Three Extraordinary Gifts for Seattle Dog Moms

Seattle Dog Moms, you don’t mess around when it comes to providing the best for your dogs. You give them your love, and you spare no expense to make them happy. They get the best of everything because they are your everything. You work hard to give them all that they deserve, and it’s worth it just to see their sweet faces looking up at you every day. Seattle Dog Moms, you are amazing. It’s time to celebrate you with the same dedication you give to the dogs you love.   Seattle Dog Moms Treat Themselves. You’re a strong, brilliant woman, and can treat yourself to the things that are important to you. You don’t need to wait for someone to buy you something you want. One of the most empowering things I’ve done in my life is to decide to go after the things I truly want. Sure, I’ll make a plan and save for the big things, but I don’t need anyone’s permission to spend my money on the things that I value.  Your dogs are a huge piece of who you are, and the things you value honor that. I’ve put together three gift ideas that will not only help you celebrate how incredible you are, but will leave you feeling deeply connected to the dog you love. Here are three extraordinary ways you can celebrate how dang awesome you are.   1. A custom 3D-printed & hand-painted statue of your dog. We’re starting out with something amazing for dog moms who prefer art pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind. These statues from Rapid 3D Concepts are custom-designed, 3D-printed and hand-painted with love. They are as unique as the dogs they’re modeled after. Each custom piece is created from photos of your dog. You can choose the pose and even include your dog’s favorite toy to accompany them.  Here’s why I think you need one. These statues are the perfect blend of tech, art and dogs. I don’t know what could be more ‘Seattle Dog Mom’ than that. Okay, maybe it ties with a lot of things because Seattle dog moms are multidimensional beings, and I love us. But for those of you who like to have a thing that screams tech, art and dogs, this custom 3D-printed & hand-painted statue of your dog is a must-have gift you can treat yourself to.  The 5-inch custom-designed statue is priced at $1000. A lot goes into the creation of these art pieces, and you can see some timelapse video of the one they made of my dog, Kerouac, and her hedgie. The owners of Rapid 3D Concepts are animal-loving folks, and I had a great time interviewing them recently during my Dirtie Dog of the Year contest. I can tell you that they definitely put a lot of love into the work they do for their customers, and you will be really happy with the results.   2. A weekend getaway to the coast with your dog. I need a vacation. After the year we’ve all had, I’m gonna go ahead and guess that you probably need one too. Not just any vacation though. One that lets you spend time with your furry best friend, and doesn’t require you to jump on a plane. Yeah, I’m gonna avoid being trapped in a flying tin can with a bunch of people for a bit longer if I can help it. Give me my car, some great snacks, the best tunes and my hairball mess of a dog and I’m happy. My husband can come too because he’s a really good driver (and we love him).  My absolute favorite place on the coast of Washington is Kalaloch Lodge, specifically the bluff cabins. I went here for the first time for my 25th birthday with my mom, siblings and our blue heeler, Rocket. We lucked out with the weather that January. The sunsets were incredible and the night skies were lit up with stars. It was magic, and I have been in love with that place ever since. I haven’t been out there as much as I would like, but that’s something I’m planning to change. It’s just too damn amazing to not make it a yearly trip.  Here’s what’s so great about this weekend getaway for Seattle Dog Moms.  The cabins at Kalaloch are dog-friendly, and the ones situated on the bluff have the most amazing view. The beach below is perfect for adventuring and it’s not far to drive to trails and other beaches. The sunsets will make you forget any stresses back home. You’ll feel a deeper connection to your dog for having witnessed their joy while running through the waves in the ocean. If you need a little magic in your life, book this trip out to the coast for you and your dog. Grab a special rate for staying with your dog! Through The Kalaloch Lodge’s official website, you can grab their Pet Friendly Accommodations special to book a three-night stay in a bluff cabin with your dog. Depending on the size of the cabin, you’re looking at spending at least $1100 for lodging. You’ll also want to budget for food, gas, and entry to Olympic National Park if you plan to go on an adventure other than the beach at Kalaloch. Overall, plan to spend between $1500-$2000 for your entire 3-night getaway. You’ll also want to start planning any future trips sooner than later. These magical places tend to book up fast in the warmer months, but they’re also beautiful in the Winter.   3. A photo session and book to stay connected to your dog’s story. Our dogs are our greatest gifts, and even though they don’t get to stay with us as long as we would hope, their stories don’t have to end. They can live on through us.  My favorite gift for Seattle Dog Moms celebrates the dog you love in photos. A story session with Dirtie Dog Photography helps you to

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.

Pacific Northwest Holiday Gift Guide for Pets and Their People.

