Recent Work

Portraits for dogs

A Family Dog Portrait with a Lab, a Pitt Bull and Something In-Between

Family portraits can be a chore to put together whether your a human or a dog family. But I tend to love a good challenge!

Mila is the oldest. We all expected Mila, the Pit Bull, to be the most comfortable with the entire situation. She is self assured, very friendly and loves to be around people.

Chloe, a two-year-old Pit Bull and Husky mix, was next in line. Again, our thoughts were that Chloe would follow Mila's lead and be generally easy to work with through out the portrait session.

And bringing up the rear, we have Lizzy. Lizzy is an 8-month-old Pit Bull and Labrador Retriever mix. We all fully expected Lizzy to be the biggest challenge of the shoot. As a puppy and as the youngest of the pack, Lizzy loves attention and LOVES to cause a bit of mischief toward her two older sisters.

Surprisingly, things did not turn out as we expected.

Lizzy ended up being the champ of the day! Her love of attention translated well into the photo session. Lizzy was eager to work and please all the humans. The better she worked for the camera, the more treats she would receive. It certainly didn't take this little Pit-Lab mix to figure that out!

Chloe was the classic middle child in the group. She cooperated well and was easily distracted by Lizzy. But she did her best and when it was time to turn on the charm, Chloe did so with great aplomb.

Mila, however, did NOT like all the attention and excitement surrounding the portrait session. As her little sisters played and ran, Mila was quiet and reserved. When it came time to put on the wreath of daisies, Mila was just about ready to walk out of the door and give up on the lot of us!

In the end we did get cooperation out of everyone and the family portraits were a raging success! The three girls sat together just long enough for me to nail the group shot. And a lot of breaks between poses kept the whole pack happy and content.

Alaska Dog Photographer: Senior Dog Says Goodbye

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing we have to do with our dogs.

Our dogs simply do not live long enough. This fact stays in the back of our mind and lingers in thoughts with every pup we bring into our home.

I know I've said goodbye too many times with my own dogs. And it never gets any easier. Because of my own experiences, I'm honored to be there for my clients and their own senior dogs. I cherish the inquiries that begin, "I have a senior dog and I'd like portraits before it's too late."

Buzz was just such an inquiry. Danielle contacted me about portraits for her senior dog in the summer. Buzz was just about 14 years old and Danielle knew that now was an important time to make some portraits of her best friend.

Buzz hadn't been feeling too well, so we ended up rescheduling his session a time or two. But eventually, Buzz was his healthy and spry old dog self. It was time to do his portraits!

I thoroughly enjoyed working with this senior dog. Buzz's face showed off his wisdom from living a long life. His comfort in the studio and willingness to snuggle up to me told me he had lived a good life. A life filled with love for all his days. And probably some extra bits of peanut butter whenever he did something extra good. And I am of the opinion that Buzz did something extra good, nearly every single day of his life :)

Buzz's portrait session didn't last very long. Of course, Danielle and I didn't need a lot of time to get lovely images of her boy, Buzz. He did everything I asked, wagged his tail as thanks for his treats, and allowed me a few extra pats on the head before he left the studio.

It was only a very short time after his session that I learned Buzz had become sick again.

His time on this Earth was near completion and his human, Danielle, did exactly the best and hardest thing she could for him. When Buzz gave her the signal that it was time, Danielle listened, and gently held him while he moved on over Rainbow Bridge. This was the best thing she could do for Buzz. But also, the hardest thing she could do for herself.

Buzz is at peace now. Danielle can be assured in her knowledge that she gave him the very best life a dog could ask for. Good boy, Buzz. You have been so loved.

Melissa Laggis Photographer: Black Labrador Retriever Puppy

It's official! The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in America.

And is it really any wonder that the Lab is the most popular dog breed? I bet if you sit down right now, you can name AT LEAST 6 friends who currently own a Labrador Retriever. As a matter of fact, odds are high you own, or have owned, a Lab yourself!

This is the 26th year in a row that the Labrador Retriever has snagged the number one spot in popular breed rankings. The lab is a versatile dog who loves to please her humans. Labradors are quick to learn and have enough stamina to be on the go all day.

Any time a Lab puppy comes into my studio, I 100% understand the attraction to this breed. The face of a Lab puppy is awfully hard to beat! Those big eyes, that sweet expression, those floppy ears... argh! I just can't get enough!

Enter, one of the cutest little Lab puppies on the planet, Kimber.

This baby girl was SO much fun to photograph! There just wasn't a single moment when she gave me a bad expression. Every single thing she did was simply adorable! I told Angelia, Kimber's human, that if Kimber belonged to me, she'd get away with everything.

I mean, come ON, I am convinced the term "puppy dog eyes" came from folks who owned Labrador Retriever puppies. You just cannot deny those eyes!

Kimber also had another thing going for her when she entered my studio. She is a black Labrador Retriever. And while I love all the different coat colors of Labs, the black ones just have a special place in my heart. But, as my clients all know; any black or white dog is special to me! It seems those are the only two colors I "collect" :)

*Funny side story: When I got my latest dog, who is white, my veterinarian took one look and said to me, "you do know that dogs come in other colors besides black and white...?"

Alaska Dog Photographer; Standard Poodle and Labrador-Boxer Mix

December always brings fun adventures in to the studio. Almost as though the dogs can sense the excitement in their humans' heart, the pups come in for portraits in an extra jovial mood in December. This month truly is my favorite month to photograph dogs in the studio! Jackie had been trying to get her two dogs in for portraits for several months. When the stars finally aligned for the session, we decided the session wouldn't be complete with out her son in the portraits as well!

Ziggy, the Standard Poodle puppy, was happy to come in and play. As is the tendency with the Poodle breed, he was comical, with a free spirit about his soul. Ziggy was also very well behaved and did an excellent job listening to his commands. The cheese treats certainly helped entice him.

ALdun was a bit more trepidatious. She took some time to warm up to her environment, but once she was sure my studio was a place of comfort and love, she fell right into the routine of being a super star for her portraits. In the end, I think the portraits I made of ALdun are some of my favorite portraits made to date!

But the best part of Jackie's session with her two pups and her son was the big reveal. Jackie came in to view her images, as each of the images came up on the screen before her eyes, she became more and more teary. "You have a gift," she told me. And that made ME cry!

My great honor is providing images to these lovely humans who have a heart for animals. To witness the connection between a person and her pet is truly inspiring. And Jackie is one with a very special connection to her animals, a connection that I will always cherish.