We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful Spring day, or a lovelier property, for our photography session.  Because this session would include two people, three dogs, and whichever outdoor cats decided to make an appearance, I knew that we had no time to waste, so I dove right in, with the help of my trusty colleague/employee/friend, Jess, who is a talented photographer in his own right.

George, a handsome Tibetan terrier, was a ham for the camera!  He would pose, run, and play with equal enthusiasm.  He’s just happy, and it’s impossible to be around him for long without feeling happy, too.

Here is George posing and surveying his domain:

George surveying his domain


George loves to be loved, so it doesn’t take much encouragement for him to approach for some play and petting, with a big smile on his face:

George smiling


I knew when I met George and saw his beautiful coat that he would look fabulous running.  He runs with such joy and exuberance!

George running


There were so many beautiful spots on the property, and George ran around to all of them.  I thought he looked really cool sitting on this chair in the garden.

George in a chair

Along with George, there was Hank, a gorgeous senior dog.  His hearing isn’t the best, so we had to be creative in getting his attention for the camera, but he is also incredibly photogenic.

Hank headshot Hank posing


Then there’s Peanut.  Peanut is deaf, and shy with strangers, so I had to follow him around and look for the right moments to photograph him.

Peanut in the Garden Peanut at the door


Two of the three outdoor cats made a brief appearance, and I had to be quick to photograph them, but they were both very beautiful.

Cat among the leaves Black and white cat


As tricky as it was to run around after all the animals, I think it was actually harder to wrangle the people, but their love and affection for each other came through immediately.

Judith and Roy Family photograph


Stay tuned for photos of some of the beautiful products George’s owner ordered!

The end of 2015 went by in a flurry of activity — photography sessions, workshop planning, etc.  Time slots for sessions were very limited — especially this year when our Autumn color didn’t materialize until very late in the season.  And of course in California during a drought, sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t cooperate, and we have to get creative.  Here are a couple of my favorite images from this Fall.  I think I had an Australian shepherd theme going for the season, with both handsome Samson photographed in front of the historic brick wall of the Carey House Hotel in Placerville, California and in a grassy field near Coloma, as well as the adorable aussie puppy Toby photographed against some vivid Fall leaves.  I was also lucky enough to photograph some beautiful horses in Shingle Springs against the backdrop of the foothills.  And the yellow aspen leaves reflected in Wrights Lake made the perfect setting for a photograph of Luna.  As a professional pet photographer, I look at each setting to bring out its natural beauty and to highlight my subjects.  However, none of what I do would be possible without my wonderful clients and supporters, so to all of you, I say THANK YOU, and I look forward to creating many more images in 2016!

Samson in Placerville Samson in field Toby 3 australian shepherd puppy in autumn leaves quarterhorse head shot dark bay horse portrait in field Red headshot Luna at Wrights Lake


Lazaretto is exceedingly lucky.  He has the great good fortune of being raised by a very talented dog trainer and behavior expert who adores him.  He is well-socialized, and lives in a very enriched environment in which to get up to his puppy antics.  He is allowed to be a puppy, to run and play and get dirty and chew on things, but he is also learning good manners.  He is goofy and floppy and clumsy, yet when he focuses intently, one can see a glimpse of the adult dog he will become.

I, too, am exceedingly lucky:  I get to spend afternoons romping with puppies and chatting with fellow dog trainers about behavior — my favorite kind of days.

Here is a glimpse of what we got up to together one warm afternoon in Berkely, California a few weeks ago for a lifestyle photography session.  Enjoy!


Lazaretto has an epic head tilt, accentuated by his floppy ears



Wiggly Lazaretto is almost too big to hold


Lazaretto-02 Lazaretto-04 Lazaretto-05 Lazaretto-06 Lazaretto-08 Lazaretto-09 Lazaretto-10

Lazaretto gets a smooch from his mom Kelly

Lazaretto gets a smooch from his mom Kelly



This is a photo of the rare and beautiful “tervuren blossom.” Haha



Weighted down with heavy camera gear, I boarded the plane, not knowing what to expect when I landed, but excited to find out.  Iceland was even more wondrous than I could have imagined!  Whether it was the Icelandic horses I had gone there to photograph, the incredible landscapes, the wild birds, or the people themselves, everything was a dream come true for a photographer like me.  Here are just a few of my favorite images and experiences…  Enjoy!

Iceland is often referred to as a land of fire and ice; it has many volcanoes, and also has glaciers.  The landscapes are phenomenal.  Here is a bit of the ice…

Blue Ice

Yes, the ice really was that blue.  This was taken where the glacier begins to break off into huge pieces of ice which float out to sea.  This ice is actually moving at a fast clip, but is so large that it’s hard to tell.

As for the “fire,” I interpret that a little differently than most.  One evening late in the day, the setting sun illuminated the mane of a horse and it looked like a beautiful flame.

Icelandic mane like flame

There were many other spectacular landscapes and wildlife to photograph.  Here is an image of part of the very large Gullfoss waterfall.  While it was beautiful in the sunlight with the spray creating rainbows in the air, I stayed late into the evening and found myself drawn to the mysteriousness of the waterfall after the sunlight was hidden behind the cliffs.

gullfoss waterfall

There were also charming little towns with iconic red-roofed churches surrounded by fields of lupine and perched on hillsides, peeking through the fog.

church in Vik Iceland

There were many colorful and interesting birds to photograph, such as this oyster catcher sitting on a wall in a cemetery guarding her eggs hidden below.

oyster catcher bird on wall

And of course I tried to photograph the adorable puffins, but because they were nesting in protected areas, my only chance was from afar (note to self: start saving for a bigger zoom lens!).  They were sitting up in the cliffs at the beach, and there was barely any light at 11pm by which to photograph.  But I was happy merely to see them.

tic tac puffin

Of course, the real goal of my trip was to photograph the magnificent Icelandic horses.  They were a joy to watch and to be around and to ride: sociable, hard-working, charming, strong, and beautiful.

Icelandic stallion and mare Icelandic foal girls riding Icelandic horses on black sand beach Boticelli girl with Icelandic horse Icelandic horses running in water



  • Andrea Brandt - These are gorgeous! Iceland is at the top of my bucket list, and capturing the horses there in photos. I’m vicariously living through your post, lol! Would love to see more 🙂ReplyCancel

Register today for our 3-day photography and business workshop “Focus on Horses” to take advantage of the earlybird discount which expires soon. This small group intensive workshop runs September 18-20, 2015 in Castro Valley, California (San Francisco Bay Area) and will cover

  • Business Identity, Marketing, Branding, Pricing, and Best Practices
  • Portrait photography shoots of horses and models in real world settings (GREAT chance to build or add to your portfolio!)
  • Image editing, post-processing, and portfolio development/review

We also will have goodies and discounts for our attendees from some of our favorite vendors such as Bay Photo, Sticky Albums, ProPhoto, ThinkTank, Smugmug, and others.

For all the details and to register, click here.


Handsome Jeep lives on the property where we will have the workshop, and graciously modeled for me to test the location. Actually, he was more challenging than gracious, but that’s because he wanted to test my skills. 🙂