Powder Portraits

Fine Art portraiture for pets

This is NOT a digital effect. Powder is applied directly to the dog.

There are normally two people per dog: the helper (who places powder on the dog before each repetition) and the handler (who calls their dog through the obstacle and rewards).

Dogs should ideally have good independent obstacle performance for these shots, as handlers will be about 5 feet away as I take photographs. We will probably need approximately 5-10 successful repetitions, so I am confident that we have captured exactly what we need.

To keep this session running smoothly, I ask that everyone come prepared to both handle their own dog and help others. 


Things you should know...


I recommend wearing dark colored clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. Try to keep yourself and your dog as dry as possible during the shoot.

Do NOT bathe your dogs before or immediately after the shoot.

Bathing before will remove oil from your dog’s coat that would act as a buffer to the pigment, and bathing immediately after seems to make the pigment hold longer. Reds seem to fade faster than greens, and lingering color is most evident on white fur.

After we’re done working with each dog, I recommend you towel them off thoroughly, brush, then repeat. Finish up your clean up with a high-velocity dryer to blow out any remaining powder. Make sure there is no more loose powder before bathing your dogs.

The colors may last several days on your dog.

Please be mindful of this if you perform in any shows or events with your dogs. Most shows do not allow dyed dogs to compete. I do not recommend scheduling a photo shoot in the month prior to a competition.

The colored powder I use is non-toxic and safe to use with your dogs.

However, like all powder, it’s best to avoid inhaling it. We take every precaution to avoid this (shooting outdoors with lots of ventilation, only ever cuing forward momentum, keeping powder behind the head at all times).

Hudson Valley Family Photographer

Heirloom portraiture for mothers, babies & families