Dog Photography on The Washington Coast

There’s no wrong season for dog photography on the Washington coast. When (and where) we choose to go just depends on what kind of adventure and artwork you want to create. I’m drawn to the Washington coast for a lot of reasons. Its mix of wildness and serenity. The changing weather that brings with it endless opportunity to create breathtaking art. The way the ocean fills a deep longing in my soul. Which is probably why I love booking sessions out there. Actually, “love” isn’t strong enough. I’m obsessed with photographing dogs at the coast. When I’m out there, I feel connected to my wildness more than anywhere. And I feel alive with creativity in ways only the coast can draw out. The best part of visiting the coast with a dog is watching them live their best life while running, playing, and splashing along the beach. Which is why it’s always a “heck, yes” from me when clients ask about a session on the coast.   Some of my favorite locations for dog photography on the Washington coast:     The rocks at Beard’s Hollow south of Long Beach, WA.   This super cool spot with reflecting pools next to Grayland Beach State Park in Grayland, WA.   This stretch of beach near the Westport Lighthouse in Westport, WA.   The dunes at Pacific Beach State Park in Pacific Beach, WA.   And these are only a handful of what’s available for us to explore. No matter where we go for your SoulDog Story session on the coast, we’ll create art that you’ll never want to stop looking at.   Things to know about sessions at the coast with SoulDog Creative:   Plan to stay a few days. You’re driving all the way out to the coast, so why not make a multi-day trip out of it? You and your dog deserve some time to connect at the coast and leave everything else back at home. There’s a lot to explore, so having at least 3 days to do so is best. It’s also a good idea to leave some wiggle room for the weather on/around your planned session date. Depending on what the goals are for your artwork, we want to have the flexibility to shoot when the weather is going to give us some of its magic.   Bring extra clothing options if you want to be in photos with your dog. No matter what, I’m gonna tell you to be in photos with your dog. Even if all we do is capture some details that include you, it’s a good idea to plan what you’re going to wear. And because the coast has so much scenery to offer, it’s best to bring a variety of options (we don’t have to just stick to beach photos, so bring those hiking boots if you want some of your session to be on the trails too). I’m happy to help you make final selections closer to your session date (and even the night before, we can jump on zoom or FaceTime if needed).   Embrace the wildness and the unexpected. It’s completely possible that everything we plan for goes right out the window because the coast has its own agenda. If we’re shooting in the stormier months, we might get four kinds of weather in a single day. Which can make for incredible skies, but also keeps us on our toes for scheduling. A little patience and a sense of adventure is all we need to make amazing art together.   A SoulDog Story session at the coast is perfect for you if you’re ready to get out of town, embrace the wild, and let the art we create come to life through the moments we spend together. I accept bookings for the coast all year round, but it’s best to reach out as soon as possible to be sure we can fit you into my schedule.   Next steps for booking your SoulDog Story session on the coast are: Fill out the inquiry form to get on my radar. Book your consultation to chat about working together. Commit to a booking, and we’ll start planning your session!   You don’t have to know exactly when, where, or how your session on the coast is going to happen yet. We’ll cover all of that during your consultation. All you need today is to go fill out the inquiry form to get started.

Three reasons to be in photos with your dog this year

If I have one piece of wisdom to pass along to dog-loving folks right now, it’s that you need to be in photos with your dog this year. In 2021, I booked two professional photography sessions with my dog, Kerouac. I knew that we might not have a lot of time left together as she was beginning to slow down quite a bit. I didn’t want to miss the chance to have beautiful photos taken with her, so I made the call, and booked our first photo session with Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography. Holly is a dear friend of mine, and I was not at all surprised to find out that she and my husband were trying to work out a way to surprise me with a photo session. In true “Marika gets shit done” style, I ruined their surprise by scheduling a session before they could surprise me. Ha. In the end, it didn’t matter whose idea it was because the photos were so wonderful. Holly captured a photo of the three of us that is my all-time favorite family photo. I had it printed as a large canvas to hang above our couch, and it brings me a lot of joy every single day. The second photo session happened only two days before Kerouac’s earthly journey came to an end. The night before our session, Kerouac and I were hanging out in our backyard during golden hour (the hour before the sun sets when the light is absolutely magical). As I watched her walk around the yard, I knew that I needed one more chance to have us captured in this light. I knew it was last-minute, but I reached out to Amy Soper of Amelia Soper Photography to find out if she had any availability over the next two evenings. Amy is primarily a wedding and people photographer, but she also enjoys including dogs in her sessions. I’ve been a fan of her work for years, and I reached out to her because I knew she could capture what I was looking for for this final photo session with Kerouac. We got lucky, and were able to meet the next evening at our favorite park in Shoreline. The moments captured during that sunny August night were exactly what I wanted to have to remember how Kerouac and I were together. I now have this beautiful book full of my favorite photos from our session, and even more motivation to inspire you to do the same for yourself. The three reasons to be in photos with your dog this year. No matter where you’re at on your journey with the dog in your life, here’s what I want you to know about why you need to be in photos with your dog this year: 1. You’re a part of their story. When you book a photo session with me for your dog, we’re going to tell their story together. We’re going to pick a place they love where they can do their favorite things in the most beautiful light, and we’re going to capture them in photos. And you’re going to show up in those photos because you, my friend, are a part of their story too. The most beautiful part. The ways you choose to show up in photos is up to you, but we’ll work through it together to capture your best moments. This is your story, and having someone witness and capture it for you is a beautiful gift to give yourself. 2. You’ll be so glad you did it. Whatever your hesitations are about booking a photo session for you and your dog, I want you to know that when you do it, you’ll be so glad that you did. The night I realized that I needed to book one last photo session for Kerouac and myself, I hesitated for a minute. A lot of doubts ran through my mind before I picked up my phone to book the session. I worried that I would be too much of a mess emotionally, and wouldn’t look good in photos. I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case we couldn’t book a session in time. I wasn’t even sure how much money it was going to cost. I was scared of all of it. But then I looked over at Kerouac, and remembered what mattered most – being with her. It didn’t matter if I looked like a hot mess on the day of our session because as long as I was with her, I would feel beautiful. The only way we were going to have photos taken was to reach out to a photographer to ask. No matter what it cost to make it happen, I would pay it because I will always be able to get more money. I would never have this chance to have our light captured again. So I booked the session to have photos taken with Kerouac, and I’m so glad that I did. 3. You deserve it. It’s so easy to find excuses to not be in photos. I get it. I’ve done it for years by being the person taking the photos instead of being in the photos. The thing that got me to stop avoiding being in photos, was capturing beautiful moments of my clients with the dogs they love. Seeing them in their element together inspired me in ways that I hadn’t expected. It made me want to have more moments like that with my girl. And it made me want to capture more moments with more amazing dogs and the people who love them. You deserve to have photos of yourself experiencing moments like this with the dog you love so that you can see how magical the two of you are together. Whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or coming to the end of your time with the dog you love, it’s time for you to book that session.

