Skip to main content

In-Home Shoot: Pet with Newborn

Lesson 36 from: Lifestyle Newborn Photography - In the Home

Emily Lucarz

In-Home Shoot: Pet with Newborn

Lesson 36 from: Lifestyle Newborn Photography - In the Home

Emily Lucarz

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

36. In-Home Shoot: Pet with Newborn


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?


Why Are You a Photographer?


Why Shoot Lifestyle Photography?


Integrating Lifestyle Photography into Newborn Sessions


Strategies to Gain Lifestyle Clients


Utilizing Your Website to Book the Right Clients


Booking and Prepping Your Client in IRIS


Lesson Info

In-Home Shoot: Pet with Newborn

Next up, we're gonna do pets, so, in particular, this pet, this Weimaraner, bigger dogs are more difficult to use in photo shoots, putting them next to a baby, because they have longer nails, and they have longer legs, so you have to think about focal planes. If you want the dog's face and the baby's face in the same focal plane, what's gonna happen to the legs of the dog? They're all phalanges all over, right? Right in front of you. And you have these, like, for lack of another word, phalanges, for lack of another word, but then you're having all of this focal plane nonsense going on. So the longer dogs are trickier, and so sometimes what I'll do is I'll have them facing each other this way. Focal planes, right, depending on the pet. We've talked about this in length, about safety. Not gonna tackle it again, but you already know how I feel about that. Those dogs are really good to have dad hold, okay. So let's go ahead and watch this video, and I'll show you how we did it. How comfort...

able are you with her and the puppy? Do you trust her? We don't really know yet. She's great. Yeah, she's great. You're comfortable? Yeah, she's great with the baby. If you could do me a favor and just sit right here. Okay. I'll be the trainer, he's the-- Well, I've got cheese. Well here you go, if you need more. I'm gonna put this over here because I don't want too much. This is like good cheese. I know. This is like, deli cheese. We're gonna pull her back a little bit. Okay. C'mere, actually, she's okay, well, we're gonna scoot her back up, c'mere Kona, up! Okay back up, and you get over there. Alright, come here Kona, come here come here. Down, lay down, lay down, lay down, good girl. So she doesn't, try to eat the cheese when I place the baby. Yeah (laughs). Alright stay. Stay. Stay. Alright, if we can, I'm gonna move her paw, there we go. I don't want her paw, stay, stay. Stand up for me. Stay, stay, Kona, Kona, stay (camera clicks). We got her smiling. Alright Kona, right there, kisses. Kona, good girl, now give her a little piece of cheese. I'm gonna move her back a little bit. Somebody has to always stay right here with dogs, okay? Right there, stay, good girl, stay. Move your hand for me, stay Kona, Kona (Camera clicks). Can we open that sheer a little bit, or that shade a little bit, get rid of the problem of, yeah, there we go. Normally I don't like this much light but I don't want to have to worry about the dog and the shadow. So typically we put the baby in between the dogs feet but I'm not going to go do that with her nails. Okay, kisses, can you point towards her head for me? Okay, you can move your hand. That's actually okay, she's being really cute. You got the dog, okay? Kona, Kona, Kona (camera clicks). (laughs) Just the fact that they are next to each other makes me happy. Okay so we had tried for a long time. What you did not see, we were trying to get Kona to lie down, she's actually a very well trained dog. Very well trained dog. That's the only reason that this was happening. If this dog was not that well trained, we would not be doing this, okay? A couple rules of thumb with pets. Dad had cheese, mom had cheese, I had cheese. What you didn't see happen was that I took it away, okay? Because we don't want the dog jumping up. I'm the one that controls the cheese. (audience laughs) You know what I mean? I'm hot now. And the side note about the cheese, we were saying, you got like brick cheese, it's like real cheddar cheese, it's not like generic cheese, and they were saying only the best for dogs in Seattle. So, okay, back to the dog, y'all are throwing me. So, I was trying, focus, I was trying to get the dog to bring his head down. I'm a dog person, I know how to deal with dogs, okay. It's calm energy, I have to bring myself down a little bit. And once you get the shot, just like a baby, just like a sibling, you don't say okay we're all done! Because what's gonna happen with the dog? They're gonna jump, and the babies right there. You can't do that, you bring the treat to the dog. And if you sense that that dog is about to get up, you give them a treat, no matter what, even if they haven't done anything good, okay? You don't want the dog moving. If you have any inkling at all with dogs, if they're gonna move, you change your position, okay? Did you see that the baby and the dogs head were on the same focal plane? Okay that's all I wanted to get, that is it. My goal, at the beginning of this was, here are the legs, when the dogs head lies down, in between the legs, then they really are on the same focal plane? The baby's head and the dogs head right here. There was too much going on, with the filming going on, and all that, and she didn't know what to do. I did not want to risk the safety of the baby, so we got the shot, and we moved on, okay? You saw earlier with the family shot, we had Kona, the beautiful Weimaraner dog, with that adorable family, because they are just ridiculous, on their couch, right, and that was a gorgeous shot. And that's all we needed, the dog needs to be documented, but not the safety of it, okay? If you have any questions on that video. I was just wondering what your aperture was, when you were shooting the dog. Was you shooting wide open? Um, probably, typically, maybe like 2.2. Because of the dog we can't control the dog, so if I notice, you know I'm shooting at whatever I can to keep both of them in focus. And so then I was focusing on whoever was closest to me, which typically was the dog, it might've been even closer to 3.5, we'll look when we pull the images up. Okay thanks. Yeah! When it comes to, you know the family has a pet, multiple pets, does that change the amount of allotted time that you give to the session? And remind us what your kind of timing is. So typically newborn, lifestyle sessions, I take about two hours, if their siblings, I'm there typically two and a half. With a dog, yes, pets take a little bit longer. But they are so important to me, as a mom and a pet owner, that I'm fine with giving them more time, I don't charge them for time. Sometimes we get the pet shots done really quickly, and we will get one shot and move on, sometimes it can take 10 minutes and it's fine, it doesn't have to take extra time. So, I would just leave my whole morning open for shoots, so it's okay, but yeah, sometimes it takes longer. But I'm cool with it. Okay, there's the dog, the templates kinda of, his foots a little bit, his foot was there. So you can see the babies head and the dogs head was on the same focal plane, so it's probably around three something, because his feet are in focus, so it came with a little bit of wiggle room. There's the dog, this is during the family shot, okay? Just like siblings need their own pictures, dogs need their own pictures. I mean if you're a cat person, I guess a cat needs its own picture. I guess it depends on, whatever, the cat people, okay? Same thing up there, I love cats, I'm just kidding, I used to have two. Up here, this is the family one with the dog, okay? That was the same situation, I was there, and then I went and zoomed in, telling the story, and then I had to bring back the trumpet and the dog, because, that's like the picture of the day, like the trumpet and the dog, okay?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials


