Manito Park: Getting ready for bloomin’ portrait sessions

maremma sheepdog laying in grass and wildflowers

Manito Park is a popular place for Spokane portrait photographers.

It’s no secret why.

The 90-acre public park in the South Hill is littered with opportunities for awesome locations.

It has five gardens: the exquisite and peaceful Japanese gardens where photography is not allowed; Duncan Garden, three acres of floral beauty designed in the Renaissance style; and other plots awash with lilac trees, roses, dahlias and perennials.graphic for approved by bella on manito park location

Large trees provide a respite of shade from the hot summer sun, and the well-manicured lawns are a great spot for picnic sessions, kids at play, or frisbee with your pup.

The lilac trees are in full bloom, giving off a lovely fragrance for a leisurely stroll through the garden.

Manito Park is, of course, a #bellaapproved location for portrait sessions in Spokane. Approved by Bella is a series dedicated to locations, gear and techniques that are tested on Bella before I use them on my dog portraits.

Yep, she’s my lab rat … er, professional dog model.

A favorite color for springtime

So, when the color yellow was announced as our topic for this week’s blog circle, I knew exactly where to go.

Manito Park.

It’s one of the places friends said “there” when I first visited Spokane in 2010 and said, “where should I go.”

I made frequent trips with Shep to Manito Park and now it’s Bella’s turn. We head there every chance we get when we’re not out scouting for other locations or revisiting our favorite haunts around Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and well beyond.

While the spring is a great time with all the flowers abloom, I love it more in the fall when the leaves are starting to change. When October strikes, Spokane parks are awash in a different shade of yellow, along with rich oranges and bright reds.

Yellow on the menu

This week, we needed yellow.


It’s perfect for spring.

It’s connected to sunshine, happiness, positivity and joy.

Everything we need to shake off the winter doldrums and unleash ourselves into spring and summer.

Everything we need to brighten a day.

Well, along with a blast of sunshine and the gorgeous bright yellow eyes of a Maremma sheepdog.

maremma sheepdog laying in grass and wildflowers

She sits so pretty at Manito Park

My professional dog model Bella was surprisingly cooperative.

Of course, I had a pocket full of Vita Essentials beef tripe and wild Alaskan salmon bits.

She’ll do darn near anything for those.

We strolled through the lilac gardens, pulling out a snack of pepperoni and crackers for a quick lunch, and then meandered through the wildflower area and up to Duncan gardens. The rose gardens are still waiting to bloom but there was more than enough opportunity to find our yellow.

maremma sheepdog at manito park in spokane

But wait …

Just a couple weeks ago, gorgeous yellow carpeted Spokane, thanks to an awesome wildflower, the arrowhead balsamroot.

We found some first at Steptoe Butte, but spied an amazing spot along the Centennial Trail in Post Falls.

Overlooking the Spokane River near the damn, we found this blast of yellow.

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Here are a few more images from our day at Manito Park:

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Around the circle

We’ve had a lot of yellow in our lives, including Maddie’s rescue dog session. It was pretty easy to stick to the topic for this week’s worldwide blog circle.

Now let’s see what the other dog photographers did. Let’s start with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography, fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Read her post, then click the link at the bottom to get to the next one.

Travel through the circle and when you land back here, you’re home.

Right where you belong.

If you’re ready to book a dog photo session with me, click this handy little button and let’s get started.

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6 thoughts on “Manito Park: Getting ready for bloomin’ portrait sessions”

  1. Manitoba Park sounds amazing and such an asset to your business to have a place with so many options for shooting. Bella has totally rocked the Yellow theme ?

  2. Oh my goodness….that last photo with the sunflower bandana!!! Love it!!! Really enjoyed all of the photos, and this park seems to be a special spot for sure!

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