Pets in family photos

Consider including your animal friends in your family photos!

Family photos which include the family pet are a terrific idea. Over the years we have photographed lots of different animals while creating family photos. Even once photographing the entire family around a gold fish bowl. Not the easiest photo session we’ve ever done. Most often it is the family dog, occasionally a cat or a pet bird, rarely in the same shot though. Dog, cat and bird adds up to a disaster looking for a place to happen. Despite all the jokes about not photographing children and animals together. It mostly works. As photographers on such assignments we just have to be, shall we say fluid in our approach.

Going into a session which includes pets in  family photos, requires a fair amount of flexibility in our approach. Also being ready for the unexpected is a bonus.

Laughing young girl during family photos session. Sometimes pets have different ideas about what they want to do at a photoshoot.

This photo of Hannah with Bessie wasn’t planned this way. Nor I suspect will it get a guernsey in the final selects. But when a horse decides they are not happy with the posing arrangements, it’s hard to argue. I love the spontaneous reaction from Hannah in this image.

Classic portrait of young girl and her horse. by excitation Mildura photographers

So I guess it’s up to Hannah’s twin sister, Lucy and her equine friend Monty, to show us how it’s done. Classic girl and her horse portrait. Helped ¬†by some stunning available light and a casual and totally believable pose.

Young girl poses for family photos with her pet horse. Portrait by excitations Mildura.

Pets, like young children get bored with photography really quickly. Trick is of course to keep changing it up. Or giving them something else to think about. In this case Bessie may have been distracted by a packet of sliced bread… Bit like the photographer really. Easily distracted by food.


Black and white photo of girl and her horse in stable.Change of location for Lucy and Monty for this image. Very simple pose, again the classic horse and owner type portrait. Technically this presented a bit of a challenge. Requiring a bit of quick thinking. Because… let’s just say the available light, she was no longer available. Let the darkness prevail… no way. Lit by a single radio controlled hotshoe flash, VAL mounted to the right of camera.

One day I’ll tell you about a photo session in our studio. Ten puppies and three children…. Now there’s a real challenge.

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