Fall rainbow bridge session

Author’s note: I wrote this blog post quite some time ago, soon after Emma and Snick’s session with me, and they have both since passed on. Their parents loved these images so I wanted to still post a tribute to them as it was written soon after our wonderful afternoon together.

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Emma, the fox terrier, and Snickers, the all-black pug, are two loving, well-loved dogs. Their family reached out to me because Emma had been through some health scares including a collapsed trachea and Snickers' heart condition meant he had been given just a few months left. Just before our photo shoot, I got the terrible call that Emma was in MetVet's ICU and wasn't doing well at all. Emma was a fighter, because she came back and we met right away for their fall portraits.

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Emma and Snickers looked right at home all snuggled in the little red wagon. It was SO COLD that day that it was not ideal weather but we just couldn't wait any longer due to Emma's declining health.

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Sweet Emma. She and Snickers both wore bandanas because she had a large bruise on her neck from the treatments. It was sweet of her brother to also wear one in solidarity - not that he had much choice in the matter!

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Snick, as his family calls him, kept getting (ahem) excited. I had to watch the angle and crop of the photos to not feature his manhood! He clearly really enjoyed being photographed.

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I had extra towels and blankets in a separate wagon and the dogs got the royal treatment - they got a ride in the red wagon, nestled upon a cozy bed of blankets, and their parents borrowed one of my spare blankets to wrap the dogs in. They were cuddled up and taking in everything as we explored together!

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Just after our photos together, Emma was back in the ICU - this time staying for an entire week. When we met to review their portraits, Emma was resting comfortably at home on her favorite chaise lounge, watching a football game. She'd developed a seizure disorder and didn't have much time left. These portraits suddenly meant so much more.

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I am honored that Emma and Snickers' family chose Browning Portraits to capture their limited time with these two beloved dogs.

Do you have too little precious time left with your dog? I'd be happy to speak to you about creating a timely portrait session that celebrates your pet's life and your bond together. Please contact me - I'm happy to discussion your senior dog's portrait needs.


Senior dachshund tuxedo

Jessica's portrait session with Charlie and Oliver was a big success! Charlie is a long-haired dachshund who's 15 years old (looking good, Cha Cha!) and Ollie is a 6-year-old German shepherd.

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This portrait with Charlie on Jessica's shoulder was a spur-of-the-moment idea when I saw her beautiful sequined dress she wore to go with his little tuxedo. Charlie and Ollie both had a number of outfit changes and we couldn't stop squealing at their bowties and evening wear. Looking sharp!

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What’s better than a dog in a tuxedo? A tiny dog in his own tiny car!

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We love working with senior dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, old dogs and brand-new dogs are all great, but there’s nothing as special as the established relationship between a distinguished gentleman and his favorite person.

Is your senior dog old enough for his own driver’s license? Does he deserve beautiful, memorable portraits? Contact me now! I’d love to hear from you.

Michigan's Coverdale lake

Fudge's mom wanted a big sky portrait in Michigan this weekend.

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Fudge asked for a selfie and who was I to say no?

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These are the dog days of summer! I went on a pontoon boat for the first time. I made it onto a paddleboard and looked like a total natural, as long as you weren't looking at my white knuckles. If you've seen What About Bob?, when Richard Dreyfuss has tied Bill Murray to the mast and Bob is excitedly yelling "I'm SAILING!" as he's literally tied to the ship...that was me. I went SAILING!

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Just ignore the Trader Joe’s snacks and enjoy the big beautiful sky. It was sunny and 80 degrees every day.

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Nice homes! It was like watching House Hunters to go up and down the lake in the pontoon. I’m sure all of these beautiful mansions had granite countertops and an open concept perfect for entertaining.

Sunny golden retriever

This week in the 52-week pet photography blog circle we’re talking about backlighting. Sometimes backlight means a rim light, some kind of silhouette, or - my favorite - using the sun as a fill to give a bright, angelic glow to the portrait. If done late in the evening or super early in the morning, it’s possible to do a soft backlight. Done a little more toward the afternoon, with a harsher splash of sunlight, I like to use lighting to create a high-contrast, colorful portrait. The tones are nicely saturated and give a stunning pop to the images.

