Dreamy Silhouette Sunset Sessions at Mingo Creek Park

A while back I read a Milan Kundera quote that said, “To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace,” and it got me thinking: what could I offer that would convey the tranquility, connection, and colors of that very image, a simple paradise? A few days of brainstorming led me to what has grown to be one of my most popular Fine Art Pawtrait Session options, my signature Silhouette Sunset Sessions.

While I normally only offer these in the fall, I opened up my calendar for a few late May spots at Mingo Creek Park. Joining me for these sessions were Christy and her 2.5-year-old English Lab, Abby, and Erica who brought along her 10-year-old mix Lexi. (Both are repeat clients of mine; Erica won a spot in the 2020 Biggies Bullies pet calendar for her dog Maverick while I had photographed Christy’s older English Lab, George, a few years back.)

Abby came into Christy’s family shortly before George passed away in. Christy told me that, in typical puppy fashion, Abby was a joy and a handful and brought her older brother much joy “and probably a little frustration. She helped keep him active.”

Christy gave me full rein of her session, noting, “[I] trust you completely. Your portrait of our George far exceeded my expectation.” With Abby’s cooperation, I think we knocked this out of the park! English Lab against a pink sky during a Silhouette Sunset Session at Mingo Creek Park

A few of these images ended up the focus of some beautiful gallery-wrapped canvases; one will be displayed in Christy’s home next to George’s canvas (with plans to add a third of her other English Lab, Quincy, to the mix down the road as well). The other will be featured in her office at work.

11x14 pink and orange gallery-wrapped canvas from a Silhouette Sunset Session

Next up was Lexi and her mom Erica. Erica was actually a little apprehensive about booking a session for Lexi, who she said can be very shy and who will sometimes hide behind her. I explained to her that a Silhouette Sunset Session would actually be the perfect option for a dog like Lexi as I photograph these from a distance with a longer lens, which will give her plenty of space to feel safe. With Erica by her side, Lexi would feel more comfortable as I’d be asking them to do a few simple poses and natural interactions. Keeping that in mind, Erica took a chance and went for it, and I think we’re both glad she did. Her images turned out absolutely breathtaking! One of my favorite portraits was actually Erica’s request, a silhouette picture of her and Lexi–her first dog, her first rescue, her OG–from behind.

dog and owner connecting during a Silhouette Sunset Session at Mingo Creek Park

At her reveal and ordering appointment, Erica narrowed down several of her favorites for two 16×24 framed prints in a gorgeous mocha-colored genuine Italian wood frame. The subtle linen finish is perfection, and  I am absolutely <em>obsessed</em> with this piece!

mocha wood framed portrait of woman and dog at sunset

Erica also added two acrylic blocks, several small gift prints, and a set of three 3×3 mini accordion albums, a client favorite. I love the variety of the images she chose for inside them and how well they pop against the gray cover. One side of her accordion albums also features photos from Maverick’s calendar contest session, which she viewed and ordered from when we met as well.

set of three mini accordion albums with silver leatherette cover and sunset images

Now if you’re thinking we actually had a beautiful sunset to work with, think again. Would you believe the sky was actually a hazy gray that brightened to a cool blue over the course of the evening? I had you fooled, didn’t I? And all thanks to the magic of Lightroom!

Part of the fun in creating the final images from these sessions is that no one quite knows what to expect from the final images, not even me! Of course, I know that I’m going to be able to produce that stunning silhouette sunset look during post-processing, but what neither me or my clients know is what their sky is going to look like in terms of the colors. I love that they go with the flow, give me plenty of artistic freedom, and trust my work enough to know that whatever unfolds is going to look amazing!

Silhouette Sunset Sessions are a Fine Art Pawtrait Session offering that will return in late October. If you would like to book a Fine Art Pawtrait Session for your pet, click here or give me a call at 724-913-BARK (2275). For more information on Bark & Gold Photography’s Fine Art Pawtrait Sessions, visit “Your Session” in the menu and be sure to share your email on my homepage to join the VIP list and be the first to know of upcoming dates.


This post is a part of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks project blog circle. To see what the next pawesome photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Backlight,” check out Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and destinations nationwide. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

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7 thoughts on “Dreamy Silhouette Sunset Sessions at Mingo Creek Park

  1. You had me fooled! I thought you had the best skies in PA! Great job with the edits and I love all the product pics, it’s really helpful for people to see what they can do with their images.

    1. No way, Tracy! I wish we had skies this amazing naturally…it happens on occasion, but Pittsburgh is practically the city of overcast skies.

      I love to showcase how clients choose to feature their images. You’re so right–it’s very helpful in showing the variety of ways you can do so, from wall art to albums and even small display art.

    1. Thank you, Terri! I love shooting silhouettes and my clients are blown away when they see the finished pieces from what we started with!

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