Paper Hats & Ruffs by Puptrait | Uniquely Inspired Costumed Pet Portraits

Paper Hats & Ruffs by Puptrait

Conceptual Pet Portraits Featuring Uniquely Inspired Costumes

Often imitated but never duplicated, our experimental pet costume pieces are truly one-of-a-kind creations that simply cannot be found anywhere else.

Photo portrait of a white English Bulldog wearing a massive Elizabethan style ruff collar against a multi colored background. The reflection in the eyes read "WE'RE ALL MAD HERE"

Designed for the Camera

Fit Specifically for Your Dog

Every paper hat is in itself a unique piece of art. Designed with the exact measurements and capabilities of our canine subjects in mind, each costume piece is handmade by our studio founder and master pet photographer, J.B. Shepard, from an eclectic mix of upcycled / found items and traditional art materials.

Rarely painted or dyed, the distinct coloration and patterns featured in many of our couture designs are the product of handpicked slips of paper meticulously cut and arranged into an almost three dimensional collage. When illuminated by studio strobes and composed tightly in frame, this larger-than-life approach to pet portraiture often reveals hidden textures and details otherwise not visible to the naked eye. Resulting in imaginative perspectives and surreal imagery that simply cannot be achieved using off-the-shelf costumes or one-size-fits-all props.

Photo of a Chocolate Lab wearing a black top hat in front of an orange background

Reveal Distinctly Candid Expressions

Without Compromising Lighting or Image Clarity

Purposely not secured or strapped down in any way, our signature pet costumes are intended to be worn for only seconds at a time. As such the success of our Paper Hat & Ruff sessions hinges largely on our studio's consent centric approach to animal handling.

We've found that dogs are naturally inclined to engage with humans often passively, chaotically, or in a reactionary way. Resulting in photos of subjects mid zoomies, lunging for treats, or presenting what could politely described as bored compliance. While this approach can often produce cute and fun photos, rarely does it result in a portrait photographed with any form artful intent.

But we've found that by utilizing untethered and unsecured costumes and props we allow dogs agency. Freeing subjects to momentarily disengage from the commands of its handlers and allow it to interact directly with props on its own terms. While these moments are fleeting and difficult to photograph, when successfully achieved they reveal a candid glimpse into a dog's true personality.

Portrait of a senior pitbull mix wearing a captain's hat

Stunningly Creative

Yet Surprisingly Accessible

The sitting fee for our signature Paper Hat & Ruff session includes both the cost of the shoot and the creation of an artist-inspired custom fit costume piece.

If this is your first time visiting our studio, you may be surprised to learn that the sitting fee, minimum print commitment and print prices of our Paper Hat sessions are identical to what we charge for an uncostumed Classic Studio session.

We keep these prices the same for one simple reason -- we believe in your dog.

It's only natural to doubt your pet's training level or their ability to wear a costume, especially if they have never worn one in the past or generally struggle with holding a stay.

But having now explored this concept for over a decade with literally hundreds of house pets, we're confident your dog will surprise you. And, we know if you can witness us capture the seemingly impossible, odds are you'll probably to want to brag about us to your friends.

Fittings, Timelines & Special Requests

We require a minimum of two weeks from booking date for all Paper Hat & Ruff commissions.

To help expedite the build process, we typically ask clients to supply measurements for most custom fittings over the phone. However, if you would prefer for us to measure your dog directly, you are welcome to schedule a complimentary in-person fitting for your pup at our studio. Please note for in-person fittings we may need to reschedule your session for a later date to allow sufficient time for design and assembly.

We genuinely enjoy collaboration and are happy to entertain client concepts and other special requests. However, please note that more sophisticated design requests and custom projects that require specific materials can often demand longer build times and may incur additional fees.

Clients looking for a more specific concept or style for their Paper Hat & Ruff session are strongly encouraged to contact the studio directly 443.604.0711 for pricing and availability prior to booking.

Schedule a Paper Hat Session

View session availability and book online using the scheduling widget located below.