Ask commercial photographers about their affinity with their chosen career, and most likely you’ll find they overwhelmingly love what they do. There are innumerable reasons for this rapport with our craft, but one I find most appealing comes from the lifestyle it affords. In an industry that doesn’t rely heavily on conformity, I’ve had the luxury and freedom of bringing my dogs to the studio on a daily basis.

It began four dogs and three studios ago with a Golden Retriever pup, named Kodak. He had his own business card stating simply his name and, of course, his occupation: “Studio Dog.” He was a smash with clients, often times receiving preferential treatment over the photographers, agents and stylists they had come to collaborate with.

Buster came next, and years later, Scout. Both ran stints as semi-professional talent, with their images occasionally gracing the interior pages of automotive brochures.

In an already agreeable business atmosphere, having the companionship of your pet near your side can only make the day brighter and livelier. There are of course occasions when having a dog on site is not appropriate. Being attuned to your client’s disposition is critical, and in those cases our dogs have received the day off, spending some couch-time at home.

The latest addition to the Blue Sky studio is Jake, an exuberant black lab, still waiting for his first-time gig. Jake doesn’t have his own business card yet, but when clients request he be at the shoot, we know we’re doing something right.