Dog, Park

Where to take early spring photos of your dog – Northville/Novi

Welcome to mud season… Mother Nature’s April Fools joke

For anyone living in Michigan, or the upper Midwest in general, the beginning of spring is an exciting time.  The snow is retreating, the temperature is getting to tolerable levels, and both people and dogs are coming out of hibernation.  

We’re excited to see the sun again and spend time outside.  And then Mother Nature says, April Fools! The joke is on us….because the melting snow and warmer temps means mud season!  

As a dog mom to four dogs, I can honestly say that mud season is my least favorite season.  And as a pet photographer, I can honestly say that most people agree with me and don’t want to have their pet portrait sessions done in early spring.  Besides the mud it just really isn’t a visually appealing season until the spring flowers start to bloom and the grass greens up.

But what if you don’t have the luxury of waiting until summer?  If you have a senior dog and you’re worried that you don’t have much more time?  Or the flip side, you have a new puppy and want to capture that short window of pudgy puppy belly?  Maybe you just have spring fever and can’t wait to get out and get some photos of your dog?

My three favorite locations for early spring dog photos in the Novi/Northville area:

Maybury State Park, Northville:

I love the wide paved paths of Maybury State Park!  You can keep your pup mud free and still get some beautiful images.  At this time of year cloud cover is usually still pretty heavy, which is actually great for forested areas. It keeps the lighting even without the dappled light that can be so distracting in photos.  A bonus are the big fallen trees along the paths, a perfect perch for a dog that likes to explore a bit. You do need to have the recreation passport but it’s worth it.

Some images shot at Maybury park in late March:

A tri colored English shepherd sits on a forest path
An alert English shepherd dog laying in the dead grass at Maybury State Park, Michigan

Pavilion Shore Park, Novi:

My friend Adrienne introduced me to Pavilion Shore park. I was actually a little worried when I first pulled up to the parking lot.  I like a good challenge but this flat, open area seemed like it might be difficult to find a variety of backgrounds. But once I walked around a bit I realized how fantastic the park is in early spring.  The stone boulders and piers overlooking Walled Lake create so many options to get good photos without dealing with the mud or dead grass. I’m sure it’s a great spot in late spring and summer as well, but so far it’s my favorite spring photography spot.

Some images from Pavilion Shore Park on Walled Lake:

The boulder wall at Pavilion Shore Park near Lakeshore Park in Novi makes a great place for this small cream dog to play
A little cream dog sits in front of stone columns in Lakeshore Park in Novi, Michigan, licking his lips and waiting for the next treat!

Downtown Northville:

There are so many cute storefronts in downtown Northville that you’ll be sure to find some great backgrounds.  Be sure to pop into Celebrity Pets Co on Main Street to get a treat or a new toy while you’re out. And a bonus is stopping at Browndog Barlor. Get a dog-friendly ice cream sundae, complete with dog biscuit on top.  Talk about a good photo opp! P.S. They have artisan ice cream, sometimes with alcohol, for humans. Win win.

Black newfoundland puppy in front of Northville, Michigan, downtown store fronts

So those are my 3 favorite locations to get some great photos of dogs in early spring.  Do you have any good spots that you want to share?

Special April shout out to our friends at Furry Kids Pet Photography:

Jill Piper of Furry Kids Pet Photography is a pet-loving photographer located in Minot, Maine, USA. Check out her post, “The Best of Both Worlds? The Cat/Dog Hybrid” as you follow the next link in this blog chain. http://furrykidspetphotography.com/…/best-of-both…