Amanda Engel: Dog photog extraordinaire

Ever wonder who’s the “puparazzi” behind all our precious puppy pics? We owe a debt of gratitude to Denver-based Amanda Engel Photography.

In 2017, Amanda started volunteering for FSD as a weekend foster, and to date, she has fostered close to 40 adult dogs to give them a break from the kennels. At the same time, she also started snapping pictures of FSD dogs that didn’t graduate from our training program as a way of generating interest in these “career-change” dogs among potential adopters.

It wasn’t long before we tapped the highly talented Amanda to take photos of our graduating client-dog teams. Says Amanda, “Graduation is such a milestone that deserves celebrating everyone involved! The pictures really tell the story of how grateful the clients are for the dogs that are becoming a part of their lives.”

More recently, Amanda has been granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to our nursery to capture our tiniest service dog hopefuls individually, with their littermates, and with their moms. Amanda comes equipped with an assortment of whistles, treats, and tricks up her sleeves to get the pups—who may be as young as 2 weeks old—to pose, and she always skillfully captures these tender moments.

“When FSD started raising puppies, we decided to capture this stage of their lives to give supporters and followers a way to see puppies starting on their journey to become service dogs,” says Amanda. “Sometimes I get another chance to see them when puppy raisers and weekend fosters book photography sessions to capture this chapter in their lives. It always makes me happy to see how the dogs are doing and how much they are cared for as they train to become service dogs.”

Special photo session offer to benefit FSD

If you would like to support FSD and get beautiful pictures of your dog at a discount, simply donate $50 or more to FSD, and then use this link to get a Signature photography session for only $49 (half price) and additional discounts off artwork and digital images. Get details and book your session at

Amanda Engel’s dog photography tips

As a photographer who has specialized in dog photography for over five years, my favorite technique is to really focus on the relationship between people and their dogs. Dogs can be challenging to photograph at times, so here are a few tips that may help for getting better pictures of your dog.

  • Take a LOT of pictures! Dogs move quickly, and chances are that many pictures will miss the look or moment that you want by just fractions of a second. A large quantity will give you more of a chance of getting a really great photo.
  • Make it fun for your dog. Use lots of treats and praise to keep your dog engaged and looking at you (and your camera).
  • Get down low. Eye level with your dog is usually one of the best angles. I’m often sitting and lying on the ground during sessions.

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