Tips to Include Your Dog in Your Maternity Session

Style & Session Tips

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I wear many name tags, several of which include: baby whisperer, toddler wrangler, pampering coordinator, artwork designer, portrait hanger, memory keeper, joy-bringer, and new mom friend. Welcome to my journal.

Hi I’m Kimberly

Your dog is part of your family, too, so we love to include them in your maternity photo session. As a maternity photographer in Houston, TX, I love having my clients’ dogs in their sessions!  Working with animals requires extra planning to ensure a fun and successful maternity photo session. Here are my tips as a professional photographer for getting great maternity photos with your furry friend:

dog in  your maternity session
dog in  your maternity session
dog in  your maternity session

Prepare Your Dog Ahead of Time

The best way to ensure your dog’s good behavior is to tire them out beforehand. Take them on a long walk or go to the dog park so they’re ready for a nap during your session. Also, bathe and groom them so they look (and smell) their best.

dog in  your maternity session
dog in  your maternity session

Have Realistic Expectations

Not every dog will perfectly pose for photos. Know your dog’s personality and limitations.  High-energy dogs may not sit still and look at the camera and may do better with taking photos outdoors, where they can take a break and run around, versus photos in my Houston Heights Photography studio, where there is little room for a dog to run.  I recommend bringing a friend to the session to take the dog after we have photographed you with your dog, so we can get maternity photos of just you and some of you and your partner.

 Most dogs require a toy or treat to focus on rather than the photographer.  The goal is to capture your sweet connection with your dog while celebrating your pregnancy during your maternity photos.

dog in  your maternity session

Bring a Friend to the Session

When including your dog, I recommend bringing a friend or family member to the session.  After we get your maternity photos with your dog, your friend can take the dog, so you are not preoccupied with the dog throughout the session.  This gives you time to connect with your sweet baby and get maternity photos of just you and some of  you and your partner. 

dog in  your maternity session

Use Positive Reinforcement

Come with your dog’s favorite treats and toys. Use food rewards and praise to encourage good behavior. Take breaks to play and re-energize your pup. Patience and positivity will go a long way toward getting those perfect shots with your furry friend.

dog in  your maternity session

Highlight Your Bond

Capture sweet moments of you and your partner cuddling your dog or touching your belly while they snuggle up. These images beautifully convey your relationship and the expanding family. Feel free to get on the ground with your pup for intimate, authentic shots.

dog in  your maternity session

Keep them on a Leash

If your dog tends to run off,  jump up, or get overly excited, keep them on a leash during your maternity photos.

Capture Important Details

Get photos showcasing your dog’s role in your pregnancy journey – lying with his paw on your belly, lying next to ultrasound photos, “reading” a baby book, sitting with baby toys, or wearing a big sibling bandana. You’ll treasure these creative touches.

dog in  your maternity session

Relax and Have Fun!

Animals tend to pick up on our moods and energy. The finest pictures come out when everyone is calm and happy. Savor this special time with your growing family. The effort is worth it for shots you’ll cherish forever!

dog in  your maternity session
dog in  your maternity session


Consider booking your maternity session when your bump is visible but still comfortable. Most moms schedule their photos between 27-34 weeks. Avoid waiting too late into the third trimester when sitting, standing, and moving can be difficult.

If you’re hoping to include pets, discuss this with your photographer. Be honest about your pet’s temperament, too—schedule sessions earlier or later in the day when temperatures are moderate if shooting outdoors. Morning and evening light are often most flattering.

Go into your maternity session with an open mind. As a professional maternity photographer in Houston, TX, I love to be a part of your maternity photoshoot with your lovely dog. I will make sure that the memories of you, your partner, and your loyal companion during your pregnancy shine through in your photos.

Contact me today to discuss and schedule your maternity photography session with your dog.

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Grace and Giggles is a full service portrait studio dedicated to providing an effortless portrait session from start to finish and providing you with hand-crafted heirloom for your home. My goal is to provide you with a seamless portrait experience that leaves your cup full. 

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