Okay, friends, here it is. My curated list of holiday gift ideas for pets and their people. I got tired of seeing so many advertisements for mass-produced pet-related gifts popping up in my social media feeds, so I decided to find better gifts made by artists and small businesses here in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the businesses and artists on this list have more things to offer, so be sure to take a look at their shops when you get the chance. Each item is listed with the following information: What the item is. Who made/sells the item. Why I selected this item. Where you can purchase the item. How much you can expect to spend.   The first items I’m sharing are gift ideas for people. Whether you’re a dog who wants to treat your pawrents to something nice, or a cat who wants to reward your subjects for their loyalty, these gift ideas are sure to let the humans in your life know you love them. If you’re a human purchasing gifts for other humans, these ideas should help you be the hero of the holidays. I’ve grouped these gifts into these categories: Accessories, Art, Clothing, Games & Books, Home Decor & Useful Things and Services & Experiences.   Accessories: What: Tabby Cat Pendant Who: Ryan Berkley Illustration – Portland, OR Why: I saw the print of this cat character first, and loved it. Anytime artwork can be turned into a unique piece of jewelry, I get excited. Where: How much: Under $30.00   What: Elvis Catsley tote bag Who: Nitty Gritty Workshop – Corvallis, OR Why: You can never have enough tote bags with cats on them, and this one is so damn good. Where: How much: under $50.00   What: French Bulldog print scarf Who: Twinhaus – Seattle, WA Why: I love just about anything with a great outline-style illustration of animals, so this infinity scarf with cute frenchies on it is a total winner for me. Where: How much: Under $30.00   What: Enamel Cat Earrings Who:Magpie Mouse Studios – Seattle, WA Why: Black cats are magic, and I love the simplicity of these earrings. (They come in other colors too, so go check them out!) Where: How much: Under $75.00   What: Ceramic Cat Earrings Who: Holly Haymaker – Seattle, WA Why: Unique jewelry will always make the list, but these ceramic cats are the kind of gift that will be worn like a badge of honor by cat lovers of all styles. I just might have to treat myself to a pair, unless my husband reads this and beats me to it.  Where: How much: Under $30.00   What: Yellow Laborador Wood Earrings Who: The Paper Mamas Shop – Portland, OR Why: I chose this particular set because they reminded me of a yellow lab I knew when I was a kid. The Paper Mamas Shop has more dog breeds, so check them out! Where: How much: Under $20.00   What: Dog Pattern Fanny Pack Who: Gray and Hound – Portland, OR Why: Dog illustration + fanny pack = YES.  Where: How much: Under $50.00   What: Cat Pattern Black Clutch Purse Who: Boejack Designs – Seattle, WA Why: I LOVE this fabric, and the white cats on black will go with just about any outfit.  Where: How much: Under $75.00   What: Boston Terrier Clutch Purse Who: Boejack Designs – Seattle, WA Why: I am a huge fan of this purse design. It’s not annoyingly small, and the print is simple enough to be paired with a lot of outfits. Where: How much: Under $75.00   Art:   What: Octopussy Magnets Who: Clockwork Art Shop – Seattle, WA Why: These cats are AMAZING, and magnets are great stocking stuffers!  Where: How much: Under $10.00   What: Merkitten Magnets Who: Clockwork Art Shop – Seattle, WA Why: I am now obsessed with this artist because these Merkittens are freaking amazing! Again, great stocking stuffers. Where: How much: Under $10.00   What: Turntable Slipmat Cat Who: Porchlight Coffee – Seattle, WA Why: Anywhere a cat can go, you should have a piece of art. Your turntable is no exception, and this slipmat is perfect. Especially because its a ginger kitty. Where: How much: Under $15.00   What: Side Eye Cat Stickers Who: Ragonia Art – Seattle, WA Why: Who doesn’t love a good side eye from their pet? It’s one of my favorite things to capture in a photo, so these stickers are awesome.  Where: How much: Under $10.00   What: Mini (5 inches by 5 inches) Custom Pet Portraits by Kait’s Calling Who: Kait’s Calling – Seattle, WA Why: Kait is amazing, and her mini portraits are a perfect gift. Several mediums available, so reach out via her website for more info. Where: How much: Under $175   Clothing:   What: Constellation Cat Hoodie Who: Revival Ink – Seattle, WA Why: It’s a hoodie with beautiful cat art on it, and it comes in a bunch of unisex sizes! Where: How much: Under $50.00 What:Baby Cat Cocoon Hat & Booties Crochet Pattern Who:ChiK Designs – Seattle, WA Why: For the DIY-ers out there who enjoy creating adorable things for babies, this one is for you. If you make this, please email me photos, especially if you change up the colors.  Where: How much: Under $10.00   What: Cat Blowing Bubbles Shirt Who: Ugly Baby – Seattle, WA Why: It’s weird, it’s wonderful and we all need it. Where: How much: Under $40.00   What: Cat Pouncing Organic Baby Onesie Who: Pattern and Posy – Seattle, WA Why: All babies deserve to wear things with cats on them, and I love the simplicity of this cat print. Where: How much: Under $40.00   What: Dog Organic Cotton Bib Who: Pattern and Posy – Seattle, WA Why: If they have to be messy, let those babies be

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 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.

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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Want to know the top concerns clients have before their session, and how we can work together to overcome them?