Jen Magnuson Photography - Visual Stories of Outdoor Adventure

Commercial and Editorial Photographer

Making Memories and Making your Brand Memorable

Hey Look!  I’m blogging again!  Despite my rebellious attitude towards blogging, I had actually committed to writing blogs this year.  I joined a blog commitment group on Facebook for January, and here we are January 27, and I am writing my first blog of the year!  Maybe this will be the launch point of the two blogs a week I committed to?

There’s a reason that I write today though.  I have a dog.  His name is Sam.  He’s a 13-year-old black lab who loves to pull us up mountain trails, through the snow, along the ridges, up into the thin air at the peaks.  He has been my buddy since he was a 12-pound ball of black fur, and he actually fit in my lap!

Sam's first modeling job

©2016 Hound Dog Studios

He had a brother, a true, popped out of the same momma dog on the same day, littermate of a brother.  His name was Dexter.  He was a stubborn, tenacious, rebellious, risk taker, and he constantly challenged my authority.  He exasperated me, and he made me love him more each day.  I imagine it’s a lot like my mom felt parenting me, the human girl version of Dexter.

Dexter passed away suddenly when a mystery illness suddenly bled away his energy.  We were just weeks away from celebrating the dogs’ 12th birthdays.  It broke my heart.  It still breaks my heart.

When Dexter passed, I scoured my hard drives and my photo albums looking for every picture I had of him.  There were snapshots from film cameras, some grainy blurry photos from my original camera phone, and my first digital camera, some from my first DSLR, and some from my professional gear.  It was a march through 12 years of the advancement of technology, and my photographic skill.

What was missing?  Portraits.  I never sat the pups down for real portraits that captured their personalities.

You may wonder what any of this has to do with the headshots and commercial photographs I take, and I will bring you around to that, but first. . .

I didn’t want to make that mistake with Sam.

Last week, I took Sam to Hound Dog Studios, an Arvada, Colorado dog portrait studio.  We met Rayna Mason, a dog lover, photographer, and keeper of many treats!  She took less than an hour to make Sam comfortable in her studio, and managed to capture an amazing series of portraits of my little old man!  Her studio was stocked with treats, toys, multiple backdrops, and adorable props!  She was patient and directed Sam like Cesar Milan with a Nikon.

Looking dapper in hid bow tie!

©2016 Hound Dog Studios

Now, I have my Sammer, preserved in his pink tongued, perked eared glory!

There's the smile!

©2016 Hound Dog Studios

So what do amazing portraits of a geriatric dog have to do with headshots and commercial photography?


No, nobody wants to hang an ad above their fireplace, though I did see some strange things like that in homes when I was a police officer.  BUT!  Companies want to be MEMORABLE.  You want to be memorable.

Photography is what makes you, and your business, memorable, but only when it expresses your brand and your personality accurately, and only when it appeals to your ideal clients and customers.

Photography also preserves memories.  We are only on the planet for a limited time, and in the case of a dog, it’s a blink.

Be memorable.  Preserve your memories.