Dog at the lake

For this week on the 52 week pet photography challenge, we're all doing backlit images, which means the main source of light is on the other side of the subject from the camera. What's the most powerful source of light possible? Yep, the sun!

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Tank is a handsome German Shepherd dog. His family booked me in November, patiently waiting for spring to get this type of portrait. The wait was worth it! We went out a few weeks ago to my super-secret lake location. They actually live only a couple miles from here and had no idea it exists. I've sworn them to secrecy so it stays a local hidden gem.

Tank had never been around water, so it was such a treat to see him react to the lake. He was pretty hesitant at first, then after a few minutes he started tentatively flicking at the water with his nose, and then he started bouncing and splashing! It was ADORABLE. What a special memory.

Tank's parents now have this image on a large piece of metal wall art to adore of Tank's perfect spring day forever. I love how he was so happy and how he looked right at me for that split second. My husband was my helper on this afternoon and had rolled the ball back into the shot, where it's lined up perfectly between Tank's legs. This has to be one of my favorite images I've ever taken. Thank you for being so handsome, Tanky!

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Check out The Hoof & Hound Photographer covering the Lancaster UK area to see the next photo in the blog circle. Keep clicking through and you'll wind up back here.

Stay tuned for more photographs from Tank's lakeside session. I have a lot to say about this amazing dog and the fun afternoon we shared. UPDATE: Click here to see more Tanky photos!

Thinking about having your dog's backlit portrait created? I'd love to chat! Contact me now to talk about our summer availability.

Christmas dogs at home

CJ and Boo are adorable pups. CJ is a four-year-old Bichon Frise and a Boo is a two-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Boo gazed over at his mom while I set up this beautiful portrait in front of the Christmas tree. Look at that sweet face!

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CJ and Boo's family wanted holiday portraits in their home that included the couch in some way. They told me that CJ and Boo both liked to sit on the back of the sofa and keep watch. Each dog has a regular spot - it's funny that when we went to take their portraits they swapped their usual spots.

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What you can't see are the leashes, because although this pair usually hangs out on the back of their couch, for some reason they were too excited to sit still. I had met the family in the pre-consultation in their home a couple weeks prior to the photo shoot so I wasn't a total stranger, but it was still very exciting to have their portraits taken!

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These two really love being on the couch, as seen here. Both their leashes were stretched to each side as their owners and I were bribing them like there was no tomorrow with yummy stinky treats and interesting noisy toys. At one point CJ had buried his entire head into my bag of goodies. He probably could have fit inside and would have been content to sniff for hours.

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This looks like a studio shot but it was taken in the living room, too. We tried a lot of different techniques to get awesome portraits of this pair.

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One last photo to share for now. Boo and CJ's family requested a photo of them looking out the front door. They like to watch for the mailman and bark, naturally. When their mom went to get the mail she spotted them and thought it would make an adorable picture. She emailed me and made sure we could include that. I like that we got their Christmas decor in there - two white polars bear cubs to match the two little white pups.

Ready to schedule your family's lovely Christmas portraits in your own home? Contact me right now - space is limited!

Molly the Yorkie puppy

When I was growing up I wanted a Yorkshire terrier. Badly. I loved their tiny rascally bodies and long silky hair and cute faces. Plus they were pretty close to the Cairn terrier from The Wizard of Oz so that was all my eight-year-old self wanted in life!

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As an adult I have a poodle but darned if I wasn't so excited to meet this new Yorkshire terrier puppy. Molly is seven months old and is does not have the traditional Yorkie markings. She has white, brown, gray, and black in her body and face. In fact, her body is snow white except her tail, which is completely black. It's very unusual. In fact, her owner said the breeder has asked for Molly back because her markings are so rare and in demand. No way! She's at home now and doted upon. No returning this gal.

Molly joined 10-year-old senior dog Holly, who is also a Yorkie. Holly and Molly! Holly, despite her senior status, was on the MOVE. It was pretty nice weather outside and I was pretty quickly drenched after chasing Holly all over the yard. For an elderly dog and only three pounds with tiny legs she was FAST.

