Preparing Your Pet

Preparing Your Pet for Their Petrait Session with Tony Downer Photography

Thank you for allowing me to photograph your furry family member. Though each session has a time parameter, I will work with you and your pet(s) to ensure we get a great image. It’s possible to capture that image relatively quickly or it may take some extra time. I recognize there are times when it just isn’t going to work - that’s ok – we can make arrangements to shoot it another time. Some of our time will be spent getting to know each other and getting comfortable in the surroundings. Here are a few things to consider to make our time together as successful as possible.

Before You Arrive:

Feeding your pet a full meal before they arrive may cause them to be less alert and in the mood for a nap. If this sounds like your pet, please hold off feeding them until after the shoot.

If you know your pet to be extra energetic, a walk ahead of time may be a good idea. Anything you can do to help your pet be calm and attentive is appreciated.

If you wish to bathe your pet before the session, please do so a day or two before. A brushing the day before is preferable. Grooming and portrait session on the same day can be a lot of stress for pets.

Consider being included in a few photographs with your pet. If you would like to be in any of the photographs, please wear plain clothing (muted patterns, no text or symbols). Mid to dark muted tones photograph best with pets (and especially dogs.)


At The Session:

If your pet responds to commands, let me know. This can be helpful in capturing the shot.

If your pet can be photographed without a collar, that's great. If a collar is necessary for safety reasons or is a significant part of their identity, I respect that.

We will have fresh water for your pet. Most pets need a little refresher during the session.

Bring their favorite treats and toys but keep them hidden away until we need them. I have a few tricks but sometimes they respond best with their favorites. We like to try not to use treats, as dogs can become fixated on them and may also salivate more than usual. However, some shoots work better with treats and I will have some healthy treats on hand. If your dog has special dietary needs, please bring what they can eat.

Whatever you can do to reduce your pet’s anxiety (if they have it) is appreciated. Positive reinforcement and patient repetition are encouraged to get your pet feeling good about the session.

In the end we want you and your dog to enjoy the experience and receive a wonderful piece of art.