5 Reasons I Photograph Seattle Dogs in Flowers

Some of the most beautiful displays of florals pop up throughout the year here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been lucky enough to get to photograph quite a few Seattle dogs in flowers whether their sessions take place at home or their favorite local parks. Some of my favorite parks to photograph dogs in have incredible varieties of flowers growing across their trails and fields. If you’ve never thought about including flowers in your dog’s photo session, let me tell you the reasons why I recommend it. Here are the 5 reasons I like to photograph Seattle dogs in flowers:   1. Blooms can help to create a frame around dogs. It’s an exciting moment for me during a session when I can use flowers to create a frame around the dog I’m photographing. For Pickles’ session on Whidbey Island, my client had this field of tall grasses and wild daisies for us to play in. We let the dogs run through the field a few times before asking them to pose where the daisies lined the path they had created. The resulting photo of Pickles is my favorite from the session.   2. Opportunities to create depth with foliage and flowers. One of my favorite things about using foliage and flowers in dog photos is how you can create a sense of depth by shooting through them. When we came upon this wisteria tree during Duchess’ photo session at Point Defiance Park, I could hardly believe our luck. Duchess was wearing her brand new purple harness for her session, and it turned out to be the perfect accessory for this part of the evening. By using the wisteria as the backdrop and shooting through these tall purple flowers, we were able to create this beautiful portrait of Duchess.   3. Colors and textures add interesting elements to dog photos. The variety of colors and textures found in flowers is endless. I love figuring out how to use those colors and textures in ways that add to the overall feeling of a photo. For Piper’s session in the wild sweet peas at Discovery Park, I knew we would be able to create dramatic portraits. By placing Piper lower to the ground, I was able to capture her big, beautiful eyes peeking through the flowers. Throughout the session, the sun reflected off of the green vines and lit up the hot pink and purple blooms, making it a magical location to be in.   4. Strategic placement of florals can help create more of a story. Framing, depth, colors and textures all play a part in the story you’re creating in a photo. For Stanley’s session in Volunteer Park, I had a vision that involved this bed of irises. I didn’t know they existed until we arrived at the park. As soon as I saw them, I knew where I wanted to place them in the frame. That placement resulted in the blooms looking like fireworks or confetti far off in the distance. This addded to the feeling of joy I wanted to capture for Stanley’s photo.   5. Flowers help to create variety in the art designed from your dog’s photo session. Whenever I can incorporate flowers into the photos I’m taking of dogs in Seattle, I know that I’m going to have a lot more variety to show to my clients when it comes time to design their artwork. For Toby’s session at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens, we had a lot of beautiful flowers to work with. This incredible, pink rose was the highlight of the night. It was a wonderful backdrop for Toby, and complimented his joyful spirit beautifully. Photographing your Seattle dogs in flowers. Has this helped you to see what’s possible when including flowers in your dog’s photo session? If you’d like to learn more about how we can create some beautiful portraits of your dog like the ones in this post, let’s get you set up for a consultation. Check out the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at what a session could be like for you and your dog!     The world of pet photography is blossoming every year, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a community of passionate folks who are doing great things for pets and their people. This post is part of a group of pet photographers who write about topics related to dogs. To learn more about photographing dogs in flowers, check out Terri J Photography with photography of dogs in the flowers in Toronto and tips for capturing great images of dogs in flowers.

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