Molly, the puppy, weighs in at a whopping TWO pounds. She was pretty cooperative and stayed in one spot for me when I needed her to. I always have treats with me and I was breaking off my usual small bites to make them go further. After three treats she was finished. I realized that I'm not used to a teeny-tiny Yorkie belly! I tried little bitty broken pieces of treats and she just smelled them and turned away. Must be nice to have that self control around delicious food!

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Here is Molly looking up at me. She is so fluffy! She is going to be spayed next week - good luck, Molly! Get well soon.

PetPeople Westerville Bark-B-Q

This was the first year Browning Photo participated in the PetPeople Westerville store's annual Bark-B-Q and it was a blast! Lots of rescue organizations were present and we helped raise money for RescuedOhio and its mission to place homeless pets into their furever homes. Check out some of the dogs we met!

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Hello, Jazmine! This shiba inu looked perfectly coiffed for her pet portrait.

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So tiny! So sweet!

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Ellie and Zeus are seasoned models. I photographed this pair last fall and was SO excited they came to PetPeople for summer portraits and a nail trim.

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Bella was a delight. She had a flattering pose and a big smile like a happy model ready for her close-up.

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Gatsby is a regular at these photo events. He always brings a smile to everyone's faces. He hung out after the event just enjoying all the sights and sounds. He loves being social!

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Again, so little and so happy! We didn't get the best expressions from them at first try, so I asked their owner to hang on a minute and we'd try again. BAM! Look at their happy faces. They just needed a break to relax and get into their groove.

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One final shot - it's the team photo! I asked for a photo of Nicole, the biggest dog walking around the store. Jenna, Kenny, and Tom jumped into the shot to commemorate the end of a long, fun day.

Thanks to PetPeople Westerville for inviting us to this awesome event!

Adopt me

Each time I visit the Franklin County Animal Shelter to photograph the dogs there seems to be one who just grabs my heart and that I can't get out of my mind.

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This little black terrier was so frightened when he came in. He was pulling away from his handler and the rescue coordinator and slid on his belly into the room. He kept pushing himself on his belly right over to me. Then he stopped, curled up next to me for a second and let me rub his back, and then decided to climb up onto my lap. The rescue coordinator said he might need to go home with me. I can't tell you how much this dog instantly turned from scaredy cat to a loving and affectionate pup.

I can't stop thinking about him! If Colby would accept a second dog in her house (she won't - we've tried) I would have taken him with me right then. I hope he goes to a family who dotes on him and gives him all the attention and love he deserves. I hope that for all these dogs!

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Look at this happy boy! He looks like he has some husky in him. That one beautiful blue eye caught my attention. His other eye is half blue, half brown. He's certainly one of a kind. And that smile! He is going to be an active happy companion to some lucky family.

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I didn't get much time with this pup because he was too good at modeling! One shot with that big grin was all it took.

Please let me know if you adopt one of these pups -- I'd love to hear how they are doing!

Bella's Christmas tree

Bella only wanted to play but she paused for a second in front of the tree to let me take her holiday portrait. After that she was right back to important business - squeaky toys!

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Want your dog photographed in front of the tree? It's not as easy at it looks but I've been lucky to get some lovely holiday portraits of pups at home! Contact me right now!

Cbus Top Picks

Super exciting news around these parts - Browning Photo was named #1 Pet Photographer in Columbus!!! The Columbus Dispatch held its inaugural Top Picks awards banquet the other night and I was thrilled to accept the award for its first place in Pet Photography.

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The banquet was so nicely done. It was held at St. Charles Preparatory School in Bexley. I walked in and couldn't believe the swankiness! I had to take a picture of the ice sculpture.

The uplighting was so well done. The spotlights that looked like stars on the ceiling were so pretty and the bat signal AKA the Cbus Top Picks logo projected onto the ceiling was awesome too!

