Over my long career of photographing families, the term pet family photoshoot kept popping up.

Maybe because Pet Photography has established itself as another genre of its own and the thought of combining pet photography and family photography started to manifest itself.

I have had many families asking me if they can include their pet dog or cats in their Family Portrait Session. The answer would definitely be “Sure! Bring them along!!!”

Not only are your dogs a huge part of your family, they are also one of your key members. They are companions, they are playmates, they have strong bond to the family members. They certainly add to the dynamics to any family shoot.

I got to learn about the term ‘fur kid’ only couple of years ago through an incoming email asking if I welcome ‘fur kids’. That was when I had to google to find out what it meant… LOL..

The only pet I had was having and breeding lots of fish when I was a kid. Running around drains catching worms to feed my large supply of fishes. As I left home to further my studies in Australia, I kept an eastern long neck turtle.

Looking back, it seems that the type of pets I have seem to be scaly water type pets. I haven’t had a furry type of pet like a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig before. So, the term ‘Fur kid’ just didn’t resonate at that point of time.

Nevertheless, as I began to photograph more couples or families with pet dogs or cats, I began to sense the deep connection between the pets, the baby and the family.

The interaction between the baby and the dog are clearly phenomenal…. almost like best buddies.

The laughter and excitement sparkles on the children’s eyes as they interact with their favorite pooch. These interactions are so natural that it helps any photographer capture that perfect shot in any pet family photoshoot. Furthermore, a pet is a great photographers assistant as they relax the environment and create love and connection between the family.

So here is the top 5 reasons why you should be doing your next family shoot with your pet in our studio, at your home or on-location.

1. They are part of your family.

Let’s face it, way before you have your own child, your pet is very much part of you and when the baby came along, you introduce the baby to your pet just like you introduce your baby to the rest of the family and extended family. You love your pet and they are part of your family.

2. You want to remember them.

Humans will out live their pet. Dog’s life is rather short, we make comparison of 1 year in dog’s life is very much about 7 of human’s. So by the time they reach 5-6 years old, they are mature and some what less active as we saw in some of the breed.

While we celebrate our life, we want to make sure every part of our life is being captured, that include your pet. After 10 years of photographing thousands of families, I can always feel the sadness when they point out the pets that they used to have and lost them because of old age.

3. Kids love to play with them.

One of the way to get the kiddo to be engaged for the duration of the family photo shoot is to introduce their pets. They love them and you know kids’ love are boundless and I love watch them play, I love the connection that they share and I love they treat their pet just like their best buddies.

Be sure to have those captured and have them for your kiddo when they grow up. Sometimes, the pet understand the child more than we do and they often cheer up the child. So bring your pets for the next family photoshoot.

4. You love them as much as your own child.

You know deep down, they hold that special place in your heart when it comes to pet. They don’t talk back, they are there to cuddle with you when you are sad, spending time with you when you are alone and they are faithful to you as their family too. Perhaps you have told them secrets that you never told anyone because pets are the best at keeping your secret because they don’t share the same language as human.

5. It is part of your children’s memories.

It is especially true if you had your first child and there is no one else… just mummy, daddy, me and my pet. This is a shared bond and love between them.

Have it for your child… after all having your family photoshoot done with your pet is an activity that promotes bonding and connection. It is a perfect activity when it comes to having the memories that can be passed down to your child.