Dog Photography in Seattle: A Dirtie Dog is a Happy Dog

If you want to make a friend in Seattle, get a dog. If you’re not from around here, then you might not know about this thing called “The Seattle Freeze.” It’s the name for the struggle newcomers have in making friends after first moving here. For some reason, Seattleites take a really long time to warm up to new people. If you have a dog, however, you’re in. Your dog is your golden ticket to becoming a local, but it’s also the key to living a wildly joyful life here in the Pacific Northwest. The rain in Seattle isn’t so bad if you love dogs. People who don’t live here think that it’s always raining in Seattle, but what they don’t realize is that it’s actually just raining dogs. For real. We have so many dogs in this city, and it’s amazing. We don’t even care when it rains because our dogs make everything better, even when they drag us through puddles. Or roll in what we thought was mud until we’re trapped in the car for the drive home. Nope, definitely not mud.   Dog photography in Seattle is all about celebrating the joy of dogs. I love photographing dogs living their best lives. It doesn’t really take much for a dog to express their joy. They just need to be doing their favorite things with the people (and maybe other dogs) they love the most, and they’ll give you endless opportunities for beautiful photos. I’ve photographed dogs rolling around in their own backyards, eager to share all their best toys with me. We’ve headed out to some of my favorite parks in the Greater Seattle Area to play in the leaves, smell the spring flowers and swim during the heat of summer. We’ve driven out west to witness the awe-inspiring sunsets at the beach and journeyed east to the mountains to adventure on the trails. Every session holds new meanings of the idea of living a happy life.       We’re not called “Dirtie Dog” just to be cute. To be a “Dirtie Dog” means to be a “Happy Dog.” That is the intention with every one of my dog photography sessions here in Seattle; to hold space for dogs to fully express their joy through the things they love. And to capture it all in photos. Their happiness inspires all of us to spend a little more time celebrating the things that matter most.           Happiness doesn’t always mean we’re smiling. Happiness means we are living. Here, in this moment where we can be free, together. This is where our dogs live, and it is where we must go to fully understand what a beautiful thing we have in living life with joy. To see more beautiful photos of happy dogs, check out this feature of Dirtie Dog Photography by Seattle Refined! Make sure to check out this next post about Happiness by Linda Perdue with VP Shoots Photography specializing in photographing pets and their families in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Still Wild At Heart. Seattle Pet Photography by Marika Moffitt

On summer nights, Kerouac starts to come alive just before sunset. I’m ready for snuggling, and she’s planning adventures. She tells me all about them. In her husky ways, she lets me know that we are in this together, and she expects me to get my crap together so we can be on our way. As soon as I say the words, she’s no longer an almost-fifteen year old dog, but a force of excitement that cannot be kept from adventure. You know the words I’m talking about. Our adventures are not long. Her excitement is big, but it only lasts for a block or two depending on the day. She sniffs all the usual spots, zigzagging across our path as I try to keep from tripping over her. I’m amazed her old nose is still so good at doing its work. She ignores most other dogs on our walks, except for a collie. The collie and its person walk in front of us, and it bends its head backwards to watch us the entire block home. Kerouac pulls more on the lead, prancing while her eyes are locked with the collie’s. She wants to play. This makes me happier than she can understand because it reminds me of her as a puppy. My forever puppy.     My old girl is my heart, and she has given me one of the greatest adventures as her human. It’s hard to believe we’ve been together just over 14 years. No matter how old we get, we are still just as wild at heart as the day we first met.   Love you my girl.

Dogs of Camp: every dog is a work of art.

