There’s nothing better than having a furry (or feathered or scaly) best friend. The connection between a human and their pet can be life-changing. With strong bonds that last a lifetime, the love of a good pet is irreplaceable. Each of the St. Louis pet photographers we’ve chosen are acutely aware of that bond. Having a portrait of your pet can make all the difference in the world.
As well as providing lifestyle photography to St. Louis, photographer Kristina Cipolla loves including pups in the mix. What is a family without their furry companions, after all? Dancing with the creative spark as long as she can remember, she studied photography in college and soon started her own business. Along with her bulking portfolio of everything from weddings to engagements, Kristina has a master’s degree in counseling and a bachelor’s in psychology. A people person, she understands how to make her subjects comfortable in front of the camera. And her wedding sessions are always better when couples bring their dogs, especially when Kristina brings her own fur babies, Suri and Walter.
No matter how many paws or eyes they have, Lynn Terry’s pet portraits always bring out her subjects’ best light. With over 20 years in the photography industry shooting families and animals, she brims with technical know-how and tricks of the trade. Previously awarded the wholesome title of the best dog photographer in the St. Louis metro, she’s also internationally recognized for her work behind the lens. Lynn went viral in 2014 with her series entailing dogs in a photo booth. The series was so popular that Simon & Schuster published it as a book, Tails from the Booth.
Maureen Adler and the Irish Eyes Photography team comprise renowned photographers featured by dozens of publications. Adler, the owner, was a sales manager in the real estate industry for 25 years before giving it up to chase her passion: photography. While the team got their start as wedding photographers, they soon broadened their scope. These days, they shoot families, newborns, and enviable pet portraits that capture the essence of whomever they’re shooting.
4. Megan Lorenz
As an interior photographer, Megan Lorenz has an eye for framing. Starting out as a wedding photographer, she always loved taking portraits, especially of babies and, even more so, dogs. One day, she decided she’d like to try out residential interior photography. From then on, her path was clear. Of course, while being featured in publications like St. Louis Homes and Design StL, she still thoroughly enjoys taking pictures of adorable dogs. Whether she’s capturing pet photos in natural light at the dog park or in her studio, she’s always ready to wrangle a cute pup.
5. Sharon of Whitehall Photography
For Sharon Whitehall, pets aren’t just part of the family — they’re the most important part. Award-winning pet photographer Sharon specializes in taking pictures of pets and their families, not the other way around. Once she has a vision in mind — and a pup — she’s ready to set out and make the pictures a reality. Along with knowing the ins and outs of the photography process, she’s also got plenty of Photoshop tricks up her sleeve. Sometimes when you’re working with pets, you need to remove things in post: leashes, collars, owners. Sharon’s got it all covered — it’s no wonder she’s among the top St. Louis pet photographers.
6. Diana Korenak of DK Effects Photography
Diana Korenak has been surrounded by critters great and small her entire life. Not one to believe the old adage, “Never work with children or animals” — as a St. Louis pet photographer, she’s happy to do both. When she’s not pointing the camera at wagging tails, she’s working as a dog trainer, which she’s done for more than five years. Using her training skills, she puts Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan to shame, as she is able to photograph canines, too. Diana understands animal behavior, such as how to work with dogs and pets of all temperaments.
Shana Watkins specializes in emotional, relationship-based storytelling through the medium of photography. Having been a photographer for more than 15 years, she knows what works but is always open to learning more about her craft. Shana graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with degrees in journalism and graphic design. As an artist, she aims to provide families with timeless memories, which includes those with their fur babies. Certified by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Shana has also won several stateside awards and international recognition for her incredible work.
8. Amanda Park of Amanda Ilene Photography
Among the most talented St. Louis pet photographers, Amanda Park is as much a lover of fantastical photography as traditional. As an animal-lover and costume enthusiast, her pet portraits always have that something special. Whether that something is props or the exceptional lighting over your bathroom sink as your cat curls up in it, Amanda and her camera are on it. She fell in love with pet photography after she took photographs of her beloved cat, Sophie. From there, she’s taken pictures of other cats, dogs, tortoises, and many more pets.
If parents get to show off their babies with pictures, we should get to show off our fur babies, too. As much as that’s become easier to do with smartphones on hand, there’s nothing quite like a professional portrait. These St. Louis pet photographers know exactly what to do to put your pets at ease while also bringing out their unique character. So, next time someone from spin class shows you her newborn, you can show her your Bichon Frise in return.