Why you need an adventure photo session with your dog

Today is your day. 
You’re off to Great Places! 
You’re off and away! 

I remember looking into Bella’s fierce yellow puppy eyes six years ago and telling her, “Oh, the places you’ll go!” 

The words had stuck in my brain for a lifetime, the source long forgotten. They, of course, come from the Dr. Seuss children’s book of that name, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 

Fast forward to 2020 and Bella has grown into the most perfect model on an adventure photo session to keep my skills sharp.

She has seen some pretty incredible places around Spokane and North Idaho, and she has lots of new locations on the schedule for 2021.

Adventure dog panorama at Eagle Peak in Spokane
A Pupscape panorama of Bella at Eagle Peak

Discovering the outdoors

This year has been a difficult one for many of us. The coronavirus pandemic has charged us with different stressors and has affected normalcy in ways from which we may never recover. 

Heck, we aren’t even doing our normal Friendsgiving this year. It will be the first time in forever we don’t spend the day with my husband’s closest friends. 

If we focus on the positives, though, we know that more people in Washington state have burst out of their offices and homes and made their way to the trails.  

Melissa Gray — a new friend, mental health therapist, fellow enthusiast of hiking with dogs and admin of the Facebook group Broads With Dogs — helped me out with my most recent Outdoors column for the Spokesman-Review

She told me she recommends hiking with dogs as therapy. 

“Being outdoors improves our mood, helps with depression and anxiety,” she said. “And having an animal is well-researched. They give us longer, happier, healthier lives. 

“We get grounded when we’re out in nature with our dogs. There is kind of this oneness with the world. It’s really amazing.” 

It’s the truth. My bond with Bella has grown deeper than I ever could have imagined, just by climbing a few hills and sharing some beef jerky on the shores of a glacial lake.  

Bella on an adventure photo session
My brilliantly beautiful girl smiles during her adventure photo session

Exploring with your dog

It’s opener there 
in the wide open air. 

If you’ve found your way here, you aren’t the type to leave your dog behind while you head for the great outdoors. Your dog is your constant companion, by your side for every step, every creek crossing and every scramble. 

She is your best friend. She knows what the backpack at the bottom of the stairs mean. She knows the difference between your hiking boots and your other shoes.  

And she waits patiently while you fill your water bottle and hers. She may even give you a side-eye if she thinks you aren’t packing enough beef jerky for the both of you. 

Because being out there and with you is the best thing in the whole wide world. 

You know it’s true.  

Maremma sheepdog at Feryn Ranch Conservation Area in Mead
In the tall grass at Feryn Ranch Conservation Area

Tell the story with an adventure photo session

That iPhone in your pocket? Yeah, it takes a pretty good picture.  

And those selfies are pretty cool. 

I know. I have a whole bunch of them, too. I usually get one when Bella and I hit a summit or a viewpoint.  

Wouldn’t it be cool, though, to take along a dog photographer and get the story of your adventure told so you can focus on you and your dog and the time you’re enjoying together. 

When we set up an adventure photo session, we talk about what your dog loves to do — Swim? Climb on rocks? Jump over logs? Pose perfectly on the edge of a bluff? 

We’ll talk about your hiking experience, too, and what you want to see and do.  

It’s the story of your time together, and we want to tell it perfectly. 

Golden retriever at Feryn Ranch Conservation Area in Spokane Valley
Golden retriever on the Peone Prairie in Spokane Valley
Desi the Golden Retriever joined us for a recent adventure

There’s little time to wait

Dr. Seuss wrote about The Waiting Place, a terrible place where people are waiting for a train, a bus, a plan.  

Waiting around for a Yes or No 
or waiting for their hair to grow. 

My boy Shep is one of the reasons I pursued dog photography, and his constant presence in my heart is leading me to niching even further down into offering an adventure photo session with your dog.  

He and I hiked the Rocky Mountains and its foothills together for many years before arthritis set in and he was too old to go to the woods. He’s been gone six years now and my happiest memories are set in photos of him at perched on a rock, looking out over the Bow Valley.  

Or wading in a glacial lake.  

No matter how long he was with me, it will never be long enough. What I wouldn’t give to have one more hike with him so I could take along a portrait photographer to get some great images of the two of us together on an adventure photo session.  

They leave us with such a tremendous legacy of joy and loyalty and friendship and love. Your dog deserves to last into another lifetime with incredible artwork that tells the story of how you spent your years together.  

And you deserve to have those memories encased in beautiful images to hold onto as treasured memories. 

Oh, the places you’ll go!  
There is fun to be done! 

Just one question remains: Where are we going?  

Drop me a note and tell me where you want to take your pup for an adventure photo session.  

Your mountain is waiting. 
So … get on your way! 

All around the circle

I was recently interviewed about adventure photo sessions and hiking with dogs. My friend Marika Moffatt of The Seattle Pet Collective asked me how I deal not hiking during the winter break.

I replied, “Um, what? Break? Stop? Nooooooooooooooo … break out the snowshoes!”

We’ve found some cool spots this summer and I want to revisit them all with a lovely coat of snow on them. Eek, it’s so exciting!

Hopefully, we’ll get a good dusting before National Take a Hike Day on Tuesday, November 17. Get out there and find something epic! Bella and I are probably heading for a cool lookout spot at Mt. Spokane State Park. Our Discover Pass has been sitting idle for a few too many weeks.

Our topic for this week’s pet photographers’ blog circle is adventure. Let’s go see where my photographer friends are taking us!

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

When you finish Tracy’s post, click the next link and continue on through the circle. When you get back here to our adventure, you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

3 thoughts on “Why you need an adventure photo session with your dog”

  1. Oh, those pictures of the golden…just wow! What a charming post, I love how you weaved Dr. Seuss throughout…if only we didn’t live hundreds of miles away…Rooney and I would be up for a hike with you and Bella – and of course an adventure photo session as well! You do a beautiful job capturing the breathtaking scenery in your images, but always letting the dog be the true star in the image.

  2. These are beautiful, Angela! So true… why wait?
    I LOVE Dr. Seuss! He’s full of wisdom! I agree with Elaine – i’d be scheduling my Adventure session with you if I lived closer! Lovely post!!!

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