A ladylike dog

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Colby's favorite spot in the house is lying on the top of the loveseat, with her upper body on the sofa table, facing the back window to keep watch.

As you can see, I just had to snap a photo of her position like this. She crosses her back legs, ever the proper lady.

Colby is such a character. I love when dogs are animated and full of life and love like this one. She is very, very spirited. She's one spunky little creature. If she were a human she'd be Katherine Hepburn.

Colby likes to chew her bone but only if someone holds it for her. Yes, a human has to hold the bone while she gnaws away at it.

Colby is smart, too. She loves the dishwasher so much. When she was a puppy she came running every single time it opened. It didn't take her long to figure out that when the dishwasher detergent latch fell open as the door came down, that means the plates are all clean. That means no food scraps or delicious morsels that she might sneak into her mouth. So now she has that audible cue to know that when the dishes are clean she can keep relaxing in another room. What a bright dog!

Of course that intelligence doesn't matter too much when her stubbornness gets the best of her. Whether it's leaving a toy or dropping a sock (oh how she loves a good used sock to stuff in her mouth and prance around the house!) she is one determined pup.

For such a small dog she sure has a big personality.

"Never work with animals or children"

W.C. Fields is credited with the advice "Never work with animals or children." A lot of photographers agree with this statement, but not me! Bring on the kids and dogs. I can't get enough of them. Yes, children and pets present a different set of challenges than most photography subjects. They can be excited and want to move around a lot. They may completely ignore any directions you give them. But they also give facial expressions or body language that cannot be predicted or ever duplicated. Those sweet moments make for the very best photos.

This photo is a real crowd-pleaser. This picture always gets tons of compliments. I took this on my new wide-angle lens and really paid attention to the lighting so I could get almost a silhouette look so the hair on the baby and the poodle would be highlighted and make their profiles really stand out.

Sometimes I take a photo and I just know it's going to be a hit. For this one, as soon as I saw the screen on my camera, I knew instantly this would be a keeper, for sure! The lighting, the position of the poodle and the baby, the connection between their eyes, and the begging body language on the dog make for a really expressive photograph.

It's never easy to work with unpredictable subjects like dogs or toddlers but goodness, when I can manage to pull off a good shot like this, parents and dog owners know how special it is to capture that split-second interaction.

Bella, the patient yellow lab

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Every few weeks we visit my husband's family in Plain City, Ohio. It's a quick trip from northern Columbus and we just have the best time. Ever since we moved from Dayton to Columbus, we make a point to scoot down the road from Delaware County over to Union County at least once a month for a visit.

For ten years my husband's family had a wonderful yellow lab named Maggie, who was best friends with Bella, the yellow lab next door. My husband's family likes to say that Maggie taught Bella everything she knows. Sadly Maggie is no longer with us but Bella carries her sweet spirit. When Bella doesn't want to listen or starts to act up at the vet, her family just asks, "Bella, would Maggie do that?" and she straightens right up! Bella loves to play and her favorite pastime is tearing up cardboard soda containers.

I took these pictures for Bella's family in December. Can you believe it's winter in these photos? And can you believe she's a grown dog? She looks like a puppy! We had a lot of fun. Just looking at her face in these makes me laugh. Aren't dogs the best?

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Testimonial from Bella's owner:
We L-O-V-E the photos of Bella! ... Lisa did an outstanding job of photographing my Yellow Lab, Bella in December of 2015. She captured the natural beauty and playful nature of our family pet...photos we will treasure for a lifetime
— Kathy F.
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Bella was so patient and nice to work with. Look at those sweet puppy eyes!