Have you considered doing your engagement photos with your dog? I am always excited when couples bring their dog along for the engagement session. Pets are such an integral part of our lives, and quite frankly, they make such cute subjects for photos!

I’m very much a dog person, having two of my own and I realize how important they are. So, here’s a couple tips for taking photos with your dog.

Engagement Photos with Your Dog

Tips for Doing Photos With Your Dog


1. Bring along rewards and distractions.

Pets don’t work for free! If you can bring along some of their extra favorite treats or a favorite toy to get their attention, they’ll have a much better time.

There is nothing that a dog loves more than the most annoying squeaky ball you own.
Dog Engagement Photography

2. Bring a leash

Your dog may always be by your side. However, when we start to take engagement photos with your dog, there could be some distractions…SQUIRREL!! So, it’s always a good practice to keep your dog on leash at all times. We can always hide the leash, or even Photoshop it out after the fact if it’s distracting.
Celebration Florida engagement photos with a dog

3. Bring a friend that the dog knows.

As much as we all love our pets, they can’t be the star of every photo. So, I ask every couple to bring along a friend who the dog feels comfortable with. That way, that person is taking care of the dog while I’m taking photos of you.

If I bring along an assistant, they are there to help me with the photos and aren’t responsible for the dog. The car in Florida is not a place to leave the dog either, no matter what time of year.

4. Take the dog for a long walk beforehand.

A tired dog always makes for better pictures. There is always that excitement and anticipation when a dog goes for a car ride. There are so many smells to check out when they get out of the car. The last thing the dog is going to want to do is lay down for photos.

I usually recommend to do the photos with the couple first, while your friend takes the dog for a long, long walk. After he’s had a chance to check out everything, we can do the engagement photos with your dog.
Orlando Engagement Photography with a Dog

5. Enjoy the photo session.

Most of all have fun. Don’t worry if your dog isn’t “smiling”. It takes a little bit of patience, but we will definitely get their personality to come through.

Dogs are always reading their masters and if they know you are having fun, they’ll settle in and have fun too!

Wedding Photos with your Dog

Many of the same suggestions also apply when it comes to having your dog as part of your wedding. Just make sure that there is someone who can watch your dog all day. It’s fun to have them at some point during your wedding. However, I’d suggest that there is also a place that they can go to escape the hustle and bustle of the day.

Also, make sure that your dogs were recently groomed, so that their nails are filed. The last thing you want is your dog tearing your dress with their sharp nails.

Wedding Photographs with a Dog

Kelly’s miniature pinscher came to the reception for a few fun photos.

Rock the Dress Photos with your Dog

Rock the Dress Wedding Photography - Winter Garden Florida - Chapin Park - Dog Photographer
If you really want to do a lot of fun wedding photos with your dog, I suggest you set up a rock the dress session for a later day. Their dog stayed home during the wedding, but Miranda and Jeff were able to bring their dog along to the rock the dress photo session.
Rock the Dress Photos with a Dog

Today, I had a guided tour of the brand new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. The resort is absolutely stunning and is a perfect addition to Orlando’s luxury locations to host a wedding.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando Wedding Photographer

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando had their grand opening last week and the grand ballrooms will be opening very soon. I was able to visit some of the spaces that will be used for weddings and they are gorgeous.

One of the things that stood out to me about the resort was that there was diversity, while still being cohesive. The chandeliers that are throughout the resort and in the ballrooms are amazing. The grand staircase in the lobby is the perfect location for bridal portraits.

They made a very smart decision with the 7000 sq. ft. King Meadow Lawn (The ideal space for an outdoor wedding) — Instead of having a permanent structure in place on the lawn for ceremonies, the area is open. This allows couples to have flexibility in planning their wedding — Do we want a gardens backdrop or perhaps the lake? The resort itself may also be an option for the backdrop.

Another smart thing that I appreciate as a photographer — all of the natural light that comes in to the ballrooms through the giant windows. Many of the rooms are also closed off by beautiful curtains that can be raised for the room reveal.

The biggest ballroom is the Grand Ballroom, located on the Lobby Level, which can hold about 700 guests. However, the room can be split in to three. If the room is split, so is the lobby area for the ballroom. This allows multiple functions to occur at the same time, completely separate from each another.

The Palm Ballroom, located on the Palm Level will most likely be the most popular location for weddings. Guests can walk in from the King Meadow or Lady Palm Lawns to this room which is perfect for about 150 guests. There is also a lobby and pre-function area which would be a great choice for cocktail hours. The room has very neutral colors (ivory and light grey) which gives a lot of flexibility.

Orlando is one of the top destinations for intimate weddings and there are plenty of locations throughout the Four Seasons Resort Orlando for an intimate wedding. The intimate wedding spaces were laid out in a way where you and your guests are removed from anything else going on at the resort.

I’m looking forward to all of the function rooms to open and to start photographing weddings here. The resort is a beautiful facility that I’m sure you will fall in love with as well.

For more information on Four Seasons Resort Orlando, please visit www.fourseasons.com.

Shayna and Joey had their wedding in Melbourne Beach at the Crowne Plaza. The ceremony was on the Ocean Deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the reception was indoors in the Grand Ballroom Barbados Room.

They picked a gorgeous spring day for their wedding. Shayna was beaming as her mother walked her down the aisle – both looked beautiful. After the ceremony, Shayna and Joey took some time for portraits overlooking the beach and ocean.

Shayna carried white roses and plum-purple flowers that matched the dresses of her seven bridesmaids. The reception ballroom was also transformed with purple lighting. The DJ, Sophisticated Gents, had no problem keeping the party going as the guests danced well in to the night.

Congratulations Shayna and Joey and thank you for choosing us to photograph your amazing wedding!

The Crowne Plaza of Melbourne Beach – Oceanfront

The Crowne Plaza in Melbourne Beach is a fantastic place for a wedding. They recently had major renovations to their lobby and ballrooms. The easy beach access makes it one of the best locations for a wedding in Melbourne.

Wedding Vendors

Bridal Gown: David Bridal (www.davidsbridal.com)
Bridesmaid Dresses: David Bridal (www.davidsbridal.com)
Hair and Makeup: Mother of the Bride
Floral: Flowers of Distinction – Lynn Winston (www.flowersofdistinction.net)
Formalware: Men’s Warehouse (www.menswarehouse.com)
Ceremony: Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Ocean Walk(www.cpmelbourne.com)
Day of Coordinator: Lauren Beaulac (www.cpmelbourne.com)
Reception/Catering: Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Grand Ballroom Barbados Room (www.cpmelbourne.com)
Entertainment: Sophisticated Gents (www.sophisticatedgents.com)
First Dance: All of Me – John Legend
Cake Artist: Mathers’ Cake Shop
Photography: DSWfoto (www.dswfoto.com)

A very special thanks to Harmony Goodson who helped me photograph this wedding!

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