is as spent as possible so that he will be cooperative and calm for pictures.

4. Doggy accessories

Of course you’ll want to make sure your dog is looking her best. Make sure to get a grooming and/or bath before the photoshoot so she is clean and ready for her closeup. But you might want to get your dog groomed a few days before so that she isn’t shedding too much, and doesn’t have that too-freshly groomed look in your pictures! After all, we do want her to look most like herself. Another great idea is to shop for some fun and adorable accessories before the shoot. Check out the colorful and unique options CrewLaLa and The Rover Boutique. They’ve got bow ties, bandanas, and creative collars that will have your girl puppy looking like a doll and your boy looking very dapper.

5. Location, location, location

Choose a photoshoot spot that will be least stressful on the three of you. If your dog is ultra sensitive, it is probably a good idea to pick somewhere he has been before. If your heart is set on a site he’s never visited, try to take him there a couple times to get used to the smells and sounds of the area. If your dog is very excitable, try to choose a spot that is more isolated and quiet, so as to limit chances your dog will be distracted and nervous by the bustle of activity nearby during the photoshoot.

6. Be open and flexible

Try not to get too set on specific ideas when it comes to taking photos with your dog. As we know, they can be unpredictable creatures, and don’t always want to follow the rules when it comes to posing and sitting still. If you are uptight, nervous, and stressed, your dog will probably be able to sense that. Be natural, embrace candidness, and try to have fun!

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