Fur-tography Magic: The Art of Pitbull Photography

Ah, pitbulls, — aka pitties, pibbles, velvet hippos, pitopotamuses - are a delight to photograph. They come in so many shapes and colors, and have curious personalities that are eager to please. I particularly like their blocky-shaped heads and gorgeous almond-shaped eyes which give me unlimited inspiration for images.

Sugar enjoying the sun's rays while sitting in a field of bluebonnets

Setting Up For Success

As a pet photographer in Houston, no matter what kind of dog I'm photographing I pay close attention to a dog's body language and behavior. Stress signals in dogs can be subtle and it's important to know how to recognize them and also how to make a dog feel at ease so their true personality comes through. Some dogs are naturally shy, and over the years I've developed a lot of patience and techniques to help dogs feel safe and not even know they are being photographed!

Pitbulls are no exception. During each photo session, my job is to make sure everyone - dog and owner - feel at ease and relaxed. That's why I take extra care in planning our session - from planning the perfect location to getting to know you and your dog ahead of time. I also try to take a few minutes before we begin our photo session to get the dog accustomed to the sound of my camera shutter - no surprise, this involves treats!

happy pitbull dog smiling at a Houston park
gray and white pitbull puppy

Pitbull Characteristics

Along with my standard shot list of images I like to create at each session, with pitbulls I like to capture their unique details. From their ears and ever-present tongue, to their blocky head and amazing eyes. Having two pitbulls at home myself, I know from experience that it doesn't matter what the weather is like - their tongue will be out. I do have some tricks up my sleeve to get them to close their wide grins just a second - long enough for my fast shutter to capture them in a more stoic pose.

All dogs have beautiful eyes, but pitbulls are quite remarkable. They are not only captivating but also incredibly expressive. Their eyes can convey a range of emotions, from intense love and devotion to the spark of excitement during play.

Another feature I like to focus on is their head shape which is a defining trait of pitbulls. It's what sets them apart from other breeds and makes them instantly recognizable. It's also a symbol of their strength and character, and I use it as a focal point in my compositions.

blocky headed pitbull dog in flowers
female pitbull sitting in front of mossy oak tree
close up of a pitbull dog's eye

🎶To all the pitbulls I've loved before...

I've probably had hundreds of pitbulls in front of my lens. Not all were clients, many were Houston shelter dogs who only spent minutes in my presence before the next dog was up for their portrait. But no matter how much time we spent together, they took a piece of my heart with them. Every image of a pitbull is an opportunity to tell their story —to paint a portrait that reflects the very soul of these wonderful creatures.

Do you have a pitbull? What is your favorite characteristic about them? Tell me in the comments below!

black and white pitbull at a picnic with owners