How to Prepare for a Newborn and Dog Photo Session

Cathy Murai Photography offers the opportunity to include your family dog in your newborn photo session. As a dog-lover and owner myself, I understand that these portraits create very special memories! However, it is important to be prepared in order to have a successful session with your dog included. Below, find information about how to prepare for a newborn and dog photo session.

Newborn portrait including two family dogs (baby and fur-babies). Newborn baby and two dogs posing during the photo session at Cathy Murai Photography studio in Irvine, CA

Safety Considerations

The most important thing to me during your session is the safety of your newborn. Before deciding to include your dog in your newborn photo session, carefully consider their temperament and behavior. Here are some top considerations for a successful shoot:

  • The dog must be calm and relaxed
  • The dog must be able to sit and stay
  • You must trust your dog around your newborn

Introducing Your Dog to Baby

It is crucial that you introduce your dog to your newborn prior to the session. This article provides excellent tips that you should follow for a successful introduction. Spend a few days observing how your dog interacts with your newborn before you decide to bring them along for the session.

Safety During the Session

While I am taking photos of your newborn with your dog, I will always ask one of the parents to sit with them. Additionally, if I sense that the dog is too excited, I will photograph the dog and baby separately and use editing to composite the images together. This can achieve a seamless end result without putting your newborn in danger.

Newborn baby girl wearing a floral headband and white diaper cover sleeps in a wooden bowl on a tan furry blanket next to a white fluffy dog that smiles at the camera.
Newborn baby girl wearing a floral headband and white diaper cover sleeps in a wooden bowl on a tan furry blanket next to a white fluffy dog that is looking at her.

Planning your Session

When your dog is included in your newborn photos, we will actually schedule two separate sessions. The first will be for photos of your newborn only, which typically will take place on a weekday. The second will be for family photos including your dog, which we will schedule for a weekend. This way your dog doesn’t have to sit for the entire 3-4 hour newborn photo session.

Preparing your Dog for a Newborn Photo Session

Exercising your dog before your photo session will help the dog to relax and behave well. Large dogs, especially, can benefit from the opportunity to get their energy out.

Make sure to plan for this to ensure you have enough time for a walk or some play time prior to your appointment. My studio, located in Irvine, CA, has a nice trail nearby that you can use to walk your dog.

What to Bring for your Newborn and Dog Photo Session

Bringing an item that will motivate your dog, such as treats or a toy, is essential. We can use them to draw their attention and reward them for good behavior. I will provide water for your dog to stay hydrated during the session.

newborn and dog photography captured at Newborn and Dog Photo Session by Cathy Murai Photography in studio in Irvine, CA

Let’s Plan your Photo Session!

Now that you know to prepare for a newborn session including dog, let’s get to planning! Once you book your newborn session with me, I’ll ask for more information about your dog such as their breed and the color of their fur. This information will help me plan the photos and color scheme of the styling for the session.

Ready to book your newborn photo session? Contact me!

Family picture including newborn and dog captured by Cathy Murai Photography, a newborn baby photographer based in Irvine, CA.