Collaboration is my love language. I talk about this a lot in the various business and pet-related circles I’m involved with because I believe that when you work together with other passionate individuals or groups who are in alignment with your core values, you can create absolutely incredible things that make a difference in your community. I actually talked about this in my post about The Limelight Pet Project last Fall, and that’s a great example of how collaboration can make a difference on so many levels. In that post, I talked about how it has taken years to get to the point where I know myself well enough to recognize the people who are “my people.” Basically, I lead my life and business with my heart and a vision of creating opportunities to do great things in my community. In doing that, I’ve found people who are also leading with their hearts. In the Spring of 2019 I had the honor of collaborating on a project with my friend and fellow passionate, animal-loving human, Lauren Hartley.  Lauren is the owner/founder/artist/freaking amazing creator of All Dog Kind, where she creates art that ultimately celebrates the joy of dogs and gives their people even more to smile about. The heart of her business revolves around the truth that “all dogs, regardless of their breed or past, deserve love, dignity and kindness. ” In addition to being an incredible artist and human, she also donates 20% of the profits from sales to animal rescues and conservation efforts. In short, she’s amazing, and 100% my people. In May of 2019, Lauren and I presented a special collaboration featuring seven rescue dogs from Homeward Pet Adoption Center dressed up as if they were attending the 2019 Met Gala with the theme of “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” We called the finished project, “Dogs of Camp.” We each learned so much from this experience. Mostly, that anything is possible when you work together to create things that bring joy to the world. Thanks to our friend, Tracy, from Pet Connection Magazine, we were connected with local news channel, Q13 Fox News, and were invited to the studio to talk about Dogs of Camp. I wrote the below message on Instagram after our taping. I’m sharing it with you now, over a year later, because every piece of it is still true.   “Here is my truth today: when you create things that come from a place of authenticity, love and magic, the Universe will hear you. I have spent the past five years figuring out what this means for myself and the things I want to build. It all starts with trusting yourself. Then it continues with trusting others through cultivating and building relationships with people who are in alignment with the things your heart wants to put out into the world. It’s about supporting one another and the things we care about. It’s about staying true to what matters most: doing great things for others that can actually make a difference in the world. This is what Dogs of Camp is about for @alldogkind and @dirtiedogphotography as creative businesses, but it’s what is at the heart of everything that we do as humans. Lauren and I were on @q13fox taping a segment about our project today. When we decided to collaborate on a project together, we really just thought it would be amazing to create some cool art together. We did not think about where this incredible journey would take us, but we hoped it could be something that inspires more people to support rescues. I told Lauren after our taping this morning that what I’ve learned from this entire experience is that as artists, when we create something, we are often trying to find an answer to some question or idea that’s rattling around in our creative brains. My question for a while has been: what could happen if two passionate, soulful and inspired artists who believe so deeply in creating work that benefits others were to put their energies together to create something great. What if we could do that, and what if we did do that? I’m still in awe over the fact that we’ve done it. We’re still at such an early stage of sharing Dogs of Camp with the world, but so far it has been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has supported us. Thank you to @homeward_pet for partnering with us. Thank you to @pet_connection_magazine for connecting us to @q13fox and of course thank you to everyone at Q13, especially @lizdueweke who made us all feel so comfortable during our segment. And Tiki. We ❤️ you, you maniac.”     You can view Dogs of Camp here: http://bit.ly/dogsofcamp   You can view our Q13 segment here: https://youtu.be/wo1S4efmKaE   You might be wondering about a 2020 Met Gala collaboration. Yes, Lauren and I had plans to do another project. In fact, we plan to do this every year because it’s just so much fun. We began our 2020  Met Gala project in January, completed our first portrait session in February, had a lineup of Seattle-area foster dogs ready to model in March and were planning a big project reveal event (a Mutt Gala) for the day before the real Met Gala. We put a lot of work into this. And then COVID-19 happened, and any chance of doing in-person work was halted. The 2020 Met Gala was cancelled (it’s scheduled for the first Monday of May each year), and the reveal of the collection for this year’s theme was postponed until Fall. Here’s the thing. We haven’t totally given up on this. We’ve already done the planning for the project, so it’s entirely possible that we will still be able to create the artwork as soon as we’re able to do studio sessions with foster dogs who have not yet been adopted. So, keep your paws crossed that we’ll get to present a 2020 Met Gala collaboration this

I’m So Excited Right Meow: Seattle Pet Photographer Wins A WPPI Silver Award.

