5 Items to Bring When Including Pets in your Photos

As a pet parent to 3 dogs, 2 cats and a flock of chickens myself, I see pets as part of the family and I encourage customers to include pets at any type of session, as long as they are well-behaved and friendly.  We will take your pet into consideration in choosing a location and I will do my best to incorporate them into as many shots as possible.

Here are some things you should remember to bring to ensure everything goes smoothly:

A leash.
Even if your pet is good on voice commands they will be excited to be doing something new.  A leash will help you keep your pet near to you and where you want him or her for photos. If possible bring a thinner option, as they are easier to hide or edit out if necessary.

A friend.
Having someone come with you specifically to take care of your pet is ideal. This will allow you to focus on the direction I’m giving for posing rather than worrying about your pet’s safety if you choose to do some pictures without him or her.  The friend can also help keep your pets attention directed toward me by moving near me if needed.

Trust me, bribery works – especially with pets! Treats are key to keeping your pet still and motivated to participate in the process, so bring plenty of your fur baby’s favorite snacks.

A favorite toy.
The noisier the better, seriously! Bring that one you only let them play with occasionally because the noise it makes drives you bonkers!  I’ll use the toy to keep your pet’s attention on me so they are looking at the camera. We can also use it for a fun game and get some candid interaction shots.

Disposal bags.
Make sure you’re ready to pick up any waste your pet makes. This keeps the locations I use clean and family-friendly for others as well.

I look forward to meeting your pet at your session and capturing their personality as part of your family!   And because all parents love to share pictures of their kids, including pet parents, here are ouy fur babies – Tequila, Stoli, Brinley, Luna and Stella. (not pictured are our 20 chickens!)

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Hendrixson Vow Renewal

Mark & Jan planned a trip to Alaska to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.  Mark decided to make the trip extra special and arranged a vow renewal on their anniversary while they were here – without telling Jan.  He did loop her in on his scheme a few weeks before their departure date so she could plan an outfit and not be caught too off guard.

The day of the ceremony was bright and clear, perfect for the afternoon glacier cruise they booked.  When we met in Girdwood at Moose Meadow for their ceremony, they told me the only thing that could make their day any more perfect was to have a dog at their ceremony because they missed their 34 – that’s right I said 34! – rescue dogs back home. If I’d known ahead of time I would have arranged for my 3 crazy K9’s to join the festivities but it was too late and we were too far from my house.

During the ceremony Mark surprised Jan again with a special sand ceremony, he had arranged in advance with Reverend Dorothy.  They each poured sand from both Hawaii, where they’d had their original wedding and Alaska to represent their renewal of vows.  It brought Jan to tears – and me too!

After the ceremony, just as we were about to start taking portraits, a local family arrived in the meadow with a puppy. I called out to the family, explaining that they were there for a vow renewal on their anniversary and wished they could include a dog in the event because they are animal lovers. I asked if we could borrow the puppy for a few minutes and his owner quickly agreed.  She then told us that he was a rescue which made the moment even sweeter. Mark and Jan were quickly greeted with a wagging tail and slobbery kisses. It was indeed the perfect detail for their anniversary celebration!

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Class of 2018: Chelsea

This lovely young lady is proof that it’s never too late to get senior portraits done.  When things fell through with another photographer just weeks before graduation, Chelsea’s mom called me hoping I’d be able to fit them in and get them images to use for the screen display during her upcoming graduation ceremony.

We quickly scheduled a session at Reflections Lake and lucked out with decent weather the day after a spring snow storm!  Most people would think the muted tones of the season aren’t ideal for photos, but it works for her.

Despite the chilly spring temps, this gal ROCKED her entire session and was up for anything I suggested.  Her outfits showcased the different aspects of her personality, from casual and ready for adventure on Alaska’s trails to stylish and modern in a dress and heels.  We used several spots around the lake to give her a variety of backgrounds, but each paled in comparison to her bubbly charm and contagious smile.

Her session was a family affair, with both her siblings and mom along for the trek around the lake.  I think they enjoyed the experience as much as Chelsea did and they were always ready to help adjust little details or make a silly face to keep things real.

I was able to quickly get her several images to choose from in the week after her session, so she had options for the graduation ceremony display.  Then I delivered the rest of her gallery a few days after graduation.  Now that all of her images are done she’s got plenty to remember this special moment as she prepares for what comes next on her journey.  I wish her the best of luck as she heads out into the next chapter of her life, but something tells me she’s one that creates her own luck!

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