german shepherds

Creating the Perfect Dog Portrait | St. Louis Dog Photographer | Whitehall Photography by Sharon Whitehall

What goes into creating the perfect dog portraits?  What I see and what you see is two different things.

Dog Photography is part patience, part planning…. And part photoshop magic.

One of the major objection to not have people their dogs photographed is… they won’t sit/stay.  Well 90% of the dogs are on a leash.  Owners and leashes are removed from images.

Dog Photograhy St Louis Pet Photographer

This dog portrait on the right is the final image.  But on the left is where it started.  I had Ziva put her front paws on the tree, had her momma stand to the side holding the leash and I pick an angle that works and get my starting image.

I have removed the leash, cropped and brightened the image.  The one on the right is the one you want have hanging on your wall.

Here is another scenario:


When I plan a shoot sometimes I just know that getting all the dogs together for a portrait would be next to impossible.  So I find a location that will work.  I mentally place each of the dogs in the location, sometimes I put rocks or sticks as markers.  I put the camera on a tripod.  I have the owners place the dogs then I change the focus point for each of the dogs.

Dog_Photography_St. Louis_01.jpg

During the editing process I combine the three images, take out the leashes and owner and get MAGIC.

Dog photography can be tricky but the results are AMAZING.


Another is location.  What you see and what I see are two different things.  Here is the patch of sunflowers that I grew in my back yard.  It was about 5 x 15.  But the image below is what happens when I photograph it.  It is all in how you view it.


The final image:

Sharon Whitehall | Whitehall Photographer | Serving St. Louis, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Wildwood, O'Fallon, St. Charles and surrounding areas.

~~Photographing Pets and their Families~~

Sunflowers Forest Park Aussies, German Shephards Novia Scotia Duck Tollier

Dog Photographer Gone Crazy | St. Louis Dog Photographer | Whitehall Photography by Sharon Whitehall

In March I did a model call for multiple dogs of the same breed for dog photography.  The response I received was overwhelming.  So instead of limiting it to one or two sets, I did the crazy dog photographer thing and selected 4 (yes, 4).

  • Mandi had 3 beautiful Australian Shepherds
  • Donna had 4 Great Danes
  • Jenni had 7 German Shepherds
  • Stephanie had 3 German Shepherds

I enlisted the help of Mollie Momphard, I had met Mollie through her dad and was excited to start working with her.

The photo shoots were scheduled in March in Forest Park, St. Louis by the waterfall.  Mandi had the most beautiful and well-trained Aussies.   Talia, Biffle and Vancoover and were so much fun to work with.  This is why I became a pet photographer. 

Aussies St Louis Pet Photographer Ballwin Chesterfield Wildwood.jpg

Later that day Stephanie brought her German Shepherds to Forest Park we met up the the Jewel Box and columns(ruins).  Samantha Brown, Luna-Tic and Ziva Reene were perfect ladies.  Sam Brown had a bit of a time moving around but we were able to make it work.  Five months after this shoot the lovely Samantha Brown cross the rainbow bridge.  I am glad that I was able to provide lovely portraits for her momma to treasure.


Jen drove up with 7 dogs from Zwinger vom haus Huro.  We photographed them in groups of 3 and 4.  Then the new puppy.  While Jen was in town she was dropping off Cowboy to be trained as a service dog.


Finally, Donna brought two of her Great Danes, Breeze and Jove.  Two of Breeze’s babies from her last litter Gus and Stella joined for a family shoot.  I have never worked with a Great Dane before but ‘fell in love’ with them.  Gus was 11 months old yet well behaved.  Trying to pose 4 Great Danes for a photography session was a bit more of a challenge.  The results were amazing dog photos.  Donna was a bit frustrated that Breeze would not lay down on the concrete.  We were to find out later that she was expecting her 2nd litter.  Little did I know that taking these pictures would be the beginning of a wonderful relationship.


Photographing all these dogs, meeting their families and getting to experience their wiggle butts and tongue licks was an amazing experience --pet photography at its best (and craziest).

Sharon Whitehall

St. Louis Pet Photographer

Forest Park, Dogs, Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Great Danes, St. Louis