Chops McPartlan Copping - Great Dane

It’s time for you to meet some of the family, the furry four-legged members specifically.

My girlfriend and I have three big dogs: two Great Danes and a South African Boerboel; we’re unequivocally dog people (meaning that we like dogs – not that we’re dog-people in a weird Island of Dr. Moreau sense). Although we have tons of phone-cam pics of them doing devastatingly adorable things, I haven’t had a chance to create any fancy portraits of them for a while, which was something I’d been meaning to rectify. Thankfully, I moved into a new studio space downtown over the summer and the dogs have occasionally been dropping by with Erin to get acclimated to it. Through a perfect stroke of synchronicity, one of these visits was on a day when a subject had to reschedule a shoot due to a travel delay, and it seemed like a shame to waste the small setup we had put together earlier that morning.. Erin and I decided to take advantage of the situation and make these images of our three best friends.

Let me introduce them to you.

Chops, the regal looking fella above, is the lazy old man of our family. Despite being the middle dog age-wise, we’ve had him longer than any of the others. Chops is the biggest of our three dogs, which is a fact clearly lost on him as he’s convinced that he is an infinitesimally tiny lap dog, constantly flopping onto my lap in only the most comical of ways (which always seem to involve me spilling a drink on myself). He’s all about getting his relax on and you can usually find him lazing in whatever warm sunny spot he can find; I wouldn’t be shocked to come home some day to find him drinking a cocktail from a coconut under a tiny palm tree.

On a side note: Erin has a tattoo on her leg of him dressed as Sherlock Holmes with a Deerstalker and a pipe. It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Akasha is a Mastiff, a South African Boerboel that we adopted. If you have ever worked on a shoot with me you may have met her already – she’s the one most likely to be hanging out at the studio or office with me. If you have already met her it probably took her only a few minutes to decide that you were her new best friend, at which point she used her weird adorable dog hypnosis to convince you to pet her and sneak her food for the rest of the day. She is basically my 24/7 companion because she follows me around the house no matter what I’m doing. If I’m working in my office she is curled up on the floor next to me, if I’m watching TV she will bully the other dogs into giving up the spot next to me, and she’s criminally infamous for sneaking into the bedroom when I’m asleep. Over the last few years she has earned the nickname Mama-Bear because she is the one who always mothers the other two dogs.

Akasha - Boerboel

Our other Dane is named Kemper. He’s the weirdo of the bunch; both Erin and I are convinced that he sees ghosts. He is completely content to spend hours staring at a corner without moving, stalking an ant that may or may not exist (it definitely doesn’t exist), or barking at inanimate objects in accusing tones – we’re both utterly surprised that no one has made a series of books about a psychic dog that solves crimes based on him yet (picture Dog Whisperer meets Ghost Whisperer). As the youngest of the three Kemper is a little more energetic than the others, but on the day we brought them all to the new studio for these portraits he was the most exited to have his picture taken and the easiest to work with – because all Akasha wanted was food, and all Chops wanted to do was curl up on the couch and sleep.

Enjoy these new portraits of my little buddies, you might get to meet one of them someday.

I know some of you are serious canine fans too, I’d love for you to share some links to pictures of your studio and office pals.

Kemper - Gray Great Dane


  1. Luke, the only one more awesome than the “dog family” is you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Great portraits. But then again, not surprised; look who took them. Only you can capture the look of innocence of these three “little” trouble-making, fun-loving four-legged family members!!


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