Puppies! Playing! On the beach! Need we say more? 

By Mary Tomlinson
August 29, 2018
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Lara Jo Regan

Anyone who’s brought their furry friend to the beach knows the outing isn’t complete until you’ve taken a few (hundred) photos of Fido running, splashing, and just being downright adorable. But for Lara Jo Regan, photographer and author of the newly released Dogs on the Beach photo book, she’s a seasoned pro at capturing these beautiful beach dog moments.

Lara Jo Regan

“My first inspiration came about many years ago when visiting a stunning dog beach on Coronado Island with my own three canine charges,” Regan says. “I could not believe what a happy, beautiful place the beach was, and how many blissed-out, beautiful dogs were frolicking about.”

Regan, also the owner-photographer behind the early aughts Internet-famous pup Mr. Winkle, scouted California, Carolina, and Florida beaches for scenes of dogs in action on the sandy shores. The book’s pages brim with dogs digging, chasing anything from Frisbees to elusive waves, and playfully wrestling with their fellow beach dogs.

“I’ll never forget the eclectic array of dogs obediently sitting on their respective surfboards while attending a dog surfing class, intently listening to the instructor,” Regan says.

Related: The Best Cities for Walking Your Dog


How to take photos of your dog on the beach

For aspiring pup photographers looking to add beach shots to their dog’s Instagram or add a few to family photo albums, Regan recommends going for shots where dogs are splashing around, “as water reads so beautifully on camera and action produces rare moments that can’t be duplicated.”

If possible, take pictures at the magic hour—a.k.a. sunset—when the light is a gorgeous amber, and get down to your dog’s level.

But most important? “Have fun!”

Here are a few sneak peaks from Regan’s book (cue “Awww” sounds):

Lara Jo Regan

Cheerful French Bulldogs Lilo, Walle, and Eva playing at Rosie’s Dog Beach just south of Los Angeles

Lara Jo Regan

Lucky the King Charles Spaniel inspecting a crab on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Lara Jo Regan

Mini Pinschers Lady and Zane on on a cloudy day at Fort Funston Beach in San Francisco

Lara Jo Regan

“One scene I remember is when Pearl and Shoko, a pair of pure white Pekingese show dogs whose owner had just washed and groomed them, threw themselves into a giant sand bar puddle and would not stop rolling around until they looked like mud wrestlers.”

Lara Jo Regan

A less-than-smiley surfing pug named Gidget at Ocean Beach in San Diego

Lara Jo Regan

Siberian Huskies—appropriately named Yeti and Frosty—inspecting a feather at Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara  

Buy Dogs on the Beach, $22, and see more of Lara Jo Regan’s work here.