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Hello and welcome to the Kristy Belle Photography Blog! I'm Kristy Woolford & I'm a portrait Photographer based in the Boise, Idaho Area. I hope you enjoy viewing my latest work and getting a little peek into my life as a mom, Wife and Photographer.




Tips & Guides




Tips for Including Furry Family Members | Boise Family Photographer

When it comes to capturing the joy of family togetherness, furry friends deserve to be in the spotlight just as much as their human family members. Whether you’re in the heart of Boise, the bustling neighborhood of Eagle, or the charming city of Meridian, Treasure Valley families understand the treasured place their pets hold in their photos. But including our cuddly companions in a coordinated family photo isn’t always a ‘paws-off’ affair — it takes a bit of planning and a sprinkle of patience. In this comprehensive guide, we’re diving into everything you need to know about immortalizing these special family moments with your beloved pets.

The Importance of Furry Friends in Family Portraits

In the digital age, family photos are more than a record; they’re a celebration of life, love, and the unique ties we share. Including pets in these portraits isn’t merely a trend; it’s a testament to the significance of our four-legged friends. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – but when your pet is in the frame, that picture speaks volumes of unconditional love and camaraderie.

Preparing for the Photoshoot Doggy-Style

Preparation is key when planning for a photoshoot that includes pets. Just like the rest of the family, your furry friend should look their best and behave like the cute superstar they are destined to be in your family portraits!

Grooming and Hygiene

Start by grooming your pet to perfection. This isn’t the time for ‘sloppy chic’—a good wash, brush, and perhaps even a trip to the groomer can ensure they’re looking smart and feeling comfortable. It’s also an excellent opportunity for a close check for any ticks or burrs that might’ve taken up residence in their coat.

Training and Behavior

A well-behaved pet is a photographer’s dream. Consider a brief refresher on commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘look’ for that perfect shot. If pet training isn’t their forte, a couple of favorite treats might be what it takes to keep them focused (and compliant) during the shoot.

Choosing the Right Location

The location you choose for your family photo shoot can make all the difference in the world for your pet. It’s about finding an environment that is not only picturesque but also comfortable for your pet to navigate.

Pet-Friendly Venues

Opt for venues that are known for being welcoming to our animal companions. Many parks and outdoor spaces have provisions for pets, whether it’s off-leash areas, dog runs, or simply a relaxed attitude toward pet presence during shoots.

Posing and Composition

Creating harmonious poses with pets can be one of the more challenging aspects of the photoshoot. However, with a little creativity and patience, these photos can be some of the most cherished.

Group Shots with Pets

Group shots are a great way to include everyone but can also be a bit overwhelming for pets. To ease them into the process, I like to have family members positioned close to them so they feel secure. I also ensure that everyone in the family, including the pet, is visible and well-lit in the shot.

Unique Poses and Interactions

Think about the dynamics of your family and how your pet fits into the mix. Whether it’s a playful tussle, a cuddle on the couch, or a regal pose, try to capture moments that truly reflect your family’s everyday life.

Ensuring Pet Comfort and Safety: The Comfort Zone is Key

A pet in their comfort zone equals a happy, photogenic pet. As much as these photos are about getting the right angles and smiles, they are also about respecting your pet’s space and well-being.

Providing Familiar Items

Bringing along their favorite toy can help particularly anxious pets to be comfortable in new environments. These items provide a familiar anchor in what can be a somewhat chaotic change of setting.

Having a Pet Handler

Having a dedicated friend or family member present to handle your pet when they’re not needed in the immediate shoot can be invaluable. This person can help keep your pet happy and safe while you concentrate on getting those pristine family photos.

Working Together: Communicate, Collaborate, Create

I am your partner in this endeavor, and clear communication will ensure that your pet is captured in all their glory.

Communicating Pet’s Needs and Personality

Make sure to communicate your pet’s needs and quirks to me. Are they camera-shy, or do they endlessly pose? Let me know, so I can adjust my approach accordingly.

Collaboration for Candid Moments

Candid moments with pets can be pure gold. I will work to set up scenes where the family can interact naturally, and your pet’s character can really shine through.

Including pets in family photoshoots is all about capturing the essence of family life — inclusive, loving, and a bit on the wild side. With these tips, your family portrait session is bound to be a tail-wagging success. Remember, pets may not grasp the significance of a photograph, but they absolutely understand the depth of love and togetherness, and those are the moments that make for the best family photos. It’s your family, in the most authentic way, and it’s a memory you’ll treasure for a lifetime. As a Boise family photographer, capturing these moments is both an honor and a joy, and including your pet in the mix is just icing on the cake!

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