It's not just the two-legged members of the family who need capturing to create lasting memories but also the ones with four. Having two dogs myself; Buster who is a Border Terrier crossed with a Shih Tzu and is super demanding, he absolutely loves a ball game (you can throw it but he won't bring it back) and FOOD. He brings me to the first style of photography for your pet:
It really depends where the dog is most comfortable and also how you want to remember them! When you look up at your wall to take a look at your family photographs do you want more outdoorsy and relaxed ones, or more formal? Another factor to think about with outdoor is how well-behaved they are off the lead, will they come back to you if you call them? In some cases I can actually edit out the lead if it must be kept on - so don't let this scare you off this option! Below is an example of this with Bailey a very mischievous and loving Tibetan Terrier.
Sitting (or standing) on a tree stump in Sandringham is one of my favourite ways to photograph dogs on location, it's like a natural podium. Shadow (the lovely Labrador on the left) decided he didn't really fancy sitting on the stump. However, being the perfect little model he is, he just positioned himself halfway on it which I think worked even better because you can see his tail wagging.
I would also recommend doing a location session if you fancy a day out with your family and four legged friends. It's a good reason to get together and go for a walk somewhere different, which most dogs absolutely love because of all the different smells!
I'm now going to introduce Charlie the Schnauzer, the second four-legged member of my family. He barks at everything and is pretty anxious when meeting new people, but he's a sweetheart. Surprisingly, he turned out to be a right little poser and you will find him being constantly photographed and posted on my Facebook page. I mean, look how well he's sitting in the photograph below. Let him sit on a chair and I think I could photograph him for hours! He leads us to the second style of pet photography:
The biggest difference between studio and location photography is how much you want going on in the photograph. Studio ones are super simple; no distractions of squirrels, children or other dogs. Plus, most dogs will do anything for a treat. I got Charlie to sit on one of my chairs mainly because he hates standing around. He's constantly looking for somewhere comfortable to sit, whether it's your lap or his bed. I did manage to get him standing (shown below), but he just doesn't look as cosy and elegant.
A bonus with my studio is that I can pack it all up and put it in my boot, coming to you if you're too busy to come to me! All I need is a little bit of space to set it all up.
French Bulldog, Ralph (shown above) was photographed in the comfort of his own home... although I did take it over. He was a very good boy and let me borrow it, and was super photogenic.
Can we all collectively go 'awwwwww'.
Do you want to know what the very best thing about doing dog portraits? I get to hang out and pet them afterwards. Best. Job. Ever.
By the way, I am not biased to dogs, I'm up for having any animal in my studio or just photographing them in general, if you love them, I'm sure I will too. We are so blessed to have animals who let us look after and care for them (and thankfully they look after us in return). Unconditional love both ends, how beautiful?
I hope you enjoyed and this was helpful when deciding between location and studio based photography for your pooch.
Have a great day/morning/evening wherever you are and give your pets a cuddle from me.