Salt Lake City pet photographers have four beautiful seasons and phenomenal landscapes — including nearby mountains and nature trails — to work with, along with some of the cutest subjects around! Amazed by the quality of work talented SLC creatives are putting out there, especially when it comes to the world of pet photography, we compiled a list of our favorite photographers worth partnering up with in 2020. Enjoy!
1. Dawn McBride of Fuzzy Love Photography
One of the top Salt Lake City pet photographers, Dawn McBride specializes exclusively in this artistic genre! Her own border collie/husky mix Milo’s adorable antics and unconditional love were something that Dawn knew could never be put into words — but would shine through the visual medium of photography. Helping other pet owners showcase these moments of authentic connection is incredibly important, especially since we usually live much longer than our pets.
With high-quality images of our pets in their prime, we can remember that we granted them lives full of love and were repaid with their quirks and adoration. Small wonder Dawn’s images are often playful and celebratory in character! She includes fun props, such as cakes, karaoke microphones, and costumes, and she even features heartwarming outtakes in her portfolio that have us smiling along with the photographer at every turn.
2. Lexie Clayburn of Take a Hike Photography
Talented pet photographer Lexie Clayburn is always trying to find ways to showcase the unique expression of each of her subjects. In her own words, “I love being given the opportunity to capture their heart and soul, whether it be clean, vibrant fine art photos taken in studio or braving the outdoors and witnessing greatness, adventurous and the action packed photos that nature can bring.” While dog dads and moms may easily see these individualistic expressions, it can be harder for neutral viewers to do the same.
Using her artistic sensibilities and technical know-how, Lexie deftly finds expressions, poses, and backgrounds that tell stories, as well as suggest moods and emotions in ways few pet photographers manage. Her styles range from playful to formal, can often include props or clothes, and may even take place in the outdoors rather than a studio. In short, Lexie is a supremely flexible pet photographer who can bring to life any creative vision!
3. Bruce and Tammy of Jolley Photography
Jolley Photography is the collaboration of Bruce and Tammy, an agile husband-and-wife photographer duo who both have a master’s degree in photography, as well as professional photographer certifications. By combining their mastery of formal education with their innate creative instincts, they produce thoughtful pet photography that reminds us that fur babies are full members of the family.
We especially love the diverse ways in which Bruce and Tammy include pets in images. From family outdoor photoshoots to puppies in Easter baskets, pets are celebrated and cherished through the visual arts. Jolley Photogreaphy uses a contemporary portrait color profile that’s gently desaturated to avoid letting colors take away from pet expressions and textural details. Best of all, much of their outdoor dog photography takes place in the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains surrounding Salt Lake City!
Jackie Peterson is a self-taught Salt Lake City pet photographer who has worked with top shutterbugs across the nation, completing a number of hands-on workshops to hone her skills. She uses a bright white, often high-key photography style that isolates her furry clients through abundant lighting and professional studio use.
This approach is fantastic at emphasizing expressions, details of fur, and form in ways traditional outdoor pet shoots sometimes miss. Jackie’s pet photography covers a wide range of moods and compositional styles, including formal portraits and prop-filled, playful moments. She is also adept at studio cat photography; normally, cats are unwilling to put up with studio light flashes, but Jackie’s way with animals makes a big difference.
As a wildlife educator, photographer, and conservationist, Sarah Stiles captures compelling images of not only people’s pets but also rescues and wild animals in need of portraiture. Her work has seen publication in several books and magazines, as well as received awards and accolades for its vibrant, character-rich style. In her own words, Sarah sums up her photography philosophy, “My style is generally very ‘clean and classic.’ I also love dramatic or creative lighting, and bright vibrant colors that can really make images stand out from the crowd.”
Many of her pet photos use a family heirloom-style using ideal poses and classic vignettes that would look gorgeous mounted on a wall or collected in a photo album. It takes a rare photographer with a Dr. Dolittle personality to get pets to pose the way she does! Sarah also brings in wide-angle lenses for creative emphasis of features and backgrounds, which is something more pet photographers should start doing.
6. Megan Gould of MC Photography
Megan Gould is not only one of the most noteworthy Salt Lake City family pet photographers, but she also takes beautiful portraits for Salt Lake City rescue pups, heightening interest for prospective pet parents. Her lighthearted props, including barrels, buckets, and scarves, help new owners see these pups at their very best and most adorable! Megan’s studio and outdoor portraits have a delightfully soft character, with well-recovered shadows and highlights for a very even exposure.
Some of her studio work uses a high-key portraiture style instead that pairs nicely with a casually reclining pooch on a chair or couch. We’re mesmerized by the bright catch lights Megan manages to find in her canine subjects, artfully showcasing their spark of playful intelligence in a single frame. When not shooting individual pooch portraits, Megan ensures dogs find their place in group family outdoor photoshoots.
Bobbi Tolman’s pet photography has a strong lifestyle influence that we adore! Her dogs are draped in scarves, sitting among holiday pumpkins, at the docks with the family, and otherwise helping to tell a heartwarming story that goes far beyond simply looking cute. Bobbi’s subdued color tonality and love of white highlights — which she employs when the occasion and mood calls for it — gives her work an airy yet contemporary character that reminds us of modern wedding photography. It’s no wonder she’s among SLC’s finest shutterbugs.