As documentary wedding and engagement photographers, we believe that every picture of you and your future spouse should tell your love story. Not necessarily all of it at once, naturally. But every photo should open at least a small window into your relationship. Into who you are as a couple. Into what brought you together. And into why you are going to be spending a lifetime by one another’s sides. There are a lot of ways that your wedding and engagement photographers can do this, of course. By highlighting your natural body chemistry, for example. Or by showing your emotional connection during unposed moments. One of the most effective ways might surprise you, though. By taking pictures of you with your pets, your photographer can reveal a lot about you as a couple. And that is why we always recommend engagement photos with pets to any potential clients.
So what is it exactly that engagement pictures of you with your cats, dogs or other pets show about your relationship? In our opinion, it highlights that your love story did not begin with your proposal. The process of falling in love started long before you decided to marry. You and your future spouse met, got to know each other, started dating and passed many significant milestones before getting engaged. And one very important relationship step for many couples is getting a pet together. It is a sign of commitment and an intention to build a future together. Getting our first cat was certainly that for us! She was a huge part of who we are as a couple and how we ended up married. And if you got a pet while dating, then he or she is a part of your love story that needs to be told.
But not only because your pets are part of your past! Your cats, dogs or other pets are integral members of the new family you and your spouse-to-be are creating. So they will also be a part of your future. And that matters because just like your love story did not start with a proposal, it will not end when wedding rings are on your fingers. When your wedding and engagement photographers find ways to hint at what is yet to come, the images they produce for you are that much more impactful and special.
Have we sold you on the benefits of taking engagement photos with your cats, dogs or other pets? If so, then allow us to make the case for why we are the right photographers for the job. Not every wedding and engagement photographer can create engagement photos with pets that are magical and that effectively tell that part of your love story. No, the professionals you hire need to appreciate what your furry friends mean to you and know how to weave those emotions into the images they create.
Do we understand the bonds that people have with their pets? You bet! In addition to being destination DC wedding photographers, we are also animal lovers. For as long as we have been a couple, we have had pets. They have been important parts of our family and our relationship. We cannot imagine our lives without them. And we would do anything to keep them healthy and safe.
Not only do we know how much your cats and dogs mean to you, we also know how to show it. Anji got her start as a pet photographer. We also spent a few years taking pictures of feline patients at our veterinarian’s cats-only clinic. We know how to photograph pets, and we know the unique challenges they present. And we know how to keep them focused and engaged. Most importantly, though, we know how to show how important they are to you and your relationship.
What does that mean in real terms? What is an engagement photoshoot with pets like? How do we highlight the emotional bonds between you and your pets?
It all starts with capturing your interactions with your pets on film. Pictures of you and your future spouse with your cat or dog standing or sitting somewhere nearby do not really show very much. There is no emotional content and no story. For a viewer to grasp how much you love them, they need to see how your pets make you feel. They need to see your face light up when they come near you. They need to see the tenderness with which you pet them. And they need to see the joy with which you play with them.
Showing those interactions is a little trickier, however, during a couples portrait session. Why? Because your wedding and engagement photographer also needs to capture on film you and your future spouse interacting with one another. So your pets need to be a part of the scene, but they cannot be the entire show. They should complement and enhance the beauty of your love, but not distract from it. They should be included in your focus, but not the sole recipient of it. It is a fine line to walk, but the best wedding and engagement photographers can do it.
When everything comes together well, the results are magical. As they are in this particular image. We took it for a lovely couple during their destination engagement session in Hannover, Germany. The pair had a delightful labrador by the name of Sir William Cooper (who has one of the most adorable Instagram accounts you will ever see). They wanted him to be a part of their engagement session — an idea we supported wholeheartedly, of course! As cute as Sir William Cooper was, though, he also had lots of energy. The poor couple was devoting a lot of their energy to trying to keep him focused and a part of the shoot. Those efforts were pulling their attention away from each other.
Because both of us have had dogs in the past, we knew the best way to deal with rambunctious dogs: tire them out! Get them running around and chasing things. That will burn off any excess energy and help them become calmer and more cooperative.
So we had the couple start throwing sticks for Sir William Cooper to fetch. As this played out, we saw a great opportunity to capture images that showed how this adorable pooch was a part of their relationship. So we asked them to hold hands while one of us took a turn tossing a stick. The other then crouched behind them and took pictures of Sir William Cooper galloping back to them. The results were photos like this. Images with dynamism (the dog running), emotion (the look of joy on his face) and connection (the hands of the humans clasped together. It neatly and effectively tells the story of a critical piece of this couple’s love story.
Interested in learning more about our services? Please visit our Wedding Photography FAQ page for answers to all your questions! Ready to inquire about our availability on your wedding date? Contact us now to get the conversation started!
Location: Bothfeld, Hannover, Germany.Keywords: Engagement Sessions with pets (3).
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