Meaningful Ways to Capture Those First Moments With Your Puppy or Kitten

Meaningful Ways to Capture Those First Moments With Your Puppy or Kitten

Were you the person who knew that your dog or cat was for you as soon as you saw them? When we first met Bentley at Pet Smart where he was being housed during his rescue days, we knew that we were meant for each other. It would appear that Bentley did too and he was very intent on closing the deal. I remember that he confidently strutted out of his cage and came out begging to be picked up. And when I willingly did that, he instantly snuggled into my neck. My husband and I looked at each other and whispered…I think he’s the one.

tabby cat portrait on dark grey

Our first few months together flew by. Just like all new cat parents, those early-love days with Bentley were full of learning, but we had the opportunity to make lots of one-of-a-kind memories and set the stage for our life together.

Here are some of the things we did to celebrate those first few months and develop our lifelong bond.

1. Capture memories on your smartphone.

This is one that most people find unexpected, coming from me. After all, why would a professional pet photographer encourage people to take their own photos with a smartphone?

Well, here’s the reason: memories and events are fleeting and you cannot get that moment back. So…when the opportunity presents itself, take the photo with whatever you have in your hand at the time! When you look back at that photo, the memories will come flooding back and you’ll have captured it to enjoy it forever.

So, don’t forget to photograph the big events like Gotcha Day, First Walk, First Bath, First Haircut etc. But also some of those details: The colour and texture of their fuzzy fur, the toe beans, the huge paws. They change so fast, don’t let it slip by.

Pro Tip: Pick out your favourites and back up the rest of your puppy pics each month, so they don’t get lost or deleted. Afterward, you can safely remove outtakes from your camera roll so you have plenty of room for new photos and can avoid the dreaded “out of space” message.

young boy and puppy sitting on front porch together

2. Keep a journal or memory book

The goal is to capture the firsts, the best moments, the fun times and the silly abandon of your new dog or cat as they happen. In addition to weekly highlights, track their growth, the food and treats they like (or dislike) and anything that will be interesting to remember. Trust me. You’ll enjoy revisiting these moments in the future. When you and your now adult cat and dog are enjoying some quiet time, you can read through and be surprised with how much you both have changed and grown together. There will be little habits and events that you may forget ever existed. Or – and no one wants to think of this now – when the years have passed and you have said your final goodbyes, you’ll want to look back at a life well-lived. I know that in our case, the written notes we have kept on all of our pets are so heartwarming when we read them now.

Pro Tip: Don’t get caught up in the journalling you see on social media where every page has to look pretty and well-designed. Just get your memories down on paper to preserve them. We use a plain coloured notebook from the dollar store. Then, if in the future you want to design something around the memories you’ll be at your leisure to do so.

black Friday studio pet photography

3. Start The Great Adventure

Get out there and enjoy life! Weekly adventures help your puppy grow into a happy, comfortable adult, and build your own lifelong habit of seeking out new experiences together.

And for those who want an adventure cat, now it he time to start exposing them bit by bit to the great big world out there. That means getting them used to a harness, a backpack (or some other safe space for them), as well as the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

Have fun, but don’t overwhelm your dog or cat with too much stimulation or with frightening situations. Pay attention to how your pup or kitty is responding to new sights and sounds, and take a break if you see any signs of fear or stress like yawning, showing the whites of their eyes, shaking etc. Plan for short, fun periods of time together.

Pro Tip: Have an exit strategy if things get overwhelming for you or your pup. Even if you have planned to spend a certain amount of time at a location, be ready to leave early and return home. Snuggling at home is a perfectly great way to spend your day too.

bulldog puppy in front of CN Tower and Toronto skyline at sunrise

4. Book a Professional Pet Portrait Session

Okay, so full transparency – I am biased because I have a front-row seat to see how meaningful professional pet portraits are to dog moms and cat dads.

But hear me out: Not only does a custom-designed session ensure that you receive portraits that you are thrilled with, but an experienced pet photographer will also be able to capture the love between you and your pup. Even if you are camera shy, a professional photographer will make you look good. And here’s a secret, most people completely relax when all they are doing is simply having a good time with their puppy or kitten. No more awkward thoughts about what to do with their hands, where to look etc. You just love on them and let us capture it.

Pro Tip: You can always plan to only have your pet photographed, but I always encourage clients to dress as if they might get into one or two images. It gives you the option. And by the time we get to the end and you see how much fun it is, 80% of clients do get a few portraits too. Get in touch to discuss your perfect portrait session.


They call it puppy love (or kitten love)

Bentley is now 21 months old. When I look back on those first days and photos I am shocked at how much he has grown and changed in a relatively short period of time. I am so glad we took the time to build our relationship. Most importantly, I’m glad I saved the times we shared in words, pictures, and traditions. In some ways, I wish I had saved even more of them!

