Lookout Mountain Winter

by Kris Phillips

Woman and dog

As I sadly watched the last of the Fall leaves flutter across the driveway I started to think about what lay in the coming months. For an outdoor photographer nature is your best friend and worst enemy. Sitting in my barren park surrounded by brown grass and stick like trees I thought about years past where I’ve simply hung up my camera until Spring brought new life to my favorite photo spots. And I decided “not this year!”

This year I’m going to find someplace that’s still beautiful to take all my pawesome dog-models. Finding a really great spot for photos can be tricky. Of course the Denver area abounds with beautiful places to hang out. But when it comes to photographing dogs, the list of requirements gets long pretty quickly.

I needed to find a place that was:

  • Close to Denver. Not all dogs like long car rides so keeping it close was important.
  • Green even in Winter.
  • Easy to access with ample parking. Many of my dogs are seniors, so long arduous hikes were off the list. And few things stress people out like failure to find parking.
  • Enough varied terrain that both close up and long distance photos would look beautiful.
  • Willing to allow dogs and professional photography.

After a few weeks of scouting I landed on Lookout Mountain. It wasn’t a hard reach as the mountain towers over my absolute favorite photo location- Lion’s Park.

After a quick trip with my dogs checked all the boxes, I decided to more thoroughly test out this gorgeous site. Enter the last model call of 2021!

Great Pyrenees Mix on Lookout Mountain

I met Michelle, Patrick, and their Great Pyrenees/St Bernard Mix Toby just as the sun started to creep over the horizon. Despite the morning chill, or maybe because of it Toby seemed right at home on our Lookout Mountain adventure.

I can only describe Toby and the Fabio of pet photography. He was quick to show me his best angle and made sure his long locks flowed magically in the morning breeze.

Mountain dog mix

Patrick & Michelle brought Toby home when he was just a tiny 5 month old pup, weighing in at a mere 60 lbs. All legs and tail his favorite thing to do was find the most awkward spot possible to curl up. As a youngster Toby discovered the joy of scrapbooking. Couple with dog in mountain meadow

Once discovering his mom’s scrapbooking supplies Toby managed to sticker the entire kitchen floor…and himself. I can only imagine the adorableness of coming home to a little fluffball covered in brightly colored stickers!Woman with dog in mountain field

As the sun climbed higher that day I met up with Erica and sweet Hazel Grace. Hazel Grace is a beagle mix that found her way to Erica all the way from an Arkansas rescue. Erica shared with me that “Hazel Grace is the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. She’s truly made a hard year more bearable and gives me a reason to smile or laugh every single day. I love her so much.” While Hazel was happy to get up close and personal with the camera, even standing on my knee at times. Her best shots were the ones where I just let her just hang out with Mom.

Sun flair behind woman with dogWhen she’s not modelling, or playing with her favorite stuffed avocado Hazel gives new and literal meaning to the term “counter surfer”. With surprising vertical leap for such a small dog Erica once caught her full on top of the counter about to scarf down a plate of chicken wings. Knowing she was busted, Hazel sat down an employed every dog’s best get out of trouble free card; the sad puppy eyes. Against which, of course, there is no being mad.

Catahoula Leopard DogsI got to wrap up the morning with a couple of characters- Doug & Agnus! And their mom, Jacqueline. Doug and Agnus are a striking pair of Catahoula Leopard Dogs. While this pair of pups share striking good looks and bi-colored eyes, their personalities couldn’t be different according to Mom. Catahoula Leopard Dogs running

Doug is the perfect gentlemen. Waiting patiently at your feet while you eat in hopes of snagging a tasty morsel. While Agnus is a bit more “take charge”, knocking over the trashcan and shoving herself inside in search of tasty goodies that might be buried.

Woman with dogs on Lookout Mountain

While Doug is deemed the best snuggler in the house with his own designated spot in mom & dads bed. Agnus is always happy and ready to play. She’s agile and eager for fetch and agility alike. Agnus didn’t think twice about some rock scrambling for our photo session, even showing Doug the best way to get up and down each pile of rocks we checked out. With these two around smiles are always in order.


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