Here are my tips to keep in mind if you want to bring your dog to your family photos. And I hope you do!
Exercise your pup right before photos.
This might be a no-brainer for anyone who is a dog owner. But making sure your dog gets a lot of energy out before photos will help them be relaxed, tired, and less eager to explore on their own when we meet. This is especially true for young dogs. Old dogs, on the other hand, NBD.
Bring your cutest leash and remove the poop bags.
Maybe my tiniest tip, but it makes a big difference! Your dog's leash will most likely be in photos. Take a minute to pick out the one you want to see in all the photos and remove the poop bag holders.
Choose a location that is dog-friendly.
Make sure your location allows dogs. And if you want your dog to be off leash, make sure it's allowed. I never break the rules because I want everyone to be able to keep using all the beautiful places Utah has to offer. Keep in mind most of the canyons in the Salt Lake City area don't allow dogs at all because they're protected watersheds. Millcreek Canyon, Neff's Canyon, and Park City are great options for mountainous areas that allow dogs. Millcreek Canyon allows dogs to be totally off-leash on ODD days. And the Run-A-Muk dog park in Park City has some beautiful scenery while still being off-leash.
Relax about it!
Don't expect too much of your dog! Let them relax, and let them act the way they normally act around you. This will give them time and space to interact with you in the ways you want photographed. Let them run around and be in some photos "unposed." Let them be in the background of some and the main star of some. I think it helps make it feel like it does at home. Also, I recommend not bringing treats or toys (or saving them till the end) because as soon as there are food/toys that are more exciting than you, their focus will never come back to you. And how much you love each other is the part we want photographed!