Summer portrait sessions for dogs can be tricky here in New England. All too often the days can be hot and/or humid. This, of course, can be tough on my canine subjects. And me since I’m not a fan of portraits with a lot of visible tongue. For summer sessions I always recommend scheduling a cooler time of day—for the comfort of both the humans and my canine subjects.
With that in mind, I truly love a good, early morning summer portrait session. Just like the one I had with Mr Sandman, a very handsome Golden Retriever. His mom, Claudia got up really, really, really early to meet me at one of my favorite locations and we started the day by creating some unique, sunrise portraits.
As the sun began to rise higher into the summer sky, we switched locations to take advantage of the beautiful light and the variety of late summer green and brown colors. Mr. Sandman just glowed in the early morning sun.
As we walked around the first location’s fields, we stumbled upon a large patch of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. It was just begging to be used as a backdrop. So, we popped Mr Sandman into the middle of the flowers for a few quick portraits. I chose a focal depth that turned the flowers into a blurry, patterned background, forcing the visual focus to be on Mr. Sandman.
After exhausting this location, we hopped into our cars and moved down the road to another local location I love to use that only is 10 minutes away. There we had more options for backgrounds, including another dirt road—yes, I am a little obsessed with dirt roads recently, wide open fields, shaded woods, wetlands, and ponds.
Of course, Mr. Sandman’s favorite part of the entire portrait session occurred when we finally let him get his feet wet! He was more than willing to help me create some great action images of him charging into the water. We made some lovely portraits of him standing in the pond as well. By that time, he was glad to stay cool in the water.
Summer offers beautiful scenery and lovely colors for a portrait session for your dog. With some smart timing—and a little water fun—it can be enjoyable for them, too.