Stunningly Creative Studio Pet Photography
Your Best Friend Deserves Better Than a Snapshot
Puptrait isn't just a dog friendly photo studio. Our production space is dedicated entirely to the craft of pet portraiture. While that might sound like a small thing, it's actually an important point of distinction. It's largely why our creations look and feel so dramatically different from what you might typically expect from a pet photographer.
Working unrushed within a controlled and dog safe environment frees us to plan, light and shoot our subjects with intent. It is this ability to focus on these more nuanced and conceptual details that breathes so much life into our pet portraits.
Exclusive Pet Costume Designs
Home of the World Famous Paper Hat Sessions
Puptrait is the exclusive home of the Paper Hats collection.
Each of these unique dog costume pieces is personally designed and crafted by our studio founder and master pet photographer, J.B. Shepard. Every Paper Hat is an original creation, painstakingly made by hand over the course of several days from multiple layers of upcycled post-consumer paper scraps.
Paper Hats achieve their unique geometric patterning and coloration from careful sorting and placement of varying tints, hues and shapes of newsprint clippings. This organic process ensures that no two Paper Hats are ever the same and due to the fragile nature of assembly, each hat can only be used in a handful of pet portrait sessions before being retired forever.
Better Photos Allow for Bigger Prints
Creating Large Format Pet Art is Our Speciality
Big prints are a big deal.
Our studio's ability to produce great looking large format prints says a lot about how we work and the quality of dog portraits we create.
When printing in larger formats, you can't waste pixels and your photos can't have anything to hide - as even minor imperfections become glaring flaws when scaled. But more importantly, printing large means that our pet portraits are interesting and engaging enough to merit hanging.
It is this emphasis on printing big that allows our studio to regularly create gallery quality pieces befitting even the most distinguished personal art collections.
How We Work
a Step-by-Step Guide to Commissioning a Puptrait
Schedule a Session Time
Sessions are by appointment only and can be scheduled through our website's digital calendar on a first come, first served basis. Deposit is required at time of booking. Session fees and minimum print commitments are automatically calculated in app based on session type.
Clients may reschedule for no additional charge with 72 hours notice by calling 443.604.0711.
Pre-Shoot Phone Consult
We call all portrait clients prior to their session date to walk through shoot details, answer any questions you might have, get a basic feel for your personal style / preference, and really just help ensure everyone is ready for your pup's big day. In preparation for Paper Hat and Composite Pet Portrait sessions, we will also take a moment at this time to walk through through the basic measurements and attributes of your pup (coat, weight, height, collar size, ear type, etc.).
Pet portrait sessions typically last anywhere between 1.5 - 2 hours in total -- with young puppy and super senior session running a bit shorter to maintain their comfort levels. We typically spend the first 15-30 minutes of this time working with the dog without a camera, building trust and getting to know the dog's specific temperament, behaviors and learned commands. Depending on the nature of the shoot and how long it takes to reset between sets, we make take anywhere from 100 to 300 photos during your session.
If it feels like we're just taking the same shot over and over again, it's because we are.
Whenever possible, we overshoot sessions and with good reason. The fact is, even well trained dogs tend to be fairly unpredictable. So, when you set the bar high with tighter in-camera crops, a narrower depth of field, untethered costumes, and more nuanced lighting -- you're going to miss some shots.
And, we're O.K. with that. We purposefully take an exceptionally high risk / high reward approach to every session, spending the time and frames needed to deliver that one perfect large format print that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.
Photo Processing & Proofing
For Studio Pet Portrait and Paper Hat Sessions, we will curate the hundreds of captures from your session and select the absolute best dozen or so photos of your dog. These selections will then be edited in Photoshop, processed in preparation for printing, and uploaded to a password protected proof page.
Conceptual Pet Art Commissions work similarly, but rather than producing a selection of proofs, our post production process will be focused on crafting single artist-inspired print-ready composition.
Regardless of the style of pet portrait you choose, our post production and proofing processes typically take roughly a week to complete, occasionally a little longer depending on the time of year and how busy we are. Please note that clients are free to download and share their web-friendly sized watermarked proofs with friends and on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We do not require clients to return to the studio for print consultations. We find holding print consults over the phone encourages transparency, puts less pressure on clients to make an impulse decision, and is generally just easier all around for everyone involved. During your print consult we will discuss what images you prefer, where you are thinking of hanging your prints, and walkthrough your various size and mounting options. These calls typically take around 20 minutes to complete, but that really depends on the client and what questions, if any, that they might have.
Following your print consul we will email an invoice for you to review. When you are ready to move forward with your order, simply follow the online payment instructions and as soon as we receive confirmation of your order, we will set to work manufacturing your prints.
Schedule a Pet Portrait Session Online 24/7
Questions? Call 443.604.0711 from 12pm - 10pm 7 days a week to speak with a studio representative.
For best results we strongly encourage only ONE dog per portrait session.
"JB came to our house in NOVA on two days notice. He was so patient with our sweet, but independent minded dog. The photos were worth the effort! He puts real creative, artistic talent into every step of the process, and will provide a great one-on-one customer experience."
"He was soooo patient with our photo shoot and all the props. He remained professional at all times and got the job well. We can't wait to work together again. Dogs rule!"
"Not only was the final product even better than anticipated but they spent hours getting just the right shot. They WILL NOT disappoint. "
"We just received our final shots from JB and his team and I have to say I am beyond impressed. Puptrait is the real deal!"
"JB and the Puptrait Studio are true professionals! I highly recommend them and it is really nice to have professional shots of my little guy - something I will always cherish. If you have a fur child, please consider photos through Puptrait studio!"
"10/10 would use again and plan too!! It was not only an extremely fun and positive experience for me, but BOTH my dogs loved him. He has the talent and skill to capture that perfect moment of your animal. Thank you again JB!!"