Photos Capture the Ecstatic Expressions of Dogs with Their Heads Out Car Windows


Our quest to improve dogs’ standing in the world of photography continues today thanks to an awesome photo series by LA-based photographer Lara Jo Regan that’s bound to put a smile on your face. The series is called “Dogs in Cars,” and if you like what you see you’ll be happy to know that it’s being made available as a 2014 calendar.

Regan was inspired to create the series by the experiences she had with her own three dogs. “Most dogs become downright delirious over a car ride,” she explained in an interview. “And I wanted to capture this amazing primal energy in photographs beyond what I’d seen before.”

What she came up with was an idea for a series of photos that showed closeups of dogs’ joyous faces sticking out of car windows, but as the series progressed, the idea expanded to include many other types of shots and the series (as they so often do) took on a life of its own.


Technically, the shoots were often challenging. Getting the dogs to ‘pose’ wasn’t always easy, but the greater challenge came in figuring out how to get the angle and lighting she wanted to capture:

Most sessions involve at least three humans – myself, the driver, and someone to secure the dog for safety. To achieve certain effects, I concoct a special light to adhere to the car roof, and hang out whatever window offers me the best view of the subject. Some shots are achieved by riding alongside in another car. Once I was actually strapped to the roof. I go to great lengths to insure safety for all creatures involved. As they say, don’t try this at home.

All of the shots were taken on a Nikon D800 using a couple of speedlights with special hand-made diffusers attached and the aforementioned car roof light she concocted for lighting.

Here’s a look at a few of the photos from the series, which, we’re happy to report, is ongoing:








This isn’t the first animal project of Regans to go viral. Her photographs of the “insanely cute Mr. Winkle” were an early Internet sensation, and the Mr. Winkle site maintains a Google rank of 4.

Of course, much of Regan’s work is more serious, but when asked if she felt these fun animal projects conflicted in any way with her documentary work, she was quick to brush the thought aside:

Not at all. It’s a great way to make a living and help fund my other less commercial projects […] When I need a break from the intensity of my documentary projects or the pretentions of the art world, I turn to animals for relief and renewal.


To see more of Regan’s work, head over to her website by clicking here. And if you’d like to learn more about the Dogs in Cars series or pick up your own copy of the 2014 calendar, you can check out the series’ website here.

(via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photographs by Lara Jo Regan and used with permission.

  • Michael Palmer

    Dogs rock!

  • jrconner

    I’m a fan of dogs, but not of dogs sticking their heads out of the windows of moving cars, or riding and running around in the bed of a moving pickup. And I don’t think that photographers’ sticking their heads and cameras out of the windows of moving vehicles is a Smart Thing to do.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Cats next?

  • Diana204

    AGREE. Dogs need to be harnessed in, just like kids. I watched a German Shepard’s head get banged back and forth in the window frame when his stupid owner slammed on her breaks. The cry from the dog…I will never forget. The dog had to have a concussion. As a dog owner, I am guilty of rolling down the window when we get near the beach, but only on a 15-25mph road. Please be smart out there….fido doesn’t need brain damage…

  • Matt

    Ya! It is cruel not to have those photographers fully restrained. On a more serious note, dogs in the back of trucks is not a great idea.

  • Bill

    Some people just have to ruin anything fun. I suppose we should ban this too, perhaps impose some sort of punishment or fine…

  • Ralph Hightower

    It’s better than Jerry Sienfeld’s “Comedians in Cars”. I’ve had more fun watching paint dry than “Comedians in Cars”.

  • Lara Jo Regan

    Hi. I’m the photographer. Totally appreciate the concern for the safety of the “cruising canines.” That is why I had someone securing the dog, and also used techniques like slow shutter speeds mixed with stobe to enhancce the feeling of motion – when in fact, the cars were moving rather slowly on safe open roads with little traffic. The aim of the project was to capture the intense happiness of a dog on a car ride. Obviously, only dogs who loved it were chosen.

  • Sterling

    I generally love dog shots. But, go talk to a vet about how many eye injuries are caused by this practice. I guarantee it’ll take a lot of the “cute” out of these photos.

  • disqus_QUu4gPPjLA

    How about a calendar called ” Cats Licking Their Butts” showing cats of all ages, breeds, and social status engaged in the ever acrobatic, leg- lifting butt wash?