Bernese Mountain Dog

Sadie - Charlotte, NC

Sadie - Charlotte, NC

There is nothing like fall colors surrounding the gorgeousness of a Bernese Mountain Dog. When Sadie’s mom and dad reached out to me for a Fall shoot in Charlotte, I knew it was going to be like heaven. Sadie was so excited to be out and about in Jetton Park under the sparkly sun and the gold, yellow…



When you get to photograph a puppy, I instantly think of a tiny fluff ball full of energy bouncing around in front of my camera. Granted, Eisenhower (or Ike for short) was 8-ish months at the time of our session, he was as cool, calm, and collected as a Bernese 10 times his age. I think he wanted to keep his chill face on even though I personally think he was playing off the fact that the click of the shutter made him a little nervous. 

We started of our shoot in Ike’s newly redesigned back yard. They had a new pool, spa, deck and grass. It was Ike’s own little paradise! And, that’s when the puppy came... (click on the image above to continue reading)

LKN Currents Pet Issue

October is one of my favorite months because the annual Pet Issue of Lake Norman Currents Magazine goes on stands! This year I had the pleasure of photographing Ozzy, a Boxer/Pit mix, for the cover. I felt a special connection with Ozzy as he and Sadie (my black Lab/Pit mix) have very similar pasts. They both were living at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and both were found at an adoption event at the local Petco just a short time before they were to be euthanized. Ozzy's mom adopted him just 2 weeks prior to him winning the Currents Commodore Cover Dog Contest which landed his headshot on the cover!

And some more of the adorable Ozzy. Who said shelter dogs couldn't be supermodels?

If you pick up an issue, don't miss the "Pets and the Owners who Love Them" story on page 28. If you follow this blog, you'll find some familiar faces gracing the pages of the magazine. I'm so proud of my clients! They all look awesome!

Dakota & Max

Ah! A Bernese Mountain Dog and a Golden Retriever. Two of the most lovable and cuddliest breeds. This is Dakota (the Bernese) and Max (the Golden), daughter and son to one very lucky man who is getting these images as a surprise Christmas present. Their mom contacted me because she couldn't think of a gift more meaningful than images of their furry pack. I couldn't agree more. We even included their cute human daughter, Avery, in a couple of the shots. Dakota, Max and Avery have basically grown up together as they are all between the ages of 5 and 7.

We secretly arranged the session while the dad was out of town and we got lucky to miss out on rain forecasted for the week. We spent the evening hanging out in the backyard which overlooks the golf course - a good source of entertainment for the dogs. They withstood the heat and relentless mosquitoes and were great models for their dad's new artwork. I hope he enjoys his wonderful and thoughtful present and cherishes these images for years to come.

PS - If you recognize these pups, don't forget to keep it a secret!

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedDon't miss the little drop of drool in this image. Hehe. Makes me giggle!undefinedundefinedundefined

Processing - Behind the Scenes

I was in the middle of processing some images and came across and extreme case of know, Extreme Makeover style. Many clients don't really understand what goes on during post-processing so I thought I would share with you. Many people assume the images look great right out of the camera and all the photographer has to do is download them. Well, unfortunately, that's not the case. While I do strive to perfect my exposure and cropping in-camera, digital images are sometimes kinda greyish-blah and need a little boost. Here is a great example of what my clients are investing in - meticulous retouching of each of the images they receive. This process takes time and experience...something the chain photo studios usually don't have. *WARNING* - Viewer discretion is advised. The following image is not very pleasing to the eye and isn't something I would ever deliver to my client!

This is the image straight out of the camera. Yes, completely embarrassed and naked. Nothing too special but there is definitely potential. The color temperature is too cool for my liking and the contrast needs a good boost. I shoot exclusively in RAW so I can make adjustments as needed.This is the image after editing in Photoshop Camera RAW. I warmed up the color temperature, adjusted the exposure and increased contrast. Much better but it still lacks the pop I'm looking for. Here is the final image after my tweaks in Photoshop. I made several curves adjustments both overall and locally, did some clone work, and adjusted the eyes to make them really shine. Lastly, I sharpened the image. This is the image I saw in my head when I took this shot...

And the final before-and-after!

I hope this has answered some questions about what post-processing is and what all is involved. Let me know if you have any other questions!


What is a unique and thoughtful gift that would completely surprise your significant other? How about a photo shoot with the family dog - the dog that was a total surprise itself? That's what Amanda thought when she called to book the secret session for her husband's Christmas present. Amanda's husband never had a dog growing up. Not being able to grasp that idea, Amanda knew she eventually wanted to adopt a dog for him. So, when she saw Sophie, a young Bernese Mountain Dog from Kansas, Amanda knew she had to bring her home and surprise her husband. Sophie wasn't "good enough" because she didn't have enough white on her front, right paw. Well, she might not have been good enough for showing, but she is more than perfect as a loving family pet. She is now 3-and-a-half, the centerpiece of the family, and her dad couldn't imagine life without her. She cuddles in bed, sleeps in the bathtub, and sits on everyone's feet. Yep, she is definitely one of the kids!

Our photo shoot took place Monday afternoon at one of my favorite locations. Luckily, the weather was on our side, albeit the temps were only supposed to reach 31 degrees. The light was gorgeous and we had the entire location to ourselves. Sophie did awesome and I was loving every image I was getting. These are the sessions I dream about. I could have photographed Sophie for hours...emphasis on could have. Until I realized I couldn't feel my fingers anymore. That gets to be a problem when you have to push and adjust little buttons and dials on a camera.

We finally succumbed to the cold.

Regardless, Sophie's family were troopers and rocked it out in the below freezing temperature. Especially Sophie's mom. She didn't once seek shelter from the relentless wind to warm up in the car (and the wind was NO joke). Now that is dedication. Dedication to her husband to get a heartfelt and thoughtful Christmas present. Dedication to make images and memories that will last for generations.

Enjoy your sneak peek - you deserve it...

I love how you can see Sophie's breath in this image. She is just too adorable!Yummy winter light through the trees...Of course Sophie also has a playful side!Sophie, I hope your family enjoys their sneak peek and your dad loves his Christmas present! I can't wait to see you again at your ordering session!

Riley and Amadeus

It's that time of year when the temperatures begin to drop, the leaves start changing colors and the evening light takes on a gorgeous golden glow. Saturday evening was no exception and I couldn't have asked for better weather for my photo shoot at Triple Diamond Farm with Riley and Amadeus. This photo shoot was very special to me, not just because of the gorgeous day we were blessed with, but because this was my first session with a horse. Now, I love horses but simply haven't had the opportunity to spend much time with them. On top of that, this shoot was a special gift to my client's daughter whom always dreamt of having a photo shoot done with her horse, Riley. I feel very honored that they chose me for this special occasion.

To set the scene, here is an image of Triple Diamond Farm. Stretched over 200 acres of rolling hills, large grassy fields, wooded trails, and beautiful views, it is a photographer's dream...

Riley and Amadeus

Now on to Riley and the gorgeous Anneliese...

Isn't Riley just stunning?Anneliese totally rocked this photo shoot. She was just so natural the whole time! I barely had to direct her at all. You go girl!Seriously? The light was A-MAZ-ING...Riley isn't the only 4-legged member of the family. Amadeus is the family's soon-to-be 8-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog (his birthday is November 4th). This cuddle-bear was ready to ham it up for the camera...especially for some all-natural treats! Amadeus had a blast in the grass and really enjoyed hanging out with us for the evening. And that was the end to our gorgeous evening together. I hope Riley and Amadeus' family enjoy their sneak peek.