How to include pets in family photos


As every pawparent knows, pets are 100% part of the family. You love them, your kids love them – they should be in your family photos.

Childrens photographer southwest London dog

“Louise was amazing with our family. The boys immediately warmed to her. She has a way with children and a real understanding of how they work. This makes the session so much fun. My husband hates having his photo taken but he really enjoyed the session with Louise. She was even good with the family dog! The result was great shots of the boys and all the family. We shall treasure the photos forever.” Elizabeth

Having had both dogs and cats myself, I’m experienced with how to attract their attention. Sometimes that calls for treats or toys, but more often than not, the classic question “what’s this?” works like magic!

It’s also lovely to have photographs of you interacting with your pet. These photographs will really bring back memories in years to come:

boy with pet dog - pets in family photosFamily group shot on the garden sofa

For a fairly formal but not too posed family shot, it works well to simply go out for a walk together.

And yes, there’s a photo of a horse coming up! Whichever animal is part of your family, I’d be delighted to incorporate them into your photos.

I’ll also look out for a moment to take a pawtrait (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) of your fur baby. They deserve their own moment in the lime light after all!

With dogs, we can take photographs at home or when we head out to the park.

With cats, it’s usually best to take the photos in a room they like to spend time in – often a bedroom or sitting room works best.

dog - pets in family photos
portrait of a dog in a family photo session

With newborns, there are a few options that work well for including pets in family photos. One options is for you to sit together and hold your pets closely to you. We can also lay your baby in a basket so your pet can come to investigate, and you know you can quickly pick up the basket if needed:

newborn and cat
A newborn baby with her dad and pet dogpet dogs in family photos with newbornnewborn with pets in family photos

If you’re thinking of having a family portrait session so your pet can be in your family photos, please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re interested in some tips on how to photograph your own pets, there are some good tips in this video:

What to expect