Pet Photography Project 52, Week 3: Fill The Frame

Charles M. Shulz famously said, “Happiness is a warm puppy,” but in our house, happiness is a snow dog!

Siberian retriever leaping happily through snow

Towards the end of last week, as is typical Pittsburgh’s inconsistent winter weather, the region’s temperatures plummeted from the balmy mid-60°’s on Friday to a high of 18° in less than 12 hours. Several inches of wet, heavy snow blanketed our yard and topped the already-ice-covered roads. Travel was nearly impossible for much of Saturday.

When you have a snow-lovin’ dog, you know that days like these aren’t spent indoors. While I was content to go into full hibernation mode and curl up under my warmest blanket, Hunter reminded me that these are the days made for snow zoomies! Prepped in my many layers and with camera in-hand, I ventured (albeit reluctantly) outside as Hunter dove snout-first into about five inches of snow. His enthusiasm for the snow and cold is infectious, and I found myself forgetting all about frostbitten fingers and frozen feet as I snapped away, watching him zoom, leap, and bounce through the yard.

Siberian retriever running through snow

When we went inside to warm up and I began to cull my images from Hunter’s snow stint, it hit me that many of my shots would be perfect for week three’s theme of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project: fill the frame!

As Wayne Turner explains in his article,  “Fill the Frame in Your Photography Composition,” this technique is perhaps the most effective way to add instant impact to an image. He elaborates  that filling the frame accentuates details and emphasizes the emotion and mood of your subject. Notice in the image below how clearly you can see the glistening snow reflecting the bright afternoon sun as it flies off Hunter’s paws as well as the smiling, full throttle expression on his face, both enhancing this playful and happy moment.

Siberian retriever smiling while running through snow

And check out that snow nose! You can really make out the delicate flakes clinging to his whiskers and nose.

Siberian retriever with a snow-covered nose

For many of us, happiness may actually be a warm puppy, but as Schulz intended when he penned that saying for his first book by the same name, happiness is simple. Happiness can be found wherever you choose to find it. So, what is your “warm puppy” this time of year? I’d love for you to share in the comments!


The Pet Photography Project 52 posts are part of a blog circle. To see what the next pawesome pet photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Fill The Frame,” visit Little White Dog Pet Photography – Sioux Falls, SD. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

25 thoughts on “Pet Photography Project 52, Week 3: Fill The Frame

    1. Me too! It just brings him such joy! I feel bad having to bring him inside when he’s having such fun, but the cold seems to get to his paws quickly when our temperatures are so low.

  1. I love the progression in these photos to the last photo, and Hunter’s JOY of snow. You can see it in his expressions! Love the detail in the last photo!

  2. My “warm puppy” is snow sessoins! My dogs can’t handle the cold so I have to rely on clients to fill that spot for me. 😉
    Wonderful images and I love how you pulled Schultz into your blog post.

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I wish more people would book snow sessions, but I understand every dog is different with the cold weather.

  3. It’s so cute to see dogs running int he snow. Living in Oregon we don’t get much snow, at least in the city parts. My little dogs are grateful it doesn’t snow much. When it does they are at a loss on what to do.

    1. I totally would not have went out in it for fun myself, that’s for sure! With Hunter though, he gives me no choice and, in return, gives me lots of laughs as he bounces and races through it.

  4. Nothing like a snow dog! We learn to enjoy this weather, that’s for sure! Love the action images – i bet YOU had just as much fun taking these! The last one with the snow covered face is my favorite! Great post, Jessica!

    1. I love that snow nose of his! It’s like a badge of honor that he got to stick his head deep down in the snow!

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