Darn that weather!

As I wrote about previously, the organization Professional Photographers of America was going to send me and four other photographers to Washington, D.C. to speak to members of Congress and staffers about an important bill coming up that has a direct impact on the industry. Everything looked great - the cherry blossoms were going to peak right in the middle of our trip, we had photo excursions planned, it was going to be fun. Then the weather happened. Right now a nor'easter is barreling down the coast and is going to dump 5"-8" on our nation's capital just as we were all arriving. Thankfully PPA has postponed the trip and we'll all get the chance to visit DC in May. There better not be snow then!

I was looking forward to taking beautiful photos of cherry blossoms at their peak, but mother nature had the final say-so. DC is fabulous in May and I'm looking forward to a much warmer trip then.

Washington DC trip announcement

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), which has been in existence since 1868 and is the oldest continuous photographers' association in the country and has 29,000 members, has been lobbying Congress for better copyright protections for photographers. As an important bill is coming before the legislature soon, PPA decided to choose five photographers to accompany the PPA president to Capitol Hill and speak to Congress directly about the impact of copyright law. I am THRILLED to announce that I am one of five photographers selected for this trip.

Stay tuned for more information and of course pictures from this adventure. PPA and its five chosen photographers will be in DC from March 21-23. This will be quite the business trip, and I am so happy to join PPA in advocating for photographers.

Outdoor dog portraits in Columbus, Ohio

Every Saturday night when I was growing up, watching The Golden Girls with my cousins and grandmother was a sacred tradition. The Golden Girls was absolutely revered in my family. My cousins and I would get excited when the showed played the full version of the opening credits, instead of the truncated version that sometimes got aired. I remember once being so confused when Blanche and Rose and Dorothy were sitting at the kitchen table starting to reminisce about days gone by and the show would play back that scene. And then it would happen again! My grandmother explained that this was a clip show that aired highlights of previous episodes so the writers could have a break. I was thoroughly disappointed because we were hoping for new antics each Saturday night.

What made me think of The Golden Girls? I was looking through some previous blog entries and started wistfully thinking back on warm summer days traipsing through Columbus parks and taking photographs in dogs' own backyards. I saw photos I hadn't seen in a long time and I became sentimental! I love each and every one of these pups and their families.

We had some amazing sessions and without further ado, here are some highlights of outdoor dog portraits I've taken in this area. I hope you enjoy revisiting some fun doggie photographs, too!

Want to have your own dog photographed in a Columbus park, favorite local landmark, or your own backyard? I would love to hear from you! Just click HERE to get the ball rolling.

Hallmark Channel Rescue Show

Tomorrow night will be a great evening to grab some popcorn and snuggle under a blanket with your furry loved ones because it's the first-ever rescue dog show on the Hallmark Channel! Click here to see the contenders. For many decades purebred dogs have competed for Best in Show titles, and now mutts are being celebrated with their own "competition."

I saw on the Hallmark Channel website that there are great categories, such as Best in Kissing and Best in Snoring. My favorite is Best in Wiggle Butt - ha! I can't wait to see if this event will catch on and will be as fun for viewers as the Puppy Bowl every January.

Be sure to tune in and let me know how you liked the show! Colby is intrigued by other dogs on television so this should be fun to see her reaction. Anything that features dogs, especially with a humorous take, is aces in my book.

Vizsla puppy

I had only met one vizsla in person before this pup, and he was an older dog, so I was very excited to see a puppy vizsla. Plus it's always great fun to see a puppy, no matter what breed! For those not familiar, vizslas are a hunting dog, part of the retrieving group. They are smaller than most of the breeds in their group, which consists of German short-haired pointers and Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers. I was more familiar with those latter breeds so this was a great way to get familiar with the vizsla.

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Here is Kona at just 12 weeks of age. Sweet, floppy, happy, excitable, tired Kona. Her owners actually threw her a "pawty" to welcome her into their lives. They had over 50 people come and meet the pup as of way of introducing her and socializing her. I can't imagine how tired she was after that.

When I met her family at their home for a consultation, they walked me around the house to give me the lay of the land and I noticed they had a couple books on vizslas. Immediately I had this idea for a portrait of Kona reading their books on vizlas. I went to the library and grabbed all the books I could find on vizslas - which was one - and books that had "dog" or "puppy" in the title...hence the book "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell, which is a sociology book. In fact the librarian and I got to talking about vizslas and she knew exactly what they are since she said she has a weimaraner. Small world!


This looks like a studio shot but I set up my backdrop roll of paper and the books in their living room. Kona did an awesome job. Just 12 weeks old and no collar and leash needed to get her to sit and look at me! The first shot I posted was just too cute - it was her impromptu gnawing of the book that adds so much character to the portrait.