Did you do something else meaningful in the early days that you think more puppy and kitten parents should try? How did you capture those puppy moments? Shoot me an email or let me know or tag me on Instagram.

Looking to book your own new puppy or kitten session?

We have a number of options including outdoor, studio, in the home, and our popular A Year in the Life series sessions to really capture the growing stage. 

Milo – Tiny and Orange | Toronto Kitten Photographer

Milo – Tiny and Orange | Toronto Kitten Photographer

It’s Monday. It’s cold. It’s February. Even though Toronto was recently named one of the best cities to live in the world, it can be tough to feel the love when you are faced with a day like today. Well, here is your little pick-me-up to start your week off right…

Here at Posh Pets we photograph animals of all breeds, shapes and sizes. And, we love them all! But there is something completely adorable in a brand-new tiny kitten. Their little mews and the way they go about exploring the big, wide world – it is the stuff that warm, happy thoughts are made of. I had the pleasure of photographing this little ball of orange fluff recently and, as you can imagine, thoroughly enjoyed myself while doing so. With the softest fur and beautiful, blue eyes, Milo is a stunner. He also knows how to work the camera and how to crawl his way into your heart. While I love creating gorgeous portraits, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to totally looking forward to the snuggles I get between images.

Now, look at Milo’s sweet face and tell me that you aren’t smiling. And suddenly the day doesn’t seem so bad…all thanks to Milo!
Puppy and kitten huggingorange kitten on white couchorange kitten portrait

Mega Pet Adoption Event – CNE | Toronto Pet Photographer

Mega Pet Adoption Event – CNE | Toronto Pet Photographer

So, this weekend (July 4-6, 2014) is the first Mega Pet Adoption Event in Toronto.  It is being held at the Exhibition Grounds on the waterfront and is a joint effort between Toronto Animal Services, Toronto Humane Society, Toronto Cat Rescue and Pet Smart Charities…all in an effort to get lots and lots of furry faces forever homes! Adoption fees are only $25 for either cats or dogs, plus the license fee if you live in the City of Toronto. By all accounts the event is going very well and we are only at the end of Day 1!

Toronto Mega Pet Adoption Event

Last week, I spent a few hours at Toronto Animal Services – North photographing as many animals as we could. It is so nice if they can have a beautiful adoption photo that showcases their beautiful little mugs and charming personalities. If you or anyone you know ends up welcoming one of these guys or girls into your home, please drop me a line at Posh Pets and say “hi”. I absolutely love to hear happy endings.

If you are thinking of adding a pet into your family, this would be the weekend to come down to the CNE. Don’t believe me? Well, I have news – my husband and I just adopted a new little furry girl into our family! I’ll definitely be sharing more about her shortly  🙂  In the meantime, enjoy these lovely faces…

boxer dog in front of his dog housegrey tabby kitten coming out of her litter boxborder collie sitting beside his dog housetabby kitten posingbrown tabby kitten sitting on scratching posttorte cat sitting in a blue boxlittle bub look-alikeJRT posing in front of his dog houselabrador puppy with awesome earswhite maltese in front of his dog housemini poodle leaning to the sidelabrador dog black lying on the groundsleepy beagle in torontodog sitting by his house smilingorange tabby relaxingpoodle mix dog with his dog housespider man kitten on his cat scratcherpug standing by his dog houseblack poodle mix with his dog house in Torontoshih tzu in Canadagrey tabby cat on fake grasssleepy beagle in Ontarioblack border collie in Torontosmiling running collie in the sundoberman dog standing against brick wall in Toronto

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Exclusive Toronto Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Exclusive Toronto Pet Photographer

Wow! Lots of furry faces to photograph at the shelter this week! We photographed them all yesterday when it was nice and cool, before the heat wave hits today.

They are all available from Toronto Animal Services – North.  Although some may not be quite in the adoption pool yet, feel free to call TAS directly if you would like to meet anyone from these pictures. The furry faces will also be featured on the Posh Pets Photography facebook page throughout the week.

Everyone have fun and stay cool – we’ll see you next week!

black and white kitten reclining on groundgrey and white cat looking at cameragrey and white cat hiding under blanketfat orange tabby sitting in pink bedportrait of a brown tabby cattortie kitten lying on cat treewhite cat peeking out from under blanketboxer puppy with black eye patches and head tiltgerman shepherd mix sitting in amongst greenerylabrador looking into distancesmiling dog looking at camerasmiling golden retrieverwhite husky standingjack russell terrier running towards cameraminature poodle with hair in one eyepekingese dog witting with one foot raisedrottweiler puppy with head tilt

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Cat Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Cat Photographer

This week’s visit to Toronto Animal Services included photographing a whole clowder of kitties (and a couple of cute doggies)! I have missed photographing the felines because of the on-going youth camp taking place at the shelter – they take up the usual bubble area where I set up the Posh Pets‘ camera. But, there is a little outside enclosure where quite a number of them were enjoying the summer weather.

