Emerald Isle

Sadie - Beach Vaca

There's something about Emerald Isle that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the peacefulness. Maybe its the sound of the waves crashing. Maybe it's the salty air. Maybe it's the feeling of relaxation that takes over your body. I really don't know. What I do know is that, from a photographer's standpoint, the light there is just amazing. The beach runs east to west instead of the normal north/south orientation found throughout most of the States. I think this allows the light to travel across the beach in a magical way - creating a glowing, soft, diffuse light that allows for the most magical images. Even when I'm on vacation, I can't help but pull the camera out to take advantage of this. I didn't have any session booked this trip so I took advantage of my oh-so-reluctant model, Sadie. She usually HATES when I pull out my camera...she knows what's coming. However, when she's been playing on the beach for 3 days straight, she has little care left and tends to be a little exhausted and distracted.

She had the most glorious time diving into the waves, chasing her dad in the water, and simply being free...

I'm kinda obsessed with this image. I immediately downloaded it to my phone and set it as my wallpaper. It looks amazing at a large size and I've really been digging the long, horizontal panoramic crops lately. This will be enlarged big somewhere soon!Sadie found her second calling on the sandy shores. She dug to her hearts delight pushing every grain of sand she could between her big webbed toes. She even used her snout when she became frustrated with the sand that kept falling back in her ever-so-important tunnel. This is her victory roll for a successful dig. Because she wasn't dirty enough. ;)Nothing that a good rinse off couldn't take care of.

I know the water was probably getting in Sadie's eyes which forced her to squint, but I can't help but love the images with her eyes closed. She looks like she's smiling and there's nothing in the world that make me happier...This is the second image that I'm obsessing over right now. Again, the panoramic steals my heart. Sadie looks like a creature emerging from the depths of the deep, dark ocean floor. And the light. I wish I could bottle it up and bring it to every session.Of course I had to include some shots (just a couple) of this lovely island.

At the far west end, there is a beach that seems to go on forever. It has to be the largest beach I've ever seen. I guess it has formed as the powerful waters displace the land at the easternmost tip of the island. It's pretty amazing and it takes your breath away when you first lay eyes on it.Gorgeous skies looking back at Emerald Isle from the fishing pier. There aren't any huge hotels or tourist traps. It's so chill and easygoing.This is the fishing pier...And more amazing clouds on the beach that goes on forever.

If you are interested in a session with your pup at Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach or anywhere along the Crystal Coast, stay tuned to my Facebook page. I'll let you know next time I head back out there!

Affinity, Kobe & Avalanche

Rainy, cloudy, and windy aren't really things you want to see in the forecast...especially when you are heading to the beach...from Kentucky. Every year, this furry family takes a week-long trip from the Bluegrass State to the shores of Emerald Isle. Usually the schedule consists of sunbathing and a little r&r but this time, I shook up their plans when they realized I would be doing doggy sessions there at the same time they arrived.

These troopers left Kentucky at 3 in the morning and arrived on the island around 3 in the afternoon. With little sleep, empty bellies, and a few excited Dachshunds, their session was only a couple hours away. We spent those 2 hours texting back and forth as rain, wind, and clouds surrounded us and made us wonder if we were going to have to give up hope on taking pictures of Affinity, Kobe, and Avalanche on their favorite beach. We decided to press forward and I'm so glad we did!

The wind and cold never let up on us and we had to dodge raindrops a few times, but it was totally worth it! Affinity, Kobe, and Avalanche had a great time and as long as they were on the beach, they were happy as the clams washing up on shore. :)

We began the session with Affinity. The eldest of the trio, she is pretty chill and just takes things as they come. For example, she was happy to let the wind do it's thing.Don't let her fool you though. She does get excited. When she's allowed to roam on the beach, she comes out of her shell!And she might even take a roll in the sand.What a happy face!!!LOVE this pretty necklace she modeled at the end of our time together!Next up was Kobe. Kobe is pretty opposite of his sister and is a little firecracker! I was warned he likes to run and dig so I was happy he didn't disappoint!Some outtakes that are oh-so-Kobe...Don't get me wrong though, he was also an excellent model. I love this of him looking toward the ocean. He likes to look...not touch.Last but certainly not least, we photographed Avalanche. This sweetie started cuddling with me the minute I showed up for the session and I knew right away he was going to be a little camera ham. I love his little white face! (PS - I'm going to drive to Kentucky to dog nap him.)Mighty hunting stance...Avalanche made sure he showed his crazy side too. I was impressed! Happy boy...And the three beach bums...So sorry for the longest post ever! I just couldn't help myself!

I hope the weather has gotten better for this furry family! Major props to them for putting up with the wind and rain. Safe travels home!!!

Rockford - Beach Session

Nothing perks up a Lab's eyes quite like an unforgettable trip to the beach. Sand, birds, waves, sunlight, wind, salty air - it's a magical combo that draws us to these lovely places. I honestly think dogs find the beach equally as compelling...especially when you add in a tennis ball and some off-leash fun.

Rockford had a wonderful time at Emerald Isle this past September. Rockford is typically the kinda guy that likes to lay around and watch the neighborhood kids run by. However, at the beach, he did a 180. There wasn't too much laying around - mostly go, go go!

Rockford was extremely interested in the little tennis ball that kept disappearing into the sand...Putting those big paws to use...After playing in the sand for a bit, it was time to move into the water! Rockford loved it!!!Rockford seriously looks like a puppy at the beach! You would never guess he is 7 years old!Time for more ball!This is one of my favorites from our evening together. This was taken after sunset and the colors of the ocean were simply beautiful.The end!

If you are interested in booking a beach session, I have availability at the beginning of May. Check out this post for more information.

Eva - Emerald Isle

I love going to the beach with my dogs because they can just let loose, obsess over Sandpipers, dig holes in the sand, and be extremely tired by the end of the day. I made sure I got some images of Eva doing just these things on our last trip to Emerald Isle. Enjoy!undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefined Eva's ostrich impression. Yes, she dug the hole this deep by herself. Silly girl.


Emerald Isle Trip

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! undefinedAs 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!undefinedAs 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...undefinedundefinedundefinedNot 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.undefinedundefinedWe were graced with the presence of a wild horse taking a stroll along the beach. He walked right past us. How cool is that?!?undefinedundefinedBack 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...undefinedundefinedThe cooler temps didn't stop Eva from going for a dip in the water.undefinedundefinedThe 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!

From the Sea to the Mountains

I know, I know. I have my blog title backward. But that's the direction I traveled the last few weeks! Last week I spent several days relaxing on the beaches of Emerald Isle, NC and this weekend, I hung out in a cabin in the mountains of West Jefferson, NC. Here is a little sneak peek of the blog posts from each of my adventures. Stay tuned...

Rocky the Boxer - Emerald Isle

I'm so happy to be reporting from Emerald Isle, NC! I'm here for the week for my sister's wedding but was lucky enough to sneak in a photo shoot with her adorable Boxer, Rocky. This sweet boy was one of the first dogs I photographed when I decided to move into the realm of pet portrait photography. I have learned so much in such a short period of time and it amazes me to see how far I have come in just the past few months. I am so happy I had the opportunity to photography Rocky again as it has really helped me see that hard work and practice really do pay off. I still have a lot to learn but I'm enjoying every minute of it!

Rocky's session began at his (soon-to-be) grandparent's beach house and ended up on the shoreline. At 7 in the morning, we were greeted with beautiful light and an empty beach...what more could you ask for?

Oh, sorry there are so many pics! Rock Rock (or Rocky, Bocky, Maki, Saki, Taki) was just the perfect little model.