Whether you’re a dog mom, someone looking for a unique gift for that favorite animal lover in your life, or just a person who enjoys imaginative photography, these 9 famous dog photographers are a must follow for anyone in need a of a daily dose of original dog photos.
While pet photography has historically struggled to be taken seriously by many critics and connoisseurs of photographic art, the niche has exploded in popularity in recent years.
From American Pit Bull Terriers in Paper Hats to Weimaraners in trench coats, dog portraiture comes in many creative forms and quality god art can be found in many unexpected places – rural Canada, blue collar cities like Baltimore and in the world renowned MoMA in New York City.
Top 9 Pet Photographers in North America
1. J.B. Shepard – Baltimore, MD USA
A relative new comer in comparison to the more established names on the list, J.B. Shepard is a studio pet photographer and founder of the Puptrait Studio — a dog friendly photo studio located in the Washington D.C. / Baltimore area that bills itself as crafting ‘contemporary art for dog lovers‘.
Best known for his fine art pet portrait series, Paper Hats, featuring top hats, crowns and Baroque style ruff collars for dogs made out of carefully sorted colorful scraps of upcycled newspaper. J.B. has also built a reputation for his masterful use of studio style lighting and knack for photographing black dogs, brindle pups, and other pets with dark fur that are notoriously difficult to light well — making him a hot commodity with commercial pet product photography clients that require images heavy in both substance and style.
Shepard’s whimsical pet photos and unique headshot style of pet photography has quietly garnered him a relative cult following of prestigious collectors, art consultants and fans. His surreal photo portraits often pop up in unexpected and non-dog related places. – such as on TV as background art on the British Academy Television Award winning and critically acclaimed comedy, ‘Toast of London’.
Prints from the Paper Hats dog portrait series are available for purchase from the online pet art dealer K9RT.com. A portion of all print art sales from K9RT benefit nonprofit animal rescues and independent dog advocacy groups.
Follow J.B. Shepard on Instagram @puptrait
2. William Wegman – New York, NY USA
William Wegman is arguably one of the most prolific painters to come out of the California Conceptual Movement and is currently one of the most popular photographers to work with dogs in the modern area.
The Met credits Wegman with “elevating pet photography into an art form“. Often working with his own pet Weimaraners, Wegman is best known for his series “Human Beings” where he dresses his dogs in people clothing and capturing captivating personifying scenes that blur the line between animal and people.
Follow William Wegman on Instagram @williamwegman
3. Seth Casteel – Nashville, TN USA
Seth Casteel is a professional pet photographer best known for photographing dogs, puppies and cats diving into water. If you have seen a photo of a dog diving into a pool of water, odds are it was taken by (or at least, inspired by) Seth Casteel.
Casteel’s work has been published in the National Geographic Magazine, as well as a number of other notable publications. He is a the New York Times Best Selling Author of “Underwater Dogs” and the host of ‘Finding Fido’ on Z Living.
Follow Seth Casteel on Instagram @sethcasteel
4. Carli Davidson – Portland, OR USA
Carli Davidson is a professional pet photographer best known for capturing the unique personalities of her furry pet patrons. Davidson worked for over seven years in zoos and wildlife centers, lending her an exceptional understanding of wildlife behavior and communication. She is best known for her series of portraits featuring wet dogs and cats shaking themselves dry called “Shake Pups”.
Davidson maintains a busy travel schedule and is available to photograph pets in many different cities across the United States throughout the year.
Follow Carli Davidson on Instagram @carli_davidson
5. Illona Haus – Kitchener, ON CA
Illona Haus is an award winning dog photographer and the owner of Scruffy Dog Photography based out of Ontario, Canada. Haus initially began working with horses and later became a dog trainer before becoming a dog photographer.
And, when you see Haus’s work, we think you can feel this influence come through. Her photos tend to have a very distinct, calm and natural vibe to them — even when portraits are held in interior or man made environments. Which is remarkable considering how much of her animal subject’s distinct personalities shine in these amazing pet portraits.
Follow Illona Haus on Instagram @scruffydogphotography
6. Amanda Jones – Berkshires, MA USA
Amanda Jones has been photographing dogs for over 20 years. Jones maintains a busy travel schedule, working with private pet portrait and commercial photography clients across the United States. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, Bark Magazine and the German dog magazine, Dogs.
Jones is arguably best known for her photo book, “Dog Years“, that tracked dogs over the course of 30 years – comparing photos of them as young puppies and again later as senior puppies.
Follow Amanda Jones on Instagram @amandajonesinc
7. Kaylee Greer – Boston, MA USA
Kaylee Greer is a Boston based pet photographer and host of the National Geographic TV show “Pupparazzi”. Greer is best known for her on location flash photography of dogs, which tends to bring out brilliantly saturated colors in her subjects and backgrounds. Greer is probably one of the most recognizable photographers on this list as her signature bright red hair is difficult to miss.
That said, Greer’s signature up close and personal photography style, off camera method of handheld flash lighting, and delightfully colorful concepts make it difficult (if not impossible) to confuse Greer’s photos with the work of any other photographer on this list.
Follow Kaylee Greer on Instagram @dogbreathphotography
8. Jesse Freidin – Santa Fe, NM USA
Jesse Freidin is a professional pet photographer and portrait artist based out of Santa Fe. Like William Wegman, Freidin still uses film when photographing client dogs and his iconic black and white dog photos are celebrated by clients and publishers alike.
Freidin is arguably best known for his pet portrait series, “the Doggie Gaga Project” which featured photos of dogs dressed like Grammy and Oscar winning superstar Lady Gaga. Which in our opinion is nothing short of amazing.
Follow Jesse Freidin on Instagram at @jessefreidin
9. John Gaylord – Washington, DC USA
John Gaylord is a pet photographer working out of the Washington DC metro region and the founder of Outside the Lines Pet Photography. Like the first pet photographer on our list, J.B. Shepard, John currently shoots out of the D.C / Maryland area but was originally from the New England state of Maine.
Outside the Lines specializes in on location pet photography and is best known for their dramatic portraits of pets shot against the iconic monuments, unique buildings, and populars landmarks that dot the Washington D.C. skyline.
How much does pet photography cost?
Pet portrait prices vary based on a number of factors – including the reputation of the artist, the nature of your local market, length of session, and what prints are delivered following your session. Pet photography costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well into the tens of thousands of dollars for a private commission.
Which makes sense when you consider that a “professional pet photographer” could refer to a recent art school grad or someone MoMA hosted for a feature exhibit. As you would hope that someone at the top of their game would charge more than a photographer that was still learning or just starting their career. But that said, that isn’t always the case and you shouldn’t rule out hiring a pet photographer simply because their prices are more affordable than the competition.
Know what you’re paying for
As you can see from this list, even great pet photographers can vary in their methods and approach when shooting a dog. While the photographers on this list are located in a wide range of different locations across the continent, there are a ton of great pet photographers out there that did not make the list — many of whom might be located in your home town.
It’s important to know what questions to ask and common red flags to look for when evaluating pet portrait artists. Remember to always review a photographer’s portfolio carefully before hiring them to photograph your pets or family.
Want to learn how to photograph pets like a pro?
Photographing dogs isn’t easy, but with enough practice behind the lens, diligent study of animal behavior, and few helpful tips from knowledgeable experts, anyone can learn how to take better photos of their pets. If you’re looking for a great place to start we recommend checking out these helpful pet photography Lens and Camera guides written by J.B. Shepard (the first photographer featured on our list).
Please note PXLFY LLC may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. This is not a sponsored post and PXLFY.com was not compensated by any of the photographers included on this list. Photographer info was compiled from public data available on line at time of publication.