Spokane autumn: Why you should include your dog in fall family portraits

October 4, 2019
Woman and dog enjoy a Spokane autumn day

A Spokane autumn is the perfect season to schedule family portraits with a professional photographer.

As many of you know, I’m a little different than most photographers around Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. I specialize in putting your pet front and center in your family portraits.

A beautiful image of just your dog?

I got you.

A sweet, loving moment between you and your pup?

Oh, I’m all over that like a 14-year-old girl reading the newest issue of Tiger Beat.

Wait … is Tiger Beat still a thing? Am I totally dating myself? Auuuuuggggh …

Kids these days

I don’t mind you calling your cat or dog your “furbaby” or “furkid.” Matter of fact, if you’ve spent much time around these parts, you know how much I love and adore my girl Bella.

She isn’t just our dog.

Not just a four-legged mass of hair to feed, pet and clean up after.

No.

She is part of our family.

She sleeps on the bed, she licks our dinner plates clean, and she keeps us on schedule with one of her 12 different demanding barks.

In the world of the internet, though, some might call me a horrible person because I call my dog my “baby” or my “child.” All you have to do is Google search “calling your dog a baby” and you’re hit with headlines like “Insult to real mothers” and what-not.

Thank goodness the internet allows us all to broadcast our opinions, right?

I’m here to tell you to never mind the naysayers.

Celebrate your love for your dog. Or cat. Or horse. Or guinea pig.

Unabashedly.

Share the spotlight

If you’ve found your way to this blog post, I’m probably preaching to the choir.

You already love your dog in ways non-dog people will never understand.

They don’t get the pull of your heart to your home.

They judge you because you’d rather walk your dog than go out for a martini.

They shake their heads when you show up with your black leggings covered in hair and you didn’t even notice.

Dog hair? Don’t care.

Our dogs love us unconditionally.

They mope at the front window when we’re not there.

They’re as happy as they’ve ever been when they greet us at the door upon our return.

They know how to listen when we need to vent.

And all they ask in return is food, shelter and the occasional scritches.

They are part of the family, and they belong in our family photos.

My world through the lens of a camera

My dogs have meant more to me than a lot of the people who have come into my life.

I’ve written extensively about my journey with Shep and now with Bella.

And how August 20, 2014 was the worst day of my life. That’s the day I took my beloved boy to a vet for the last time. I held him close as he took his last breath and I promised him he would be in my heart for ever and for always.

My memories of our 10 years together are recorded in hundreds, if not thousands, of images. And in five short years with Bella, I probably have twice the number of her.

You see, I’m one of the lucky ones. I have those pictures.

Many people are relegated to cell phone pics or fuzzy images taken with DSLRs they aren’t always sure how to use. It’s my mission, inspired by Shep, to make sure pet owners have beautiful pictures of their four-legged besties to remember for ever and always. And I will move mountains to make time for emergency sessions and terminally ill pets on their way to the Rainbow Bridge.

Many of my clients come to me when their floofs’ time has started to run short. I’m honored they’ve chosen me to remember their sweet furbabies.

So many other family moments are perfect for family portrait sessions with your dog.

Like:

  • Maternity sessions
  • Senior portraits
  • Children’s birthdays
  • Engagements
  • Family vacation (bring me on your next trip to Banff … I can even play tour guide!)

And don’t forget the huge occasions for your pets that deserve the honor.

  • Gotcha day and anniversaries
  • Birthdays (can you imagine a puppy cake smash … fun!)

Every day, your pets give you joy, comfort and love. Yeah, it often comes with frustrations, schedules and poop.

They are a part of your story. Don’t leave them out of the family portraits.

Orange you convinced?

Oh, geez, I’m sorry. I hate myself for that pun.

In any case, my mission for this week’s blog circle post was to focus on something orange. To make it absolutely perfect, I have to go back to a session I did with Jacquelin last year in late October.

The leaves for a Spokane autumn were a perfect yellow and orange hue, hanging onto their branches for those last great gasps and blanketing the ground around us.

Jacquelin is a great friend whom I met on my (sporadic) fitness journey and she had recently welcomed Lincoln into her family’s life. Lincoln was born “Clove,” named by Caitlin Knight of Spokane’s Path of Hope Rescue. Jacquelin and her kids spied Clove at a farmer’s market event and knew he was the dog for them.

Check out our very orange and yellow gallery.

And now I’ll let you in on the cool part. I’m currently running a fall session special!

For $159, you get a one-hour session with me at one of my four favorite locations, along with a keepsake box full of 4×6 prints from your session and a 4×6 digital file that you can use for your family’s Christmas card.

What locations?

  • Manito Park in Spokane’s South Hill
  • Mirabeau Park in Spokane Valley
  • Falls Park in Post Falls, Idaho
  • McEuen Park/Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene

Sure, there’s a lot of photographers out there who say “bring your dog to your family portrait session.” Why not choose one who specializes in posing you with your pet and truly appreciates the love you share with Bear?

Hunting fresh orange on a Spokane autumn day

I did take Bella out hunting for orange. It’s a little bit early, so most everything in Spokane Valley is still pretty green.

And Bella was having a “nope” day with me.

Can you see the defiance in her eyes? Or is it just me?

maremma sheepdog with gold leaf on head
My goofy girl

Now the fun part is, with a little flick of the mouse, to turn some of the green to orange in Photoshop. Here she is, posing so sweetly on one of my favorite little bridges.

From green:

dog on plantes ferry bridge in spokane valley
The leaves are still very green in Spokane Valley

To orange:

Maremma sheepdog at Plantes Ferry

I turned it into a Spokane autumn

All around the circle

Orange you glad you got this far?

Ugh. I did it again. Don’t you think we should be peared up, though?

I’ll stop.

Not before sending you off on a journey of orange, though. Head off to amazing destinations in the United States, Canada and Australia, starting with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography, fetching pet portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Click the link each blogger provides at the end of her post and, when you find yourself back here, you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

    3 Comments

  • Darlene
    October 7, 2019
    Reply

    You had me at “Tiger Beat” – lol!!! I remember that! Great blog post! The images of Jacqueline and Lincoln are amazing!

  • Tracy Allard
    October 6, 2019
    Reply

    Such beautiful colors and a very entertaining blog post as always!

  • Terri Jankelow
    October 4, 2019
    Reply

    You always make me laugh! Love how you write these blogs

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