How to Include Your Dog in Engagement Photos

So sweet, so snuggly – I’ve photographed a lot of fuzzy pups with their parents over the years.  Maybe you’ve been thinking about how to include your dog in engagement photos, too.  I’m here to give you the best tips on how to make sure they behave, what to expect and what to remember if you’ll be bringing your beloved pooch to your session.

A romantic stroll through the Cathedral Hill neighborhood with these two was sweet perfection for Trina & Nolan's St. Paul Minnesota engagement pictures.BRING AN EXTRA HAND TO HELP

Arrive early, and bring a helper (preferably someone who knows your dog well helps even more).  I always suggest to my couples that they bring a helper and that we begin their session with their dog.  Why?  Because then the helper will not only help get the attention of your beloved pup – but when they lose interest and we’re ready to head to the next location your dog isn’t waiting in the car or tied to a tree.  While I love when couples bring their dogs to sessions, it’s not much fun for them or their dog if they’ve been tied up to a tree and are barking or whining.  Make sure your dog is happy – you’ll be happier in the end, too!

two dogs sitting on the ground with couple


Definitely let your photographer know ahead of time that you’ll be bringing your pup along to your session!  Why?  Certain locations may not allow for animals, but also I always want to make sure we have the best backdrop, the least amount of extra people (which will distract your dog), and we can prepare to take a little extra time to chat before the session to make sure your dog gets used to the area & me!

couple kissing with a dog in each armSpringtime, blossoms and willow branches blowing in the wind made Emily & Michaels Chippewa Falls engagement session so romantic.


Bring a few treats – your extra helper can hang onto those and hand me a few if needed.  Most likely I won’t know your dog ahead of time so it’s always best to have a way for me to get their attention & give them a little extra love for sitting nice!

An ice cream date engagement session in the middle of winter was the perfect way to spend an afternoon with Haily & Seth.

Mogie made his appearance!


Plan to arrive early & let your dog explore the area where we’ll be starting your session so they calm down and get used to the area and the people in the area.  I don’t want your session to be stressful and this is one of the top stress-inducing items on the list.  We all know how calm & cuddly your pup is at home, but take them out to a new location after a fun ride in the car and they’re ready to run & play.  So let them explore a little before they’re supposed to look calm & cuddly!

couple under bridge with their dog looking over their shoulder in St. PaulBRING A LINT ROLLER!

Don’t forget to bring a lint roller – that way if you aren’t ready to change into your second outfit yet we don’t have to worry about pet hair on every single thing!

couple in black and white photo walking their dogs in Chippewa Falls


Have fun, enjoy your time, play with your dog and expect the unexpected.  Why?  Because we all know that your pup probably doesn’t look at the camera every single time you snap a photo at home either.  Let’s get some shots of you walking together, playing on the ground and we’ll try for some looking at the camera too.  Relax & enjoy your session – and I promise you’ll love the photos too!

Set in the mountains, Maggie & Justin's Missoula, Montana engagement photos were made of dreams.

We also had to include Maggie & Justin’s dog Luna… because well… she’s so darn cute!


If you live close enough to your venue, think about sneaking your pup in for a single photo or two for a little icing on the cake!

bride and groom on wedding day holding their labridoodle at The Florian Gardens

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photo of eau claire wedding photographers christy janeczko smiling at camera

Hi, I’m Christy

I am honored time and again that I am able to let couples tell their own story as it unfolds. I try to document each moment in a joyful, genuine and romantic way.  Have a look around and when you're ready to talk about capturing your day, send me a note.

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