Whether you are thinking about booking a photoshoot for your dog with a professional photographer or just planning to take your own photos to capture your adventures and treasure forever there are 4 things to consider to make it a success.

1. Style of Photography

Two good questions to ask yourself are,

Where does my dog enjoy themselves the most?

What are they doing when they are their happiest?

“Your style of photography will determine the location of the shoot, the time of year, time of day”

Do you have an action pup who is happiest running, jumping, chasing a ball or even swimming?

Or are they happiest simply exploring the environment?

Maybe your dog is the happiest playing or just hanging out with you or another family member or perhaps you would like to consider inviting their best four-legged friend to join in the fun too!

( Photo by kind permission of Rhian White https://www.rhianwhitephotography.co.uk/)

2. Location

Once you have chosen the style of photography ( i.e. what your dog enjoys doing most, or where they have the most fun) it’s time to consider the location

If your dog’s favourite place is the beach then the decision about where to go is easy. However, there are still important considerations to take into account when choosing the beach.

If your dog is happiest exploring their environment and just loves life wherever you take them, you may still be unsure about the best location.

“Safety should always be a priority”

You know your dog best, are they good around other dogs?

Popular locations can get busy with people and dogs will your dog respond well to this?

Countryside and woodland locations are great but if you are travelling to a new area do you know how secure your location is or how close it is to roads?

Depending upon the time of year there may be livestock grazing in areas where there has previously been none, well worth checking beforehand.

Thinking about the beach?

Not all beaches remain open to dogs all year round and if they are then during the Summer months they can become crowded with families.

Choose your beach wisely, is your dog likely to chase sea birds for miles, are there dangerous rocks and rock pools that your dog will be attracted to?

Check tide times, beaches look very different when the tide is out, and your favourite cove may be lost when the tide is high, and of course, make sure you allow yourself time to get the shot you want before you get cut off by the tide!!!

Check tide times for your location at Tide Times.org

“ the best photos are taken when everyone is having fun”

A secure dog field, your garden or even a friend’s garden is a great option if you are not comfortable with your dog being in a public place.

The best photos are taken when everyone is relaxed and having fun.

Whilst some secure dog fields are simply fenced paddocks others have interesting areas for dogs to explore, sometimes streams, lakes and docks – perfect for those dock jumping photos.

Ask your photographer they may also know of some fab secure locations.

( Photo by kind permission of Rhian White https://www.rhianwhitephotography.co.uk/)

3. Time of Year

Your location may determine the time of year

Spring -March- April- May

Plus Points- Beaches are generally open to dogs, bluebells woods, Spring flowers, leaves on trees and later sunsets

Downsides- Weather can be unpredictable we have had some amazing weather in the Spring but be prepared for Spring showers

Summer- June-July-August

Plus Points – Warmer weather, wildflowers, meadows, more comfortable to be outside, dogs can swim in rivers and lakes, sunsets are later

Downsides- Weather can be too hot for dogs, consider your journey too. Beaches are often closed to dogs, locations are generally busier. Beware blue/green algae on lakes which are harmful to dogs


Plus Points- Beautiful Autumnal colours and leaves, stunning backdrop.

Children go back to school in September so locations can be quieter.

Dogs are allowed back on beaches in October and it can still be fairly warm

Downside- Cooler weather, shorter days, wetter weather, muddy dogs!

Winter- December- January- February

Plus Points- Dramatic landscapes, and fabulous winter skies. Beaches can be very quiet

Downside- Unpredictable, cold wet weather, dogs cannot spend too much time in the water as they get cold quickly. Most dogs are mud magnets and there can be a lot of mud around in the Winter.

Finally, the best photos are taken when you are relaxed and having fun, if you are all cold and miserable you will not get the photos you want.

4. Time of Day

The time of year will to a certain degree determine the time of day. Always take the advice of your photographer they will know the best light for the style of photography you are looking for.

For the photos in this blog, our Photographer Rhian White suggested a sunrise shoot. If your shoot is on the beach then you need to also consider tide times.

Beware of the midday sun in the Summer months and in the Winter plan enough time if booking an afternoon shoot to get the photos you want before the light is lost.

Top Tips

  • Plan before the day, and take the above considerations into account to ensure a successful photoshoot

  • Communicate with your photographer before the shoot and discuss the type of photos you would like

  • Ask your photographer for recommendations

  • If your photo shoot is taking place a distance from your home consider staying in the area. Providing it works with your photographer this gives you a contingency plan if the weather lets you down on your 1st day.

  • Be patient and trust your photographer to capture the image whilst you have fun with your dog

  • Keep the photo shoot fun and relaxed

  • Take everything you might need – think of every eventuality, wet dog, muddy dog, a dog with undergrowth stuck in its coat or ears. (Spaniels I am talking to you)

  • Brushes, towels, and wet wipes take them all along.

  • Your dog’s favourite toy/ball

  • Water and treats ( for you both!)

Most importantly have fun, make some memories and come away with some amazing photos to cherish forever.