Including Your Pet in Family Portraits

If you’re anything like me, your pets are part of your family. You count on them for support, you’re there for them when they need you, and you’d do anything for them. Therefore, why wouldn’t you choose to include your pets in your professional family portrait sessions? I love when I receive an inquiry from a client who is interested in including their pets in their session -- over my nearly 15 years as a professional, I have received requests to include pets in various situations and for all occasions. Pets bring joy to any portrait session, and anyone I photograph with their pet is more relaxed in front of the camera. Here are some ideas for ways you can include pets in your next portrait session:

  • Maternity Sessions – I often hear from new and expecting parents that their pet is their first baby. Including your dog or cat in a maternity session can be a fun way to creatively document the expansion of your family. Not every image has to include your fur babies, but you’ll be thankful that you decided to have Max part of this momentous stage of your life.
  • Newborn Sessions – I love photographing lifestyle images of families welcoming their new precious babies into their lives and homes. This is a time where your home and dynamics are making huge shifts. Honoring this time with professional photographs -- your fur babies included! -- is something you won’t regret.
  • Your Very First Pet – All pets leave their mark on our hearts. Having said this, you will never have a second “first” pet as an adult. My dog, Ruckus, was my very first dog and the photographs I have of the two of us together couldn’t be more precious.
  • With Your Children – the children I often photograph have always considered their pet to be like a sibling to them. How sweet is it to include pictures of them together? Perhaps you could to have them photographed playing or cuddling together, or engaged in their favorite activity. These moments are fleeting and leave a mark on all of us.
  • Family vacation – taking a trip to Tahiti on your private jet with Fido? Take me and let me document the whole thing. You won’t regret it, I promise.


Including Pet in Family PortraitsIncluding Pets in Family PortraitsIncorporate Pets in Family PortraitsIncorporate Pets in Family Portraits What are your favorite ways to incorporate your pets into your family portraits? 


Norah Levine has been a professional portrait photographer for nearly 15 years. She is also an author, photo educator, fine artist, and pet mama living in Austin, Texas. Her book, “Pet Photography” can be purchased at AMAZON or Rocky Nook publishing She also has online courses via CreativeLive and Craftsy Her fine art can be viewed on Etsy Inquire directly for learning opportunities, fine art commissions/purchases, and portrait sessions.