dog photographer

New Award-winning Images: 2018 IPC Results

Last year I entered print competition for the first time, which was a huge learning experience.  I entered again this year, although admittedly kinda at the last minute.  If you're not familiar with Professional Photographers of America's International Photographic Competition (or the "Superbowl" of professional photography as I call it), then read last year's IPC results post first for an overview of how scoring works.

How I did in 2018 IPC

Three out of four of my images were awarded a merit, all within the General Collection.  Not too shabby!  Although my goal was 4/4, it's still better than 2/4 last year.

Now for my entries:

Image 1:  Collie and Columns

I love the architectural elements and leading lines in this image, but unfortunately the judges did not feel strongly about it.  Although I haven't received my critique yet, I'm wondering if perhaps the judges wanted more of a story?  It scored 78.  And actually I'm grateful it didn't score the dreaded 79!  Still one of my favorite images taken this summer.

Collie and Columns

Collie and Columns

Image 2:  Mr. Tough Guy

I love Adobie's intense expression and the colorful graffiti wall.  The ironic part is that Adobie is ANYTHING but tough - he's actually quite gentle and snuggly with his toy bunny.  This one scored 80, and earned a merit in the General Collection.

Mr. Tough Guy

Mr. Tough Guy

Image 3:  Maybe She's Born With It

If you've visited Loyl's Natural Pet in the West U area, you may have met Lucy, one of the resident greeters there.  She has the most amazing eyelashes, and I instantly fell in love with this image of her.  It scored 80, and earned a merit in the General Collection.

Maybe She's Born With It

Maybe She's Born With It

Image 4:  Wish You Were Here

The first three images were all taken during client sessions in Houston, but this last one was taken while on vacation in Paris.  No lie, I spent a couple hours sitting, watching, and walking around the Champ de Mars, waiting for the perfect dog to walk by to pose for me in front of the Eiffel Tower.  When I saw Chicco, I knew he was the one!  And shhhh, don't tell anyone, he's actually Swiss, not French!  This image scored an 80 and earned a merit in the General Collection.

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Pulling back the curtain

I love a good before and after!  So I thought I'd pull back the curtain and show how much post-processing work can go on behind the scenes.  The slideshow below shows my four entries 1) straight out of camera, and 2) as submitted into print competition.

Curious to see my entries from last year's competition?  Check out the 2017 IPC results blog post.

Is your dog ready for his close-up?  Fall sessions are booking now - send me a message and let's chat!

Voyage Houston Magazine Feature

Recently I was featured by Voyage Houston Magazine as part of their inspiring entrepreneurs series.  You can read the original article at Voyage Houston (with more cute puppy pictures!) or read it below.

Meet Megan Murray of Megan Murray Photography

french bulldog with crooked teeth houston texas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Murray.

Megan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

I became a dog mom in 2005 and my life was forever changed. It’s funny how a little ball of fur who has bad breath, pees on your floor and chews your furniture can wiggle completely into your life and heart. What in the world did we do before we had a dog? Gosh, what a boring life it must have been!

Mackenzie, a dachshund mix, taught me about responsibility and unconditional love and started my obsession with short puppy legs. Less than a year later, we brought Sophie, our spunky Maltese mix, home and learned that there was indeed enough love to go around. And a few years after that, we rescued a calm puppy only to realize later that her personality was anything but calm. Sadie inspires me to live life with exuberance and joy.

Like most dog moms, my phone was filled with thousands of snapshots of my furbabies, but one day I realized we didn’t have a really nice picture of our little family all together. I was desperate to document the head tilt and crazy hair and underbite of our first children, so I hired a professional photographer to do just that! Fast forward several years… our dogs’ portraits still hang prominently in our family room, and I now help other dog moms and dads preserve memories of their own beloved furbabies.

Has it been a smooth road?

Most people think their dog would never behave well enough for a photo session, but that is a myth! While some dogs can be more challenging than others to photograph, it’s amazing how a little patience, funny noises, and stinky treats can turn any dog into a supermodel!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Megan Murray Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.

I’m an on-location photographer specializing in candid pet photography in Houston, Texas. I believe dogs are family, and my goal is to provide clients with a fun and personalized photography experience resulting in beautiful artwork to enjoy every day.

My sessions are laid-back with plenty of time for belly rubs and a game of fetch. But the fun doesn’t end there! After the session, I create and deliver custom framed wall portraits and albums. Smiles guaranteed! Houston dog moms choose me because they appreciate quality photography, timeless tangible artwork, and personal attention from start to finish.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?

Having family close by is my favorite thing about Houston. A close second is the variety of world-class restaurants, entertainment, sports, and cultural events. I don’t enjoy the mosquitoes or the hot and humid summers (not exactly the best weather for an outdoor portrait session!).

Contact Info:

Thank you Voyage Houston!

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Most Popular Posts of 2017 - Houston Dog Photographer

One thing I love about this time of year is reflecting back on all the good things that happened and dreaming about what next year will bring.  Let's look back at the top posts from the past year.  Enjoy!

rescue dog plot hound mix houston texas brindle

1) #Goals

One of my 2017 goals was to enter print competition for the first time - I did, and you cheered me on as I earned 2/4 merits (one image will be published in a book!)  Check out the four images I submitted and the results.

