I hear it at every session:

“Oh my goodness – my (insert pet type here) is being so bad!” OR

“I don’t understand it – she always does (insert behavior here) and now just because we are trying to get a picture, she’s not doing it!”

Another popular one is: “Wow, that is so weird – she’s never done that before!”

I know most of you have heard the saying, “Never Work with Children or Animals”. Well, there is a reason that saying was coined – animals are hard to work with! They do what they want, when they want. And, they don’t care if you really want a photo of them doing something specific!

For you, the client, this can be hard. You have specific images you’d like to capture. You’ve seen something online, or on the BrindleBerry site, and you REALLY want that image. There is all this planning that leads up to session day – and “it” just doesn’t happen.

A photo session is not an every day occurrence for you or your pet, so even if they are angels normally, we can’t expect them to perform “as usual” when the situation is so out of the ordinary.

So, what can I as a photographer pass onto you, as a client, to help manage your expectations? Well, firstly, you should absolutely contribute your ideas during the session planning stage. I take that information and compile a “shot list” that I stick in my back pocket on session day. It is my goal to capture these images for you – but let me tell you – I don’t think I have EVER gotten all the shots on my shot list! SOOO many things can kibosh the shot list!

1. Your pet’s mood/energy levels that day

2. Your mood that day

3. The light, or lack there of

4. Location plans fall through

5. Weather

These are just a few of the oodles of possibilities!

My best advice is on photo session day, is to do as your pet is doing and go with the flow! Exercise them well before their session. Work on sit stays, and stand stays in the weeks leading up to your appointment. And on session day – exercise patience and try to give your pet a little slack when some of the rules are broken to get that shot for you.

If we don’t get all the images on your list, we have not failed. I will always move onto plan B and still work hard to get you some amazing shots. Often times we end up with some really stellar images that were not planned. And very often, these end up being your favorites!


Pictured above is Maverick. This boy was one of the many that inspired this post. We had some mighty big plans for Maverick’s session. Lots of cuddle shots were on the menu. And Maverick – well, I don’t really think I have to say much more. A picture is worth 1000 words!


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