AIM Animal Image Makers conference in Minneapolis 2019

For those finding this blog post from an internet search and don’t know me through my website, hello! I’m Lisa from Columbus, Ohio, and I love creating dog portraits.

animal image makers minneapolis

I just got back from the 2019 first annual Animal Image Makers conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a very long four days, from 8AM to 10PM every day. We had fabulous speakers, a choice of beginner or advanced track courses on topics like posing animals with their families, dog safety (taught by an incredibly intelligent veterinarian), and even equine photography. We learned in person from industry leaders from around the world. In sum we had about 200 unbelievably talented pet photographers in attendance at one venue for the first conference of its kinds.

Then, OH MY GOODNESS, friends, look what happened in Minneapolis. I was on the fence about entering any portraits into the Animal Image Makers image competition, and in fact an image that I call Learning to Share of a baby in a highchair watching his dog beg for food was an entry I submitted at the last minute. Literally, I was uploading my entries at 5:59 before the 6pm deadline. I had zero hope of my portraits doing anything in competition, especially after some feedback that my images - especially that baby in the highchair - would have a tough time even getting a merit. I submitted because I wanted the judges' feedback of what to do better in the future, and because darn it, I believed in that image. At the closing party, we learned that they were 474 images in the competition, and these are the top pet photographers in the world. We saw all the submissions playing on a screen and they were breathtaking. These portraits were SO beautiful. It was amazing just to be in a room filled with so much talent. Then the president of the organization announced third place, then second place, then first place for Best Animal and Human Image, and he called Learning to Share by Lisa Browning and my beloved portrait was projected on the screen and my heart stopped.

animal image makers award

I never ever ever expected to earn this and I am so grateful to the organizers, judges, and of course the two subjects of this image who are my own babies - one with fur and one without.

The entire conference was a fabulous experience, and learning in person from these esteemed photographers I’ve long admired was priceless. On the airplane home I carried my trophy, carefully and lovingly packaged, and started dreaming of my next image. I already know what it is, and I can see it in my mind’s eye as clear as day. I can’t wait to make it and share with you.

Thanks for reading. If you’re located in the Columbus area and thinking of canine portraits, I’d love to speak to you. Contact me here and we can discuss your ideas for portraiture of your beloved pet.

50th anniversary family portraits

Look at these happy folks! They're celebrating Bill and Diana's 50th wedding anniversary and wanted photographs taken at the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.

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After just a few minutes with this family I had a feeling they would be game for something a little silly. We had a practice run on the count of three where everyone except the couple of honor would do something celebratory. They didn't even need a trial run because they are a hoot! One take was all they needed to look awesome. I LOVE how into it the guys in the back row got.


With eleven people we had so many combinations of people - here are just the adult siblings with their wonderful parents.


We had to get creative with locations because due to their celebration dinner at 5pm, they needed photos at 3pm - right at the harshest time of day in summer. I always use portable professional lighting, which helps combat the sun and achieve a lovely group portrait. This little alcove with the sun behind them and flowers surrounding them worked great!


Here's the happy couple of honor. They are cute as can be and once Diana started laughing she couldn't quit! It was a joy to photograph this family. Thinking of having your own group photographed at the Scioto Mile? I'd love to create beautiful family portraits for you. Contact me now!

Shadow the rescue dog

Shadow is an amazing four-year-old black lab from the Franklin County Animal Shelter who found his people as a puppy. It was love at first sight. He's such a good boy that he retrieves his mom's daily newspaper for her so she can do her crossword puzzles. In fact, they don't get the Dispatch on Sundays so they re-wrap a previous newspaper and throw it in the yard for him to fetch so he never misses a day!

dog photography columbus ohio

I set up my lights in the living room and played with some black-on-black. Shadow knows "place" which is a pretty advanced dog command and executed it perfectly. What a good boy!

Look at this handsome boy! I can't get over how loving and happy he is all the time. The rest of the photos are with his family so I'm only sharing ONE here. Thanks for looking! If you'd like your sweet dog photographed, contact me now - I'd love to hear from you!

Red golden retriever Part II

Beautiful Harley, a red golden retriever, was featured in a previous blog post. She had SO many beautiful portraits I couldn't help but write another blog post just for her.

dog photography columbus ohio

Look at that gorgeous redhead lounging on the porch!


...and lounging by the flowers.


We hung around hoping for the sky to do something magical because there were zero clouds that evening. Finally we got some pink tones, which look nice with Harley's red hair.

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Harley is super lucky that she gets to go into the office five days a week! She and her owner are inseparable. As the sun set and we were packing up I said, "Wait! One last shot!" We got a handshake silhouette at the last second.

Want lovely sunset portraits of your own dog? Contact me now - I'd love to hear from you!

Rescue senior dog

Meet Ollie. Or as his parents call him, Poopers. They rescued him from an organization a few years ago when he was already a senior dog. Bless them for that. They sought out an older dog they could give a wonderful home and Ollie has a great life. He was taken from a terrible situation and was severely neglected and had health issues. His parents accepted him and nursed him back to health and he’s doing great.

dog photography columbus ohio

Ollie sitting against these throw pillows reminds me of a Ralph Lauren ad. He’s just too adorable. Those ears and little Ewok-looking round face made me want to love on him forever.

rescue senior dog

His dads showed me a copy of Architectural Digest and thought a photo shoot in their recently renovated home would be ideal. Their house looks amazing and their furniture shows off their mid-century modern aesthetic.

Thinking of an in-home lifestyle shoot for your own pup? I’m happy to chat - contact me now!

New puppy

Meet Sophia. She's a rat terrier-Boston terrier mix. She is nine weeks old and already housebroken. She's also just three pounds (although in person she looked about one pound - seriously she is tiny!) so I can't imagine how many potty trips her itty-bitty bladder needs to make in a single day.

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Sophia's family has had her for only two weeks but already it's easy to tell she's feeling right at home. We posed for some photographs in the front yard, and Sophia was having a grand old time.


She ran, and she ran, and she ran some more. Then she flopped on her back and wiggled on the grass for a second, then it was time for more running.

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I liked this shot of Sophia taking a rare pause and looking over at me while we see the little girl's legs as she's about to catch Sophia and scoop her up.

We did get a sweet shot of Sophia with her proud big sister. What an adorable pair these two make!

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Have a new puppy in the family? Puppies won't stay tiny for very long, so don't put off professional portraits! Contact Browning Photo now - I'm happy to hear from you!

Ohio German shepherd

Dax is a sweet boy who wanted *attention*! He had a good time running around the yard and having fun on a warm spring evening. When the camera came out, he turned on the charm.

dog photography columbus ohio

I only wish the sun had come out! It was cloudy and threatened rain all day long and then in the afternoon as I arrived the sun was shining for all of two minutes. It hid behind those clouds on the right of the picture and never came out again. Luckily I always bring lights to create a beautiful portrait in any kind of natural light. Dax looks so regal here, making this a favorite shot of him with his ears up and mouth smiling. Good boy!

Want to create a lovely puppy portrait of your own dog? Contact me right now!

Watching for Santa

Merry Christmas from an excited little boy!

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One evening I had all my lights and camera in our living room and still had not moved everything to the basement. I grabbed a quick shot of my son and spent the rest of the evening creating this image. It's a nice change since usually all my portraits have a dog in them! Colby was settled in for a long winter's nap and they say to let sleeping dogs lie, so she got a night off from modeling for me.