Portraits of Dogs: The Best 6 of 2020
We take pictures of our dogs for many different reasons - to capture the excitement on their face when they are playing outside, to snap a candid shot of them sleeping in their favorite place, or just because they look especially adorable in the moment. Portraits have been allowing us to save a brief moment in time since their invention, so that long after our pets are gone we can remember them fondly. They’re about as close to magic as you can get.
To celebrate the special bond that we have with our dogs, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dog portraits that we’ve seen this year (so far). We’ve tried to capture a wide range of portraits, from the silly to the serious, that truly showcase the wide range of emotions that our dogs really have. Let’s jump in and take a peek at all the doggy supermodels!
#1) The Admiral
Although these portraits are listed in no particular order, The Admiral remains one of our favorites of 2020. It’s really the perfect combination of the unexpected and the adorable. The intense look on the French Bulldog’s face, staring out from the portrait, really does seem to be a throwback to all of the historical paintings that have been done of admirals dating back centuries. You can almost see him working on his strategy, planning two steps ahead of the enemy, ready to win.
Combined with the historically accurate Naval admiral outfit he’s wearing, and how well the two fit together, it’s almost believable that it could be a picture taken directly out of a history book. It’s stoic, serious, and absolutely adorable. Couldn’t we all use a little more levity in our lives, especially these days?
#2) Pups With a Purpose
We love this dog portrait by Ken Drake, a pet photographer from Brisbane, Australia, not only for how cute it is, but also for its message.
Featuring a German Shepherd holding a medical bag and a Beagle wearing a stethoscope, both staring directly at the camera, the portrait draws you right from the start. Who are these dogs? Why are they dressed in medical gear? The answer is twofold - both to look adorable and also to draw the viewer in so that you can learn more about the importance of both human and animal blood donors.
For instance, did you know that dogs and cats can donate blood, too? Our furry friends have different blood types, just like we do, and need blood transfusions for many of the same reasons, like cancer, trauma, surgery, or blood diseases. Pets can “volunteer” to donate blood during their healthy, adult years, provided they pass the restrictions most animal blood banks put on who is allowed to donate (which can be fairly strict, for obvious reasons). Consider having your pet evaluated to be an animal blood donor today. It could save a life!
#3) The American Gothic
No list of the best dog portraits of 2020 would be complete without The American Gothic. This remains one of our absolute favorite custom pet paintings for a variety of different reasons.
Mostly, though, we just really love the dichotomy of those adorable, sweet Yorkie faces on one of the most serious paintings of all time. Grant Wood’s 1930 painting of American Gothic is an American classic, and one of the most well known and recognizable paintings out there. It was created as a tribute to the perseverance of the American spirit during the Great Depression, and the looks on the faces of the original father-daughter team could likely be described by anyone without even needing to look at the painting.
That’s what makes this dog painting so amazing. We all know and love American Gothic, so seeing it recreated with these perfect Yorkies gives it an exciting twist. It’s one of the best ways to make new art from other art without taking away from either, and we’d be proud to hang it on any wall in the home. It’s just that good.
#4) A Pitbull and His Ball
Although not shot in 2020, this amazing dog portrait of a pitbull named Gator and his ball was featured on award-winning pet photographer Jesse Freidin’s “From the Archives” series on his website.
Shot with just a Polaroid camera, Gator (who was a circus dog at the time) balances one of his favorite balls on his nose while he looks slightly at the camera. Besides the beauty of the shot’s sepia tones, the portrait is even more amazing when you find out that Gator is fully deaf. The shot was created with the dog watching for hand signs from his handler, which makes the pitbull’s balancing act even more impressive.
We love this shot because it is the perfect mix of the old and the new, a photo that could have been taken yesterday or many years ago. And we love a good story about overcoming adversity! Gator hasn’t let being deaf stop him, so we should have no excuse for reaching for our dreams either.
#5) The Pawresident
No matter where you fall on the political scale, 2020 has been a tough year! With so much anger and hatred in the country, and being stuck in our houses for days at a time, it’s impossible to not daydream about how we could make the country different.
That’s why we love The Pawresident. Close your eyes for a moment and think about what the country would be like if it was run by your dog. Walkies would be mandatory, and everyone would get treats. We’d all play happily together in a big dog park with our own tennis balls, and be able to roll in whatever we wanted. Although the dog featured in the pet portrait is looking out from the podium stoically, you can tell that he or she is just waiting to be told that they’re the best boy/girl.
We know our dogs run our homes, but just imagine if they ran the country! The Pawresident allows us to glimpse briefly at that idea, with adorable results.
#6) Crosby’s Photo Shoot
Husband and wife photography team Mary and Adam Goldberg, owners of AGoldPhoto pet photography in Tampa, Florida, created the next entry on our best dog portraits of 2020 list.
The photo shoot features Crosby, an adorable, older Border Collie, doing what he loves to do… catching Frisbees! Each of the photographs in the shoot really show how excited he gets around them, and how much he loves to jump into the air and show off! Even though Crosby is no longer a young pup, it’s inspiring to see how much enthusiasm he still has for life. We especially like the shots where he is fully in the air, with the ground far below him, stretching his neck out in a single-minded focus to catch the Frisbee. He’s not afraid, he’s not unsure… he’s just in the moment.
And isn’t that a reminder that we all need from time to time? You’re never too old, and it pays to be present in the moment. We should all be more like Crosby.
This is just a small selection of our favorite dog portraits from this year so far. Each of them is a little different, and special in its own way (much like our dogs!). If you’re ready to have a special pet painting created of your furry friend, reach out today. We’d love to create a memory as long-lasting and unique as any of the shots featured in this article.