I'm going chronologically through my photos from my cell phone from that evening and realizing I took more photos of the ice sculpture than of the actual award that I won that has my name on it. Whoops!

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There were 115 different categories and the top three businesses in each category were invited to the ceremony. The top business received a plaque with the logo on it. Here is the Pet Photography plaque!

Please excuse the cell phone picture. I thought about taking a proper photo when I got home to post on the blog but I kind of love the cell phone picture because the stars from the ceiling reflect down onto the plaque. Kind of a spur of the moment snapshot that I actually like better!

Thank you so much to the Columbus Dispatch and my wonderful clients who nominated me. I'm still shocked and so thankful for this honor and for the privilege of going into people's homes and creating photographs of their beloved pets.

Dock diving at Polaris Cabela's

I'll admit, I had no idea what a Cabela's was. It sounded like a fancy restaurant to me, but actually it's a really nice outdoors sporting goods store. It didn't matter to me - I'll go anywhere there's dock diving. This was the first year that Cabela's in Columbus (located on Gemini Parkway near Polaris) hosted dock diving. Other Cabela's stores host them around the country, so I hope the Polaris location continues the tradition.

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I got excited on the Friday night before the competition, seeing the pool being inflated and filled with water under the streetlights as the skies darkened. The next morning the competition was on! Saturday and Sunday had multiple Big Waves, which are the distance challenges. There was also Extreme Vertical, which I'll describe below, and Speed Retrieve. Then the finals for the Big Wave were held Sunday afternoon.

Some dogs were seasoned pros and had clearly been jumping in the water for a good portion of their lives. Other dogs needed a little encouragement.

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And some newer dogs flat-out refused!

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If you look closely you can see that dog looking up at me like, is my owner for real?

It's actually quite scary for dogs to jump into the pool. According to the Dock Dogs organization that put on the event, the water is completely clear and invisible to the dogs, so they're just jumping out into nothing.

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I like how this dog looks like a kangaroo! He looks completely canine on land but he has the jump of a powerful marsupial.

Aside from the distance competition, there was Extreme Vertical. Dogs jumped for a toy that was affixed to a certain height at the end of the platform and landed in the pool. Some of the handlers' reactions were AMAZING. The dogs' jumps were impressive but the expressions on their faces were something to behold. I chose a position where I could get both the dog and the human reaction to the jumps.

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In almost every shot, this handler has the same clasped hands and hopeful nervous expression that looks like she's holding her breath and thinking, "Oh please oh please oh please..." Her dog is one of those agile, seasoned jumpers that clearly knows his stuff, but I understand the expression. I remember the parents in the stands at the Rio Olympics anticipating whether their son or daughter would stick a landing or clear a vault. These are just furrier athletes!

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This was my favorite photograph I took of the first day. The look of giddy excitement on this lady when her dog made this EV height just delights me.

Here is another excited jump. She missed her calling as a Rockette with those high kicks!

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Day 2 at Cabela's featured more long distance jumping. This beautiful dog is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, AKA a toller. This family has two tollers that are mother and son, Eta and Chiron respectively, and they competed against each other. I've heard of sibling rivalry, but I guess a little parent/puppy rivalry is possible in doggie athletics!

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Look at the ears on this toller! He looks like a fox as he jumps.

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I liked getting some close-ups of the dogs as they swam in the pool. I wish my own dog were toy-motivated like these dogs so I could get her to dock dive. I'd have to open a can of peanut butter and toss it in ... the organizers would surely have a problem with that! In fact, they explained that any toy was permissible as long as it wasn't edible.

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As always, there were special moments between handlers and their jumpers. I got a sweet photograph of a lady holding her dog in a piggyback hold as they watched other dogs swimming in the pool.

Look at the smile on this happy boy! He looks so pleased with himself as his landing gear goes down on another perfectly executed jump.

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I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the dogs and their handlers having such a good time. Cabela's was a great host and of course I loved that the dock diving was held so close to Lewis Center! See you next year!