Of all the family portraits I take, the truth is most of them include the family dog(s). This is always a fun and exciting portrait session and truthfully sometimes a very challenging session. Families tend to look very comfortable and relaxed with their dog(s) in the portrait.
One of my philosophies as a portrait photographer is that everyone, including the dog(s) look good in the portrait. What I mean by that–is that the pose is comfortable, flattering and relaxed. The dog(s) need to be engaged and focused on the camera. Plus, the whole grouping needs to be balanced and have a nice flow to it.
During the session, with the noises I create to keep the dogs attention I give subtle directions to improve the portrait, to the individuals in the family group. Family portraits are an important marker in the life of a family.