YOUR DOG COMES FIRST – ALWAYS
Canine Wellbeing Policy
Before your session, I’ll send you a short questionnaire. This helps me learn more about you and your dog ahead of the shoot, including any specific fears or dislikes they might have, as well as any existing health conditions or allergies. This will help me prepare an experience that’s tailored to you, from choosing a specific location, to bringing their favourite treats.
I want you to feel confident ahead of our session, so before the big day I’ll send you a session guide packed with handy hints & tips on how to prepare, and outlining what to expect. This covers everything from grooming and brushing up on training or commands, to choosing the perfect collar and lead combo so your dog can stay safe and look amazing!
It’s important that your dog can feel safe, be themselves and have a great time. So I’ll suggest locations based on their individual needs – whether that’s a short, quiet stroll in the park, or an epic adventure in the forest. If your dog is nervous or easily excited by new places, we’ll shoot somewhere familiar, and always avoid busy roads or overcrowded places.
STRESS & WELLBEING
I’m a Certified Canine Body Language Specialist with years of experience working exclusively with dogs, so I understand their behaviour and how to get the best out of them during a session (as well a knowing when to call it a day).
If, at any point, your dog shows signs of stress or discomfort, we’ll take a break and adapt the session to help them calm down and lower their arousal levels. I’ll never push them beyond their comfort zone or force them into stressful poses or situations.
The weather can impact our session in a number of ways. I take particular care in the summer when the weather is hot: we’ll shoot in the evening, bring plenty of water and stick to the shade. If it’s too hot (above 23C), we’ll reschedule to another day. We’ll also reschedule if the weather is too cold or if conditions are dangerous e.g. high winds, heavy snow.
DOG FIRST AID
I take every care to make sure we all stay safe when we’re out and about shooting. But if the worst should happen, I’m a fully trained Canine First Aider and hold full Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance. I hope I’ll never have to use it, but it does help to be prepared, and gives everyone that extra peace of mind.
My sessions are tailored to you and your dog, with no time limits and no pressure – just my undivided attention throughout. It doesn’t matter if your dog isn’t highly trained, or is a little nervous or excited. We’ll take as much time as we need, and use positive reinforcement to make your dog comfortable before taking any photos.
LEADS & COLLARS
We’re often shooting out in public locations, so it’s important that your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag (in accordance with the Control of Dogs Order 1992). There’s no blanket law requiring dogs to be kept on a lead in all public spaces, but we’ll always follow local instruction where necessary.
I can usually remove leads (and sometimes collars) in post-production, but it helps if you bring a simple lead and collar. I do not recommend extendable leads as they can break and cause injury.
MY LATEST WELLBEING JOURNAL ENTRIES
If you've ever visited my portfolio, or flicked through a few of my journal entries, you might be left wondering how all of these dogs are so well trained and able to be allowed off-lead! You might even be feeling a bit disheartened, thinking "there's no way my dog...
I was recently asked by the Master Photographers Association to write an article for their magazine around the importance of understanding dogs, as a photographer. This is a subject that's very close to my heart, and something I could waffle on about for hours, so...
Is your dog an urban explorer, or a woodland wanderer? Maybe they're more of a beach bum? When it comes to choosing a location for your session, you want your dog to feel as comfortable as possible so that they can be themselves and have a great time. That way I can...