Columbus Dispatch Cbus Top Picks 2018

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We were thrilled to be named the #1 Pet Photographer by the Columbus Dispatch Top Picks for 2018. We’ve had the honor of being your #1 Top Pick in 2016 (which was the inaugural year) and 2017 as well.

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This was the Dispatch’s third year of doing the Top Picks, and it was our third time at the awards ceremony. They put on a very elegant evening at St. Charles Prep every year.

Cbus top picks
Cbus top picks
Cbus top picks

My Uber was really fancy. Ha!

It was a great evening and thank you again to everyone who voted for Browning Photo!!

SNL cat

They're only on the screen for a few seconds, but one of my favorite parts of Saturday Night Live are the portraits of that week's host - called "bumper photos" - that flash on the screen just before the show comes back from commercial break. They are highly stylized portraits that usually involve a very bright backdrop, interesting colored lighting, and the title "SNL" or "Saturday Night Live."

I've been wanting to do a portrait in a similar style to SNL's photographer, Mary Ellen Matthews. And because I can never resist a pet-themed pun, this kitten's portrait was my top choice for creating something like this. I love the result.

best pet photography columbus ohio

Live from New York, it's Caturday Night!

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.

dog photography columbus ohio

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Two kittens in Worthington, Ohio

pet photography columbus ohio

These beautiful kittens are only about six months old and couldn't be more different. Laka, the brown striped cat, is the most playful kitten I've ever seen. It was non-stop playtime for Laka. She turned into a bit of a ham! She is clearly a very social cat because she took right to me, the camera, my lights, my noise-makers, everything. She was especially intrigued when I was setting up my larges pieces of equipment in her living room. Then when it was her turn, Laka was so patient and gave me the prettiest expressions with different angles of her face and eyes.

Next was Hilo, who did not want much to do with me! She watched from afar and bolted every time I went near her. Hilo got on the perch where I had photographed Laka then jumped down after one shot. Then guess who hops right up again? Laka. She was ready for more pictures to be taken!

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Above is Laka, giving an encore performance of her modeling debut.

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Hilo let me take exactly one shot where I wanted her and she made it a good one. I caught her later playing on the stairs and grabbed this shot.

We tried feathers, tinkly cat noisemakers, ribbons, even raw minnows (yum!) and Hilo wasn't being enticed by any of it. Laka, however, was ALL ABOUT the ribbons and streamers and pretty much anything she could get her tiny paws around.

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In our consultation, one shot that was important to get was the two kitties looking out the window. There is a birdfeeder just outside and they like to gaze out the window. I loved the high-contrast feel in black and white for this photograph.

We got many more photos of the kittens and their owners, who loved the family portraits with everyone, including the cats. I'm thrilled to add some kitties to my list of animals I've photographed. It's been almost all dogs and a couple rabbits before now!

Do you have a cat who likes to stare out the window or cuddle and snuggle? Contact me here now for in-home family portraits featuring your beloved pets! I'd love to chat about your ideas for indoor cat portraits.

Goodale dog

Sammie Girl is a 13-year-old lab mix who is a fixture at Goodale Park in Columbus and has been for years. Sammie knows all the regulars and visits her doggie friends daily, rain or shine.

columbus dog photography

It's quite apparent that Sammie is comfortable at that park! She clearly enjoys every inch of Goodale. We met up on a warm autumn day to catch the yellowing leaves that had fallen and the foliage still on the trees. This picture makes me laugh. Look at this sweet girl sunning herself.

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What a smile. Sammie is IN LOVE with her person. Each time he would speak to me Sammie would give a soft bark and nuzzle him to get his attention. When he'd walk a few feet away to toss her baggie in the trash she was right there with him, intently watching where he was going.

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I love the backlit shots that come through the trees. The only difficult part of this photo shoot was getting a few feet between Sammie and her human, since he didn't want to be in the photos. Sammie Girl definitely know what she likes and it's definitely her person and Goodale. I love that they chose to take photos in a place that means so much to her. We saw some of her doggie friends on the way out and she lit up when she spotted her pals. We got some photos of Sammie on a bench that has a lot of significance to her and her best doggie buddy, too.
 I'm thrilled that Sammie's person loved her fall portrait session.

Does your dog have a favorite park? I'd love to take your pup's portraits there! Contact me right now to discuss your photo session.

Dog in bunny ears

Hoppy Easter from Colby!

best pet photographer columbus ohio

We are getting ready for spring photos at Pet People and I needed to make a nice promo photo to show the backdrop I will be using.

Colby is wearing her new Easter bunny costume. She kept shaking off the hoodie, which has bunny ears on it, but I finally got her to sit for one second and look angelic and perky and sweet. My best photo of my own dog to date! It only took several thousands of pictures to get a good one of her.

We will be at four PetPeople locations between April 7-9. A portion of proceeds goes to local animal rescues to help homeless pups get into their fur-ever homes. We love to do this! We have bunny ears for the dogs and various spring-themed props. It'll be adorable!

Texture

This week's blog challenge is "Texture." Whether that means fur or fabric or texture of the image itself, it's up to us.

I decided this photo of Colby on the couch with her paws crossed - ever the lady, that one - would be a fun photo to turn into a painting. I added a canvas texture to mimic the effect of painting on a real canvas like one of the old Masters.

dog photography columbus ohio painting

Colby is a classic beauty. Watch out, Venus and Mona Lisa.

Here is a close-up of her profile to show the neat effect of the texture. It's especially prominent in those areas of white in front of the window.

texture dog

I might like the close-up better than the full image! It's a neat effect, especially when the dog is facing away from the camera, but I think I prefer sharp photographs of dogs and people when they're looking straight into the camera. The special effects are a nice change, especially in a profile shot or a wide full-body shot.

For any of you artistic folks reading, is there a principle in art that explains this, or is it just personal preference?  I feel the same way about black and white images - I like black and white when the subject is looking away from the camera, but for most photographs I like dogs in full vibrant color.

We're in week eight of the blog challenge - up next is Dog Biscuit Photos in Dallas, Texas. Keep clicking through and you'll wind up back here!

Valentine's Hearts

This past Christmas I took a photograph of my dog in which I turned the lights from the Christmas trees into paw prints. It turned out so cute that I wanted to try it again for Valentine's Day. I didn't have a Christmas tree still up and I needed only red Christmas lights, instead of white or multi-colored. Finding strands of only red lights in stores over a month after Christmas was no easy feat!

pet photography columbus ohio

Also like at Christmas I used my favorite crafting tool, the Bowdabra, to create a bow for Colby to wear. I had made huge bows for the presents in my Christmas set, and for this Valentine's portrait I knew I wanted to make a large red bow for her like you'd see on a new car in a Lexus commercial. The whole thing turned out pretty cute! I took this photograph in our basement. She was so captivated by the treats my husband was shaking that she never even looked over at me. She still holds the title as the most difficult dog to photograph, ever. She is like a cartoon character whose eyes turn into spirals whenever food comes out! She's my sweet girl and I'm happy to have to model for me.

The theme this week in the 52-week dog photography challenge was Love. Be sure to check out everyone's takes on the Love theme. Up next is Kim with BARKography based in Charlotte NC. Keep clicking through and you'll wind up back here!

Want a unique Valentine's Day portrait of your love? Contact me now!