Scruff Life Photography Specializes in Pet Portraits

by | May 2024

Michelle Lussky and Lucy, a rescue from the Animal Humane Society.

Michelle Lussky and Lucy, a rescue from the Animal Humane Society. Photo: Scruff Life Photography

Photographer has devoted her career to capturing pets and their humans.

Photographer Lauren Joarnt often has her hands full with her clients. They must be on a leash. They sometimes drool, and they’ll even occasionally let out a bark.

But they’re the most loveable subjects.

Joarnt, owner of Scruff Life Photography, specializes in capturing the bond between people and their pets. As an animal lover herself, she knows how precious time with pets can be, which inspired her to offer a unique service. “I know I have a lot of photos of my dogs, but I’m often not in the photos,” Joarnt says.

That was the key for her.

When Joarnt and her fiancé brought home their third dog, she realized the photos she was taking on her cell phone weren’t the quality she wanted, and she was rarely in them. After borrowing a digital camera, Joarnt worked to develop her skill and knowledge. She started her pet-focused photography business less than a year later. “I love capturing the love and joy pets and their owners bring each other,” she says. “It’s unconditional love.”

Joarnt offers photo sessions for pets at all stages, including playful everyday portraits, wild adventure sessions and celebration shoots for end-of-life. She has even photographed dog-powered sports for athletic pets in areas like agility, snow sports and flyball.

White Bear Lake resident Brittany North, owner of dog training company North Paws Wilderness, hired Joarnt to capture photos of her senior dog, Apache. At the time, Apache wasn’t doing well, so the moment felt somber for North.

“I was a mess and teared up several times just not knowing how much time we’d have left with Apache, but [Joarnt] knew all the right words to say to help put a happy smile on my face for the photos,” North says. (Apache has since recovered and is happy and healthy.)

Not all pets come to photo shoots ready to cooperate—a reality Joarnt is ready for. Pets will be on a leash for most of the session (Joarnt works her magic to edit the leash out of images.) “I can make a dog look like a perfect angel, and they don’t have to be,” she says with a laugh.

North can attest to this special skill, “[Joarnt] is beyond talented because Apache notoriously will not look at a camera, and she was able to get him to look at her the entire photo shoot.”

Joarnt encourages pet owners to take advantage of the valuable time they have with their pets—and have those moments captured.

“It’s something you’ll never regret having … and having photos with you in them is important,” she says. “You’ll be glad you have them.”

Scruff Life Photography
Facebook: Scruff Life Photography
Instagram: @scrufflifephotography


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