Last week, Charlotte Today shared a quick story about an Angel Session I did with with a handsome black Lab named Jack. To read Jack's story and to see his sneak peek, check out his post HERE. Thank you so much to the crew of Charlotte Today for sharing what can be done for these types of priority photo shoots. Jack is dearly, dearly missed. <3
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...and, unfortunately, "Bubbles" isn't a new dog of ours! ;) As often as possible, I like to take some time to photograph my own dogs. After the busy holiday season, I finally had some spare time to take Eva out to a location I've had my eye on for several months. Back in November and December, this field was filled with gorgeous yellow flowers. The timing to shoot back then didn't quite work out but I ended up really loving the gold and brown tones that filled the field a few weeks ago. They complimented Eva's coloring perfectly! I love this first image so much that I had a 30x40 canvas made of it!
Time to bust out the bubbles! I've been wanting to play with these just to see how they would turn out in pictures. They are non-toxic, catnip bubbles meant to make your cat go crazy. Do they work on dogs? Yeah, not so much.Eva thinks she's over it... And that one just popped in her face. She's done.Time to head back home! :) Next up will be Sadie!
(If you recognize Blaze, shhhhhhh, keep it a secret! His dad will see these for the first time on Christmas!) Blaze had a rough start to life. He was abandoned on the side of the road and was left cold and confused. Luckily, his current family's dentist found him and passed him along to the wonderful home he has now. Blaze quickly worked his way to the "top dog" position in his dad's heart and is perfectly content as his dad's favorite.
Knowing this background made it so easy for me to understand why Blaze's human brothers wanted to surprise their dad with the gift of photography. They were the lucky winners of a pet portrait session donated for a silent auction at a recent charity event. At 17 years old, Blaze's human brothers handled setting up the shoot and were completely responsible for making it happen. They were great to work with and Blaze wasn't too bad either! Haha! I mean, look at how cute he is!
I was so happy the sun was out during our session. Lately it's been playing hide-and-go-seek with me. What a handsome boy...His tongue looks like a heart <3!These are for Blaze's dad (a huge Auburn fan)!I normally don't pose my doggy models as much as I did with Blaze...he was just so good at it! After all his sitting and staying, Blaze cut loose, got to run, catch his favorite tennis ball, and even went on a quick swim in Lake Norman.Hehehehe...
Merry Christmas to Blaze's dad! I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!
I feel so lucky to work with some amazing animal lovers on a daily basis. Last Sunday was no exception. My clients, a pair of veterinarians with a practice in Charlotte, gathered their pack together and spent the evening with me at Jetton Park. The chemistry between the five of them was undeniable and it just warmed my heart! Each of these pups has unfortunate health issues but they are definitely in the best hands. I introduce Otis, Curtis, and Weber (from left to right). Curtis got some extra loving during our photo shoot. At 10 years old and with health issues, it was really important to his mom and dad to get some images of just the three of them. Curtis is such a sweet old man and his handsome grey highlights make him look so distinguished. He is their heart-dog and I totally understand why.Swiss Mountain Dogs aren't known to be water lovers but Otis thought he would test it out. He is such a goofy boy that makes me laugh!Weber, being the young 2-year-old, took advantage of the situation and went fetching for sticks!Curtis opted to stay on high ground.After hanging out at the park, the pack jumped in the car and headed over to the Peninsula Yacht Club...Yay, dad! We're going out on the boat!Assume your positions!
These guys were exhausted but they took time on the boat ride to relax and take in the lovely scenery.We finished the evening off with a beautiful sunset. This isn't enhanced...it was just that pretty. Just like Curtis, Otis and Weber and the love they have for their parents.
Uptown Charlotte is filled with cool and unique areas just begging for photo shoots. Saturday night, we decided to take Sadie out for some location scouting and she had to fill in as a test model. Still very much a puppy, she doesn't quite have her "stay" down pat (of course unless its dinner time) but she did great nonetheless! Here is Sadie at 10 months...
I think Sadie is trying to smile in the image on the right?
The rain clouds cleared for a couple minutes this morning so I used that opportunity to snap a quick image of Sadie. She is growing so fast and I love her dearly!
A few weekends ago, I took a much needed break and headed over to Emerald Isle, NC for a few days. On our first full day at the beach, we decided to take a short ferry ride over to Shakleford Banks - a 9-mile long island known for its shelling and wild horses. I wasn't sure what to expect. Were we even going to see the horses? Nine miles is a lot of territory to cover in just a couple hours. Maybe we would just have a picnic on the beach and enjoy the beautiful weather. Either way, it was going to be awesome! As soon as we arrived, we climbed over the first dune in front of us. Sure enough, off in the distance, a couple wild horses were grazing on the grass. This was already exceeding my expectations!As we explored the island, we discovered more and more horses. We got as close as we *respectfully* felt comfortable and quickly realized the horses were barely taller than me - they looked more like ponies. They had gorgeous wispy hair and beautiful coloring. I especially liked these two...Not only did we start the day off with seeing the wild horses, we also got to enjoy a little picnic on the beach. During the off-season, not many people were visiting and it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves.We were graced with the presence of a wild horse taking a stroll along the beach. He walked right past us. How cool is that?!?Back at the house, we gave the dogs a chance to explore the beach. This was Sadie's first visit so she had to stay pretty close to us...The cooler temps didn't stop Eva from going for a dip in the water.The next couple pics were taken with my iPhone. We had a wicked storm come through on the second day but the clouds parted just before sundown. Foam lined the beach and a gorgeous double rainbow filled the sky.
