What You Need to Know When Considering Photos with Bunnies, Chicks or Other Springtime Critters


Spring’s finally here and you might be considering having Easter or spring portraits taken of your children with adorable animals. But unless they’re your own animals, you should never take part in photography specials that feature live animals that aren’t your own.

Bell’s Furry Friends Photography has made a commitment to animal and people safety. Part of that commitment includes not offering “Easter portraits with live bunnies or chicks.” That is, unless the bunny or chicks are family pets and a pet parent is present.

Here’s what you should know if you see a session featuring live animals offered:

Regulated: The use of live animals in a photography session (family pets excluded) requires the photographer to obtain a license from the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the Animal Welfare Act. That license carries with it inspections and other regulations that the photographer must comply with. If the photographer you’re considering working with doesn’t have a license (or doesn’t know that these kinds of sessions are regulated), steer clear.

Unintentional harm: Little ones, as well as the animals used in the session, can be harmed unintentionally. Very little ones may not know how to properly hold the animal or chick and can hurt it by pulling, choking, squishing, yanking or sitting on the animal. Bunnies, for instance, are fragile and can have their spines, ears and legs broken easily just by being improperly handled.

Likewise, a scared bunny or chick can harm children and other people in the session through scratches, lacerations, as well as bites and puncture wounds. These injuries can develop into infections, rashes, or even disease. For instance, did you know chicks and bunnies both are carriers of salmonella and bunnies can carry a disease called Tularemia, or “rabbit fever.” Exercising caution is wise when exposing a child to any sort of animal.

Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t include a small and fuzzy in your springtime portraits; it just means that unless it’s a family pet, leave live animals out of the equation.

Bell’s Furry Friends Photography encourages all clients to bring the family pet to the photography session! If you’re interested in booking an Easter or spring session with your own pet as part of the happy gang, call 207-356-2353 or email [email protected] today!