preparing for your dog's photoshoot

Tips from Kirstie of Bitsa Bernard Pet Photography

Okay, you’ve realised you have 100 billion photos of your dog on your phone.. But most of them are blurry, and 97.3% are the same sleeping photo that’s way too dark but you had to take it because he’s just so god-damn-cute.

You do have that one amazing one that somehow you fluked of him catching the ball mid-air but it can’t really be printed nicely because it’s a phone photo and the quality is.. Meh. Plus, among all those photos the only ones you are actually in as well are selfie fails and it really would be so nice to have one of the two of you together, hanging on the dining room wall that you see from the kitchen bench where you’re forever in a bad mood washing the never ending dishes, until you look at that photo of course and you can’t help but smile.. And we all know that you instantly feel better when you smile.

So you’ve found a professional pet photographer who actually knows (and loves) dogs, you also really get along with her, she creates beautiful photographs, and most importantly, offers payment plans! What do you need to consider now?

These are the things that I chat with my clients about at the time of booking.


1 professional pet photography adelaideTraining

You’ve (hopefully) chosen a photographer who specialises in working with dogs and so they will be able to capture beautiful images of your dog no matter their training level. However, if you’re wanting to invest some time into training, recall and the “stay” command are the two to focus on!

If they’re not able to be off-leash, that is totally fine because us photographers are actually magicians and can remove that lead from the photos! Be sure to choose one of your photographers recommended locations for easily distracted dogs if you’re still working on recall but confident to let them off lead.


2 dog friendly photographyConsider your location options

The first thing I discuss with my clients about is their location options. Firstly, where will allow us to capture your dogs true personality, and secondly, will that suit your home decor.

For example, if your dog loves the beach but will be way to over-stimulated and easily distracted, you may want to consider beginning at another calmer location first for some close ups and cuddles, before moving to the beach for playful shots.

Most of my clients tend to opt for our recommended park location as it is secure, offers ample choice for background options to suit any home decor (a creek, open green grass, a historic building, vines, and more!) and we hardly see any dogs there so no need to worry about that distraction!


3 pet photography adelaideChoosing the season

Waiting for a summer's day may at first sound like a great idea (and it is!) but be aware that we reschedule more frequently in summer than winter due to extreme weather conditions! We definitely can shoot in any season though, and love to, but we will reschedule for weather if conditions aren’t great (no need for burnt paws or soaking wet dogs).

So what option suits your family?

Winter offers a cosy feel and is perfect for studio or in-home shoots. Plus it’s our quietest season meaning you can almost always secure a weekend time!

Spring gives us green grass and perfect white clouds in the sky, new flowers, trees in blossom, and in Adelaide, comfortable temperatures for almost any outfit choice!

Summer is for long dry grass against the wide blue sky and balmy evenings on the beach to showcase that gorgeous summer dress in your photos!

Autumn is all about colour of course and I typically encourage an afternoon in the hills among the leaves in the late afternoon sunshine!


4 dog friendly adelaideVisit the groomer

You may love that “shaggy” coat or their muddy paws, but it’s always nice to at least begin the photoshoot with a clean dog, whose eyes you can see! (Even if they’ll end up in mud or the beach by the end of the shoot!). If you prefer to DIY, a bath and brush will have your dogs nice and shiny, but don’t forget to at least trim around their eyes..!


5 pet photographer adelaidePicking an outfit

Okay.. let’s mention your looks for a moment! Firstly, YOU ARE GORGEOUS, and we’re going to capture that. And the parts about yourself that you don’t love.. They won’t ever be noticed because the focus is on your relationship with your dog!

So.. what are you going to wear? That outfit that you feel great in and that is YOU!. You know the one you always grab when you’re heading out for lunch and that you always receive compliments in? That’s the one! Jeans and a nice top is always popular. Layers work super well in winter so grab that scarf.. And you can never go wrong with a lovely sundress for the beach, (especially if it has little sleeves).


6 dog friendly beaches adelaideBefore the shoot

Arrive on location 15 minutes before your shoot. This allows your dog time to have a little walk after being in the car and sniff the new environment out before meeting a stranger (me!) who will quickly become his best friend (thanks to the stash of treats and toys in my bag!).

And that’s it. Now it’s time to enjoy the photoshoot. And then more than likely, ask your photographer about payment plans again, because, how can so many of them be so good?!


About this photographer
Kirstie, at Bitsa Bernard Photography is Adelaide’s first full-time specialised pet photographer. Since 2012 she’s been creating natural pet photography collections for her clients Australia-wide, has published two coffee table books, won national awards for both her pet and travel photography work and this year was a judge for the inaugural International Pet Photographer of the Year Awards. She loves nothing more than capturing the true personality of your dog, and that special connection you have with them.


Mention this post when you book your Bitsa Bernard photoshoot before 30th September 2019 to receive a bonus $100 credit toward your purchases.


Find out more at or call Kirstie on 0435 879 952 to begin planning your pet photoshoot in Adelaide, the Riverland or Gippsland.