2) Work hard, play hard

In February I traveled to Costa Rica for a pet photography retreat.  Spending a week learning from and bonding with other talented pet photographers from across the world was fantastic, not to mention the puppies, sunsets on the beach, monkeys on the rooftop deck, luxurious accommodations...  yeah, I definitely need to do this again SOON!

3) Every animal matters

Friends For Life is not your typical animal shelter.  They step up to help when others can't or won't.  I was so impressed by the work Friends For Life continues to do that I organized a fundraising event to benefit them, and it was a huge success!

4) Getting in the picture

I always encourage my clients to participate in the photo session, and I shared some examples of dogs with their people.  Believe me, you will treasure the photographs of you with your best friend.

5) Home is where the heart is

You might think your house is too small or too messy, but there are several reasons why your home is a great place for a photo session.


Hope you enjoyed the most popular posts from 2017!   Curious what was popular last year?  Here are the top 8 posts of 2016

Top 8 Posts of 2016 - Houston Pet Photography

Who else is busy decorating, crafting, baking, shopping, and holiday partying? 

Each year, I look forward to the quiet time between Christmas and New Years when the world seems to slow down and we spend quality time with friends and family - even taking a few naps if we're lucky!  But in order to get to that nice, relaxing week, we first have to cross the hurdle which is the first half of the December.  And I don't know about you, but these few weeks are bustling with activity...

So while I am getting into the holiday spirit, here's a look back at the top 8 most popular posts from the past year.  Enjoy!

black and white dog houston texas photography

1) Model behavior

Most people think their dog would never behave well enough to get a good picture.  I shared my secret for creating a great pet portrait while keeping your dog safe on a leash.

2) Deck the walls

When’s the last time you printed a picture to display in your house?  Here are ideas for getting your pictures off a CD and into your home where you can enjoy them every day.

3) Different perspective

Photographers see the world a little different.  See how I turned an ordinary sidewalk location into a beautiful pet portrait.

4) Alien eyes be gone

Does your dog have scary glowing eyes?  Of course not.  And neither should pictures of your dog!  This tip for photographing your dog should eliminate the alien eyes.

5) Location, location, location

No, this is not a lesson in real estate.  I shared 6 tips and example photographs for choosing a location for your photo session.

6) iPhoneography

I have so many pictures on my iPhone that I’ve had to start deleting old ones to make room for the new, and I know I’m not the only one!  Stop wasting storage space with mediocre pictures, and check out these tips for making the most out of your iPhone camera.

7)  Across the pond

This fall I traveled to London and met some lovely British dogs.

8) Naughty or nice?

And if you're still looking for the perfect gift for your dog or dog-loving friend, I created a holiday gift guide to help you out!


Hope you enjoyed the top posts from 2016!  Later this month I'll share my favorite photographs from the year.

Lola - Houston Fall Pet Photography

Pumpkin spice. 

It's September in Houston, and pumpkin spice is the only indication that fall is almost here.  Because the leaves sure as heck aren't changing color anytime soon!  With temperatures still in the high 80s, I order my ICED pumpkin spice drink and dream that one day soon I'll get to wear my riding boots and a scarf. 

Speaking of leaves changing colors, last September I was out location scouting and found this beautiful spot in downtown Houston where the leaves had created a lovely orange and yellow blanket on the sidewalk.  I was thrilled!

fall leaves in houston

Fast forward one week later, I showed up to the same location, getting ready for my photo session with Lola, and heard a terrible noise: the steady hum of gas-powered lawn equipment.  Sure enough, I ran over to that once-gorgeous-staircase-covered-in-beautiful-fall-color and to my horror, saw the groundskeeper blowing off the very last of my coveted leaves.  Noooooo!

Colorful fall leaves or not, Lola rocked her session and had a great time on her playdate in downtown Houston.  And I did find a very small spattering of leaves:

houston dog photography
black and white pit bull in texas
houston rescue dog
houston texas pet photographer
houston theater district photo session
elderly pit bull
pit bull with owner in downtown houston

My fall schedule is filling up!  If you want to schedule a photo session before the holidays, get in touch soon!

Dog Photography Session at the Beach - Houston Pet Photographer

A Florida beach, two fluffy water-loving pups, and a sunset?  Yes, please!  That’s a recipe for a fun evening.  This session actually took place at a workshop I attended last year with my friends and fellow pet photographers Nicole, Jacqui, Helen, Michelle, and Tracey

Winston and Baby Bear were two of the dogs who joined us that evening and oh boy, are they rock stars!  They ran, they splashed, they played, then they ran and splashed and played some more… you get the idea…

Without further ado, Winston (white) and Baby Bear (brown) at the beach:

dog walking in the sand at the beach
white dog at the beach
brown dog walking at the beach
two dogs playing in the water
two dogs splashing in the water at the beach
samoyed dog wading in the water
backlit dog on beach with orange sunset

Where is your dog's happy place?  Is it the beach? the park? the couch?  Send me a message to learn more about setting up a photo session for your dog in their happy place!