Wag Fest 2019

Today was the most fun day of the year! Each year Browning Portraits has a booth at WAG! Fest, which is the largest celebration of all things canine in Ohio. Last year more than 18,000 people attended this one-day event, and this year unquestionably was much, much bigger. People just kept coming and coming!

Browning Portraits was pleased to show the newest line of artwork offerings - fine art oil paintings! These gorgeous paintings are traditional oil on canvas in a style reminiscent of the Old Master and finished with a lacquer protectant. We finished with our popular champagne custom frame.

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Every year we notice there are certain breeds or colors of dogs or sizes that are more numerous than others. Last year was the year of the Great Dane. We saw SO MANY Great Danes last year.

This year? 2019 was definitely the year of the puppy. We saw a number of golden retriever puppies, Dalmatian puppies, and - like this picture shows - German Shepherd puppies.

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Look at the ears on this West Highland Terrier! Westies are adorable and typically have pointed ears but this little girl’s ears were especially rabbit-like! She sadly had a foot injury but her mom wanted to bring her to WAG! Fest anyway, so into the stroller she went. Feel better quickly!

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This lady let me take a picture of her invisible dog. Cute!

She actually has a dog at home who would be overwhelmed by this big fair, so she brought this leash that is made as a joke for invisible dogs. She said decades ago at the Ohio State Fair, clowns would walk around carrying these and would give a little bark at the kids that couldn’t be seen. She spotted one used and had to have it. How fun!

Hope to see you all next year at WAG! Fest!

Ohio Doberman

Meet Vinnie, a 12-year-old Doberman Pinscher!

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Vinnie is a former showdog whose owner passed away very unexpectedly. His adoring mom was the president of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Columbus Ohio and sadly died of natural causes with no warning. Vinnie's future was up in the air when Charlotte, his new adopted mom, stepped in to take over her friend's position with the club and also take in Vinnie. Charlotte loves him and calls him her Velcro dog. He loves to sit on her lap - in fact, when she comes home from work each day she has to recline in her easy chair and let Vinnie snuggle on her lap for at least 30 minutes. If she doesn't sit down or if she doesn't fully recline Vinnie whines and whines until she gives in and lets him climb up on her lap for a proper snuggle.

More soon from Vinnie's portrait session - he posed so well with his sister Mina! Can't wait to share those beautiful sunset portraits.

In the meantime, are you thinking of getting your dog photographed? I'm ready to hear all about your dog. Like Vinnie above, I'm all ears! Contact me now by clicking here.

Sunny golden retriever

This week in the 52-week pet photography blog circle we’re talking about backlighting. Sometimes backlight means a rim light, some kind of silhouette, or - my favorite - using the sun as a fill to give a bright, angelic glow to the portrait. If done late in the evening or super early in the morning, it’s possible to do a soft backlight. Done a little more toward the afternoon, with a harsher splash of sunlight, I like to use lighting to create a high-contrast, colorful portrait. The tones are nicely saturated and give a stunning pop to the images.

Max brought his mom, Marie, to meet me at a local park one sunny evening before the sun set for the day. Max is a four-year-old golden retriever with a typical golden retriever desire to please people, have fun, and play whenever possible. Marie’s favorite portrait from the entire session is this gorgeous image that captures their relationship and Max’s beautiful golden coat. Marie is so photogenic! Can you believe she has four school-age children and two dogs to keep track of? She is stunning. They both look fantastic.

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To see more backlit images in our blog circle, check out Terri J Photography your pet photographer in Toronto and Southeast Florida. Keep clicking through and you’ll make your way back here. Thanks for reading and I hope it was an informative peek inside my thought process!

Thinking of having yourself photographed with your dog? Let’s chat about a session just like this one. I look forward to hearing from you!

Schnauzer in the foliage

Louie’s little face looking up at me couldn’t be sweeter. I used a wide angle lens with a wide aperture to get his eyes tack sharp. The warm autumn colors made his chocolate brown eyes pop. The eyebrows and beard on his sweet little face are almost too much for my heart.

