dog photographer Northamptonshire


What to expect on the day

As the date of your session approaches, be sure to read through the guides included in your welcome box – these should give you everything you need to prepare for your experience (and hopefully get you feeling inspired!). Here’s what you can expect on the day of your session…
jack russell terrier in abington park


 Before we start shooting, we’ll take a few minutes to let your dog get used to me and my gear – they can have a good sniff of my bag and, if needed, we’ll do a spot of positive reinforcement with my camera.

Some dogs can get excited when they meet new people! We’ll want to create a calm atmosphere for the session, so please don’t be offended if I ignore your dog to begin with as they settle.

brown cockerpoo running in northampton field


Photography sessions should be natural and fun, so I treat them just like a regular walk, with plenty of time to sniff, explore. If the location is new to your dog, we’ll make sure they’re completely comfortable before we start shooting.

There are no time limits, but shoots usually last 1-2 hours. I’ll have a plan of where to stop for photos, but will often adapt the session depending on the weather, the lighting, and how your dog is feeling on the day.

Two Westies sitting on log in park


A solid ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ are ideal, but not essential, so please don’t worry if your dog isn’t highly trained. Dogs feed off our energy, so if they’re not being particularly ‘co-operative’ during the session, try to stay calm – we’ll still get some amazing photos!

Your dog can be kept on-lead during their session (especially if they don’t have a solid recall). This can usually be hidden or edited out. Your safety is my priority, so I’ll never ask you to unleash your dog if you’re not comfortable doing so.

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Do I need to groom my dog before the session?

There’s nothing wrong with a little spruce up ahead of your portrait session, whether it’s a full groom or a quick bath the night before. Ultimately, we want to capture your dog the way you see them every day. The key things to avoid are dandruff and eye-bogeys, so a quick brush and a wipe is usually all you’ll need.

What should I bring to my session?

A portrait experience with The Artisan Hound is not unlike a regular walk – just imagine a few more pit stops and treats thrown into the mix! Just bring along the usual gear – lead, toys, treats, poo bags – and we’ll be fine. If you’d like your dog to wear a specific collar or accessory then bring it along (and please avoid harnesses if possible).

What happens if it rains??

We all know how unpredictable British weather can be! My style of work is hugely dependent on good light and dry conditions, so if the weather is unfavourable on the day then I recommend rescheduling your session to another day that suits you.

Does my dog have to be well trained?

While basic commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, are beneficial, the aim is to capture the personality of your dog, so you’re much more likely to get great shots if we allow them to act naturally and not force them into any uncomfortable situations.

I would definitely recommend brushing up on your sit/stay commands in the days leading up to your session. If it’s still an issue, or your dog simply can’t be let off the lead, we can still work with them on lead and I will work on removing it during post-processing – you’d be surprised what a little bit of Photoshop wizardry can do!

My dog is nervous – is that a problem?

Not usually – as long as you let me know beforehand so that we can discuss our options. It’s important to take a little extra time at the start of the session to get them familiarised with the camera and their surroundings, and they’ll soon settle in. I’ll usually start the session with a short walk and a sit down before we start shooting – this will ease your dog into the session and also help to bring their energy levels down a notch.