I love that look.  That special look that people get when I hand them a custom heirloom album filled with images of their pets.  They feel the weight of the album, eagerly open it up, and begin turning the thick pages.  Their eyes soften and light up, and a smile spreads across their face as they think of their furry family members and remember the fun we had during our photography session.  Even though they’ve selected the images and seen proofs before I ordered, it’s not the same as holding the finished product in their hands.

Judith was no exception as she opened up her album to see photographs of her darling Tibetan terrier George, along with the rest of the family, both two-legged and four-legged.  It’s very satisfying to me to provide someone with quality, lasting photographs of their family displayed in beautiful ways in albums or on the wall.  These are photos of her album, and a small folio book she ordered.

heirloom album collage

 

You can see more images from George’s photography session here.

Pongo and Tonka are ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille!  These wonderful dogs remind me of movie stars from the era of Old Hollywood — glamorous, beautiful, elegant, and with a commanding presence.  They always seem to know where their light is…

It was great to spend time with them and their wonderful dog trainer mom Shannon on a recent quick trip to Costa Mesa, California.

PonTon at the beach Pongo glamour shot Tonka glamour shot Tonka sweet face PonTon with owner

 

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!

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

 

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Wiggly Lazaretto is almost too big to hold

 

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Lazaretto gets a smooch from his mom Kelly

Lazaretto gets a smooch from his mom Kelly

 

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

 

Lazaretto-12