This week I’m participating in a blog ring, where we take a theme and post an image that illustrates that idea. This week’s theme is bokeh, which is the beautiful natural blur that comes from an open aperture on a lens, which mimics the human eye and enhances the subjects we see. Sometimes I like to photograph dogs “wide open,” meaning a shallow depth of field that allows for a very blurred background, and sometimes I like to photograph my subjects “stopped down,” which means the narrow aperture makes everything very in focus. It’s an artistic choice, and sometimes it’s a matter of deciding how a dog will look best. I wanted Louie’s face to pop out of the leaves, and since this portrait was by himself, I opened my aperture on my lens wider to create this look. If he were with two other dogs, I would have stopped down my aperture to make sure all their three faces were in focus.

schnauzer in foliage

As I mentioned above, this is a post in a blog circle, so the next pet photographer on our list is Terri J Photography taking your pet portraits in Toronto and Southern Florida. If you keep clicking through you’ll eventually wind up right back here. Thank you for reading!

Louie will make more appearances on the blog in the future. We had a lot of fun in the leaves and even had some surprise costume changes! I can’t wait to share those awesome images, maybe closer to Halloween!

Thinking of a fall portrait of your dog sitting in the leaves? Contact me now! It’s a great time to start planning foliage portraits.

Big sky sunset dog

Browning Portraits is proud to present its first annual award for Best Dog Name. Okay, it's not a real award, but if there was a canine name award, this dog would get it. Meet McLovin!

McLovin is a senior puppy. I wrote about him a little while ago and you can find that blog entry here to see another of his sunset portraits. He was adopted a couple years ago, when his mom spotted him at the shelter and said he just looked defeated. He didn't even raise his head to look up at her but his tail started wagging and it was clear he was her new dog. If McLovin were in the Olympics he'd been a long-distance runner, not a sprinter. He has more endurance than dogs a decade younger. He was GO GO GO ready to keep moving and exploring through all our time together.

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McLovin brought his family to meet me at the park to watch the sun go down and it was a perfect evening. The sky kept getting more and more dramatic and stunning. McLovin's mom wanted a portrait of him howling at the sky, and as I was getting ready for his final portraits we saw signs that he was getting ready to throw his head back, and I was ready as a primal howl came out of him. We caught a few big howls and it was perfect. His mom says it looks like he's a wolf blowing the clouds into the sky, and I have to agree.

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Thanks for reading! If you are interested in having your “senior puppy” photographed like McLovin, I’d be happy to chat! Just contact me by clicking here.

AIM Animal Image Makers Conference in Minneapolis 2019

For those finding this blog post from an internet search and don’t know me through my website, hello! I’m Lisa from Columbus, Ohio, and I love creating dog portraits.

I just got back from the 2019 first annual Animal Image Makers conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a very long four days, from 8AM to 10PM every day. We had fabulous speakers, a choice of beginner or advanced track courses on topics like posing animals with their families, dog safety (taught by an incredibly intelligent veterinarian), and even equine photography. We learned in person from industry leaders from around the world. In sum we had about 200 unbelievably talented pet photographers in attendance at one venue for the first conference of its kinds.

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Then, OH MY GOODNESS, friends, look what happened in Minneapolis. I was on the fence about entering any portraits into the Animal Image Makers image competition, and in fact an image that I call “Learning to Share” of a baby in a highchair watching his dog beg for food was an entry I submitted at the last minute. Literally, I was uploading my entries at 5:59 before the 6pm deadline. I had zero hope of my portraits doing anything in competition, especially after some feedback that my images - especially that baby in the highchair - would have a tough time even getting a merit. I submitted because I wanted the judges' feedback of what to do better in the future, and because darn it, I believed in that image. At the closing party, we learned that they were 474 images in the competition, and these are the top pet photographers in the world. We saw all the submissions playing on a screen and they were breathtaking. These portraits were SO beautiful. It was amazing just to be in a room filled with so much talent. Then the president of the organization announced third place, then second place, then first place for Best Animal and Human Image, and he called Learning to Share by Lisa Browning and my beloved portrait was projected on the screen and my heart stopped.

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I never ever ever expected to earn this and I am so grateful to the organizers, judges, and of course the two subjects of this image who are my own babies - one with fur and one without.

The entire conference was a fabulous experience, and learning in person from these esteemed photographers I’ve long admired was priceless. On the airplane home I carried my trophy, carefully and lovingly packaged, and started dreaming of my next image. I already know what it is, and I can see it in my mind’s eye as clear as day. I can’t wait to make it and share with you.

Thanks for reading. If you’re located in the Columbus area and thinking of canine portraits, I’d love to speak to you. Contact me here and we can discuss your ideas for portraiture of your beloved pet.