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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

what got buried | ontario pet photographer

Wow, where did the summer go? I swear it was just June and now it's almost September! As sad as I am to see the summer fade away, I'm looking forward to the next few months — September and October are my absolute favourite months for photography. The light is warm and golden, the colours are amazing and with the heat no longer a factor, Fido can run to his heart's content and I don't have so many "tongue on the ground" shots from my sessions! I'm currently booking into October (I still have a few spaces available in September, too), so if you're thinking of a fall session, don't hesitate to contact me.

As always, head on over to the official Happy Tails Pet Photography Facebook page for the most up-to-date news, contests and photos. But for those of you who have been off enjoying the summer (I don't blame you!), here's a quick recap of what's been happening in this edition of What Got Buried.

Behind the scenes I've been a busy bee. I'm working on a new blog/website, which is lots of work for a technophobe like me. I sent out my first ever Happy Tails newsletter (just click here to subscribe) and I hit a major personal milestone: my one-year anniversary of volunteering at the Burlington Humane Society, where I have photographed close to 500 shelter pets! I love visiting all the residents at the shelter — it brings me so much fulfillment helping them find a family with professional "glamour shots." They all deserve loving forever homes! Here are just a few of the furry faces I've had in front of my camera.
collage of shelter pets
And here's a shot of Svobi the kitten (sibling Piglet is in the background), who is still looking for a home. Isn't he sweet?
I'm also excited to have my photography displayed in the Burlington Ont., location of the Bark and Fitz, a boutique pet store. I ordered two 20x30 canvases to fill the space right behind the cash. You can't buy anything without catching sight of Happy Tails art!
art display at pet store
On the home front, we are currently in the middle of an office "facelift." Up until now, the room has been a catch-all for odds and ends. Our desk was too small and positioned over a vent, which made my feet cold. It just wasn't an inspiring place to work. So, first we purged and reorganized. For a few days the space looked like this. It was scary, although Kitty didn't seem to mind.
Office reorganization.
Now it looks like this, which is progress, but not yet complete. I'm hoping to blog about the final transformation when it's finally done!
home office.
While the office chaos has been happening, I've been busy with client sessions. Here's dark and mysterious Dobby from a recent home visit.
black cat.
And a behind-the-scenes shot of me working with little doll Beatrice.
And my own two monkeys have had a bit of camera time. Bossypants Kitty has been brave lately, making her way into the backyard a few times while we are watering the plants with the door ajar. Only Kitty would wear a tuxedo in the garden.
tuxedo cat.
Here's Chloe looking happy and satisfied after playing ball in the park. She turned seven in August!
golden retriever
And a rare shot of the two of them together ... kind of.
I hope everyone had a fantastic summer! Here's to an amazing fall!


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

featured on: the daily dog tag

I was thrilled when Beth from the Daily Dog Tag featured my session with Smiley on her blog. If you haven't checked it out, the Daily Dog Tag features lots of amazing photos, products and other good stuff for dog lovers. Her post on Smiley coincided with Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue Day, which is so fitting — Smiley truly is the poster dog for amazing rescue stories.

screen shot of the Daily Dog Tag
Smiley deserves all the recognition — he is an amazing example of how rescue dogs can change lives!


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

shihtzu/pomeranian sisters in the garden | burlington, ontario pet photographer

I first met shihtzu/pomeranian mixes April and Laci back in May when they stopped by my booth at the Burlington Humane Society's ARFmazing Race fundraiser — they were all smiles in their cute pink harnesses. So, when their mom called to book a session, I had an idea of what these two girls were like. They are sisters, they are girly girls and they are all sweetness. During our session at a really beautiful lakeside garden (I posted about this gorgeous location earlier), I discovered they are tons of fun too, and fantastic models. 