I am not kitten around. I am so excited right meow. Yes, those puns were worth it because I have something awesome to celebrate with you all. I’ve won a Silver Award in the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Annual 16×20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competition. This was my first time entering such a prestigious competition, and I am basically unable to stop dancing around in celebration because I am so dang happy to have received a Silver Award!   Perhaps the thing I am most excited about is that it was this particular image (I entered three. The other two came so close to receiving Silver Awards as well) that received the Silver Award. This image is of Doris, a 19 year old cat who was waiting to be adopted at Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, Washington. I chose this image because it’s one that almost never happened, and it represents work that I am passionate about (capturing the stories of rescue animals). I photographed Doris in a tiny room at Homeward Pet Adoption Center after doing an outdoor session with a small dog for The Limelight Pet Project. We were asked to come inside to meet this senior cat (Doris) to take some photos of her. I brought in my white sheet to lay over a bench, and a single flash with a 26 inch umbrella softbox setup to shoot against a wall. Doris was magical. She gave intense eye contact, and made a point to cross the room after our eyes met with hers so that she could touch me (there were three of us in the room, and she did this with each of us). I was connected to her before we even began shooting. Right before I shot this image, she had looked me in the eye in a way that communicated that she was about to do something weird. It was an amazing moment of connection between us, and that’s why I love this image.  I want to thank Kacy Bradley from Homeward Pet Adoption Center who is the reason this image was created. She asked me to photograph Doris, and she knew that we would connect with her right away. Thank you, Kacy, for all the work you do for the animals, and for including us in telling their stories! I also want to thank my friend Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography who was there in the room, and experienced the intensity of Doris along with Kacy and me. We can’t tell the stories of these animals without the people who are doing the hard work required to care for them. Thank you to all of the rescue community for the work you do for animals and the people who love them. Also, thank you to Doris (who has been adopted) for being weird and wonderful. This win is for you and all the rescue cats who are waiting to connect with their forever homes.    In case you can’t tell already, I LOVE photographing cats. I am currently booking as many cat sessions as I can get my paws on because cats are SO MUCH FUN for me to work with. If you have a cat, and want to have them photographed by an award-winning pet photographer, let’s chat. To book a session, you can reach me through my contact page, or email marika@dirtiedogphotography.com.

That’s Amore: The January/February Cover of Pet Connection Magazine!

Sometimes ideas present themselves to us before we know that they’re here in perfect timing. In December of 2019, I got to put together a special shoot for the January/February North issue of Pet Connection Magazine. It was kind of a last minute situation because there was supposed to be a different cover, but due to the lack of snow at the time the covers needed to be shot, we needed to shift gears. I had had this idea come to me as I woke up one morning before the call came that there wasn’t enough snow for the original cover concept, and when Tracy of Pet Connection Magazine told me they were rethinking the covers, I told her my idea. I wanted to recreate the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene, but include the cover sponsor, Roy Robinson Subaru, in a creative way. We first thought we would get a dog couple together, but with such short notice and not wanting to risk any squabbles over treats, we ended up asking my girl, Kerouac, if she and her babies would like to go for a lovely romantic dinner. To be honest, bringing the babies along was a last minute decision as I was packing everything up the morning of our shoot. It might have been the best idea of the day. Some of the other ideas that made these images come to life were putting that blue gel on a flash inside the beautiful blue Subaru, and placing another flash on the ground to illuminate the red curtains. I’ve been wanting to use those red curtains for months, and I’m thrilled with how they work in these images. Of course, the real star of the show is Kerouac. What an absolutely magnificent dog I have. She’s more than that, though. She’s my heart.   It takes a team to pull this kind of thing off. None of this would have been possible without the amazing team who helped me create these images, and I would like to thank them for their incredible contributions to this nutty idea: Tracy Campion from Pet Connection Magazine who made some delicious dog-friendly meatballs for Kerouac and her friends. Tracy also helped to keep Kerouac in place during these shots.  Thank you most of all for being just as excited (perhaps even more) as I was about this concept. You guys should have seen her face when I told her my idea. 🙂 Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography who helped keep me positive when our first setup was not what I wanted, and then for finding the perfect space where we were able to create this scene. Also for loving on Kerouac and just being an overall amazing support! And Holly’s husband, Tony, for hauling and setting up gear, having positive energy and most of all for hanging out with Kerouac while we got our lights and scene ready. And of course, the folks at Roy Robinson Subaru for letting us shoot in the showroom, for moving cars around for us, and for being such a great support to the community. We love you guys! It’s amazing how much time it takes to get everything just right, and then there are only a few minutes of actual shooting.How long did it take us to shoot these images? Well, if we’re measuring in meatballs, it took about five or six.   My stack of copies of the magazine arrived on my doorstep this morning, and Kerouac has let me know that she’s willing to sign a few for her adoring fans. What a star. Want to check out the digital version? You can do so HERE!