Bonus Materials with Purchase

Example Client Email
Newborn Questionnaire
Shot List

Ratings and Reviews


Oh my goodness!!! This was such a wonderful class. Not only is Emily a very gifted pro, she is the personable mentor that makes learning simple and the fun big sis you want to be around. She is a wealth of information and a total open book about it all. Being in her studio audience was so much fun, and the time flew by way too fast. I highly recommend this class not only to newbies trying to find their style and refine their technique, but also to seasoned pros looking to tweak their art with a creatively authentic perspective. As a newborn photographer with an established studio business model, I cannot wait to infuse what I have learned into my style and incorporate her business genius into my session and pricing structure. Thank you Emily Lucarz for sharing your creativity, knowledge and uplifting energy with us both in the class and behind the scenes! You are awesome!

Jessie Fultz

Buy this course! If you are at all interested offering lifestyle newborn sessions, whether you are a new photographer or you have been in business for years, buy it! It's 100% worth your time and money and you won't regret it. Emily is so fun and genuine which makes learning from her such a joy! Not only does this course go over troubleshooting different scenarios that are bound to happen during some sessions, but Emily also gives all sorts of other tips that you wouldn't even know you needed to know until she offers up the advice. It's fun to watch her interact with her clients to ensure that she is able to make beautiful pictures in such a natural setting. Thank you Emily and CreativeLive for coming together to make this course happen! I am beyond thrilled that I was able to watch these last two days and learn SO much!!

Hiba Alvi

Emily is amazing! I love how detailed she is and tells you how it is. It is nice she shares her personal journey and what she does - which is great! Love it and would highly recommend this course! I don't have a studio, and normally travel to clients home to do photoshoots - so all the tips here are more than helpful! I am so excited to do my upcoming photo session this weekend - can't wait to put these tips to use!

Student Work