December 31, 2020

Captain and Crew Costume – How To Do a Photoshoot With Your Dogs


Doing a cute photoshoot with your dogs and getting them to cooperate (or even look at the camera) can be a challenge. It can be an even bigger challenge when they’re wearing costumes. Since this pandemic had me spending a lot of time at home, I decided to do another themed photoshoot for Halloween. Last year, I did a Zootopia-themed Halloween shoot with my S.O. This year, I decided to team up with my brother and add in my two dogs, Suki and Zuko. This project had me working my creative muscles but I loved the results! If you’re looking for something fun to do at home with your fur babies, read on for inspiration and the final result!

Hello, this is your Captain speaking. Before we begin our journey, meet the crew!

Cori as the Captain (thas me!). My brother, John, as the Cabin Boy aka Swab. Suki as the Boatswain. Zuko as the Quartermaster.

When executing any project, the first step is to come up with ideas.

I had to first figure out a concept or theme. This is one of my most favorite parts of the creative process. You can write down any and all ideas you have. Even if all ideas aren’t winners, I still write it all out to get it onto paper. The most important part of this process is to get everything out of your mind and lay it out in front of you.

Don’t get stuck on just one idea from the beginning but explore all your options for the best result.

After coming up with an idea I liked, I started planning out how I could bring this vision to life.

Before putting together costumes, I had to think about the mood, the palette, and tone of the photoshoot.

I decided on a darker theme with rich, vibrant colors for an elegant, suave vibe. I also liked the idea of leaning more towards a charismatic Victorian-era feel rather than just a modern, minimalistic look. What can I say? I’m a maximalist 😉

Next, I looked up inspiration on captain and sailor outfits to decide on the costumes. I wanted to avoid captain and sailor costumes that would look too cheesy. I saved what I thought would look cool and put together a moodboard. Moodboards help you visualize your photoshoot look and keep you on the right track when making decisions. It also helps you decide the story you want to tell to your audience.

A great photoshoot is one that has a cohesive feel to it and moodboards are essential for this!

I began to search for items to put the captain and sailor costumes together. I decided that I wanted my brother and I to contrast each other in our outfits to reflect our aloof captain and earnest cabin boy roles.

My costume was a bit more complex and extravagant than my brother’s so it took more time to put it together. Since full-on Halloween outfits I found online didn’t match my moodboard, I ended up putting different clothing, jewelry, and props together. For example, I paired a navy blue button blazer with shoulder pad pins with ornate gold chains as my captain’s coat.

I completed the look with a white ruffled blouse with flowy long-sleeves, added a belt, a hat, a sword, and voilà! Captain Cori, at your service.

Getting the dogs to cooperate for the photoshoot proved to be a challenge. Though Suki and Zuko liked the actual costume, they disliked the hats since it was new to them. Suki, in particular, was less than thrilled and couldn’t hide her initial disdain.

We had to bribe the dogs with lots of treats to keep them happy.

To make them look at the camera, my brother would hold a treat in front of the camera and continually keep their attention while I captured the moment.

Sometimes, certain photo ideas I had ended up not working. I had initially wanted a cute photo of my dogs looking back at me over their shoulders.

It didn’t really turn out the way I expected. But it was still a solid winner in my book for their comical expression!

Despite all the creative challenges this pet photoshoot brought, it was a lot of fun putting everything together! The process was filled with a lot of laughter and despite the tiredness, seeing the end result was very satisfying.

Thanks for reading through this post! Scroll down for more photos!

To see the behind-the-scenes of this shoot, check out this fun recap video I made on my Instagram.

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