black dog on the rocks at a beach shaking off the water

A Peek into a Private Dog Session

The last several weeks, I’ve been working with a client on a portrait project featuring his dog. She’s a sweet lab mix, about 8 or 9 years old, and she goes by the name “Miss Lily.” I want to share this experience with you so you can learn about the what’s possible when you have a session with me.

Before getting started with portraits, I went to the clients home to meet him & Miss Lily, and talk a bit about what he wanted. During this meeting, we looked around his home and found places where he might like to hang some wall art. He told me Miss Lily’s story, and how they came to be friends. I got to know a little bit about both of their personalities, and over the course of the consultation, started to understand what kinds of images and products interested him.




Miss Lily loves to play fetch. The two of them head outside for exercise and play time every day, without fail. It seemed appropriate to get some outdoor portraits, so we decided to shoot at Richmond Beach because they have a lovely off-leash area where Lily could run, fetch, and even swim. In addition, we planned a session in their home so that we could capture some images that showed her in familiar territory. This would help lower her energy and generate some lovely, relaxed shots. The variety of images would lend themselves well to a photo book, and we knew we could get some beautiful pieces for his wall along the way. We had a plan.


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A lot of clients feel worried about rainy weather for a photo shoot, but I believe a portrait can be more unique in adverse conditions. Call me crazy, but I love the spontaneity of windy and rainy weather! If your session day is rainy and it can possibly fit into your realm of acceptable outcomes, I encourage you to give it a try. Many times I find beauty hidden between the raindrops.

At the end of both sessions, when the fun was coming to a close, we ended on a high note by giving Miss Lily a treat in her bouncy puzzle ball.




Now with a full collection of portraits that are bursting with personality and stories, we can focus on design. We’ll be collaborating to choose wall art pieces and a book layout that suit the client’s personal taste. The finished products will be 100% archival quality, and will provide a lifetime of emotion and enjoyment. It’s not the speediest process, but it is a gratifying one. The finished pieces will feel a lot like Miss Lily’s final treat, except they’ll last a lot longer!

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