Max brought his mom, Marie, to meet me at a local park one sunny evening before the sun set for the day. Max is a four-year-old golden retriever with a typical golden retriever desire to please people, have fun, and play whenever possible. Marie’s favorite portrait from the entire session is this gorgeous image that captures their relationship and Max’s beautiful golden coat. Marie is so photogenic! Can you believe she has four school-age children and two dogs to keep track of? She is stunning. They both look fantastic.

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To see more backlit images in our blog circle, check out Terri J Photography your pet photographer in Toronto and Southeast Florida. Keep clicking through and you’ll make your way back here. Thanks for reading and I hope it was an informative peek inside my thought process!

Thinking of having yourself photographed with your dog? Let’s chat about a session just like this one. I look forward to hearing from you!

Schnauzer in the foliage

Louie’s little face looking up at me couldn’t be sweeter. I used a wide angle lens with a wide aperture to get his eyes tack sharp. The warm autumn colors made his chocolate brown eyes pop. The eyebrows and beard on his sweet little face are almost too much for my heart.

This week I’m participating in a blog ring, where we take a theme and post an image that illustrates that idea. This week’s theme is bokeh, which is the beautiful natural blur that comes from an open aperture on a lens, which mimics the human eye and enhances the subjects we see. Sometimes I like to photograph dogs “wide open,” meaning a shallow depth of field that allows for a very blurred background, and sometimes I like to photograph my subjects “stopped down,” which means the narrow aperture makes everything very in focus. It’s an artistic choice, and sometimes it’s a matter of deciding how a dog will look best. I wanted Louie’s face to pop out of the leaves, and since this portrait was by himself, I opened my aperture on my lens wider to create this look. If he were with two other dogs, I would have stopped down my aperture to make sure all their three faces were in focus.

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As I mentioned above, this is a post in a blog circle, so the next pet photographer on our list is Terri J Photography taking your pet portraits in Toronto and Southern Florida. If you keep clicking through you’ll eventually wind up right back here. Thank you for reading!

Louie will make more appearances on the blog in the future. We had a lot of fun in the leaves and even had some surprise costume changes! I can’t wait to share those awesome images, maybe closer to Halloween!

Thinking of a fall portrait of your dog sitting in the leaves? Contact me now! It’s a great time to start planning foliage portraits.

Senior dog lights up sunset

I knew when I spoke to this dog’s owner on the phone that she was going to be fun to work with. She came across as easy-going and kind and obviously has a good sense of humor. How did I know? She laughingly told me, “My dog’s name is McLovin.” Yes, Superbad, the teen comedy that featured a character known as McLovin (as is written on his fake ID), is the namesake for her and her husband's hound.

What makes it even more special and awesome is that they were looking through the shelter and McLovin, known originally as Austin, was a senior dog. They spotted an 11-year-old dog who, in their words, looked defeated. His head was on his bed, he didn’t even bother to look up when they stopped at his cage, but his little tail started wagging when he saw they were paying attention to him. Is that not the sweetest?

McLovin is a true working dog. Last year, at 14 years old, he ran a 5k with his people. And at our portrait session, McLovin was GO GO GO. He didn’t want to stop! He just wanted to keep exploring and keep a move on. He still had so much energy left by the end of our two hours. In fact, I’d already packed away my lights and camera and we were all heading back to our respective cars when the sky started turning these fantastic shades of blue and pink. McLovin had plenty of pep in reserve so I pulled everything out again, working very quickly, because the sky was changing by the second. Voila! Look at this happy boy. Looking good for 15 years old. I made sure to get plenty of portraits where his ears were perked up and he looked interested, because his people said they missed out on what he looked like as a puppy. It never occurred to me that they never saw how his face looked as a young dog. I’m just glad that they opened their home and their hearts to a senior dog. They’ve given him a wonderful life and surrounded him with laughter. Good boy, McLovin.

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I’ll write more about McLovin and show a gorgeous family portrait from sunset in a future blog post. Stay tuned!

Edit: HERE is McLovin’s family portrait session. Aren’t these sky portraits fantastic? I love how excited his family was to see these!

Do you have a senior dog yourself? Thinking of portraits? Contact me now! I’m happy to discuss a session with you.