The Limelight Pet Project: Together We Shine.

This year has taught me a lot of lessons. Some have been a long time coming, some have brought me to tears and every single one of them has been essential in helping me grow as a creator, collaborator, business owner and human. Out of all of these lessons, there is one that stands out as possibly one of the most important of my life. The lesson is that even though I have everything I need within myself to do great work, that work pales in comparison to the greatness that is possible when I collaborate with other people who are in alignment with my vision, values and motivation. This wasn’t an overnight discovery. It has taken years to get to the point where I know myself well enough to recognize the people who are “my people.” It just so happens that this is the year when I learned that working together with these people is pretty much the most magical thing I could ever imagine. Working together is key to making a difference. I have collaborated with a lot of incredible people this year. Whether it was through a conversation on my podcast, hosting special events with other animal-loving people or one of several ongoing creative projects with pet-loving businesses, these collaborations have been amazing. Eventually, I will create posts for each of these, but today I’m here to tell you about The Limelight Pet Project, a collaboration with my friends Tracy Campion and Sarah Bous-Leslie of Pet Connection Magazine (two incredibly talented and brilliant women whose work consists of creating connection and lifting up community). The focus of The Limelight Pet Project is to shine the light on harder to adopt animals in the greater Seattle area; to share their stories because their stories are worth telling. It’s not just about the animals, though. It is about telling the stories of the people who are doing the work to help these animals every single day. We use video, photography and heartfelt connection through conversation to do this. There have been many occasions when we have wrapped up a session with tears in our eyes because we were deeply affected by what our interviewee had to say about the work they do. If you’ve heard me speak about my work as a pet photographer, you know that I believe the work isn’t only about the animals. It all comes back to people. My clients are people. You reading this right now, are a person. There are people working every day to improve the lives of the animals we all love, and it’s important to acknowledge that without them, none of this works. That’s what we bring with The Limelight Pet Project; an opportunity to let these people shine their light to inspire the rest of us. It’s only the beginning of shining the light. We started The Limelight Pet Project in August 2019, but officially launched the website at the beginning of November. Every week, we feature a new animal from one of our partner rescues. The animals we feature are not just dogs and cats. We wanted to give the opportunity for wider coverage to some of the other types of animal rescues, so we also feature horses, goats and rabbits. I’m sure our list of animals will grow as we do, but for now we are having the time of our lives getting to know more about the great work these rescues are doing for the animals they support. The Limelight Pet Project was founded by three passionate women who own pet-related businesses in the Seattle area, but we aren’t alone in creating space to share these stories. We currently partner with animal-loving local news channel Q13 Fox to feature harder to adopt animals every Saturday morning. Our friend, Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography, recently joined our team to help capture portraits and behind the scenes imagery at our Limelight Pet Project feature sessions. Collaboration is the key to doing our greatest work, and shining the light together illuminates us all.   You can visit www.thelimelightpetproject.com to learn more about the work we are doing. Things are constantly changing during the process of telling these stories, so to stay up to date on what we’re up to, follow us on Instagram and Facebook as well.

