Chasing My Dreams in the Grand Tetons

I looked up, saw the hotel we stayed in the night before and realized we drove two hours in the wrong direction…. but before I tell you about that let me just say that the Grand Tetons have been calling me…. no really they have. I’ve been wanting to go for a while and last week Jamie and I finally made the  9 hour drive and it was glorious!

The first night we drove up to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. If you don’t know about that park it sits on the border of Utah and Wyoming and it’s beautiful. I’m going to assume not many people know of it because we drove around for hours and never saw a single soul. The water was beautiful and the sunset was magnificent. It seemed like it lasted for days and I loved every minute of it.

We spent the night in a hotel near the Flaming Gorge and the next day we were going to finish our drive to Jackson Hole. About 45 minutes into our drive we saw a sign that said “Wild Horse Loop” um wild horses, yes, please! Besides what’s a road trip without a detour?

I love seeing wild horses, and the thought of photographing some made me so excited. We decided we’d follow the loop and then finish our drive to Jackson. We thought it would take us an hour or so and then we be back on the highway after having seen wild horses running through beautiful Wyoming country. Ha!

We drove for about 50 minutes before we saw any horses. They were beautiful and I was really excited to see them. But they were pretty far off and it was mid day so they were pretty much just resting and trying to keep cool. I took a few photos and we just sat and watched them for a bit. Then decided it was time to move on. We drove a few more minutes until we saw “civilization” we realized we weren’t really driving a loop it was brining us to another highway. We continued to drive towards the highway and we’re reading the signs trying to figure out where we are when I noticed the hotel we stayed in the night before. You’ve got to be kidding me! The loop brought us back to our hotel. The wild horses we drove two hours to see were five minutes from our hotel. Oh those detours!

The next stop was Grand Teton National Park. It was amazing. I had actually been there before but it had been a while. We jumped into Jenny Lake, hiked around, and took photos. The park is just gorgeous and every thing I hoped it would be, except for the lack of dogs!

Jackson Hole, Wyoming road trip photos.

All I kept thinking was I really wish I had a dog to photograph here. Of course later that night I had a dog photography session with an incredibly sweet and friendly yellow lab named Brandy.

Brandy and her mama took us to their favorite secret swimming hole. Nope, don’t ask me where it’s at. I promised I’d never tell. We had an amazing time jumping and playing in the water. I took out my new underwater housing and tested it out on Brandy. She was so eager to jump in and swim around. I had her mom throw her ball towards me. She was so cautious because she didn’t want to hit me with the ball but I really wanted Brandy swimming right at me so I kept telling her to try to hit me in the head with the ball. Lol. She never did, I had to call my husband over, I thought maybe he’d love to hit me with a ball after spending the last few days in the car with me and hearing me sing for hours on end. But I had to beg him to hit me with the ball too. Oh the sweet things my husband does for me if I ask him.

Here are a few photos of Brandy the very friendly yellow lab chasing after her ball in the water. Oh I love it!

Brandy swimming
Brandy swimming after her ball
yellow lab swimming in lake
Brandy swimming in her very favorite spot

We had such a great time in Jackson Hole I’m already planning another trip there in the fall. In the meantime I have pet photography sessions in Denver and around Colorado and plan on taking lots of underwater photos of dogs. I’m so excited for this summer!

If you’re interested in an underwater session with your dog anywhere in Colorado contact me to get more info.

Photographing Dogs in Paris

Bonjour!

Recently I went to France to photograph dogs. Yep, you read that right. I traveled from Denver, Colorado to Paris, France just to photograph dogs and it was AMAZING! Let me tell you it was a dream come true for this dog photographer.

My first week in France I stayed in Paris. I was a tourist for a few days and went to see a few of the things I missed the last time I was in Paris. I went to the Catacombs to see dead people,  I went to Montmartre to see art, and I walked anywhere and everywhere to find yummy pastries and coffee. Is there anything better than Ladurée macarons? I think not.

Oh, but you wanted to know about the pet photography session didn’t you?

This lovely lady is Lea. She belongs to Lisa, a musician that lives outside of Paris. They came to meet me for a portrait session and we wondered all around Paris trying to find a few fun places for Lea to have her photos taken.

We went to Maxim’s, and to Napoleon’s tomb and a pretty little spot right outside of the Tuileries garden. Even though Lea had not really spent any time in the city, she did an amazing job being my adorable little dog model. She’s shy, but I have my ways with the puppies and Lea was my new furry best friend in no time at all. She did so well we even got to run off leash for a bit of playtime underneath the Eiffel Tower! Oh how lucky we are!

One of the things I noticed about Paris is that dogs are welcome. I saw them in restaurants, in train stations, and hotels. Some were off leash and some were not and no one seemed to pay any attention. I was amazed to walk off the train and to see dogs following their owners off leash onto the cars. The dogs I saw were all very well behaved. I’m not saying all the dogs in France are perfect but they do seem to be ok with dogs being dogs and the dogs seem to respond with being very close to their owners and behaving pretty well in a lot of different situations.