Next time I go back to Emerald Isle, I am definitely returning to Shakleford Banks. They allow camping and DOGS on the island! Looks like I'll be packing my tent!
A few nights ago, I was wasting time poking around on the internet and I stumbled across Sadie's old Petfinder.com listing. Known in the shelter as Mackenzie, she spent 3 of her first 4 months of life in the little cage pictured below. Doesn't she look miserable? If you are looking for a new addition to your family, please consider rescuing a needy dog. Doesn't Sadie look so much healthier and happier?
I know, I know. You are tired of seeing pictures of Sadie on the blog. Well, I hate to inform you, but they are going to keep on coming! After all, this is what pet photography is all about - capturing moments that will slip by. Having images to look back on. Having images to laugh about, smile about, and even cry about. I only wish I had this many pictures of Eva when she was a puppy. Without further ado, her is Sadie: Week 2...
I've had many requests for pictures of Eva and Sadie playing. Here is one of their favorite games. Eva catches her frisbee and tries to bring it back to me. Sadie intercepts and tries to steal it away...And the happy sisters...
I can't wait for week three! We are heading to the beach next weekend with Eva, Sadie, and cousin Rocky. There will be pictures galore!
This is my attempt to grab a really quick picture of the two new sisters. Eva is clearly not interested and Sadie looks thrilled.
Eva would much rather play *chase me* than pose for a photo shoot (you can see Sadie far behind through Eva's legs). Oh how they love each other.
It has officially been 1 week since we brought Sadie home from the shelter! Now that she is settling in and finding her place in our pack, I feel its time to share her story and how she made her way into our home. It all started many months ago when we decided that we wanted to rescue another dog and give Eva a partner in crime. We've meet lots of dogs and worked with some great rescues searching for the perfect fit. It was kinda like dating. We "dated" many dogs until we found "the one". Well, just like dating, "the one" came along when we decided to put a hold on our search (we were going to start looking again in the spring).
Innocently enough, we were walking into Petco last Saturday morning and the usual commotion was going on in front of the building. I am very fond of this commotion because it means available dogs are on display for adoption. Of course, Brian always tries to make a B-line to the door so he doesn't get stuck waiting for me to pet and kiss on all the animals. Fortunately, this particular weekend, the Girl Scouts were causing their own commotion by selling cookies right next to the adoption event. That was all it took for Brian to lose his B-line for the door (can you say Peanut Butter Patties?) and for me to land my eyes on a cute little 4-month old Lab-mix puppy.
When Brian came over to ask for four dollars in cash, I made my move. I introduced him to the black puppy and I saw a little smile creep onto his face. Hmmm...this is unusual. Most of the time I just get a sigh and an eye roll. We sat there and watched her play for several minutes and so many of her mannerisms reminded us of Eva. Brian finally pulled me away and we made our way into the store. Of course, the whole time we were shopping I was begging to bring home the little dog. Now it was time to walk back by the commotion as we left Petco. FAIL.
No, we didn't take her home right then and there. I let my rational reasoning take over and I knew Eva would have to meet her first. Brian *shockingly* agreed and we made an appointment (more like we set up a blind date) to have Eva and the puppy meet Sunday morning at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
The next morning, we got up super early, gave Eva a bath, and made our way over to Lincolnton. Eva and the black puppy finally got to meet. After 10 minutes, they acted like best friends. They were wrestling, playing tug-o-war, and just being goofy. It was perfect. The little puppy, now "Sadie", was invited to join our pack. I think Sadie was happy to accept the invitation.
Sadie was found as a stray when she was just one month old. Now 4 months old, she has spent 3/4 of her life behind the bars of a kennel in the animal shelter. Many people have asked why she wouldn't get adopted quicker since she is a puppy. My best guess is because she is a black dog and she is a victim of Black Dog Syndrome. Please don't laugh as this is something that really exists. Black dogs are doomed when they are brought to a pound because black dogs, particularly black labs or lab mixes, are euthanized at a horrifying rate at many pounds and shelters. People have a tendency to pass black dogs up for lighter colored dogs. Fortunately, Sadie escaped the fate of so many other black dogs.
Naturally, Sadie's initiation into a household with a pet photographer, is to have her own photo shoot. My fellow pet photog, Nicole from Blue Ruby Photography, gathered our equipment, loaded up the puppy, and headed out to Lake Norman for her first session. As you can see in Sadie's heavy eyelids, the shoot took place after a 4-day bender of non-stop wrestling and playing. After the session - and for about 30 minutes during the shoot - Sadie entered a play-induced coma.
Here is Sadie (maybe I should have named her something Girl Scout related?) before she passed out on us...
Her irresistible puppy eyes...
And of course, Sadie in my favorite location...
Those of you that follow me on Facebook know that I was really hoping to do a photo shoot in Uptown Charlotte today. Well, that didn't quite work out because... I got a puppy today!!!!!!
Meet the newest mascot of McGraw Photography, Sadie (her name for now). We rescued her from the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and she is the smartest and sweetest dog ever! Plus, she is in LOVE with Eva. I can't wait to have a real photo shoot with her! Here are a couple shots I grabbed of her in our backyard earlier this evening. You will be seeing SO much more of her very soon along with her full story. Love...