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Photographing dogs in winter

My Favorite Season For Dog Photos

If you know me well, this won’t surprise you one bit. If you have never met me, this might come as a surprise to you. Can you guess what my favorite season is for getting outdoors for dog photos?


I have always been heat sensitive and have never loved the heat. I did live in NC for 9 years, and also Atlanta for 6 months. I have been in MA now for about 20 years now. I have always preferred cooler temps, but it wasn’t until we rescued our dog, Kota, eleven years ago, that I fell in love with everything winter!

Winter is fluffy white snow. It’s cute boots and adorable warm jackets. It’s snowshoes and cross country skis. It’s peaceful mornings on trails with crisp air. It’s hot cocoa and chocolate peppermint lattes. It’s warming up by a wood crackling fireplace. It’s winter dogs having the time of their life!!!

Photographing dogs in winter makes for the perfect portraits, especially with a blanket of snow on the ground. Even without snow, that brown tones still work well for wall portraits to decorate your home. It happens to be my quietest time for sessions, but I would love for that to someday change! This past winter we did have too much ice and bitter temps. My ideal winter session would be 6-8 inches of snow covering the ground with a temperature of 32 degrees F.

What about winter locations? Where do we go?


Right in your own backyard is a perfect spot! This works especially well with dogs that might not love running into other dogs or distractions in public places. My husky mix, Kota, has enjoyed snowy winters and I have loved the joy of watching her! She could sit for hours in the snow, simply existing. I was always at peace just watching her. At a young age, sprinting and leaping through the snow made her so happy!

Husky mix winter season
Kota “just watching”
husky mix running in the snow
Kota doing the “backyard loop” after a snowfall

Stunning Shiba Inu, Kai, did best in his own backyard. When we photographed him in Tails of the North Shore we used his yard with Pentucket Pond in the background. (In Memory of Kai)

Snow dog Pentucket Pond in Georgetown
Golden light with Pentucket Pond as a backdrop
Shiba Inu running in snow
Kai bounding in the snow
shibu inu with head in the snow
Enjoy the SNOW!

Winter Vineyard

If you have followed my blogging over the years, you know that Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, NH, is one of my favorite places to photograph dogs. Twelve months out of the year it’s beautiful! Every season has something to offer. Winter is magical, especially on a morning right after a snowfall.

A little bit about this session! The pictures were going to be a surprise for mom. Dad brought the two dogs. I photograph the vineyard shortly after sunrise, and we usually have the entire grounds to ourselves. The only people we run into are the landscapers/groundskeepers.

This morning happened to be on of the coldest! We almost rescheduled, but the dogs were bigger and according to dad, the did love the snow. If dogs do well off leash, the vineyard is a perfect spot. Dad unhooked the leash and within seconds Maverick, being a Labrador, jumped right into the icy cold water feature! FREEZING! Poor pooch was shivering the rest of the morning… but I think he enjoyed that moment! (I caught the moment of recognition of how cold it was!)

Dog in icy waters
Icy waters
black lab in a snow vineyard
Vineyard snowfall
Happiness is Snow
Happiness with dad

The Beach

Another favorite place for winter photos is the beach. Many of the beached here in MA and New Hampshire only permit dogs certain time of year, not in the summer months. The time frame is usually from Columbus Day to Memorial Day. I love the chill of the ocean air and the quiet at sunrise.

Archie was one of our Tails of the North Shore dogs and we got a cloudy winter morning at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA.

Good Harbor Beach Gloucester
Archie at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, MA

Last winter we took my dog, Kota, to Plum Island Beach to experience the beach for the first time. We went at sunrise and had it all to ourselves. The ocean was a bit scary, but she did good!

husky mix on plum island
Kota experiencing Plum Island Beach

Winter in New England is perfect! From the backyard to the beach, one can’t go wrong with a winter dog photography session. Are you ready to put on your favorite pair of snow boots and learn more? (I know… you’re telling me not to rush summer!) Winter will be here before you know it! And I’m hoping to get you and your dog excited for it!

Follow the Cirlce

This post i s part of a pet photographer’s blog circle. Click on the link at the end of each post and follow along. Next up Angela Schneider and Bella of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA, heads to the coast to visit, have sessions and relax. Enjoy!!!

6 thoughts on “My Favorite Season For Dog Photos”

  1. While summer is my favorite time of year, I do love photographs in the winter, in all their crisp glory. Great photos, and I love the beachy images!

  2. Always soooo jealous of your snow pictures. Not of the snow itself mind you – although >40 days of >100º temps this summer might get me there eventually – the winter light up north is so soft and I love the golden glow on the white snow. Kota was made to be photographed in the snow – perfection. The clean palette makes all the dogs’ colors pop. And the beach at winter too….so jealous. Absolutely gorgeous images Darlene, I’m sure every pet parent was beyond thrilled with your work.

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