Animal Shoots, Dog Shoot / 27 May 2022
Chewbacca & Leia’s Studio Portrait Session


I have two dogs. Chewbacca & Leia. No, I am not a Star Wars fan, and no I still have not yet managed to stay awake through the entire movie.

But I am 1000000% a fan of this Chewbacca and this Leia. And after going pretty much the whole of last year without taking proper pictures of them, I swore I would be better this year. I’ve always heard people go on about a mechanics car is the worst kept car. But I NEVER thought this would apply to me.

I love what I do! Like really love what I do. How could I possibly not photograph my dogs. Well, there’s this thing about being a photographer. I sometimes feel like I miss out on living in the moment when I’m always capturing photos for later. Plus there’s that constant pile of editing, that I am always aware of.

But this year I decided to stop thinking about all the reasons I shouldn’t be taking pics.  and instead focus on all the reasons I should. And Chewbacca & Leia’s studio portrait session was just what I needed. Especially with Leia.

Chewbacca (Chewy)

Chewy is my shadow. He is everywhere I go and he is such a typical Labrador. He is just happy to help where ever he can. Most of time that means being my test subject to quickly test a lighting set up. Or when I want to play and be creative.  And over the years I have gotten into the habit of taking a quick photo before putting my camera in its bag and heading off to a shoot. Since adopting Chewy, he has become my most photographed subject, and is almost always the subject of that test shot.

Plus, he truly believes that he is starved, and he has learnt that posing for me equals treats.


Leia on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered to pose for me. She doesn’t enjoy a camera being pointed her way. And napping is a much higher priority of hers than being photographed is. She only follows me if she suspects I might be going somewhere where there is a better napping spot or when she thinks she might get a very good treat. Oh, or of course when she just magically knows when I have decided to take her for a walk or to the park. I still haven’t worked out how she just knows.

But my goodness, this little girl has the widest range of facial expressions I have ever come across. She has a different face expression depending on if you have a chicken, cheese or bed time dog biscuit for her. And a completely different range of excited face expressions depending on if you are packing bags to take her on holiday vs a car drive to the dog park vs a walk from home.

So for Leia especially, doing a studio portrait session where I could bring out some treats and capture a range of those face expressions we see each day was just gold. One of the most common phrases you will hear in my house is “look at Leia” when ever she is pulling a cute face. Which is pretty much whenever she is awake. No, I lie, we even say it when she is sleeping cutely. And this studio portrait session was really just the perfect thing to capture this side of her personality for us.

And now I am super excited to print these huge and put them up somewhere in my house. I just need to decide where! Any suggestions?

Looking for a pet photographer?

Are you looking to have some portraits done just like Chewbacca & Leia’s Studio Portrait Session? Get in touch and let’s capture your dogs range of facial expressions!

What are you more drawn to, the studio portraits or the lifestyle Portraits? Let me know in the comments!

Both Chewbacca and Leia were adopted.

Chewbacca we got from the fabulous team at Labrador Rescue. And while Leia was adopted from Vereeniging SPCA, we were also helped extensively by wonderful Hayley from Ridgeback Rehab.


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