Here are a few of Lea’s photos from our pet photography session in Paris.

 

An American dog photographer in Paris
Lea the dog in Paris has her portrait taken by an american dog photographer.
Can I get a doggy bag? Lea in front of Maxim's de Paris.
Lea the dog waits for a table at Maxim’s de Paris. Of course she’ll take a doggy bag too.
Lea in front of Napoleons tomb
Lea the dog in front of Napoleons tomb.

 

To see more photos from my trip to France to photograph dogs follow StinkDog Photos on Instagram and Facebook.

You Might Be a Dog Photographer If You Do This!

Let’s say you’re in a foreign city with your luggage and all of your gear right outside the train station. You’ve just met Linda one of the people you’re going to be working with the next week.

Then the most amazingly adorable little Staffordshire terrier puppy is pouncing around and you just happen to be near one of the best preserved roman amphitheaters. You then find a way to overcome the language barrier and you beg the nice woman who is walking her dog to please walk with you and all of your luggage a few blocks away just so you can get a photo of her dog in front of the Arena of Nimes.

Then you jump for joy when she says yes and you wheel your luggage over cobblestone and leave your laptop on the ground and hope no one walks away with it so you can get the best shot of her sweet little puppy then you might be a dog photographer having a trip of a lifetime.

 
It was totally worth it.

 

 

A staffordshire terrier in front of Arenes De Nimes.
a staffordshire terrier in front of arenes de nimes in nimes france.

 

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Bonjour to Barkjour | An Out Of This World Pet Photography Retreat

Hi everyone,

There are a few things that I am always into improving… my photography skills and business knowledge.

Why would an established professional pet photographer want to improve their photography? Because there is always something new to learn. New lighting, new poses, new editing practices, trying different gear and working on your style are the things that make good photographers great photographers. I work incredibly hard because I want to be a great photographer so every chance I get I find a way to improve my skills.

Creating a better client experience is also extremely important so learning new business skills whether it be better client communication or learning about new products. I want to know as much as I can to serve my clients better.

Recently I had an opportunity to go to France for “an out of this world pet photography retreat” called Barkjour. Barkjour is an incredible experience made for improving the photography and business skill sets for pet photographers. Amazing pet photographers from all around the world travel to these retreats not just to learn but to spend time with people that are just like them… crazy dog people that are also in love with photography.

What an experience it was. The location was an amazing chateau in Provence, France that’s almost 900 years old. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to stay in and photograph dogs in such a spectacular location.

The perfect location, a chateau in Provence.
Barkjour was located in the perfect setting a chateau in Provence.
The Chateau courtyard.
The Chateau courtyard at The Chateau Provence.

The food was pretty darn amazing as well. Celebrity chef, Theo Michaels from www.theocooks.com prepared local food for us at Barkjour.

Amazing food by Theo from theocooks.com
Food prepared by Theo from theocooks.com
Yummy local foods from France.
Yummy local food from France is prepared at barkjour.

 

Don’t be fooled by the amazing location and food. We worked all day and night. Here Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix from Dog Breath Photography are taking sunset photos of Cat from CatsDog Photography and her pup Poppy and helping us improve our sunset portraits so we get the most gorgeous colors and fantastic light in our images.

Working into the night with Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix.
Working into the night with Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix from Dog Breath Photography.

When we weren’t in classes we were busy shooting in stunning locations in southern France. Vineyards, small villages, and Pont du Gard included some of the spectacular locations we were able to photograph dogs in.

We all work together to capture each dogs unique personality.
Working together to show off a dogs best side.
Making the perfect pet portrait in Provence France.
Getting the perfect dog portrait in a vineyard in Provence France.
Charlotte Reeves herding puppies so we can get fun photos of puppies running.
Charlotte Reeves herding puppies so we can get fun shots of them running in the village.
Barkjour instructor Nicole Begley cozies up to a puppy with pet photographers Natalie Williams, and Craig Turner-Bullock.
There’s still time for puppy love. Instructor Nicole Begley takes a break from teaching so we can all have a little puppy love.

One of the best and most amazing things about attending a retreat like this is meeting other pet photographers from around the world. We worked hard and worked together to get the most amazing portraits of dogs. We learned from each other and found people we can relate to… The dog crazy, photographers that travel the world, and spend their days finding the best dogs (and sometimes cats or horses), the most amazing light, and perfecting their skills. We do it not just for us but for our clients so they can have photos they love of their furry best friends to cherish forever. It’s quite a tribe of people and I’m thankful to have found them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my behind the scenes look at Barkjour, an out of the world pet photography retreat. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see additional photos and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to see the photos from these amazing locations and hear about my adventure photographing dogs in Paris.

XO,

Deanna