Our best friends – curious canines and engagement sessions categories: engagement, pets

“Do you mind if we bring our dog?” is a common question we get asked about engagement sessions. After all, our clients know I love dogs. They know I have a Doberman at home, and some know my father is a vet. Of course dogs are welcome for engagement sessions. It’s almost preferred. More than anything, I just love meeting new dogs. Each has a unique personality, but they all love the camera.

Dogs are an important part of new families, so it makes sense for them to be a part of any special moment. Over the years, I have amassed a small collection of dog portraits captured during engagement sessions. Below are a few favorites for you to enjoy. Most of the photos were captured this year and last, around downtown Cleveland.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Above, Meatball with Danny and Deanna. Below, Bella with Molly and Dave. Bella was rescued from a crack house and now enjoys the perfect life.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Above, Tara and Brian’s dog putting on a show. Below, a Hungarian Vizsla named Roo living up to his namesake.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Above, Johah and Katie with their lovely dog at Holden Arboretum. Below, Erika and Scott’s dogs getting really curious.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Above, Penelope (a rescue) with Didi and Henry. Below, a beautiful B&W of Danielle and Matt with their loved one.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

Lastly, good friends Annie and Derrick with Riley the rescue.

Our best friends - dogs from engagement sessions

I have been sitting on this post for a couple weeks and am so happy to have it finished. I’m so excited to finally feature a few more dogs. That’s all for today. More coming very soon, especially now that spring is here and summer is just around the corner.

P.S. – You know that thing dogs do when they dream? Monty is laying behind me, woofing and chasing squirrels in his dreams. Love it!

Pet photography – Lucy & Oscar categories: pets

Weimaraner – pure love in a steely blue coat with a golden stare. All love and one of the most striking dogs you will ever see. I was contacted by Phil and Tammy for help capturing some great pet photography for their Christmas card. Apparently, their weimaraners Oscar and Lucy have graced the Christmas card cover each year. So, put two weimaraners together with the holiday season and what do you get?

Fox and Hound! I wanted to capture the classic hunting look of this magazine. We planned to shoot Oscar and Lucy at home in Shaker Heights and at the CWRU farm in the Hunting Valley. Hunting Valley is renowned for its beauty, open fields and equestrian sports, including fox hunting. I wanted to capture the open valley, pastel colors and peacefulness of the farm. I also wanted to capture each dog’s distinct personality.

Oscar is in charge! He is older, slightly larger and very stoich. His intense stare coveys an air of grandeur. Lucy is young and tall for a weimaraner. She sleek and energetic. Lucy is also a complete goof, which Oscar accepts when he is in the mood. Meet the dogs below, Lucy on the left and Oscar on the right.

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

We spent some time in the early afternoon shooting at Phil and Tammy’s home, and what a beauty home they have! As you can see, Lucy drools over Oscar.
Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

After shooting around the home, we were off to the hunting valley. The area is amazing! It looks like the classic rolling hills of Virginia. Close your eyes and you can imagine men in red coats mounted on horseback chasing the fox and hounds across the valley. With the winter sun at a low angle, softer color tones of pale blue, yellow and rust reds come alive.

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Of course the day would not be complete without a healthy amount of play, and weimaraners need a lot of play. Phil and Tammy chose the photo below for this year’s Christmas card.

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Below left is my absolute favorite photo from the day. The photo contains the whole family and is not just another happy portrait. Both owners and pets are alerted to something in the distance. Whatever has grabbed the dogs attention certainly has Phil and Tammy’s attention too. Of course the dogs are thinking “SQUIRREL” and the owners are thinking “OH &%$#”!

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Here you can really get a sense of Lucy’s playful personality. I used a really wide angle and crazy close focus (that’s a technical term) to bring out her playful side. I think I came away with slobber on the lens. Come to think about it, she might have licked it. Ahh, the hazards of pet photography – slobber and attachment.

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

Cleveland pet photography - Ocsar and Lucy the weimaraners

So thats all the pet photography for now. It is amazing how my clients stick with me, both figuratively and literally (I came home covered in hair). Oscar and Lucy are so sweet and I really do miss them. Hopefully I will get a chance to see them next holiday season! As for this season, the overall results are the best on location pet photos I have ever taken. They are so different than my work with pets in the studio.

Pet Photography – Wilson categories: pets

I was worried at first. Not just a little, but quite a lot. Wilson had been wandering around the studio for the entire shoot. Out of the five of us, we could not get him to hold still. Wilson was happy of course. He had his favorite bone, ball and a belly full of treats. I was still concerned because I wasn’t sure I got the shot.

Wilson was just a little nervous though. You can tell from the panting. If a dog pants and “smiles” a lot, then it means some nerves as they adjust to new people and places. After a while, Wilson settled down and we had a great pet portrait session. As it turns out, I really had some hidden gems in the stacks of photos.

What really matters is that Rachael and Mike are really happy with their pet portraits of Wilson. They even made the images their screen saver at work! Now that is saying something. Below are my favorites from the session in my Cleveland studio.

By the way, Wilson is a mutt and he is beautiful. I think he is a mix between Boxer and Shepherd, but I am not certain. I am a big supporter of adopting dogs from rescue organizations. My Doberman, Moxie, is a rescue and so is Wilson. Both are proof that you don’t need a breeder to get a great dog. Need a good pet in Cleveland? Try Second Hand Mutts. They are a great organization. Recently they did an amazing job of rescuing an abused Doberman named Scramble. He has a loving home now and is in great health.

Just thought I would throw that out there. Take care y’all!