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A red dirt girl from Oklahoma turned mountain woman, with a camera in tow. Kayla is a wedding & brand photographer based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Tulsa, Oklahoma. She documents love and brand stories with a natural style and loves the candid, authentic moments. 

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  Kayla

4/23/2021

Taking Engagement Photos with Dogs – Tips

Engagement Photos with Dogs around Grant Teton Nation Park | What You Need To Know

 

If you are looking for a Grand Teton or Jackson Hole wedding & engagement photographer who LOVES photographing with dogs, then you are in the right place my friend! I always recommend that couples bring their furry friends along for their shoots, especially engagement photos with dogs. They turn out to be some of the best photographs, I mean just look at these!

While many locations around Jackson Hole and along the Bridger Teton National Forest allow dogs, it’s a bit different in Grand Teton National Park. For engagements in GTNP, there are a few more rules to abide by while shooting engagement photos with dogs. I always want my couples to leave with incredible photos when they work with me, but also to give them an amazing experience in the process. With this post, I want to help others that might be thinking of bringing their pets into Grand Teton National Park for a photography session so that everyone stays safe and follows the guidelines. Plus I get to show you the cuuuuuutttest engagement session from last summer with Jackson and Ariane. They brought their dog Tikka with them, and we had the best time! 

 

Experience with dogs

Before going full time with photography, I was (and still am, technically) an RVT, which is a Registered Veterinary Technician. I LOVE animals ( except maybe penguins… let me tell you, they can bite) and having my clients bring their furry friends with them brings even more joy into our photography sessions. Being an RVT also helps my sessions with dogs ( and horses, cats, chickens, all of them! ) as I have a lot of experience working with them and know how to work with different species along with photographing clients and creating the best experience! 

Ariane & Jackson candid engagement photo with their dog in a gorgeous field

Ariane & Jackson’s Engagement Session with their Dog, Tikka

 

Let’s first go over some guidelines that Grand Teton National Park gives out to visitors who bring their pets into the park:

  1. ALWAYS keep your pets on a leash!  There is wildlife EVERYWHERE and you certainly don’t want your dog running off or getting attacked by the wildlife. We also don’t want the wildlife to get harassed by dogs, so keeping your pets on a leash is so important for everyone’s safety. 
  2. You can only take your dog 30 feet from a road. Luckily, this is really easy because there are so many pull offs in the park! So staying within 30 feet from any given road is pretty simple to achieve. Do you have trouble knowing how far 30 feet is? Use your dog’s leash to give you an idea of the exact distance!
  3. You can not let your dogs in the water or on the beaches in the parks. I know it’s hard not to give into those sad puppy eyes and watch your pup roam loose and free in the water, but I promise, it’s for their best interest!

So how do you plan your engagement photos with dogs?

 

Ariane & Jackson candid engagement photo with their dog in a gorgeous fieldWell, your furry best friend is going to have a leash shorter than 6 ft and we are going to stay within 30 feet from a road! The photos in this blog are great examples of easy, accessible locations, where we took photos within 10-15 feet of the road. 

Start off the engagement photo session without your dog

It is fun to get some engagement photos with dogs during your session, and I encourage it! But if we start off with just you and your partner, then you will have much less dog hair (oh yeah, you better believe it always goes everywhere! ) on you during the shoot. Even when my couples bring their dogs, I like to start with some fun and intimate photos of just the two of you celebrating your engagement and showing off that gorgeous ring. Once we have some of those out of the way, then it is the perfect time to get your best friend in the shots! 

 

Bring treats for your dog!

 

Guess what, we all love treats! Dogs most of all! Bringing treats will help hold their attention if they are distracted by the smells and sights around them. I love to encourage my couples to bring treats but, keep in mind that many pets have sensitive stomachs. I would hate for your dog to get sick during our shoot together, so I encourage my clients to bring treats that their dogs are already used to having. 

 

We can go to more than one spot!

 

Absolutely! There really is no limit when it comes to the spots we can photograph at. For Jackson and Arianne’s engagement session, we actually stopped at Cascade Canyon (Heard me talk about it? Yeah, totally one of my favorite spots!) and then another spot just a little farther down the road. 

 

You can bring more than one outfit to your engagement session!

 

Of course, every photographer is different, but I always encourage my couples to bring 2-3 outfits for their sessions. This is perfect because after doing photos with your dog at the first location and getting all furry, you can change at the second and wear some fresh, pet-hair free outfits! 

 

Please check out Grand Teton National Park Pet information & guidelines to get the most up-to-date info! That way, you will be able to have such an enjoyable engagement photo session with your dogs, while still following all the regulations!

 

Need a safe place to board your dog?

Are you wanting to do some hiking around Jackson Hole? Or maybe you need a place to keep your dog during your wedding? Jackson Hole has some great facilities for dog boarding outside of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole; you can check those out here:

 Dog Jax 

Happy Trails Dog Board with VCA Pet Hospital  

 

Jackson & Ariane’s Love Story

Jackson & Ariane have known each other since grade school but it wasn’t until they were a bit older that romance blossomed between them. After 8 years together, Jackson proposed while skiing in Bozeman December 19th of 2019. They decided they wanted to have their wedding exactly one year later from the day her proposed! 

 

Gorgeous, natural light engagement photo with Ariane and Jackson at Dusk as sunsets behind themBoth Ariane and Jackson had been working on medical degrees during their engagement. As the pandemic hit, Jackson was just finishing up his doctorate while Ariane finished up her accelerated BSN nursing program. Try planning a wedding while finishing up medical degrees during a pandemic! To make things even more chaotic, Ariane was also a nanny who took on a teaching for the children she nannied, all while planning a wedding, and running her non-profit, Hands for Uganda ( https://hands4uganda.org/ ). Her hands might have been full, but her story and mission to help others is amazing and her wedding turned out to be one of the most magical winter weddings I have ever seen!

 

An Engagement Session with their beautiful dog, Tikka

Between Jackson’s hectic schedule at the hospital and Ariane’s many obligations, there wasn’t much free time between the two of them. Luckily, we were able to find a weekend to meet in Jackson Hole for a fun Grand Teton National Park Engagement session with their dog, Tikka. I had my eyes on Cascade Canyon for a potential location to shoot at along with a few spots Ariane loved. The weather turned out to be amazing for their engagement session, and luckily Jacksons flight was on time so we were set for an amazing engagement session under the Tetons! Check out the pictures for yourself below. 

 

 

Photography by: Foxtails Photography

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