This Dog Business

Welcome to the launch of The Loyal Dog Photography! Here we go, kicking off the business with this first-ever blog post. I hope you will return often to read about the wonderful dogs we get the chance to photograph; we will be highlighting stories about our clients' dogs every other week. But first, an introduction to who we are and why we happen to love spending time shooting pictures of dogs...

My brother Steve Wagner -- our fabulous photographer -- and I have always loved animals, and grew up with a slew of them: gerbils, rabbits, cats, birds, and, in my case, horses. But it is dogs that have always held a special place in our lives, from our first dog, a crazy beagle named Mephistopheles ("Mephy" for short) to an elegant wolf hybrid named Virginia (get it? Virginia Wolf?) to Bruno, the goofy bulldog with the spectacular underbite (you can find photos of that jutting jaw throughout this site). Steve and I now find ourselves bringing that lifelong passion for dogs to the business of photography, where Steve has been at home for over 20 years taking wonderful portraits of humans and their human endeavors (like weddings and bar mitzvahs, sure, but also of street basketball and skateboarding, beach lounging and stage acting). He finally decided (although he still takes those pics; see link to his website, below) to give his "spare time" photographing of dogs the professional status it deserves.

Does it seem strange to have a business focused on taking pictures of dogs? Aren't they somehow not as worthy a subject of humans? Consider how much our respect for our "animal brethren" has changed over the past couple of decades: gone -- thank heaven -- are the days of dogs being kept in the garage or tied "out back", even by well-meaning owners who simply believed that dogs had their place in the well-ordered household (and it wasn't on the sofa or in the owner's bed!).

Perhaps this change is because we have evolved to understand that not only do the dogs need to be around their people (they are pack animals, after all) but also that we humans need to be around our dogs -- the joy and meaning they bring to our lives is so worth the mess and disruption (okay, chaos) they sometimes bring.

Dog lovers know that in a way, dogs are like spiritual teachers -- we become better souls because  we learn to be more devoted, more dependable; they show us what it means to be more loving and loyal; they bring out warmth and humor that is sometimes hard to find in ourselves and our troubled world. Anyone who has ever felt the terrible pain of losing a dog knows how big a hole it leaves in the heart; each one is irreplaceable, having brought out the best in us.

We hope that The Loyal Dog Photography portraits successfully capture these amazing creatures and provide reminders to all who see the images that we are so lucky to have them in our lives.

-- Jill