THE CHRONICLES2020-02-13T17:19:44-07:00

THE CHRONICLES: Confessions of a Pet Photographer

Here’s where I share my events, adventures and misadventures as an outdoor pet photographer in Southern Alberta. 

Joy d’Argent, BSc. Photographer/Zoologist

Model Behavior

By |September 4th, 2021|



Can you teach your dog to model? Well, yes and no. Let’s have a semi-deep dive into the concept of creative, relaxed, natural photos with cooperative dogs.

Take Parka for instance. From the get go (I knew Parka right from his birth), Parka had this incredible ability to learn and a willingness to prove it. Now granted, I did use a clicker and plenty of treats. Here on the website you can see how easy it is to capture that perfect head turn and that perfect sit or stand. Parka makes my soul proud.

Fast forward to adopting Pongo, who rarely sits still. He almost always has some sort of goofy face. While Pongo learns that there are yummy benefits to sitting, he is still a big fluffy handful. I think in total I have two images of him sitting in anything of a typical posture. Also, with his wooly coat, I’m gently removing all the annoying burrs out. But because he is charming and derpy, it’s enjoyable having him with me. He makes by soul laugh.

A pet’s personality should always be the major focus on an image you’ll love forever. These images are only successful as they touch your soul in different, loving ways. That’s worth the extra effort.


Smoke Screen

By |August 4th, 2021|


Penguinwalk 2

For the last 3 out of 4 years, Calgary has had smoky summers. Forest fires share their smoke over the Rocky Mountains, from their BC sources. Our gorgeous mountain vistas are cloaked in haze and we all struggle to breathe. Endless drought means harvest crops and pasture land is dry and yields are decimated. What’s a photographer to do?

OK, so photography is a bit more challenging. It’s near impossible to correct for what we call white balance, or the tint that discolours the air and the images. I’ve had to cancel many model shoots, but I need my photography fix! Off to Chinook Pomskies to play with pomsky puppies. This year there were 15 new little faces to meet and 60 dirty little paws to mark up my t-shirts. So many bouncy personalities! And because they live north of the mountain influence, there was way less smoke to cloud them. What a spirit boost.

Back in Calgary, we watch the red/pink/purple tinges with the sunset and choke, waiting for more rain. Suddenly snow seems like a fabulous alternative to summer heat and foggy photos.

Just Like a Tattoo

By |July 5th, 2021|


P2BacklitSO 2

For some reason, Ink Masters has shown up on my Facebook feed and I’m all about it. Artists compete by converting their ideas and talent into fabulous designs. The principles are similar to photography: the composition rules are the same. My philosophy has been to consider my furry models as part of a puzzle, fitting within their natural environment like pieces of a puzzle. Tattoos are the same. The best designs blend the elements into a cohesive display of lines, color and texture.

Tattoos are a unique expression of an individual’s personality. Similarly, I love interpreting my animal models and translating them into an emotional image. It’s not just a pose, it’s a soul reflection.

Printed images are forever pieces, like tattoos. (OK some are less permanent than others…smile.) I’m pretty sure I don’t want a tattoo of my dogs on my body. But you know what? I’ll be keeping my wall art to enjoy as long as I breathe.

The Great Tongue Debate

By |June 14th, 2021|



Hi again everyone and welcome to summer – the season where we search the basement for dusty sandals. Sadly I can’t wear them when I take my pomskies for hikes because it’s just too pokey out there. This photo was taken last night while we avoided the heat. Being cooler, the woods are welcoming for the pomskies but challenging for photography! This is experiment time, with highlights, shadows, and uncooperative models that are getting overheated.

That’s where we get into the debate.

When I first started Pup Tent, there was a definite industry preference for dog photos without, well, those long tongues. Now this comes down to opinion or maybe the dog type? but I think dogs give the “happy” smile when they’re a bit hot. Just a goofy smile, tongue not unrolled. But some people find that the long extended tongue is totally amusing and endearing. Hmmmm. I’m not sure, but I give clients the options of choosing those photos if they love them.

What do you think? Would you like to see your dog more serious? In the middle? or with a long tongue out (or in some cases, hanging to the side)? Click the link HERE to share where you stand in the tongue debate! (You can also contact me for any questions and book a session here as well).

Thanks and Paws Up!

Got This Thing About Trees

By |May 14th, 2021|

Pomskycloudsc 3

Every year I wait for the arrival of this same week: when the trees start blossoming their fresh, delicate new leaves. The aspens are adorned with tiny bright stars of green. Seriously, I can’t get enough of seeing those vibrant dots and I spend quite a bit of time hiking and looking up. A stand of aspens is particularly sweet for photography and it takes just the right lighting to make them really pop. I’ve found that everything, even the spruces, seem to up their green game too, reaching into blue skies and puffy, billowing clouds.

Even the moods of rain don’t affect the display for long!

This image was taken yesterday on a spring hike that is only 15 min from my house. Showers were threatening and the doggos parked themselves in just the right place, if you like lying on an ant hill on your back to get clouds and animals in the photo. Yuck. Ants crawling on me…….makes me shiver thinking about it. But I digress.

One of these forest images is available for you to enjoy on my “Nature” here.


Welcome to Youtube

By |April 17th, 2021|

Life Before Vlogs

Yes, I thought selfie sticks were silly and yes, I totally avoided being in every form of video before. Like literally, I would hide.

Life After Vlogs

The reality of having an online business these days includes learning to vlog. I completely stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up for PhotoBizX: Daily Vlog Challenge. Once you’re committed  to chasing this new self-presentation, there is no room for being shy, wondering about what to say, worrying about wrinkles. Andrew Hellmich creates small groups with similar business goals and interests into almost a support-group type atmosphere, where we all laugh at ourselves and learn to look at the lens together. PhotoBizX

Life on Youtube

Voila! Confidence enough to start Pup Tent Photography – on Youtube! Watch for my first video, where I’ll demonstrate how my doggos Parka and Pongo are really uninterested in the whole process. In most cases, video recording necessitates standing still or moving slow. To them, it’s just boring.

Do you have any suggestions for video content? Would you like to see what a session is all about? Watch me flailing in a tree to get the right angle? Click the link below, comment, and be part of my journey. I welcome everyone’s ideas. Subscribe to the channel for more video mischief. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide anymore. And that’s OK with me.

Pup Tent Photography (Youtube)


Go to Top