If you are interested in bringing one of these gorgeous furry faces into your home and life, please contact Toronto Animal Services – North!

tortie cat looking through chain link fencegrey and white cat lying on benchblack schnauzer dog lying in grassgrey tabby kitten looking at cameragrey and white kitten playingbrown tabby lying in cagebrown tabby posing in sitting positionbrown tabby relaxingblack and white cat lounging on scratching postblack and white kitten looking up at camerablack cat laying on scratching postblack cat lying on groundblack cat lounging with scratching postsmiling beagle dog in woodchips and grass

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services North | Toronto Dog Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services North | Toronto Dog Photographer

This week we had marvellous fun photographing the loveable adoptables at Toronto Animal Services! Lots of doggies are coming up for adoption and you get to see a sneak peak here – and there are even a couple of cats this week too! They are all waiting to meet you at Toronto Animal Services (North Region), but as usual, you can find a little more information about each of them on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page too. Thank you for sharing their pictures and their furry faces…it helps them to find their forever homes!

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

After a bit of a vacation, I went back to TAS this morning. Boy, did that feel good! Lots of tail-waggers to meet and photograph, and some really gorgeous pets just awaiting their forever homes.  If you see a guy or gal that you like, please contact Toronto Animal Services (North Region) directly. They can arrange a meeting with your prospective new family member.

You can also find out a little bit more about each of these furry faces on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page. Please check it out and share their images!

First, are the graceful felines…

And now the tail-wagging canines…

Thanks for joining us – we’ll see you again next week!

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | This week we have a bird…!

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | This week we have a bird…!

There was a whole gaggle of furry faces that passed in front of the Posh Pets‘ lens this week! And each one was adorable and is eagerly awaiting their forever family to come and find them! There is a little more info on each of these future pets on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page, but please contact Toronto Animal Services (North Region) directly to arrange an introduction. And thank you to all that share their lovely images…it really does help in finding them homes.

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | GTA Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | GTA Pet Photographer

It was a hot morning on Monday when I went in to photograph this week’s adoptables. Dog tongues were hanging out as we found some relief in the shade of a tree. Even the indoor kitties with their fur coats were evidently feeling the heat – I watched as one guy had all four paws in the large water bowl and was happily creating a wave pool with his paw, while simultaneously drinking. His feline friends looked on with curiosity mingled with disdain as he played with their water source.

So, with that, here is this week’s line-up…they are all available and eagerly waiting to meet their forever families at Toronto Animal Services! There is more information about each and everyone of them on the TAS site as well as the Posh Pets’ Facebook page. Please share their furry faces far and wide and let us know if one comes into your home – we love to hear the happy endings!


Project 52 – Selective Focus | Pet Photography

Project 52 – Selective Focus | Pet Photography

Ever heard of selective hearing? Apparently, it was an ailment I suffered from all through my teenage years…I listened to what I wanted, and simply “did not hear” the rest. (Of course, the parts that I did not hear were usually the good advice from my parents or anything else that would have been beneficial…)

Selective focus is similar, except it is done very deliberately. It is a technique to have the viewer focus on a particular area of the image, without the photographer having to say a word. This way the viewer can more easily hone in on the parts that are important and disregard the rest.

In honour of this theme, the Posh Pets‘ image was taken on Monday at the shelter. Here is little Kirby, who likes to play hide and seek with the photographer. He wasn’t particularly fond of the camera, so I had to use a long lens so that he would have his personal space. You can see though, that he always had his eyes on me, even as he took refuge in amongst the plants. Focusing on tiny, little Kirby threw the greenery out of focus and now you can clearly see his cute little expression, completely and utterly focused on me.

Kirby is also focused on finding his forever family. You are most welcome to come meet him and his shelter pals at Toronto Animal Services (North Region)!

Next in the blog ring is San Diego Pet Photographer, Karla Ogilvie. Please click through to see what she and the rest of the Beautiful Beasties gang came up with this week!


Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

Yesterday was a beautiful morning as I headed off to meet the furry faces at Toronto Animal Services – lots of kitties and a quite a few dogs make up this week’s group! Please check them out and share their images so that they can find their forever homes soon! If you are interested in finding out additional information, please contact TAS directly. The Posh Pets’ Facebook page will have their ID numbers, which will help identify them.
See you all next week!