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!

Yappy New Year 2017

I was debating on labeling this blog entry either Yappy New Year or Hoppy New Year, because both would apply to the photo I took for this week's theme of the 52-Week Challenge. The theme is simply "New." Welcome, 2017.

For the first few years of being in our house we've had an antique ice cream shop table that was a little too small for our breakfast nook, next to the kitchen. It was my husband's grandparents' table that they purchased back in the 1950s so it had loads of sentimental memories. We had been wanting something larger to fill the space properly when I came across this table and chairs. We bought it for our breakfast nook and quickly realized something. We never ate meals at the old table, so we never had Colby jumping for food. It's a habit we've never seen in her because our dining room table is taller and for some reason she lies at our feet in the dining room. Here in the breakfast nook, she considers everything fair game.

Colby decided she NEEDED this half-eaten bagel as we were cleaning up this morning. On her hind legs, fully stretching as much as possible, her nose can touch the edge of the new table at most. I saw her head pop up and had to grab my camera for a shot of her laser-focus on our breakfast remnants. Here's the photo- check out those floppy cockapoo ears mid-air!

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When it became clear there was no way of getting her to simply stop jumping and be quiet, I grabbed my camera and started clicking. My husband was probably wondering why there was all the commotion as he was getting ready - there was a LOT of barking, thumping, whimpering, and and thudding. Luckily I got a shot pretty quickly and the bagel was tossed.

Nothing like using our nice new furniture to tease the dog the sake of a photo!

So that's what is new here this week. To see the next pet photographer who has a different take on the "new" theme, check out Kim with BARKography located in Charlotte NC. It's part of the blog ring for the 52 week challenge. Keep clicking at the end and it'll eventually bring you back here. Happy new year!

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!

Christmas dogs

I had a blast at PetPeople in Upper Arlington, Ohio, this past weekend. You can see my previous day here. These are not all the portraits we took but just a small portion of the fun dogs (and bunnies) who came to see us for Christmas portraits.

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The volunteers who helped us from Rescued Ohio made our day go so smoothly because it was really bustling! In fact one of the gals had her husband and kids bring in their two dogs and their foster pup. They look like a complete family. And they posted really well together. It took a little patience to get them all in one spot like this!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Christmas sweaters. This couple was really into the holiday spirit and their dog had the best expression on his face.

The green backdrop is new this year and looks great! And the bows on the presents are a work of art. My mother-in-law has a Bowdabra contraption that makes bows easily. It worked like a charm for decorating this Christmas set.

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These ladies have their Christmas portrait with their dogs taken every year together. They're just friends and want to show off the dogs together. The puppy on the far right was so excited to see - and smell - all the other dogs and humans in the store. I couldn't believe we got everyone to look at the same spot all at once! We even got some nice happy expressions from each dog, too.

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Leroy was a huge hit as soon as he walked into the store. We saw him strut into the store with that expression and that bowtie and knew he was going to be a great model. He was dressed to the nines for his official holiday portrait.

Ollie was so inquisitive and energetic. One of the gals from Rescued Ohio brought holiday bandanas to dress up the naked dogs a little. I also brought a red and white Santa coat that's made for a little dog but most of the pups that came in were much bigger than my own. What a great idea to have the option for a little dressing up.

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Beautiful black Lena and her lovely human got in on the photos too. Lena was a rescue dog and the shelter had said she was a senior lab. It turns out she's about three years old and is part Great Dane. She's still wonderful and clearly loves her person.

Finn and Mudd came in to see us for their portraits in their favorite winter sweaters. Finn, the dog on the left, immediately walked over and created a fast friendship with my husband. He's a viszla - Finn, not my husband - and clearly is a lovebug. Mudd was a bit more energetic and excited by all the activity in the store. We were so glad to get this lovely portrait of them lying down so close together and both looking the same way.

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And I got to photograph my first bunnies! Henry was a bit skittish but his sister was hopping all over saying hello to us. I thought my dog was soft until I touched these two. Henry, on the left, was the softest creature I've ever touched. I hope more bunnies come to see me for portraits - they were such a fun treat to photograph.

Support local animal charities and have your dog's beautiful Christmas portrait taken at your nearest PetPeople location! Here is the rest of the schedule for photographs, all at local PetPeople stores.

Fri Dec 2 - Clintonville (5:30-8:30)      Sat Dec 3 - Grandview (11-2)     Sun Dec 4 - Powell (11-2);

Fri Dec 9 - Lewis Center (5:30-8:30)      Sat Dec 10 - Dublin (11-2)       Sun Dec 11 - Westerville (11-2)

Hope to see you there!

Wag Fest

I am thrilled to say that Browning Photo made its debut at Wag Fest in Hilliard!

After months of preparation for my first canine festival, I spent the past week watching the weather forecast. And by watching the weather, I mean hitting F5 (the refresh button) on my keyboard constantly to see the latest predictions. Within the same day the forecast would go from Scattered Thunderstorms, 80% chance of rain, to Partly Cloud, 20% chance of rain. My husband just laughed when it showed up at 50% of precipitation - "It may rain, it may not," he said helpfully. Well the rain rolled in with a torrential downpour at about 3pm, but since we'd been set up since 9am, that was a pretty long day with lots of face time with dogs and their humans. (Note: I included this video because 1) a dog is wearing an ice cream sundae costume and 2) the last two seconds of this clip must have tempted fate because the massive, massive thunderstorm cell rolled in soon after.)

