A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Barks
They say some memories last a lifetime – those magical moments that are always bright in ones mind. Once in a while, you think back to those moments, and can’t help but smile. They’ll always be there. These are the kind of moments that we hold dear, and it those very same moments that the following artists have made a career in capturing. One central theme behind all of these spectacular image makers is that they have an uncanny ability to narrate – each photograph has a story behind it, and you feel as if you were right there when it happened. The Professional Dog Photographers below are in no particular order, and I cannot encourage you enough to explore each of these artists individually – the following is such a small snippet of their work. Trust me, it’s worth a nice, long look.
BrindleBerry – Holly Montgomery
Holly started BrindleBerry back in 2005, born out of her love for animals and the lifelong comfort of being behind a camera. Over the past decade, plus some change, Holly has perfected the art of capturing animal emotion, pet-to-person relationships and personalities. It has become second nature – and is something that even Holly can’t fully describe. A six sense per say, the shutter slows, quiets the distractions around her, and then, click.
The result are photographs that truly embody the one-of-a-kind relationship between people and their furry family members. The most frequently compliment Holly gets is “Wow, my dog really likes you!” Maybe it is the result of doing what she loves for the past 12 years, or maybe there is something very special going on. We will leave you to be the judge. In addition to custom pet photography, Holly also focuses on photography and marketing services tailored for conscientious dog brands.
When not out on a shoot, Holly invests her time and education into furthering her photography business, attending workshops and honing her skills within the tight-knit creative community. She currently resides just outside of Calgary, with her four companions – one patient husband and three fantastic dogs.
Darcy Evans Photography – Darcy Evans
Darcy is Edmonton’s premiere pet photographer, and specializes in conceptual pet portraiture. Having always been interested in the creative process, Darcy quickly found out that he had zero artistic ability when it came to drawing or painting. The camera, however, allowed him to use his eye instead of his hands. Capitalizing on this, Darcy has carved out his space in the field, and is consistently able to put beautiful pieces of art onto your wall.
Darcy has won numerous awards for his work, from places like the Edmonton Photography Trade Show, McBain Camera, WPPI Print Competition, and from the Alberta Photon Camera Club International Expo. Despite all this success, you can usually find Darcy cruising the Alberta countryside, finding inspiration in everyday objects, nature, and from the people in his life.
Having a natural affinity for nature photography, Darcy one days hopes to travel the world to photograph everything from the mundane, to the extradorinaiy. Until that time comes, however, Darcy will continue to photograph and capture the unique personalities of his four-legged clientele. Evans currently resides in Edmonton, and in his spare time, teaches pet photography for the Burwell School of Photography.
Farfel, Fetch! – Stephanie Fournier
Stefanie grew up with dogs her entire life, but Farfel (the adorable little one in the first image below) was her very first, own little girl. After a few personal projects and number of side-shoots with portrait clients that would bring their dog around, Stefanie quickly realized that dog photography was a hidden passion. Looking back, one might think it was obvious, seeing how many Farfel photos showed up on her social media!
Most of Stephanie’s photos are taken outside, natural, and do their best to showcase each dog as the individual that they are. Originally starting out as West Coast Dog Photography, focusing on various Dachshunds, Farfel has quickly grown into photographing all kinds of dogs.
If full-time photography work wasn’t already a lot to handle, Stefanie has over a decade of experience in Graphic and Web Design, providing consulting services for SEO and web marketing. Having this kind of experience continues to be a boon for Farfel, Fetch, and definitely keeps Stephanie busy. She currently resides in Langley, with her two dogs and fiancé Ryan.
Paws in Frame – Jessica Rupe
Jess, like Stephanie in the previous section, grew up with animals her entire life. Raised in a household where animals of all shapes and sizes outnumbered humans, being around furry creatures was just a way of life. Discovering her passion for photography at the young age of 15, Jess quickly took the initiative to study image making formally, starting out in the darkroom developing her own film, to starting and growing her pet photography business.
Jess’s desire is to capture precise moments and the mood of her subjects. Her own quiet demeanor, not to mention almost limitless patience, is what enables to her to get the shot. Her dream is create images that you, as the loving parent of your pet, will cherish forever.
Jess currently lives in Nanaimo with her husband Tristan, three domineering cats, and one beautiful pooch. When she is not organizing and/or out on the next shoot, Jess volunteers with local rescue organizations, offering up her time and skillset to ensure that deserving animals finally find a loving home.
Scruffy Dog Photography – Illona Haus
Illona, in a sentence, is a multi-award winning, internationally recognized, pet-exclusive photographer based in the Waterloo region, and shoots across Ontario. In more than one sentence, Illona started Scruffy Dog Photography 10 years ago, when she saw what she felt was a need: photographers who considered ‘pets’ as serious subjects, and who aimed to turn their images into true artwork.
When asked why Illona only photographs animals, her answer was Murph, the original scruffy dog, and a family member who she lost when Murph was only four years of age. Illona barley had 4 rolls of film on Murph, leaving her with precious few photos of the special dog who had touched her so deeply. From that point on, Illona swore that the same would not happen to any future dog that came into her life. The goal of every session is to capture the true character and spirit of each individual animal, and then turn them into truly creative and distinctive pieces of art. Most of the time, this takes the shape as large wall art, which pay tribute to the clients’ pets for a lifetime.
For Illona, photographing pets has always been very personal. The first image in this trio is over her own three. The small dog is Merrick, who passed away this past October. The larger dog, Matea, sadly also passed just a few days later, she was almost 15. Mirabelle, the cat, loved her two dogs, but is now learning to love her new girl. Matlin. In her spare time, Illona is a very large supporter of rescue, and all of her furry family members have been rescue/shelter animals. She continues to touch people’s hearts and minds with her photography, making sure that the impact that their companion had is never forgotten.
Paws & Tails Pet Photography – Jennifer Oliver
Like the majority of the professionals in this post, Jennifer is a loving pet owner herself. Her two amazing recuse cats have allowed Jennifer to understand how large a part that one’s furry friends become. Even more apparent was how important it is to capture those special moments. Taking photographs of her own cats is what started Jennifer’s journey into this profession, and now helps other pet owners to create and capture amazing memories of their loved ones.
Having recuse animals herself, Jennifer is very much in tune with the needs of other rescues. This first hand experience is what inspired her to give back, and is a proud member of Hearts Speak – a global community of photographers, writers, graphic designers, volunteers, and other artists who work together to ensure that no shelter animal goes unseen.
Self-described as “Contemporary Pet Photography with Soul”, Jennifer continues to deliver amazing work to her clients, and always seems to find time to meaningfully contribute to her local community. She currently lives and works out of Abbotsford.
Hopefully you have enjoyed our collection of some of Canada’s best Professional Dog Photographers! Make sure to visit their websites for a much larger collection of work. Hopefully this piece has inspired you to have some photographs of you and your best friend. Memories can last a lifetime, bit a few, beautiful images won’t hurt either. Much love,