Many times I have heard people say, "my dog is too skittish, he won't cooperate for a photoshoot." Or "my pet can be aggressive towards new people, I don't think he would do well with a photoshoot." Let me dispel these fears.
Since I was a child, animals have been a part of my life. I grew up learning about their mentalities, how to approach them, what to do and not do when an animal may be feeling fear. I have also taken pet psychology courses to help me better my abilities in animal communication and understanding.
I have had pets come to the studio nervous and afraid. And after applying some techniques I have learned over the years, I am able to capture the perfect shot.
"But what if my pet bites you?" Listen, if I get bitten, as I have said in previous blog posts, it is because I did something wrong. Not your pet. Animals are not dangerous, they are instinctive (I think I've said that before too). Should I get bitten, it is because I did something that made the animal feel uncomfortable. It's that simple.
"I'm still nervous that my pet may not be comfortable." Ok, that's fine. During the shoot, you are there to help comfort your pet. Many times, I request the assistance of the owners to help pose the animal and just before I take the shot, I instruct them to move away.
I have had owners actually make sessions worse for their pets by trying to get them to do too many things at once. It confuses the animal and makes for a stressful situation for them. They pick up on the slightest changes in our attitudes and body language. When you're calm, your pet is calm. Should more than one owner be present, I will ask that one of you simply sit on the couch while the other assists me. As I've said, too many different cues are not helpful.
The same applies to treats and toys. Yes, you may bring them. However, unless absolutely necessary, we likely won't need them. They too, can over excite the animal which makes the session more complicated than it has to be.
The bottom line, I ask that you trust me and my abilities. After all, that is what you're paying me for, right? :)