Erin Fortin Photography
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How to Include Your Dog in Your Lifestyle Photos

It's no secret that I am a HUGE dog-lover. Big ones, little ones, shaggy ones, I want to love on all of them. I trained service dogs in college, own the most huggable black lab (named Cabo), and love the personality to an engagement or family lifestyle shoot that a dog can bring. As such, I'm always on board when a client asks if they can bring their furry friend along. 

In order to set yourself up for success, I recommend a few pro-tips I've learned along the way from the countless sessions I've taken including pups. 

DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. Goes without saying, but if you want your dog to come along, make sure your photographer is comfortable around dogs and is experienced with the added variable. Photographing dogs requires sharp use of photography gear, faster shutter speeds, and dynamic focusing on the fly.

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MAKE SURE THE LOCATION IS PET FRIENDLY. If your pup is shy or on the opposite side of the spectrum (alpha) around other dogs, maybe a dog park isn't the perfect spot... how about your backyard, a dog-friendly neighborhood stroll, or better yet, let's meet at a trailhead and go for a hike. What suits your personalities best? 

Family Photos with Dogs_EFP2

BRING A FRIEND. Aka, a pup-wrangler for those romantic photos without your pup. While dogs are SO MUCH FUN to photograph, we don't want them to steal the show. We'll want to capture plenty of those 'just you two' moments of you guys without the pup, too. 

Family Photos with Dogs_EFP3

HAVE FUN! Every pet owner has a unique and special relationship with their dog and I love capturing the way you interact with each other. Throwing frisbees, making smooshy-faces, burying your hands in their fur, showing off their tricks... all those moments make for personal and REAL candid photographs. 

Family Photos with Dogs_EFP5

Curious to see how I've integrated our black lab, Cabo, into our personal adventure photos over the years? You can sneak a peak by clicking below. 

How To Add Adventure Into Your Engagement Session

If you spend your weekends in the mountains, seeking new trailheads, kicking mud off your boots, or baggin' another summit, then we're the same kind of people. When I'm not working, I'm usually in running shoes, a trucker hat and shades, most likely getting lost with my husband, baby girl, and black lab in search of new trails.

So you're an adventurous couple and you want your engagement photos to match your vibe? Well you've come to the right place my friend! 

There are a plethora of ways to add adventure to your photos!

GET OUTSIDE. From the Oregon Coast (hello gorgeous reflective beachy photos) to the Columbia River Gorge (oh, shucks, let's gaze at yet another waterfall...), there is no shortage of options for an outdoorsy, adventurous vibe. 

FIND AN ACTIVITY. Is there a hobby you two love to do together? Incorporate it into your shoot with props or the location. If you're a foodie, use a cooking class as the location for your photos or better yet, have your photographer over while you're cooking at home. Did you meet somewhere cute? Reminisce by heading back there for photos. 

BRING YOUR DOG. This goes without saying, but dogs bring out joy in every pet owner. Hitting the trails with your furry friend is an easy way to add personality to your photos. Plus, I really really love dogs. 

BRAVE THE ELEMENTS. Rain doesn't stop us from getting outside here in the PNW. Grab a clear umbrella and meander downtown, popping in and out of record shops. Tromp through snow on a chilly morning. Cool off at an outdoor beer festival with some microbrews. 

Jaime & Ben | Tracy Castle Wedding

On an absolutely gorgeous summer day, near Mt Rainier National Park, Jaime and Ben gathered with their friends and family to get hitched. Jaime is filled with personality: funny and extroverted and her affection for Ben is palpable. Ben has this calm, relaxed demeanor about him, and his eyes were always on Jaime. In addition to themselves, their entire crew was so warm and welcoming. I floated about all day capturing the spirit and story of Jaime and Ben's wedding and so much enjoyed being a part of their big day. 

Bonus to the whole day: after my job was done and all the gear was packed up, my husband and I (and our dog, Cabo!) didn't have to drive far to find ourselves deep in Mt. Rainier National Park where we went camping for the remainder of the weekend. A wedding and a weekend camping trip? Win win all around. 

Lauren & Phil {Engagement}

On a beautiful, brisk afternoon, I met Lauren and Phil at a favorite trail of mine to capture their engagement photos during the most glorious golden hour. The sun was juuuuust about to go down and the soft light was unreal. I just love Lauren and Phil. These guys are hilarious, brilliant, driven, and class acts all around. Gorgeous inside and out, I just know their wedding will be spectacular! Anyhow, here's a sneak peak of a few from our time together. 

Tom & Andrew's North Star Ballroom Wedding

On a sunny spring day in Portland, surrounded by a packed house of friends and family, Tom and Andrew shared their wedding vows, exchanged rings, and were wed. The day started when we met at Peninsula Park for pre-wedding portraits and I was greeted with huge hugs. Afterwards, we strolled the quick half mile back to North Star Ballroom for their ceremony and reception. 

I'm not sure there was a dry cheek in the house during Tom and Drew's vows. Mine included. These two guys were meant for each other and it was such an honor being a part of their wedding day. 

If that wasn't cool enough, there was a wood fired pizza food truck, a dozen pies, a DJ spinning 80s vinyl, and so.much.love. And when the song "Shout!" came on later in the night? I swear the entire dance floor flooded and a dance train formed with lightning speed, and I found myself smile/laughing behind my lens reminding myself that I probably shouldn't be dancing so much and that yes, in fact, I have the best job ever.