Disembodied puppy! It's not an illusion or trick of the eye - it's actually Kona lying in the little hammock at the bottom of a cat tower. The day before our photo shoot she climbed in on her own and looked so cute that it was a priority for her family to get a shot of her like that while she's still tiny and able to fit in there! A couple more days and she's probably going to outgrow the hammock. We had just finished a bunch of action shots and she was all tuckered out. She had fallen fast asleep curled up into a tight little ball and her owners said it would be the perfect time to set her in the hammock. Kona is so floppy and flexible that her body was facing the window and she turned her head to look at me at the sound of my squeaker.

kona action

And speaking of action shots! Look at this pup on the move! The duck she's carrying is her favorite toy. It was a present from a guest at her "welcome home pawty." The duck is almost as big as she is! Kona is expected to grow to about 40 pounds. Right now she's putting on two to three pounds a week. Guess that's why she's so sleepy - it's a lot of work to do all that growing!

Want to document your new puppy's first weeks at home? I'd love to talk to you about puppy portraits! Contact me here.

52 week challenge: Depth of field

As I wrote about in a previous post, I'm still getting back to normal from the ImagingUSA conference in Nashville. It was such an inspiring trip that left my head filled with ideas that I now have a wish list of a hundred things to try and far too little time to attempt everything! But I'm getting back into the swing of things, and that includes the 52 week pet photography challenge.

This week's theme is Depth of Field, which can mean creating separation between the subject and the background. Colby was flopped over on the floor in her usual "frog dog" position, as we call it, and I had a long lens on my camera that was wide open. If I had had my usual shorter lens on this should would have been impossible because getting anywhere close to her, at floor level, means she'll immediately hop up and lick my face.

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It's almost like capturing the photo of a wild animal in the Serengeti. Look at that face - she's not exactly a predator, though. This is definitely Colby in her natural state. A rare peek at a hyper beast.

Because I had the aperture wide open I kept Colby's eyes in focus, which kept her nose in focus too. The depth of field goes from about her nose to her ears, and then it gets fuzzier definitely by the point her shoulders start. It causes her reflection in the hardwood to be softer and dreamier too.

Now is time to look at pictures from across the pond! Up next is The Hoof & Hound Photographer covering Lancaster UK. Keep clicking through and you'll wind up back here. Thanks for reading!

Ultimate food lover

Colby loves food more than any other dog I've ever met. She LOOOOVES food. She has her favorites that most dogs love, like peanut butter and cheese and meat. But she loves everything, including carrots, toast, bananas, scrambled eggs... These aren't things we intentionally feed her, but rather food that she's stolen from right in front of us.

I will never forget the time I was cutting up vegetables for a homemade minestrone soup in our kitchen. Colby started begging me for the onion I was chopping. I warned her she wouldn't like raw onion, but when I gave her a tiny piece she chomped it up and started loudly whining, begging for more onion. There's nothing this dog won't eat. We've tried training her but she's the most stubborn little thing! I think she knows how cute she is and uses it to her advantage.

dog photography columbus ohio

I made the mistake of sitting this half-eaten bagel on the counter and turning my back. I heard a fast scrape of her nails as she launched herself off the floor vertically, then a loud thudding sound resonated. Here's the moment after I grabbed my camera.

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She’s a cockapoo so her ears naturally hang down and flop around. The fact that they’re airborn cracks me up. She really got some height in those jumps!

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Almost got it! I didn’t let this go on for long. Just a few hops and clicks of the camera to document her downright "dogged" determination (I can’t resist a canine pun)!


Imaging USA in Nashville

Hello friends!

I just got back from Nashville, Tennessee, where I was among 10,000 professional photographers attending the amazing Imaging USA conference. This was my first time attending the conference and it was a blast!

dog photography columbus ohio

Thanks to the ice storm that was promising to paralyze Ohio and Kentucky and Tennesse on Friday, I decided that instead of leaving Saturday morning, I'd flee Columbus on Thursday. This gave me a ton of extra time in Nashville. Tennessee got about two inches of snow and didn't know how to handle it. The local news showed semi trucks lying in ditches along the highway and children excitedly dancing and playing in the tiny amount of snow on the ground.

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Here's a group of pet photographers who met for lunch inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conference Center.

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I had lunch with a group of cat photographers, including Kim Stephenson. She is an amazing artist and I was excited to hear how to created her award-winning portraits.


The conference was held inside the hotel so thank goodness I didn't have to go outside in the ice storm! I left Columbus on Thursday and didn't return until the following Wednesday. I can't believe I remembered where I parked my car at the hotel, it felt like I was there for so long!


It was fantastic to meet so many talented photographers!

It was great to learn from and get ideas from other photographers from across the country. I was one of 10,000 professional photographers there!

I watched an eagle photographer demonstrate how to photograph a falcon, had lunch with a group of talented cat photographers, and learned how one pet photographer got her start with guinea pigs. I finally met people I've only talked to online and blogged with, and I got to learn techniques from many other areas of photography, like headshots and fashion and fine art.

Here are a few photos from the conference. Most of my photos are cell phone pictures of inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel because it's so unusual; I'm including a few other photos courtesy of fellow photographers who kindly shared them with me. They snapped pictures that capture the happy excitement we felt to be there! Thanks for reading and we'll be back to usual business right away!