When I photograph children and pets, I like to keep it simple. The keys to success are some good planning, rolling with everyone's personality, and lots of patience.
In this case, adorable pictures for mom's holiday cards were created with a blue & white theme. The boys had coordinated outfits (I was sent photos in advance so I knew what to expect). The set was bright, cheerful and comfortable.
Starting with just the kids, we let them be silly and make funny faces. Meanwhile, the pups got to roam the studio, sniff and check things out. Everyone got their natural tendencies and curiosity out of their system.
Then came the photos of all four of them. Fortunately, dogs often enjoy all the attention and they give children a purpose: to hold them for the pictures!
Mom stayed behind the camera with me and helped with directing the boys while I got the attention of the pups. After some wiggling, twisting, sliding around we get what we're looking for. The one shot where everyone is smiling, looking forward, not blinking and woo hoo! they look great!
With that goal met, we broke into individual photos of each boy, with each dog, and even some great portraits of the dogs alone. All in a half hour. I'm a big fan of keeping it quick too, before we lose everyone's patience. Photographing kids and pets, not easy, but well worth the results. Thanks to the determined parents that go for it, they make for some real treasures!