I love being a pet photographer for oh so many reasons and the delivery day is always a highlight for me. I love seeing how excited my clients get… it’s like Christmas morning! 🥰

So many great moments happen behind the scenes and I wanted to stop and share some of the portraits we delivered this week from Raley and Blake’s photo session which was in August at their home on Lake Lewisville, north of Fort Worth, TX.

The family is moving and it was really special for them to have this session at their home and use significant areas in the portraits.

At the ordering appointment, I designed the wall art using their favorite images in a way that tied it all together and tells their story. It was such a fun concept to work on and I couldn’t be more excited with the results.

It makes me so happy to know they’ll have these portraits hanging in their new home to enjoy every day and will take a piece of this home and life with them on their next adventure.

Planning the Photo Session

Blake and Raley have a dream life hanging out at their home on the lake so a big part of my focus for these images was making sure we captured who they are in this environment and things they like to do.

Prior to the photo session, I met with my client for a portrait planning appointment where I learned all about the dogs and what would make this a dream photo session for my clients.

I’m often asked what the secret is to my success as a pet photographer and the way I work with so many variables and yet always have great results… I believe the portrait planning appointment is a huge part of it.

It’s important to me to tell stories through the images I create. To me, each session has to be customized to my clients and their pets. I never just repeat ideas, locations, or photos from one session to the next. Each client and pet gets their own unique images and ideas and a lot of this vision comes to me during the portrait planning session.

Behind the Scenes with the Pups

We planned the photo session for sunset as that is one of the best times of day for the best and most flattering lighting on people and pets. Also with the direction of the lake and sun setting, we decided sunset would be the best.

So many times my clients are worried about their dogs being off-leash and I have a solution for that! But this actually was the rare exception where we weren’t worried as much about that as both Blake and Raley are used to being off-leash at home and knew the boundaries of where they were allowed to play and explore.

But even so, during the session, we actually needed to put leashes on the pups for a little while. This ensured that they stayed in the areas we were photographing and didn’t go off on their own adventure. As always I was so glad to have an assistant with me to help wrangle the dogs and help me set the family up for great portraits. (Thanks Maureen!)

Even though the dogs were on leashes, that isn’t something you’ll see (or know) by the final images. As part of our service, we include master art retouching, which results in images that look natural and wall-worthy.

I always tell my clients that I’m a BIG fan of bribery and we almost always use this tactic! So in addition to the treats and surprises we bring, my clients had cheese and steak ready for Raley and Blake. This was an awesome motivator for the dogs and helped keep them engaged and rewarded.

Like I mentioned above, there are always underlying stories to every session and image and I think my favorite story to share is the moment Raley ran away. Well, don’t worry it wasn’t as traumatizing as it sounds, it was more-less a funny moment that we all had a good laugh about.

While attempting a family photo, Raley jumped down off her mom’s lap and ran toward the neighbor’s house. We all laughed even more because it was kind of like she was saying, I’m outta here! Fortunately, she didn’t get far but to make it even funnier, every time her mom would get close trying to pick her up she would suddenly go faster and get just out of reach. It seemed to be like a game to her and she took quite some time to be wrangled!

However, not to waste a moment of the session I kept Blake and his dad in front of my camera the whole time and shined the spotlight on them. Well, Blake really was too cute about it. He did all sorts of photogenic things, including giving his dad a big kiss, which made it onto the collage! It seemed like Blake decided he would outdo Raley.

The Selected Images for Wall Art

It’s really important to me to capture a variety of backgrounds and images in each session but still keeping in mind the ways the portraits can hang together and be cohesive.

Here’s what I created for my client’s home decor as wall art:

-A wall art collage showcasing three solo portraits of each pet and one family photo in the middle.

-A single metal portrait of a family portrait in front of the outdoor fireplace, a significant place for the family.

dallas pet photographer- artwork of pet photos- jenna regan photography (3)

For the above collage, Blake, the border collie, was featured across the top. He has three portraits.

The first one is his glamour look, complete with his rich amber eyes looking straight into the camera.

The middle one is a precious photo of him kissing his dad, something his mom especially loved because he doesn’t do that much anymore, and this was the result of the moment Raley ran away and I kept photographing.

The third image is Blake enjoying the lake and the waves. He was so excited when we gave him the okay to go into the water at the end of the session. He even ran up on some ducks on the water and sent them flying, which was a moment he seemed especially proud of.  These three images really show off Blake’s personality!

In the bottom row, Raley the rat terrier mix is featured. We have a pretty glamour picture of Raley in the lantana flowers.

Then in the middle is Raley following behind her mom. This was an important portrait because Raley is known for being her mom’s shadow and a big part of her life has been spent following her mom on adventures.

The third image really captures the details in Raley’s eyes and face. I especially like that she is so sharp it looks like you could reach out and pet her.

We choose to feature one dog in each row, a solo shot of each dog with “their person” and the family portrait in the middle to balance things outs. The layout was purposely designed to be cohesive and balanced. I’d say it turned out perfectly!

The Pet Portrait Delivery and Installation

I’m always happy to help clients with artwork installation. It’s so rewarding to get to see the vision come to completion with portraits on the walls.

In this case, this location isn’t actually the final place the artwork will hang. The family will soon be moving and these portraits will hang in their new home. However, for the time being, this is a great spot for the wall art and I was happy to help get these dog portraits hung on the wall.

I’m honored these images will bring smiles to my clients for years to come as they move onto their next adventure with Blake and Raley.