Seattle Dogs In Autumn: Seattle Pet Photography with Marika Moffitt

Here we are again. The time for portraits of dogs zooming through piles of leaves has arrived. The crisp, golden light beaming through trees with brightly colored foliage makes for an incredible backdrop, and the leaves that have fallen to the ground provide endless opportunity for hilarious moments. I love photographing dogs any time of year, but there are not many things more magical than the brilliant colors of Fall. The following sessions are from some of my favorite places in Seattle to capture gorgeous Fall portraits of dogs being their joyful selves. This session with Riley the Golden Retriever was captured at the Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens. The leaves were in the perfect state of changing color, and we even had just enough covering the ground to add beautiful texture to Riley’s portraits. The image of the leaf falling next to him is one of my favorites. In this particular spot in the park, the leaves were dropping randomly, and Riley wasn’t sure what to think about it. This moment was a perfect capture for his parents to remember how surprised he was that these things were floating around him. Riley was still a puppy here, so we were witnessing him experience things he had not yet seen in his life. What a gift!   This session with Sugar Man the terrier mix took place at Green Lake Park. I love Green Lake Park because there are so many wonderful little areas to get lost in. When the leaves have begun to cover the ground, everything is transformed to look like a textured painting. We had a beautifully sunny day, so we were able to capture some of the gorgeous glowing light through the leaves. The green grass created a perfect contrast to the yellow leaves which added variety to Sugar Man’s session. This seriously was such a fun session. The final image in this collection was put together with two separate images (yes, I do those kinds of things!). We had attempted a “tossing the leaves” portrait, but Sugar Man wasn’t a fan of it. Your dog’s comfort and safety are always the most important thing during sessions, so if there is an image we are determined to get, we do our best together to find a way that keeps your pup safe and happy! For this image of Sugar Man, after I captured the portrait of him alone, we asked him to move out of the frame while his mom tossed some leaves in the air for me to capture in the same location. It worked out perfectly. This session with Pumpkin and Peekaboo the adorable Pug sisters, took place at Discovery Park in Magnolia. I am IN LOVE with the wide variety of options at Discovery Park. There are so many locations within the park that can be turned into magical scenery for portraits (especially with dogs because they’re so full of magic already). For this session, we met at the South Parking Lot, and took advantage of all the color we could find. My absolute favorite image from Pumpkin and Peekaboo’s session is actually a running portrait of Pumpkin. I love it so much that I had it printed on a large canvas to use as a sample to show clients and display at events. It’s a huge hit with everyone who looks at it because of the pure joy in Pumpkin’s expression.     These are only three of the many locations in the Greater Seattle Area that provide gorgeous backdrops for Fall portraits of your dogs. If you’ve been waiting all year for a session like these, the time has come to book your dog’s magical story session with Dirtie Dog Photography. The best way to get in touch is through the CONTACT page on the website, or email marika@dirtiedogphotography.com for more information about booking your dog’s Fall portrait session.

To be loved by a cat. Seattle pet photography by Marika Moffitt.

When I was 21 years old, I lived in a two bedroom apartment in a fourplex with two roommates. It was my first apartment, and I think we only paid around $750 per month for rent. We only lived there for a year, but so many wonderful memories come from that year. One of my absolute favorite memories is the day a friend came to visit from the city, and when he showed up at my door, he had a tiny, dirty kitten in his hands. He had seen it running across the main road just a few minutes from my apartment, and somehow, he was able to catch it. I don’t know how to explain to you what it felt like to have this happen. My heart broke and exploded at the same time. This kitten was so tiny, and so dirty. All I could think to do was put it in an equally tiny handbag and walk to the grocery store to find some food for it. I think I squealed the entire walk there and back, and then continued squealing while giving the poor thing a bath. As soon as we had him cleaned up and fed, this thing turned into a maniac. He was jumping from the counter to the couch, and climbing all over us. He was pure joy, and I have never experienced anything like it since. My friend decided to leave the kitten with me as he would not have been able to bring it back to Seattle with him. So, there I was with this tiny kitten. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Technically, I couldn’t have any pets living in my apartment unless they were approved by the landlord. And I had two roommates who needed to have a say in whether or not we kept this kitten. I took three days to decide. Three days of this kitten living in my apartment and sleeping in my hair. I’m serious. He slept curled up in my neck and made muffins with his paws in my hair. I fell asleep to the sound of his purring, and woke to the sound of his hungry meows. I was in love. This tiny thing had completely captured my heart. I wish I could tell you that I got to keep him, and see him grow into an old man cat. I wish I had photos of him that I could use to accompany this story, but I don’t. This all happened during a time when our cell phones didn’t have cameras, and I wasn’t yet a professional photographer. I loved this kitten so much, and I knew he loved me. I sobbed the entire drive to the Skagit Humane Society. I really felt like my heart was being torn out, but I knew that this was the best choice for him to have a great life. The staff at Skagit Humane were so kind to me, and reassured me that he would find a great home easily because he was so dang cute. I said goodbye to my little love, and then I sobbed the entire drive back home. I’ll be honest, it’s been 14 years since that kitten left its mark on my heart, and right now I am totally crying while writing this story. Three days. That’s how long our story was, and it still gets me smiling, laughing and crying when I remember it. I never had a cat of my own again after those three days. Not that I didn’t want to, but other life choices made it so that cats would not be able to be a part of my home. They do, however, still get to be a part of my life in other ways. Whether I am learning the stories of adoptable cats that I photograph for #WhynotMEpets, or cats I photograph for clients here in Seattle, I am always reminded of the love I had for that tiny dirty kitten so many years ago.   Since I don’t have any photos of the tiny dirtball, I would like to share some of my favorite portraits of cats that I have had the honor of photographing over the past couple of years. Some are from sessions for #WhynotMEpets and some are from sessions for my wonderful clients. (Please note that I have photographed quite a few cats over the past few years, but I am only sharing some of them here. I love ALL of the cats I get to photograph, and I hope to share more of their portraits here with you soon).               For more information about portrait sessions for the cats you love, you can give Marika a call at (360) 941-3588 or fill out the Inquiry Form here to get in touch.

