Personality Prints: The Good Dog Club

Today's Personality Prints interviewee is Lisa Johnson, owner of The Good Dog Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Whenever we go out of town our dog Alice stays at her home. I couldn't ask for a better dog walker as she treats Alice as one of her own. We met for a portrait session at Frick Park right around Halloween last year with her son Davion, who had dressed up as a Ninja for the occasion, and their pups Buddy, Jake and Mister. 

Tell me a little bit about your business.

The Good Dog Club, where any pet can be a good dog is a latchkey companion animal caregiving business. We provide services ranging from daily walks, group romps, and socialization work for dogs, to dispensing medication and providing for basic needs of any pet. We board dogs, do overnight visits, and anything in between, always seeking to adapt to the needs of the family and their pal(s).

Tell me about your pets. How did they come into your life?

My Buddy, who passed last year, came into my life the same year I adopted my son after that sweet face won my heart at the Animal Rescue League. Buddy was my gentle alpha who didn't tolerate nonsense and had an amazingly gentle way of straightening bad dogs out. Our chocolate lab, Jake, is my son's dog. He was an unclaimed stray found at about 3 years old, unneutered full of himself when we took him in. It took a full 6 months to convince him that every single ball encountered didn't belong to him, regardless of who was playing with it! Mister is our yorkie poo, a teenie tough guy/lover who was purchased from a family found on the internet. He was the tiniest puppy I'd ever seen, arriving with motorcycle grease from his previous home in his hairdoo!

Do you and your dogs (pets) share personality traits that has helped you in life/business? 

Buddy was the most amazing dog to work with as he never met a dog he didn't like. He had a clear sense of right and wrong and, within those parameters, everyone was a friend to him. He always had a really calming and direct way with other dogs which set the tone for many group romps over the years.

How does your pets support you and or inspire you and your business?

The name, the Good Dog Club, comes from time spent with my beloved Ruby, mainly in Minneapolis. In our large circle of friends, I would put the call out for a meeting of the Good Dog Club and it was on! We'd head to a local park or lake and let the dogs run free! Seemed the perfect image for a business that seeks to promote joy and well being in the lives of our companions.

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?

Excuses disempower self, action is cure. I lifted that from the bathroom wall at Film in the Cities in St. Paul, Minnesota 30 years ago!

The Coyer Family

It is incredibly rewarding to be invited to document a family not only once, but twice. Last fall I met the Coyer family at Frick Park on one of the most gorgeous weekends of the entire month of October. Little miss Carolynn had grown so much since I last saw her, and was full of energy and personality. I swear it melts my heart every time I look at these images, and the way that she played with her dogs Zeke and Tyke. Here are a few of my favorite family portraits that I created that evening.pittsburgh family photographers family photos with pets CoyerFamilyColor028 kids and dogs family photos with petsCoyerFamilyColor045 kissing daddymommy and me photos pittsburgh

Lorelai & Mackie

I had the great pleasure of meeting expecting parents Sam and Amy last summer when they wanted me to create a few portraits of their sweet pups Lorelai and Mackie to hang in the nursery. Sam and Amy named Lorelai after Lorelai Gilmore from the show Gilmore Girls. It started as an inside joke that Sam liked the show so much, but after going on for so long, they couldn't resist. Mackie's name was chosen as it is the name of the street in Dublin, Ireland where Sam and Amy first lived together - "Mackie's Place." When the time came for Sam and Amy to get a dog of their very own, they decided a Labradoodle would be perfect as they are known for their intelligence and great temperaments. Sam and Amy searched far and wide for the perfect Australian Labradoodle and found Lorelai's mom and dad who belonged to a breeder in California. They anxiously awaited Lorelai's arrival. After a year with Lorelai, they couldn't resist getting a second and, soon enough, along came Mackie.

Lorelai and Mackie LOVE to chase tennis balls at the park. They also love to fight over their favorite toys and chase each other around the house. No matter how many toys they have, they always want to play with the same one. Lorelai loves to snuggle while Mackie prefers to explore. Here are a few of my favorite portraits that I created for them.

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australian labradoodle

australian labradoodle

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dogs running

australian labradoodle

dogs playing chase

beautiful dog portraits in pittsburgh

happy dog running

australian labradoodle

dogs catching ball

pets and their people

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pittsburgh pet photographer

expecting parentshartwood acres mansion


Annapolis | Adventures with Film

Earlier this year we headed to Annapolis to visit our friends and to celebrate my birthday. Of course I couldn't leave home without a camera, so I brought my Mamiya C330 that I had recently purchased. It is a thing of beauty, and is so much fun to use. Not only because of the fact that everything is manual and you feel like your whole being is part of taking the picture, but also because of the looks you get from kids when they see this old thingamajig. I love these film portraits of my friends. Good times. mamiya c330

annapolis film photography