Pets: Sit, Stay, Preen

Boston’s Paige Williams test-drives every doting owner’s dream: the pet photo session.

MY DOG LUNA is small, white, and fluffy, and a man once stopped her on the street to tell her she had a “glamorous walk.” A 10-pound terrier mix, she’s the kind of pup you might peg as froufrou until you get to know her. She doesn’t go for diamond-studded collars or booties or caps or capes, so when I decided I wanted a professional photo of her, I knew we needed something more natural than a fussy portrait.

Li Ward, owner of Fat Orange Cat Studio in the Back Bay, shoots candids of pets in their natural habitats: at home or around their neighborhood. She has a gift for distilling those moments when your baby looks most like your baby, not like a model from a dog-show brochure. Luna is a happy, smart, playful cuddle-bunny, with a feather-duster tail and Milk Duds for eyes, and that’s what came through in Ward’s photographs. On the morning of the shoot, Luna badly needed a haircut, and she had some schmutz on her whiskers, but we’re not into perfection — and neither is Ward. She focuses on something a lot more important and timeless than good hair. She captures the animal’s spirit.

 Sitting fee $250; 617-834-9857, fatorangecatstudio.com.

See our slide show of more photos from Luna’s session with Fat Orange Cat Studio, plus samples from other top Hub photographers.