I could not have asked for a better day with a great response. A lot of work went into getting the vendor booth just right, and we pulled it off. The tent and professional vendor display boards were loaned to me courtesy of an artist friend. I bought the signs and spent a small fortune on samples. Believe it or not, I had many, many samples that I didn't display! Even between the display boards and the table, we had more photos than we knew what to do with.

The numbers of attendees are hard to count, but I've seen it predicted that last year was about 12,000 people and this year the organizers were projecting 16,000 people. I hadn't been to Wag Fest in three years, so when I was last there just as a regular dog lover in 2013 there were thousands of dogs and owners.

One of the best things about Wag Fest is the ice bath. Our dog was not even a year old when we went, so she was still kind of skittish. There is always a HUGE swimming pool filled with ice that the dogs romp around in. In 2013 I took my video camera and recorded our dog hesitantly walking up to the ice bath, where probably fifty other dogs were playing, then pull away. Then she'd walk back up and put one paw in, testing the water, then backing up. Finally she did two paws, then at last she went all the way in. Suddenly she was romping and happy and didn't know why she was scared because clearly this was the greatest thing on earth. My husband and I have always talked about her in that ice bath and how we should do it at home on a really hot summer day. We could get three or four bags of ice at the store and let her go to town right in our own bathroom. Of course I'd have to film it!

I just adored that so many people let their dogs come give me sniffs, hugs, and even a few sloppy kisses. There was one bulldog who marched behind the table and wanted petted. When I was moving closer to pet him, he violently threw himself onto his back, knocking over a chair in the process, just so his belly was up and ready to be loved on! A bunch of the vendors and I laughed at his antics.

Overall it was a wonderful experience. Since it was our first event where we manned a booth, it was a learning experience and of course there were things we didn't think to do. For instance, when you're setting up a tent and table and lots of equipment in the grass in the early morning hours, there will be dew that will get your feet wet! We should have taken extra socks and a change of shoes - although it got so busy so quickly that I didn't even notice after a little time passed. I wish I had gotten a chance to visit the other vendors and see the disc catching competition. We had a great view of the dogs diving into the lake - I was very much missing my camera and zoom lens when we would turn and glimpse a big splash of a dog landing in the water.

Thank you to everyone involved with Wag Fest, and most of all thank you to the wonderful canine companions who make everything worth it.

Chrissy the bichon

Chrissy is a feisty little bichon. She has several personality quirks that I find hilarious. In the morning she walks on the winding garden paver stones around the yard so her paws don't get wet on the early morning dew. She looks like a little gymnast on the balance beam as she quickly walks along the pavers with her long tail bobbing behind her as she walks. She also barks very loudly when her mom pets another dog. She's a little jealous! Little diva doesn't like sharing the spotlight.

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Her owners were hopeful for cooperation from Chrissy but a little disbelieving that I could take her picture. Pretty soon after I arrived I was down on the wet grass rolling around at Chrissy's level. She had her moments of running away, but that's OK! Chrissy's mom commented that I was very patient. I just think, hey, this is fun! I'm hanging out with a dog - what could be better??

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This was an early morning sunrise shoot. I planned the time so we could get the sun at just the right angle in the sky behind Chrissy as she looked up, and it paid off!

A pose in the grass...

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I love how her name tag is visible in this portrait.

Want your dog photographed? Contact Browning Photo right now!

Maya, the sweetest dog

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I had the most wonderful time with this beautiful German shepherd / lab mix named Maya. She is 11 years old and moving a bit slow but what a gorgeous creature she is. Maya was calm enough to go off leash and even walk down the sidewalk calmly. I joked with Maya's owner that my own dog would have been halfway to Columbus hitch-hiking if we let her off the leash!

We did a very early morning photo session so we could get the best light. There was a lot of morning dew and Maya didn't want to sit and get her bum wet. Who could blame her?

We started in the backyard for pictures and by the time we moved to the front of the house and the sun had warmed the grass nicely and we had a happy, comfortable, sweet, gentle Maya looking at the camera, ready to model.

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Look at that face! I made some silly sounds to get her ears perked up.

After all that hard work, Maya got to relax in her favorite spot.

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Look at this dog in front of the fireplace. Is that a Christmas card picture or what?

Want your dog photographed in your own home? Email Browning Photo for truly custom images.

Dog or puppy?

Colby is a three year old poodle mix who loves to be outside and explore every bird, squirrel, and rabbit she can spot. She's technically an adult dog but boy she has the energy and curiosity of a puppy. Look at this action shot of Colby in the yard.

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Colby is FAST. She is also a sweet dog and loves every creature she encounters - humans, other dogs, and rabbits. Last week, Colby caught a rabbit. After years of whimpering at the back door watching the bunnies in the yard, Colby took off after one. I hear that she cornered it by the fence and caught the rabbit in her mouth and didn't know what to do with it. She let it go almost immediately and the terrified bunny scampered off unhurt.

For Colby it's all about the thrill of the chase.

More pictures of this sweet girl.

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I love how these action shots show Colby's ears waving in the air as she runs. Normally they flop down like a cocker spaniel. These ears sticking straight up in the air make her look like a little white bunny rabbit herself.

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One last one of Colby sprinting a bit faster than I expected right toward me. I shot these with a very long telephoto zoom lens and she ran so fast that I lost track of her for a second!

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Want your dog photographed running through a Lewis Center or Columbus park, or even your own backyard? Contact Browning Photo now!