Studio Pet Portraits & Dog Photography | Maryland – Washington D.C.

  • Dog Photography &
    Studio Pet Portraits

How We Work

a Step-by-Step Guide to Commissioning a Puptrait

Select a Shoot Location

Visit us at our dog friendly studio location in Baltimore or schedule an on location or in-home portrait session. Most clients prefer to work with us in studio, as it is a space dedicated to the task. But on location shoots often make for great environmental portraits, featuring notable landmarks or natural scenes as background elements. In-home sessions can be a great alternative for dogs with severe mobility or health constraints, or for out of area clients who don't have the time to travel to our studio in Baltimore.

Schedule a Session Time

All private Puptrait commissions are unique, but each starts the same way - by scheduling a session through our online booking calendar. On our online booking calendar you will find a listing of all available session dates and times. Once you’ve found a convenient appointment time simply place your deposit to confirm your reservation and you’re all set. Booking a few weeks out and you’re unsure about the date? No worries! Clients may reschedule for no additional charge with 72 hours notice.

Pre-Shoot Phone Consult

We call all private dog portrait clients prior to their session date, generally within a week of their scheduled appointment time to walk through shoot details and answer any questions clients may have about their upcoming visit to our studio. Though we tend to contact clients who request sets, props or costumes much sooner to allow for additional production and acquisition time.

Shoot Day

We will generally spend anywhere from 1-2 hours working with dogs during one-on-one sessions. Generally we like to 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. Multi dog sessions may require additional time. For environmental portraits and in-home sessions, please allow an additional 20 minutes for set up, staging and breakdown.

Photo Proofing

We will painstakingly curate, digitally enhance and prepare for printing roughly a dozen our most frame worthy images from our session and upload the images to a password protected proof section on our website. Each client receives their own individual protected proof page. We encourage clients to think about final placement and how different images or print sizes will look when hung in a particular room or area of their home. Please note that clients are free to download and share their web friendly watermarked proofs with friends and on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Print Consult

During this phone consultation we will discuss what images you prefer, where you are thinking of hanging your prints, and walk through our various print and mounting options, including print sizes, paper finishes and mounting techniques to help make the most of your art budget. Please note that we do not accept payments during our print consultations. Instead, following your print consult if you wish to purchase prints we’ll send you a digital invoice for you to review. When you are ready to move forward with your order, just pay the invoice online and we'll get started with manufacturing your prints.

Free Delivery

Standard shipping to the contiguous continental United States is included in the cost of all private session print orders. Once your prints are shipped we will forward you a tracking number. And, then all that's left is to wait for your shipment to be delivered. Please note that overnight shipping and rush delivery are extra.

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 fitting of even the most distinguished personal art collections.

Puptrait studio sessions are unrushed and purposeful. We take time to focus on the details - both technical and conceptual. Through careful in-camera cropping and masterful lighting we highlight only the most emotionally resonating features of our canine subjects, resulting in stunning and deeply personal pieces any true dog lover would be proud to showcase in their home or office.


Exclusive Costume Designs

Home of the World Famous Paper Hat Sessions

Often imitated, never replicated.

The Puptrait Studio 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 are never dyed or painted, but instead 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.

Our Paper Hat creations are purposely not secured or strapped down in any way while shooting. While this approach does add a level of complexity and difficulty to our sessions, it also provides an opportunity to capture unique poses and dynamic expressions that would otherwise be impossible to achieve when photographing a dog using more traditional methods.

We maintain a rotating collection of Paper Hats at our Baltimore studio location of a variety of unique designs, patterns and sizes. Please note that selections do vary as new hats are created and older hats are retired.


Creative dog portrait of pitbull wearing an Elizabethan style ruff collar captured in our pet friendly Baltimore studio location.

Get Started!

All private Puptrait sessions are sitting fee FREE with minimum print order commitment. Find your locations's print minimum and view appointment availability below via our easy-to-use automated scheduling widget or call 443.604.0711 during regular business hours for more info.