Recent Work

Portraits for dogs

Athena and Otis; Rescue Dogs

Athena & Otis are two crossbreed rescue dogs who hit the jackpot with their human mama!

Athena is a lovely girl. This pup is a little shy when she meets new people, so it is important that she has lots of space available when coming into a new situation. Athena loves treats and will come to get a treat after she warms up a bit to the new people.

Ms. Athena is a Pit Bull mix. We are not sure exactly what else she has in her, but we think there could be some Labrador Retriever. Regardless, she has a sweet personality and loves her humans with great passion.

Otis is Athena's brother. He is much more outgoing and expressive when he meets new people. Otis will prance happily toward you for his first greeting. Like his sister, Otis also LOVES a good treat and will show you all of his tricks in hopes of getting one from you.

Otis is one of the more unique dogs I photograph. He is a cross between a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Basset Hound! I've never seen this cross before, and let me tell you, the look of this sort of dog is definitely unforgettable!

This portrait session is the second time I've had Otis and Athena in my studio

The first time Otis and Athena visited me was a couple years ago. They had just moved to Alaska and were feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the new sights and scents. But after some warming up, we all became great friends and I fell head over heels in love with these two rescue dogs!

But this time around, we concentrated on portraits of Otis, Athena, and their human. The weather was bright and sunny, perfect for portraits outside the studio doors.

Once again, these cute rescue dogs did not disappoint me with their character and antics during the photo shoot!

Alaska Dog Photographer: Terrier Mix Breed

So I'm not 100% sure of the breeds that make up this sweet guy. But, according to Chewy's human, he's got some Terrier in him for sure, and probably some Dachshund.

Regardless of his mix, one thing is certain... Chewy is downright ADORABLE.

I don't know what it is about the furry ones, but my heart melts when they come through my studio doors. And with Chewy, I just fell head over heels as soon as he and I met.

Chewy waltzed into my studio, ready to roll. He was confident and not the least bit nervous about being in a new place. He and I spent some time getting to know each other while I offered cheesy treats and he sniffed all my studio props and backdrops.

It's so important for dogs to feel comfortable and at home in the studio. Portrait photography can be overwhelming for even the most trained dog. It's my job to make sure they all have a positive experience.

The session started out with some simple close ups of this Terrier Mix Breed dog on my table. He LOVED the treats I had and was eager to work for the cheese. I used his food motivation to my advantage and worked with Chewy to do "sits," and "downs" on the table.

Once it was clear this handsome dog was a photography rock star, we moved to the antique chair I have in my studio. This chair is one of my most favorite props. And when a dog will hang out on the chair, well the portraits are ALWAYS lovely.

Chewy loved the chair and quickly made himself at home as he rested on the seat. Chewy's human and I share the favorite portrait of the session. It's the one with Chewy on the chair as the chair back looks like his crown on top of his head. Just perfect!

Melissa Laggis Photographer: Dachshund Mix Dog

I encounter all sorts of adorable mix breed dogs while shooting my sessions. And this Dachshund mix is certainly no exception! No one knows what other breeds are in this boy. But my guess is that he has a bit of Pomeranian roaming around in his genes.

Any dog with Dachshund in his blood is cute enough, in my book. But when I heard what this Dachshund mix's name was, I fell even more in love with the little guy!

This boy's humans named him... are you ready?... POOPER! I can confidently say that this is the first dog I've met named Pooper. His humans say they gave him that name because, "it's the only name he responds to." Well, I guess it's good to go with what works!

Pooper (I don't think I can get used to using that name!) was an absolutely pro during his portraits. He loved all the attention his humans and I lavished upon him. He bounced and pranced and spun around every chance he got!

Pooper also knew a few tricks and he was very eager to show off his skills! Pooper's most popular trick was his hand shake. I truly believe I could have asked him to "shake" 101 times, and he'd be happy to oblige every single time!

Another one of Pooper's tricks was his innate ability for the drama pose. The drama pose is what I call any pose a dog gives me that elicits an "ooo" or "ahhh" response from us humans. Pooper was especially good at his standing drama poses. These definitely ended up being favorite Pooper images for me.

All in all, this sweet Dachshund mix dog was an absolutely joy to have in my studio. I'm very much looking forward to having little Pooper visit again!

Alaska Dog Photographer: Shy Puppy Mix Breed

I loved this mix breed puppy, Zoey! She had a beautiful face with big, dark eyes and a soft expression. When Zoey enters a room, you cannot help but fall in love.

But Zoey isn't the type of puppy you want to run up to or get in her face. You see, Zoey is shy. But lucky for her, I'm pretty good with shy puppies. I've had years of experience working with puppies who tend to be anxious or unsure about their new surroundings. One of my most shy puppies was my own Great Dane girl.

Zoey walked in to the studio, a little cautious. She did not show any signs of fear. Instead, she just moved slowly, staying close to her Human and watching everything around her. I knew immediately that my impulse to get close to Zoey and pet her would not be well received. So I kept myself away from her and tossed her bits of delicious cheese. Slowly but surely, Zoey came out of her shell to sniff out, and eat, the cheese trail.

Eventually, Zoey was ready to make portraits. Her shy puppy personality was still there, but her confidence was increasing by the minute.

I took my time with every portrait image I made of Zoey. She and I spent plenty of time between making images to engage in quiet play. I always let Zoey tell me when she was finished with me. And I was always prepared to back off and not force her into anything that may cause stress.

By creating a safe environment for Zoey, I was able to drastically increase her confidence in herself. But also, this shy puppy was able to trust me and give me the behavior I asked for during the session.

Zoey's time in front of the camera did not last as long as many of my dog portrait sessions. It was more important to me that Zoey be comfortable than that I get the perfect shot. Besides, I happen to be pretty confident in my camera work, myself. And I knew I could get what I needed from her in a short amount of time.

Zoey proved she was more than just a shy puppy. When Zoey came back with Tracey, her Human, to view the images, Zoey pranced right into my studio, as though she lived here! What's more is Zoey LOVED sitting with me. Gone was the shy puppy who preferred me at a distance. Instead I was greeted by a confident girl who wanted to snuggle with me and play.

Tracey has already booked a second session for Zoey. This time, I'll be photographing Zoey's doggy siblings along with her!

Alaska Dog Photographer: Two Beagle Mixes

Bailey and Olivia kinda hit the jackpot when it comes to adoptive homes for rescue dogs. Bailey came into her new home at a whopping 73lbs!!! For a smallish-medium dog, 73 pounds is a LOT of weight to carry around. Thankfully for Bailey, when her new family adopted her almost four years ago, the first major change was better dog food and balanced meals. Bailey dropped 30lbs and has kept her lovely, slim figure for the last 3 1/2 years.Olivia is just lovely. A sweet girl who is just a tiny bit shy around new people, she is happy to go anywhere with Bailey, who gives Olivia all the confidence she needs. Olivia LOVES her human mama, and who could blame her? She's showered with adoration. Both girls get lots of training with their human, Brittany. They work so hard to mind their manners and maintain their "stays." But they are, after all, part Beagle. And as we know about Beagles, they LOVE love and love to get all your attention. They also love food, which worked out really well for their portrait session.