No lake or river is too cold.
OK, scratch that.
I remember dipping my toes into the lake at Edith Cavell glacier at Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, and yelping, “Holy forkballs, that’s cold!”
I didn’t say “forkballs.”
However, give me a dog that loves to jump in the water to play or fetch or splash and I’m following her in.
Because I’m not going to get amazing portraits of dogs playing in water by standing on the shore.
Going in deep
Last summer, I arrived at a session for my clients who live on the Priest River in Sandpoint. I was there to create special memories of their golden retriever Bear, who was nearing his final days.
While I was moving around the property with Bear, catching him in his most favorite spots among the gardens, a bright red setter puppy named Lizzy was bouncing around.
“Would you like some shots of Lizzy, too?” I asked.
Well, of course, they would!
Lizzy’s favorite thing to do is jump in the water and catch her ball.
After doing some cool water images for the Paws of the Panhandle that summer, I knew that I wanted to go in after her.
Lizzy’s head barely above water, her mouth holding onto her toy and her legs gracefully moving through the waves … it’s the ultimate moment of dogs doing doing things, dogs playing in the water, dogs in sheer moments of joy, dogs having their Best. Day. Ever.
And I am here for it. Even if I went in a little too deep and one particularly aggressive wave came up, ultimately making me replace my 70-200mm lens.
Because it’s my ultimate moment to create amazing portraits of dogs.
My favorite locations for amazing portraits of dogs in water
“Does your dog like playing in the water?”
That’s one of the questions I’ll ask when you call about an Adventure session with me. If the answer is “yes,” I have a few go-to locations where I’m confident we’ll create something epic.
1. The Spokane River
I have a few spots along the river in Spokane Valley and Post Falls where we can meet: the trailhead at Stateline, the Mirabeau trailhead, Black Bay Park and Corbin Park.
I got this one of Stella, a rambunctious Labrador retriever puppy, at a little beach I know just off The Islands Trailhead near Plantes Ferry.
It was February but I still rolled up my pants, kicked off my shoes and jumped in with Stella.
Isn’t she fierce?
2. Hauser Lake
Ah, I love Hauser Lake. I had several Paws of the Panhandle sessions at Hauser last summer. There’s a lovely greenspace, a grove of trees, a dock where folks like to fish and, of course, the lake.
With the gorgeous Selkirk mountains serving as a backdrop, I’ve created some amazing portraits of dogs there.
None so epic as these of Little One.
3. Farragut State Park
This. Is. Paradise.
Farragut State Park is a little piece of heaven dropped into Athol, Idaho. From the rocky beach near the boat launch to stops along Shoreline Trail and the docks at Buttonhook Bay, there isn’t a single place that isn’t perfect for incredible portraits of dogs and their owners.
I (silently) unleash a squeal of glee whenever a human client says she loves Farragut, too.
Daisy, a senior Lab, was a joy to work with at Buttonhook, even though she looks like she’s taking it all super seriously.
All around the circle
Little stirs my soul as much as scrolling through all the images from your photo shoot and seeing that one, the one I know will look epic hanging on the wall of your living room.
It’s my mission to ensure people like you have incredible portraits of dogs they love like family, their furbabies. One of the ways I do that is to jump in the water with them while they’re having the time of their lives at their photoshoot.
Ready to book your session and get a stunning water shot?
My friends in the pet photographers blog circle are sharing stories about how they use water while they’re creating portraits of dogs and other pets.
That’s with Cahlean Klenke, covering St. Cloud, Twin Cities and Central Minnesota. When you get to the bottom of her post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going to more portraits of dogs, until you find yourself back here to my water shots.
That’s when you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.