By Genevieve Pelletier
Photos: Jonathan Kuhn Photography
Let’s face it; your dog is your “child”. The many photos you have posted on social media prove it. You may try to hide your over-the-top love for your pup, but you secretly think your fur-baby is the smartest, best looking and most incredible thing to have ever lived. The dog could be crossed eyed, missing half its fur and be constantly running into walls for no reason, and we still think they are “Best in Show”. We all do it, and with the exception of the costume you made them wear at Halloween, it’s ok. This love for our dogs has found growth in the trend of incorporating our “children” into our engagement sessions.
We are lucky enough to live in a city that is very pet friendly. Ottawa is filled with parks, shops and cafés that are welcoming with open paws. So if you are looking for a place where the entire family can partake, consider the five following options. They are pet friendly, easy to get to, and would all make incredible engagement photos.
1. Wag – A Posh Shop for Spoiled Pets
1071 Bank Street Ottawa
If you are a dog owner, and have never visited this pet store, then your pooch is not nearly spoiled enough. It was Ottawa’s first pet friendly shop and cafe when it opened in 2006. Wag has a large variety of pet accessories and foods. It is half pet store, half café and all fantastic. The cafe section has a fun seating area where you and your two legged partner can have a coffee and a treat. While the four legged member of your family can sit under your table and have a specially designed snack just for them. This is a really cute picture opportunity. Imagine pictures filled with laughing, sneaking the puppy treats under the table and just relaxing. Engagement photos should be a representation of who you really are as a couple. Formal photos are nice, but probably do not show who you are day to day. If you are a couple who brings your dog everywhere, then show it. Your pictures in this cafe will demonstrate your family. The furrier members and all.
2. Major’s Hill Park
Mackenzie Ave – Ottawa Byward Market
Right in the heart of the city you will find Major’s Hill Park in the Byward Market. A common place for festivals and events to be held. While dogs are not allowed within those events, they are allowed during non festival days. The park is a great place to bring your dog and get some pictures of playing fetch, running around and most importantly having fun. A great idea here is to also bring a friend who can entertain your dog when they are not in the shots. The park has many beautiful views that can be used as a back drop for incredible photos. With someone along, who can watch the dog, you can get romantic pictures of just you and your partner enjoying a beautiful day as well. Then bring in the puppy and get some playful shots too. It’s the best of both worlds.
3. Chapters Book Store
47 Rideau Street Ottawa
You might be surprised to learn this mega book store is pet friendly. In fact they encourage customers to bring their dogs. This might sound like an odd place for engagement photos, but for book lovers it would be perfect. Hide off in a corner, and take some cozy pictures reading your favourite book. You could even stage some funny photos like a reading dog obedience manual while your dog looks the other way. Not the average photo, but you are not the average family.
4. The Rideau Canal and the Locks
90 Wellington Street Ottawa
Have you lived in Ottawa all your life and want to show some landmarks of the city you love? Head down to the Rideau Canal with a picnic, and capture some beautiful photos. The amount of pictures here are endless. You could stand on the bridges over the locks while your photographer shoots from the next bridge over. You could pose with the city of Gatineau and the beautiful Canadian Museum of History behind you. You could even walk down and sit by the river. The amount of incredible photos here are limitless.
5. Your home
People tend to forget that the best place to capture you and your family might be in your family home. Photos of the pooch curled up between you would demonstrate the love between your family. You and your partner jumping on the bed would be a playful photo, while your pup looks on disapprovingly. Anything you love to do, you can do it. With the added bonus that you and your dog would be more relaxed in a known environment.
Wherever you chose, make sure it demonstrates who you are as a couple, and as a family. That is the goal after all, to capture your love for each other in your photos.