If you've ever wondered if you should bring your dog along to your family photoshoot, I'm here to tell you the answer is 'heck yes'!
It's not just that I love dogs (because I do - a lot), but that a dog is kinda like having another kid around.
And every kid (or dog) brings their own brand of fun, laughter and joy.
Here's 5 awesome reasons why you MUST include your dog in your family photoshoot.
1. DOGS ARE FUN!
How often does your dog make you laugh?
I'll bet every time you take them for a walk or they're playing with the kids.
The best thing about dogs is that they live in the moment, so they're so spontaneous and have no self consciousness.
Dogs always bring a fun energy to the shoot that helps everybody relax and make sure we don't take ourselves too seriously.
2. DOGS CHANGE THE FAMILY DYNAMIC
Pets have a huge impact on how you interact as a family and the daily routines that make up family life.
Just think about the last time you went on a family holiday where you couldn't take the dog with you.
There's always this feeling that something is missing - no wet nose in your ear to wake you up in the morning, nobody to quickly and efficiently clean up any spilled food, and walks or trips to the beach are just a little flat without your four-legged family member.
You definitely don't want to end up with that same, slightly flat feeling if you don't bring your dog to your family photoshoot!
3. DOGS ARE A BIG PART OF OUR FAMILY MEMORIES
Think back to your childhood and if you had pets growing up, I'll bet those pets are a huge part of your childhood memories.
You'll remember how they were always a part of everything, or how naughty they were or that cute thing they did with their face.
Pick up any family photo that includes a pet and I can guarantee that everybody remembers and talks about the pet in the photo first (before they look at the people)!
4. THEY WON'T BE AROUND FOREVER (SADLY)
Our furred friends just simply don't live as long as we would like them too.
Documenting their part (and their importance) in the family is a great way to keep the memories of their time with us.
Quite simply, you can never have enough pictures of your dog!
5. THEY GET YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD!
If being around a camera makes you uncomfortable or you're even a teeny bit worried about your photoshoot (such as will the kids behave) then your dog is going to help you. A lot!
Dogs require a bit of attention and it does mean a little bit of extra effort to bring them along.
You might have to keep them on a lead, or you might be showing me their hand signals for stay (don't worry you're dog doesn't need a stay to be part of a photoshoot), which means you're thinking about them, not the camera.
When I start taking some pictures I'll bet you'll be thinking is the dog looking at the camera or laughing at the way they lunge forward every time they hear a click, more than you'll be worrying how you look.
This is great to get you warmed up and to realise that actually this photoshoot thing is going to be just fine, and even fun!
So if you have a family dog, don't even think about leaving them at home.
They don't have to be in every shot, and they don't have to part of the whole shoot. If they can't be left to do their own thing, they can easily be tied to a tree or popped back into the car once they've played their star role and had their bit of limelight.
But the fun, spontaneity and the laughs they bring to photoshoots definitely make it worth the little bit of extra effort.