April is more outgoing, curious and a total camera hog. She had unlimited smiles for me!
A small black dog smiling
April also loves to chase the ball!
Laci is more shy and protective of her family. When strangers got close she would let them know they were in her territory — her bark is way worse than her bite though. Sorry Laci, it's hard to take you seriously when you look this cute.
My treats were a big hit with these girls and it wasn't long before shy Laci was joining her sister and hamming it up for the camera.
Aside from their different personalities, you can tell them apart from their markings. April has a white patch of fur on her chest that reminds me of Buckeye the weimaraner's "power patch." Laci has a white muzzle and a little white mark right on her nose.
Did I mention the hamming?
These two were just so happy — they had me cracking up the entire session! Look at those goofy grins.
I think this next shot is kind of cool - an exact mirror image!
April will do anything for a treat!
I'm not usually big on props, but because these two gals were small and black, I thought a bright chair to sit on might add a little zip. We just refinished this garbage find for our office, so I brought it along.
And you know the session is over when you get this face.
Tomorrow the family is moving to Ottawa. I don't know why, but it kind of makes me sad to know these two girls will be living six hours away! They are a riot and this family is kind of special to me — they value my work and are so supportive of my photography. Thanks so much for the fun afternoon April and Laci! All the best in your new home. I hope you have a doggone good time in the nation's capital!


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Monday, August 13, 2012

so you think a 5x7 is an enlargement ... | ontario pet photographer

It's difficult to visualize what a piece of art will look like on your wall. I totally understand and until I really got into photography and started ordering tons of product for my business, I was in the same boat. Back then, I printed lots of 4x6 prints and even went "big" and got 5x7s of our family snapshots. Most of them ended up packed away in shoeboxes in our closet because there really wasn't much I could do with them — I didn't want lots of tiny frames sprinkled around our house. When I started ordering sample products for my business, I had the light bulb moment. I realized these tiny prints weren't really what I wanted. I wanted art. I wanted impact. I wanted people to see the images hung on my walls without squinting.

A 5x7 or an 8x10 isn't really an enlargement. Sure, they are bigger than a basic 4x6, but they are still teeny tiny. But you can't really visualize the difference until you see it. To demonstrate, here is a framed 5x7 that I hung in my hallway and beside it is a 20x30 canvas.

print size difference
What do you think — which would you rather hang as art on your wall? If this was the permanent spot for the canvas, I would go even bigger. Wouldn't a piece the length of the bench look stunning? If you want an image for your desk at work, or for your nightstand, then an 8x10 or 11x14 print might be the way to go. I'm not discounting them — they have their place. But if you are looking for something to hang on your wall, I think 20x30 is the minimum size you should consider (depending on your wall size and shape of course). Many people are surprised and think it will be way too big. But, as you can see in the example above, a 20x30 isn't that ginormous. I consider it a good starting point.

I love helping people achieve their own light bulb moment and display their photographic art in a way that can be enjoyed for many years. I am always available to help clients choose the best images in the best sizes and mediums for their homes.

Don't let your images languish away in a shoebox. Print them, and print them big! Go at least a few sizes bigger than you think you want — you won't be disappointed!


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

colourful garden by the lake | burlington pet photographer

Here's a peek at one of my recent session locations — aren't the colours beautiful?
I always consider the time of year and light when I choose a location. But it really depends on my four-legged clients, which is why I always try to learn more about them before we meet. I always try to pick a location with a pet's personality, colouring and breed in mind. This gem of a spot was for a session with two energetic pups who are girly girls through and through. A formal, vibrant garden was perfect for them — you'll see their full blog post soon!

I'm in the process of putting together a quarterly (hopefully!) email newsletter to share the latest Happy Tails Pet Photography news, contest, promotions and other good stuff. If you want to stay in the loop, sign up here!


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

client photo book | products

A few posts back I shared the story of Scruffy, and his incredible 20-years of life. After our Celebration Session (these are special sessions I offer for terminally ill or elderly pets where time is of the essence), Scruffy's mom decided on a beautiful 10x10 photo book to memorialize him. 

Like all of my books, Scruffy's is hardcover with a custom photo cover.
cat photo book
Custom photo book
Custom photo book
Inside, heavy-weight, lay-flat pages showcase the images beautifully. And I just love the full-page spreads! Each book I do is custom designed inside and out.
Custom photo book
Custom photo book
Custom photo book
Custom photo book
I love it when clients order photo books or large canvases — isn't that what professional pet photography is all about? To display your images and enjoy them as art? Rather than have her images languish on disc, Amanda will have this gorgeous photo book with a variety of images to remember her loyal companion by .... forever. 

For more information on my Celebration Sessions or to book your own, please visit my website!


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