You may or may not know that I am in the process of writing a book called Hounds in Houston - Dogs being Dogs in the City. I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite places for photographing dogs that have come from scouting locations for the book. There are a ton of great places in Houston to photograph dogs and, when the book comes out, you can find out all the other spots we photographed in, but here are my top 5:
1. Smither Park - Smither Park (2441 Munger Street) has a ton of color and whimsy. It has plenty of seating areas which are helpful to pose dogs on since it can be a challenge to get down to eye level with some dogs. The Marilyn Oshman Meditation Garden features all white mosaics which gives you the nicest, softest reflected light and makes your dog look like a supermodel. Go on a cloudy day or at sunset for the best light.
2. The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park - The Japanese Garden (6100 Hermann Park Drive) is a quiet sanctuary in the middle of Hermann Park. It is beautiful year round, with different plants blooming or showing colors at different times of the year. It has rocks, bridges, a dry river, water features and tons of foliage to act as a backdrop for your photos. Bonus - it's a nice long walk to and from the car, so you can mark “take the dog for a walk” off your list as well! Make sure to check the features just outside the garden. There are wonderful columns, light posts, an ivy covered seating area and a big square “window” that you can pose your furry friend in, on and around. Look for shady spots with interesting backgrounds for the best photos.
3. Discovery Green - Discovery Green (1500 McKinney) is 12 acres of possibility when it comes to photos of your dog. There are two concrete circular sculpted benches near the rose garden that are terrific for posing small dogs on or larger dogs in front of. There are large patchwork colored walls and a heart shaped sculpture that make nice backdrops. The area is green and often has different flowers blooming. The continuously changing art installations give you the opportunity to take photos of your dog with any number of interesting pieces that may soon disappear for good. If your dog is OK with louder fountains, cross over to the large fountain in front of the convention center.
4. Graffiti Park - 2102 Leeland is home to an area most Houstonians know as Graffiti Park. It is several blocks of urban street art and is a fun place to do a shoot with your dog. Make sure to walk all the way around so you don’t miss a perfect backdrop for your unique dog. The best time to go is early morning since the area is completely concrete and heats up fast during the day and it can also get crowded with people enjoying the art. Don’t forget about posing your dog on (or under) the stairs that go up the outside of the main building. Bonus - you can sometimes catch an artist working on a new piece.
5.The Dandelion Fountain - The Gus Wortham Memorial Fountain also known as the Dandelion Fountain is on Allen Parkway between Waugh Drive and Montrose in Buffalo Bayou park. The misty fountain offers a gorgeous backdrop for your pet to pose in front of and, if you get the right angle, you can get a watery view of the AIG Tower. If you go around sunset, the fountain looks like it is on fire which adds a stunning element to your photos. Bonus - the dog park and bayou trails are within easy walking distance.