Jackie & Duke | Fort Worth, Texas, Pet Portrait Session

Confession: I have a habit of dreaming big, and my creativity has a tendency to run a little wild. (sidenote: I distinctly remember 8-year-old Rachel envisioning a massive roller coaster when planning a backyard carnival with friends. We managed a sled down a slide…close enough?)


So when Jackie approached me about portraits of Duke (aka John Wayne), I knew we couldn't settle for ordinary and my imagination went into overdrive.


Jackie rocks the Western fashion trends like a pro—I'm always admiring her incredible turquoise finds—and her home is filled with serape, vibrant colors and ties to the West. The Duke is a coton de tulear (aka a happy cloud with legs) and the quadruple-degree-puppy-school-superstar is Jackie's pride and joy.


So while our session began with glorious running shots of Duke's majestic hair flying in the wind, I made special plans for a unique shot: a tepee! Because, of course, a dog named John Wayne deserves a shoot as Western as his namesake! We finished the scene with vibrant serape tones and a few of Duke's favorite toys. 


Duke's inherent joy is infectious—just look at that smile!—and I think I giggled through the entire evening. I also talked Jackie into joining Duke for a couple of poses. Though she first wanted the shoot to be all about her boy, their bond is precious—Jackie's face just lights up when she talks about Duke—and their relationship deserved documenting and celebrating as well. Besides, Jackie always looks fabulous and her own personal style needs showing off, too!


There are plenty more memories for this duo to make, but it makes my heart happy to know that Jackie will be able to pull out these treasured portraits and look back on Dukes younger years with fondness.