When there’s no place like home. Portrait sessions with Seattle Pet Photographer, Marika Moffitt.

We live in a beautiful place here in Seattle. You don’t have to go far to find incredible scenery for your pet’s portrait session if you long for gorgeous outdoor landscapes. I love the outdoors, so I’m always excited to experience new locations when my clients tell me their favorite places to go with their pets. However, I’m just as excited when they opt to have their session at home. If your pet’s comfort and safety are a top concern for you and you are intrigued by the opportunity to see your home in a new light, an at-home session might be perfect for you. Here’s what I love about pet portrait sessions that take place at home: When your pet is comfortable in their regular environment, they are more likely to do some of the things you want to have captured in photographs. If your pet does not do well in public areas, but they LOVE to run and play in their own yard, I can help you capture portraits that show your pet in their element. Your home, whether you have a backyard or not, is full of potential for creating gorgeous images of your pet.     Animals don’t lie. If your pet is unhappy with where they are, they are going to show it in their body language, and that will come through in their portraits. When your pet is comfortable in their regular environment, they are going to look happy, and will be more likely to do some of the things you want to have captured in photographs. This is my favorite part of working where my clients’ pets live.  I get to see them being themselves, and my clients get the opportunity to tell me more stories about why they love the things their pets do. Let them do their favorite things. Giving your pet the opportunity to do what they love is so important in creating portraits that show who they are. If that means your pet just chews on a bone, digs a hole, plays fetch or naps in the sun, we are going to be spending time photographing them doing what they love. We don’t need vast wide open spaces to capture your pet’s joy. If your pet does not do well in public areas, but they LOVE to run and play in their own yard, I can help you capture portraits that show your pet in their element.   Your home is full of magic. Whether you have a backyard or not, your home is full of potential for creating gorgeous photos of your pet. Okay, if you’re thinking that your home and/or yard are not picture perfect, STOP. It doesn’t matter. You do not need a manicured yard or a professionally styled home to have an amazing photo session for your pet. I work in all kinds of spaces, and I know how to bring out your pet’s spirit in photos no matter the surroundings. This is what I love to do, and I’m always up for the challenge of unknown spaces. I love to discover how the light changes the way we see ordinary things, and how we can harness that light to create incredible photos of the pets you love. If you still feel like you don’t believe we can create beautiful portraits in your home or yard, go read this post titled, “Your yard does not have to be pretty to be beautiful.” I wrote it about photographing my own dog in our very unexciting yard in every season of the year. So, if not knowing where to have your pet’s portrait session has been holding you back from booking, let’s talk. I can show you more examples of pets happy at home, and then we can get started on capturing your pet’s story.   As always, I look forward to learning your pet’s story soon! -Marika      

Your yard does not have to be pretty to be beautiful. Seattle Pet Photography by Marika Moffitt.

