Need a collar? You'll want to visit Lucky Dog Outfitters in Tacoma. You'll not find a larger selection anywhere in town, and Lucky Dog carries itty bitty collars all the way to giant collars. Just look at this collection!
There is something for everyone here. Reflective. Festive. Seasonal. Eco-friendly.
And while you shop, the very friendly employees will delight in offering delicious, healthy treats. For your dog, not for you.
My favorite kind of dog is a naked dog, and my favorite photographs are of naked dogs. Whether its for fashion or safety, however, I know not every dog guardian appreciates such nudity.
That's where collars come in, and in a portrait a collar can pull everything together or look really out of place. I want to help you find the right look to pull everything together (and so do the staff at Lucky Dog). I visited with the owner of Lucky Dog Outfitters, Jen Blankers, to talk about what makes an awesome collar for an awesome dog. We put our heads together and came up with this sage wisdom to pass along.
Comfort is the most important thing.
If it doesn't feel good, it's not going to stay on for very long. Photographs of dogs scratching their necks and shaking their heads aren't cute when you realize they are really uncomfortable. Collars that are nicely lined and the appropriate width should be quite comfy.
Everyone is different, and one of the awesome things about Lucky Dog Outfitters is that you can bring your gorgeous model and try on as many options as you need until you find the right one. Or the right six, as the case may be. One for every day and one day for nudity.
If you had just one thing to wear, you'd want it to make a statement.
Jen says this beautifully, and I bet when you visit and ask about collars you'll hear her say it in her own way (which is better than mine). Essentially, she tells people that if you choose just one, you need to make it a good one.
There are two things to consider.
First, the collar needs to complement your dog's physical appearance. Does it look awesome when it's on? If the collar is the first thing you notice, it may be that the collar is more commanding than your pup, and we don't ever want that to be the case. The dog wears the collar, not the other way around.
Second, the collar needs to reflect your dog's personality. We talked about Rhys, my fella, and how he would look completely ridiculous in the collar with tractors on it. That is definitely not his style. He's strictly a solid color collar kind of guy, by the way. Bright prints are perfect for energetic dogs. Hand-tooled leather is a great choice for dignified beasts. You'll know when you see it.
It's gotta perform.
Whether you are choosing a collar specifically to wear for photography and other special occasions or field trials, you want to know it's going to deliver. It must function well.
If you walk a lot at night, maybe you want a collar with reflective details. If your dog can't stay away from water, something that's easy to wash and doesn't hold on to smells would be perfect. Couch potatoes can probably get by with something simple without any extra features.
The photographer's criterion.
How does it photograph? Considering everything else, how does it show up on film? That's what I want to know.
Many collars that are stunning in person photograph poorly, just as many of the pieces of clothing in your closet. A great photographer will ask you about collar choices to make sure everything will come together and even offer a few guidelines. Just in case your photographer doesn't do that, I'll offer a few here.
Shiny fabrics will take over the photograph. They are stunning and yet that doesn't translate in the right way on film.
Really big prints are for really big dogs. Really tiny prints are for really tiny dogs. Scale is important, even for something as benign as houndstooth (tee hee).
Reflective pieces, like shiny fabrics, are going to attract a lot of attention and aren't the best choice for photographs.
For traditional portraits, both the collar and any tags will look best clean and in good repair. You probably wouldn't wear your gardening shoes for a portrait, right? If your wish is to capture your dog being your dog, however, that dirt, slobber, hair, and other adventure sediment on the collar and tags are every bit an enhancement. They help to tell the story.
Whatever you want, Lucky Dog Outfitters has it.
You can follow the store on Facebook and visit at 3411 6th Ave, Ste B in Tacoma.
Most of the art I create for clients ultimately goes on the wall. It is beautiful to see an amazing, soulful portrait of your beloved companion in life in the living room, the hallway, or in your office on a daily basis. Trust me when I say I know this well. I commissioned my first portrait in 2003 - a 20x24 watercolor of Vaughn. It's double-matted and framed in a prominent place in our living room.
In fact, our entire living room is dedicated to Daneish art. That's where the boys spend the most time in the house and it seems only appropriate.
When you come away from a session loving 20+ photographs, however, you cannot possibly put all of those on your walls in a way that will please you. In those cases I recommended albums.
Albums have an advantage over a single piece of wall art in that they tell a complete story of the day. There is movement through character and a variety of angles. As much as I love having large portraits on the wall, when I feel like I really need to connect I pull out an album. I walk through the story as I turn the pages, remembering how his ears felt like velvet between my fingers and his tail bruised my thighs when he was excited. I remember how happy he was on our last vacation together and how his tired heart absorbed and appreciated every moment. He was truly present and engaged, and he approached life with a joyful exuberance I've never experienced in another creature - it didn't matter if he was soaking in a sunbeam or sniffing adventure in the woods.
This is one of Conan's albums, and it's the first one I share with clients as they think about what they might like to have.
Albums have thick pages that lay completely flat, which is a gorgeous way to keep many photographs in one place.
It's one of the best and most connecting ways to honor the life and love you share. I'd be glad to share Conan's album with you and tell you about how it's helped me in the years without him.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.