Unlocking the Secret to Relaxed, Natural Dog and Owner Photography

Portrait of a woman & her Labrador - outdoor, natural Cheshire dog photography
Dog sillouette on a logo in green and blue

Preparing for your Outdoor Professional Photography Photoshoot

Choosing the Right Location

The setting plays a vital role in capturing natural & relaxed outdoor photos. 

Parks, fields & forests offer a rich canvas, bringing vibrant colours & textures to your dog and human photography session. 

These settings allow the dogs just to be themselves, offering them the freedom to run, explore & just do what dogs do best – giving your photos a natural & spontaneous vibe.

Opting for an urban shoot should be dependant on the sort of dog you have. Many dogs feel more stressed in a town or a city & aren’t comfortable with the noise, more people & traffic.

Having said that, urban photos can be particularly stunning if your dog is relaxed.

Photo of a woman & her Miniature Schnauzer - professional dog photography
Karen, relaxing with Hugo

Familiar Dog Walks

Choosing a location that you & your dog know well can significantly reduce any stress and anxiety for you both, allowing for more relaxed & genuine photos. 

These usual haunts can bring out the best in some dogs, as they feel safe & secure as they recognise the smells, allowing them to show off their playful side without any inhibitions.

Letting the Dog Explore

My photography is all about letting dogs be dogs & having the owners interact as they play. Giving them the freedom to explore naturally brings out their personality. 

Whether they’re a sniffer, a fan of the zoomies, a swimmer or simply curious, it’s in these spontaneous moments that I can capture the true character of your dog.

You know your dog better than anyone so the happiness you get from seeing them have a great time reflects in the photos of you.

Photo of a smiling woman & her brown Working Cocker - outdoor dog photography
Georgina having fun with her Sprocket, Polly

Safety for Dogs

Safety should always be a priority on a dog photoshoot or on a family photoshoot. It is essential to ensure that whatever location we choose is safe and secure for your dog or your children to roam free. 

Before you let your dog off the lead, I’ll always take a moment to assess the surroundings – whether there’s other dogs & people around – & I’ll work with the individual personality of your dog in each circumstance.

Can I Keep My Dog on a Lead?

Absolutely, yes! 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions before my photoshoots.

Keeping your dog on a lead during the photoshoot is not only allowed but sometimes encouraged to ensure safety & control during the session. Some photos will positively benefit from having your dog on a lead.

And here’s the magical part – with the wonders of post-processing tools, I can make the lead disappear from the photos, giving the impression of a natural & free environment.

Engaging with your Dog

Incorporating playtime into the photoshoot not only brings out the joy & excitement in your dog but also allows me to capture those unscripted moments between you both that are so full of life.

It’s during these playful moments that we see the most genuine smiles from us humans!

Toddler & a Corgi having fun - professional family photography
Kids & dogs – a winning combination!

Working with the Camera

The key to natural-looking photos is not to pose at all! 

It’s about being yourself & enjoying the moment with your furry friend. I’ll never ask you to pose formally!

Over the years, I’ve captured some truly lovely moments where people and their dogs just naturally created magic in front of the camera. 

It’s these completely unposed & unguarded seconds that truly capture the deep bond shared between you and your dog.

A couple facing down the stream with their dog looking at the camera - professional outdoor dog photography
Dot is a natural poser!

So, we’ve covered how to have a relaxed & natural dog and human photoshoot. 

It boils down to choosing a good spot, letting your dog have a bit of fun & not stressing too much about getting that ‘perfect’ shot (that’s my problem, after all!)

The best moments are captured when you’re just being yourself, right?

If you’re thinking of giving this a go and want some professional help to capture those genuine moments with your dog, whether its for personal branding or a family photoshoot, I’m here to help.

Finding out more & booking a session is simple. Just get in touch with me via email nicki.cameron@theartofdog.co.uk or follow & send me a direct message on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook 




And if you’re interested in dogs, people & professional photography, have a read of my other blogs!

https://theartofdog.co.uk/location-for-dog-photography/ which covers the best locations in which to take dog photos


https://theartofdog.co.uk/hate-having-your-photo-taken/ which is self explanatory!!

I’d love to help you create some simple yet memorable photos of you, your family & furry best friend.

Two ladies sitting on a log with their Working Cocker puppy between them - professional dog photography
Plum, a natural poser at 13 weeks old