From Where I Stand: What I See is Nothing Like What You See

I’ve got a secret talent, and it’s not just that I can recite the alphabet backward. (I really can–just ask me!)

I’m actually really good at reading minds.

I mean, as you look at the seemingly perfectly posed pups on my website, I can already guess what you’re thinking: That would never in a million years be my dog! (See, I told you I was good…)

The number of people who hesitate to book a session because they fear their dog is basically going to act a fool in front of the camera blows my mind yet is incredibly common. Stop for a minute and consider all the amazing memories you’re missing out on capturing all because [insert your dog’s biggest, most humiliating behavior here]. I liken it to a game of Clue, but instead of a whodunit regarding Mr. Boddy’s murder, it becomes a roll of the dice with canine chaos: “It was Milo–with the two-block squirrel chase–at Schenley Plaza.”

Trust me when I say that I’ve heard and seen it all–and I’m totally unphased by those endearingly embarrassing quirks. Rest assured your dog won’t be the first or last to pee on my camera bag, greet me with springloaded excitement, or pummel me to the ground because I didn’t roll out of the way fast enough during a running shot. Any true pet photographer will agree: we sign up for this extraordinary chaos…and we love every minute of it!

We’ll set up a shot numerous times, laugh in disbelief when she’s cooperating until the moment I press the shutter release button and she opts for a roll in the leaves that inevitably get stuck all throughout her fur, and capture some of your favorite portraits when you’re least expecting it.

playful dogs at Sahli Nature Park in Beaver Falls

Let me start by saying that what you see as a pet parent is very different from where I stand and what I see when I look through my lens. Yes, there is sometimes a little magic necessary to create that wall-worthy portrait, but any dog can get images like those you see in my portfolio.

final dog portrait composite progression

I read a quote from author Ida Scott Taylor this morning that ended with “Live in the present and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” If that isn’t a reminder to live each day like our dogs–carefree, joyful, as though the world is our oyster–I don’t know what is! Because, from where they stand, life is certainly something to be celebrated, best done so with the ones we love by our side.


This post is a part of a photography blog circle featuring photographers specializing in a variety of niches. To see what the next photographer is sharing for our weekly theme, “From Where I Stand,” check out Yvette Graham with Two Sisters Photos in Northeast Ohio, capturing moments of life to be cherished for a lifetime. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

8 thoughts on “From Where I Stand: What I See is Nothing Like What You See

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      Ha, that I am! Seriously though, it often takes a bit of magic in post-processing, and that’s totally OK! I think it’s important for clients to see and remember that because–believe me–I know it can feel like a three-ring circus when you (as the pet parent) is in the middle of the excitement.

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      Thanks! I think it’s fun and important to show that relaxing as the client and trusting that your photographer will get the portraits you’re envisioning is key.

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      Ah, thank you! I think the key is knowing what you can ultimately get as the end result with what you’re starting with. Thank goodness for Photoshop!

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