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When is the right time for a photo shoot with your dog?

    Any time. 

    That’s the easy answer to the question when is the right time for a photo shoot with your dog. 

    I get it, though. Life can be a lot, and there are still people out there who don’t think dog photography is a thing.  

    My clients over the last eight years tell me otherwise, though. It is a thing and it is an important way for them to document their dog’s life, their adventures together and the incredible, profound love they share. 

    I know there are reasons why we don’t book photo shoots with our dogs. 

    • Cost can be a factor. Finding the right dog photographer for you has to balance with your bank account, and that right dog photographer may provide a premium service with a custom-designed session, preparation and high-quality art products. 
    • Our dog’s behavior may leave us feeling unsure or worried. You can’t imagine your dog will sit still long enough, or they distract easily, or they’re a “demon-possessed terror.” 
    • We can’t be sure the results will match the way we see our dogs. Like, this stranger just rolled up with her camera and how the hell can she possibly figure out how to make my dog look like my dog?  
    beautiful woman snuggles with her pitbull mix
    Otis and Kandi

    Fear. No. Longer. 

    Not only do most professional pet photographers have payment plans to help you purchase the artwork you want, but we have also studied dog behavior and understand how to get those whizz-bang shots for every dog, even the ones whose brains exist in chaos. 

    And we spend a good bit of time getting to know both you and your dog during the consultation stage so that we can figure out how to make your dog look like your dog. 

    The milestones in your dog’s life 

    We hear this all too often from parents of skin children: They grow up too fast.  

    Well, parents of little human terrors, our puppy stages are even shorter. We move very quickly into the terrible twos, the defiant teenage years and then before we know it, the sugar face appears and we’re wandering through the murky swamp of anticipatory grief, knowing our baby has fewer years ahead than behind.  

    It makes documenting your dog’s life at every stage that much more important, because they bring so much positive energy into our lives and leave us with incredible memories and personal growth. 

    1. Puppyhood 

    It’s like living with a tiny, adorable tornado of fluff. I’ve been there. Bella was a high holy terror at 8 months. Defiant, bitchy, emotional. You might be too if you were just ripped from your dad’s pen, your goats, your ducks and forced to live inside a house. The best time to make sure we get the best photos of you with your new puppy in their squishy-faced, wiggly-bottomed (demonic) cuteness, aim for when 8 to 12 weeks old. They’re still small enough to fit in your arms, and their curiosity is off the charts. 

    labrador puppy runs through a field while carrying a deer antler
    Cael, future shed hunter

    2. Gotcha Day 

    Yep, I get it. Many of my clients are rescue aficionados. And thank you for that. Our shelters are bursting at the seams right now and the more adopters we find, the better. We probably don’t want to do a portrait session of you and your new love right away, because you both need some time to get used to each other. Once your babe is comfortable, though, it’s a great time to celebrate this new chapter in your life. 

    3. The Terrible Teens 

    They may have moved past their bouncy puppy days and the magical puppy breath has given way to dog breath (urg) but they are still full of energy. By now, you’ve discovered adventures together and their personality is really starting to emerge. You’ve noticed a few quirks – maybe he like to sit at the summit and enjoy the view with you or maybe she can’t help but try to steal your cheese snacks. You’re falling so in love and realizing you can’t imagine life without them. 

    bueatiful woman snuggles with her boxer at Hauser Lake in Idaho
    Elissa and Ollie

    4. Adulthood 

    You’re settled in with each other. You’re best friends and you can anticipate every next move. You’ve built a trust and an incredible, incomparable connection. It’s high time to strike a pose with your best fur friend and posing for my lens at this most precious time in your journey together. 

    5. The senior years 

    The sugar face has set in – unless you have a white dog and don’t get to see that look (and I see you!).  You see a wisdom and grace set in to your old friend. They move a little slower, nap a little longer but your love continues to grow deeper every day. The big adventures may be in your rearview mirror but there are plenty of parks around Spokane and Coeur d’Alene to have a fun, light-hearted session with your dog. 

    an older miniature American eskimo stands proudly at Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley
    Senior pup Miki

    6. The goodbye 

    These are my most difficult, but most important sessions. I align with the Continuing Bonds Theory proposed by Dennis Klass, Phyllis Silverman and Steven Nickman in 1996. It suggests that we maintain a relationship with our deceased loves ones through our memories, rituals and continuing connections. The images and artwork I create for you can help sustain that connection, serving as tangible reminders of your love and as a testament to a life well lived with your dog. 

    Mr. Bojangles, a mixed breed senior dog, leans into the camera while his mama holds him tightly in her lap
    Mr. Bojangles

    As a twice-certified grief educator and a certified pet loss grief companion, I can offer you support and comfort along the way, too.

    Recording every memory along the way 

    Each stage of our dogs’ lives holds a special significance and beauty, and I don’t want you to miss recording a minute of it. It’s in each of these moments – from the big milestones to the little, quiet special times – that we find our special connections. 

    So when is the right time for a photo shoot with me?  

    Any time.  

    And I’m not being cheeky. Every moment, every season, every year is an opportunity for a photo shoot with your dog — to freeze time and create long-lasting memories of this most amazing relationship.  

    yellow lab on a rock at Saltese Uplands with the sun setting behind

    I encourage you to take as many photos as you can with your phone. Stupid selfies, videos of her snoring or sleep-twitching, smiling faces for special treats … they will all become so very important to you after you’ve said goodbye.  

    Hiring a pro like me, though, offers a unique chance to see your relationship with your dog through a different lens – literally. We get so accustomed to seeing our dogs through our own eyes that a professional dog photographer can bring a fresh perspective and artistic vision to your understanding of your bond. 

    With a trained eye, I see the moments and emotions you might not get to notice in your day-to-day life with your dog. I can guide you through poses and prompts that you would never think of as you snap away with your phone, resulting in a new, special way for you to showcase the love, trust and companionship that defines your connection with your dog. 

    Is it time to step back and witness the beauty and depth of your connection from a different perspective? 


    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

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