Sometimes people don’t believe me when I tell them that we can create incredible portraits of their pets without having to leave their backyard. Believe me when I say this, Your yard does not have to be pretty to be beautiful. It’s about your pet, it’s about the light and it’s about having someone who understands how to capture those things together. To help you see what I’m talking about, I’m going to share with you what my yard actually looks like in all four seasons (I love that Seattle gets four seasons), along with portraits I have created of my dog, Kerouac, in all four seasons.   Winter This is when Seattle turns to mush. The rain gives us mud and barely enough light in the day. Sometimes, though, we get lucky and it snows. I realize that this first example is kind of cheating because fresh snow makes everything beautiful, but I think that it’s a perfect example of harnessing the opportunity to not care what your yard looks like underneath the blanket of white. I certainly don’t. As you can see in the first image, there is nothing special about my yard. It’s a nice size, yes, but most of the things look dead most of the time. Covered in snow, they look delicious, but as soon as it melts, they’ll look not so great. I think the best thing about this portrait of Kerouac is knowing how much she loves the snow. She’s a Siberian Husky, so of course she loves it. What matters most to me is knowing my girl is happy, and having portraits of her in her element makes me happy. Spring I love Spring. I love the birth of new things, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE WILDNESS of grasses and blooms as the sun rises. Spring is all about the morning light. You can see in the photo of my yard that there’s not much going on from above. The grass is still green (thank you rains of Winter), but there really isn’t much color other than that. The thing that got me out there this particular morning was the way the sunlight was streaming across the grass. I knew there would be magic in those spaces, so I called Kerouac out with me to take advantage of the light while we still had it. I mentioned that I absolutely love the wildness of grasses. That was probably an understatement. Spring is my favorite because things grow so quickly, and when our yard grows out, I can’t stop taking photos of the dog. My husband hates when the grass gets long, but he knows to let me have it until I’m done with it. This image of Kerouac makes me long for early mornings when it’s not too cold to sit on the deck as the sun rises, but you can still see the steam coming off of your cup of coffee. Summer For me, Summer is all about the evenings and the sun’s golden light that kicks up the vibrancy of all things.  We have this patch of bamboo in one section of our yard that mostly just hides a pile of junk. I think Kerouac has a secret hole inside the bamboo patch where she hides her treasures, but I haven’t had the courage to go searching. She’s a dog, so there’s probably something gross in there. This area of the yard is really, not so pretty. And the areas directly around it aren’t that great either. However, when the sun reaches a certain point in the evening,  it lights up that bamboo. To the naked eye, it just looks like sun shining directly onto green leaves, but when you understand how light and textures work together with the right tools and placement of your subject, you get something so beautiful, it doesn’t quite look real. This is one of my favorite portraits of Kerouac. Partly because that bamboo is having a moment of glory, but mostly because that tongue is adorable. Fall This is the magic time of year for portraits. When you get crisp, misty mornings and foliage turning colors you have the recipe for gorgeous imagery. This was another early morning when I saw the light from my kitchen window, and knew I only had a few minutes to create. I actually think my yard looks quite pretty in the first photo. There’s something about beams of sunlight that makes everything look amazing no matter how simple they are. Even the poorly pruned apple tree looks good with back lighting. What you can’t tell from either of these photos is that we now have three large garden boxes in our yard and a small trailer for hauling things parked on our concrete slab. The gardens are amazing, but the trailer is not. Despite having lost some of our shooting areas, Kerouac and I still found the right light to capture. I love this image of Kerouac so freaking much. She looks so strong, it kind of makes me wish I had a photo of myself in this same light. So, whether your yard is professionally maintained, barely touched or someplace in between, we can create beautiful portraits of your pets all year round. Remember, it’s about your pet, it’s about the light and it’s about having someone who understands how to capture those things together.     To learn more about pet portrait sessions with Dirtie Dog Photography, head on over to the CONTACT page or you can give Marika a call at (360) 941-3588

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