How the amazing Spokane landscape inspires my dog photos

spokane dogs yellow lab

Every dog needs a place in this world.

A Spokane landscape is always at the front of my mind when I’m planning a dog photography session.

Give him his place.

The image I make should be bold and dramatic with vibrant colors and your dog should look confident, powerful.

Like he’s stamping his paws down on a rock saying, “This is my world.”

Inspired by Spokane landscape

As frequent readers to this space know well, I rejoined the world of photography in the late 2000s following a brief break that was a result of work fatigue. My first Maremma sheepdog, Shep, and I started hiking in the Rocky Mountains and I couldn’t not want to take pictures!

The landscape of Alberta — whether the incomparable Rockies or the Badlands and their fascinating ghost towns — have been incredibly inspiring to me.

big white dog at lake agnes near banff

Bella at Lake Agnes, Alberta

I yearn for beautiful vistas, rugged rocky bluffs, sparkling lakes and bold, vibrant colors. I follow Paul Zizka of Banff, Alberta, stormchase, friend and former co-worker Chris Ratzlaff of Calgary, and Victoria Haack of Salmon Arm, B.C. to watch what they’re doing with light and angles and subjects.

I’ve spent several years exploring Eastern Washington and when I landed in dog photography, I knew I wanted to showcase our fantastic Spokane landscape and, of course, amazing North Idaho scenery, too.

Whenever I pack my camera bag for a session or an adventure with Bella, I draw on my experience with landscape photography and my love of dogs to bring you the best of both worlds.

I love it best in wide angle and with off-camera flash to give it that extra bit of drama.

You + your dog + a beautiful Spokane landscape = wall art

It’s your place in the world.

It’s your dog’s place in the world.

And it’s how you fit together.

Community over competition

Dog photography is one of the fastest growing niches in the photography world! And the Spokane market is no different.

I first realized I might make this my “thing” several years ago when I was plotting my move to Spokane from the B.C. Interior. I thought if I could just get him to marry me and get settled, I could do it.

I did it.

I launched Noses & Toes Pet Photography (finally!) in 2017, first waiting patiently through a bit of time trying to resuscitate a marketing career I never really liked.

Soul-sucking blankety-blank such and such.

I found support groups on Facebook and one in particular has exploded in just four years from 3,000 members to 12,000. We chat about dog photography, its techniques, editing and the business.

And that’s where I first encountered my friend, Rachel, too.

cocker spaniel at Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Hazelee in twilight at beautiful Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene

The Touched by a Dog photographer

Rachel Moore is the Top Dog over at Touched By a Dog Photography. We’d chatted online many times and she finally walked up to my booth at the 2018 Pet Expo.

We’ve become good friends and we support each other as this crazy business takes off.

We are both on-location, nature-based photographers who highlight the Spokane landscape but we are so vastly different.

From our style to our personalities.

You see, Rachel is one of the soft, sweet gals whom you cannot help adore.

And you know by now I’m a wee bit rough around the edges.

It comes through in our work.

Rachel takes a moody approach to her work, giving you images that are artful, majestic and dreamy … even painterly. She uses soft, muted colors that transport you to a different realm.

She is inspired by the poetry and prose of Lucy Maud Montgomery of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Montgomery, whom I read voraciously as a child growing up right next door in Nova Scotia, wrote with a vivid imagination spinning tales of Anne of Green Gables that I lived out in my own head.

Montgomery turned P.E.I. into a magical land, where fantasy and adventure ruled.

That’s Rachel’s work: an adventure into fantasy, a romantic dreamscape that launches you into another plane of existence.

We recently paired up for a night of “I shoot your dog, you shoot mine.”

She brought her beautiful Brigs out to Saltese Uplands Conservation Area for an early evening walk and we each found a perfect spot to pull incredible images of each other’s dog.

This is her take on my Bella, with her 105mm lens at dusk:

How the amazing Spokane landscape inspires my dog photos

How the amazing Spokane landscape inspires my dog photos

And here’s my take on her Brigs with my 20mm lens and off-camera flash:

border collie at spokane landscape

Both Rachel and I have niched down to dog photography because the subject matter inspires us in our day-to-day lives. Dogs are a big part of who we are.

We’ve both further niched down by finding a style that’s unique and close to our hearts.

She’s writing more about her style today, too.

All around the circle

Style is one of those things that sets every Spokane dog photographer apart from each other.

Making your choice of dog photographer depends largely on the way you want to showcase your dog in art for your home.

Style is the topic for this week’s worldwide pet photographer and I can’t wait to see how the other photographers interpret their style.

Start with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography, fetching pet and family portraits in Coppell, Carrollton and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Click the link at the bottom of Tracy’s post to get to the next post and so on.

When you get back here to dog portraits with bold colors and rugged landscapes, you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

17 thoughts on “How the amazing Spokane landscape inspires my dog photos”

  1. Pingback: How to get attention for those wide-angle dog photos | Noses & Toes Pet Photography

  2. The photos are stunning. That one of Brigs at the sunset is gorgeous! I so agree that surroundings really inspire our pet photography. Sometimes I will see something and know I have to photograph my Huskies in that spot! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work, and those beautiful dog models with us!

  3. I love that you have created such a great connection within your industry. I’m not shocked at all to hear about how quickly dog photography is growing – people LOVE their pets and this is just another way that they can show that love. I know that I have a few pictures of our pups up in the house that were taken by photographers over the years and I love having them!

  4. I really enjoyed seeing both yours and Rachel’s photos! I wish I could have lots of different pet photographers photograph my dogs; it is so fun to see the different styles.

  5. We all continue to grow as photographers and even experts can be inspired to learn new things. I am glad dog photography is taking off, we all need our pets in pictures. Finding your style and ‘voice’ matters a lot, and I know I am still working towards mine!

    I just wish people wouldn’t call themselves pet photographs and then only take dog photos * sigh * It’s why I left one pet photo group. Be a dog photographer and be proud of it, is what I say.

  6. Wow – such an amazing idea! It’s great that you have a different style – and I love your photos – but to see another person’s idea on the same dog and maybe the same location is really nice!

  7. Our pets inspire us all in so many different ways. These photos are beautiful and really showcase their personalities and natural landscape beauty.

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