Kate Farrell Photography

Family & Dog photographer
Burlington & Northern Vt




Capturing Joy and Connection: My Dog Photography Philosophy

Dogs effortlessly steal our hearts with their playful antics, unwavering loyalty, and unconditional love. As a dog photographer, I have the privilege of capturing the unique bond between animals and their human companions. Every dog has a story to tell, and it is my passion to bring those stories to life through photography.

As a family and dog photographer, I embrace the beauty of natural light in my art and create a stress-free experience for my clients, both human and canine. I strive to capture the true essence of our furry friends, creating timeless memories that celebrate their spirit and the bond they share with their human companions.

Vermont dog photography -- a man gets a big kiss from his black dog.
Yup, Saber has stolen his caregiver’s heart!

The Magic of Natural Light in Dog Photography

In photography, light is everything. Natural light is a powerful tool that can literally bring a photo to life. Unlike artificial lighting, which can sometimes be harsh or distracting, natural light has a softness and warmth that enhances the natural features of animals.

I am inspired by natural light. I love to photograph both pets and families during golden hour — that time before and around sunset.

The light at this time of day is a bit softer than an mid-day and tends to cast a soft glow on the subject. I can capture beautiful photos with the light filtered through trees or illuminating a dog in action.

A man and his niece hug a black lab at golden hour -- Vermont dog photography.
I love the warmth golden hour added to this priceless moment.

Embracing Nature as a Vermont Dog and Family Photographer

Vermont provides a captivating backdrop for both pet and family photography. The Green Mountain State offers an array of colors, textures, and landscapes that enrich the visual appeal of every image. All of my work is inspired by the Vermont landscape; daily time in nature is a value I hold dear.

I believe that capturing pets in their natural environments helps to convey their true essence. Sometimes this is a serene park, a sunlit beach, or a lush forest. I strive to create a sense of authenticity in my photographs, revealing the joy and wonder that our furry friends experience when surrounded by nature.

Of course, for many pets, home is the best place for a session. Many dogs are most comfortable at home and that is reflected in the images. Some people prefer photos of their dogs at home because they want to always remember how comfortable their dog was at home, in their favorite place. I wrote a whole blog post about why home just might be the best place for your photo session.

Three adults and four dogs in the grass with a green trees behind them. Vermont dog photography.
Family session? Dog session? They are one in the same in my mind!

Positive Training Techniques

At the heart of my pet photography philosophy lies a commitment to employing positive training techniques. Fostering a cooperative and trust-based relationship between pet and human is essential for capturing genuine and heartwarming moments. By using positive reinforcement and rewards, I ensure that the experience of being photographed is enjoyable for the pets. This encourages their natural expressions and behaviors to shine through. This approach also nurtures a harmonious connection that is evident in the final images.

A older black lab with a grey muzzle and red collar rests in the evening sun on the grass.
I use positive training techniques to help position dogs for photos.

Safety Considerations in Dog Photography

Safety is of paramount importance to me. I always consult with the dog’s caregiver about any special needs. We seek out locations where we can walk away from any traffic and will likely not find many other people or dogs. I always ask caregivers to bring and use a leash during our session. I can easily remove the leash from most images. However, in some cases, the leash is part of the story as some dogs are not able to run off leash.

Please note, it is not always possible to remove a harness in my editing process. If your dog needs to be in a harness, we can work to minimize the visibility of the harness through careful posing and planning during the session.

A woman gazes with love at her blonde rescue dog.
Some dogs need to be photographed on leash. This caretaker wanted a photo that included the leash because that’s Nala’s reality.

For those able to romp safely off leash, you can expect to find me on my belly capturing some action images of your furry athlete!

Pepper loves to run!
ME! Kate Farrell, on my belly in the grass taking a photo at golden hour.
You can expect me to end up on the ground with my camera. It’s how I’ll get my favorite angle on dogs (and kids) at your dog and/or family photo session.

Celebrating the Unique Bond Between Dog(s) and Caregiver(s)

Celebrating the connections in families is a cornerstone of my approach to photography. Be it between caregiver and dog, parent and child, siblings or other family members, I love to capture images that showcase that connection.

Portrait of a Vermont couple with their older golden retriever.
Priceless connection.

Pets hold a special place in our lives, offering companionship, love, and unwavering support. As a dog photographer, I consider it my duty to honor and celebrate the unique bond between dogs and their humans. Through my lens, I strive to capture the authentic interactions, shared joy, and unconditional love that define this extraordinary relationship. Each photograph becomes a testament to the profound connection between pet and family, evoking emotions and memories that will be cherished for years to come.

A Vermont couple tickle their golden retriever after I took their portrait.
Post-portrait tickle fest!!

Creating a Stress-free experience for you and your dog is a priority.

From the moment you reach out until you hang a framed print on your wall, I want your experience to be stress-free. I have a step-by-step process to help you find the best location for your family, feel relaxed during the photo session and get just the right mix of digital and print images at the end.

In the world of dog photography, capturing the true essence of our beloved companions requires a delicate balance of skill, patience, and an understanding of their unique personalities. By embracing natural light and opting for outdoor settings, I allow the beauty of nature to complement your furry friends’ vibrant spirits. Moreover, by employing positive training techniques, I can ensure a joyful and stress-free experience for your dog(s), resulting in images that reflect their true selves. Through this process, I can help you immortalize the cherished bond between you share with your pets, creating timeless memories that will bring joy and warmth to your heart long after your pet has passed on.

Portrait of a woman and her dog.
Even dogs prone to getting stressed easily can be made to feel comfortable at a photo session.

How to Schedule a Photo Session with Your Dog(s)

I love to photograph dogs with their families of all ages!

I generally book 4-8 weeks in advance though that varies seasonally. To ensure optimal lighting my sessions are in the two hours before sunset. Please reach out through the contact form on my website. I’ll be in touch with a personalized email within one business day. We’ll set up a short video call where I can answer all your questions. We can even start planning your dog photography session if you are ready.

Booking requires filling out a few forms, paying my session fee to secure a spot on my calendar as well as my time and talent before and during your session. A few weeks after your session, I’ll email a link to a gallery of at least 50 fully edited professional digital photos.

I offer three collections to meet the needs of all clients. You can purchase some or all of the images. Every collection includes an artwork credit to be used in my on-line store to help get archival quality artwork hanging on your walls as soon as possible.


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Kate farrell photography

© Images by Kate Farrell
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Kate Farrell is a professional lifestyle family and dog photographer based in Williston, Vermont, serving Burlington and Northern Vermont. 

All Families Welcome Here.