If These Walls Could Talk | Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

If These Walls Could Talk | Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Exhibiting at the Stackt Market from May 4, 2023 until June 1, 2023

Part of the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Mural: Leyland Adams (leylandadams.com)
Photographer: Karen Weiler (poshpetsphoto.com)

The Mural: CNIB Dreams

Located at 1525 Yonge Street, Toronto

I had the opportunity to photograph Leyland Adams in front of his incredible mural located at the CNIB GTA Community Hub. Leyland is at the forefront of making art more accessible for all and his practice “prioritizes accessibility through the integration of tactile, sensory, and audio descriptive technology”. This is accomplished through the use of various textures found throughout the piece.

I loved hearing how at the official unveiling blind children were able to describe what they perceived in the mural, and how they could easily identify that there were trees, rocks, and water on this magnificent cityscape.

As Leyland says, the beauty is that this “type of art creates opportunities for discussions around accessibility and generates understanding by allowing people to see, hear and feel things they otherwise might be excluded from.”

Toronto muralist Leyland Adams in front of his mural CNIB Dreams
Street mural and dog photographer in Toronto

The Rescue Dog: Sunny

This project also gave me the opportunity to meet Leyland’s beautiful dog, Sunny. More than just a loyal companion, she’s family.

As a pet photographer who loves Toronto and its dogs, it was only natural that I capture the bond between them with the mural as a spectacular background. What made the moment even more special was when I learned that Sunny came into Leyland’s life through Fetch + Releash, the very rescue organization that I regularly volunteer with. It was a heartwarming bit of serendipity where the many worlds I live in came together.

dog photographed in front of Toronto mural by Posh Pets Photography
Sunny and Leyland Adams in front of his mural, CNIB Dreams
man and dog walk past Toronto mural

If you are in the area, please come down to Stackt Market to see these images printed on BIG 8ft x 4ft panels. Come see these and the other participating artists featuring the murals found in our great city.

We met Susan Hay of Global News Toronto!

We met Susan Hay of Global News Toronto!

In case you missed it, earlier this week I was featured on Global News Toronto as part of the Tails of the World book project. I was also asked to be filmed while photographing two dogs who will be a part of the project, Sophie and Myca.

The experience was both nerve-racking and exhilarating. As a professional pet photographer, I am used to being behind the camera, but being in front of it was a whole other thing. However, I was thrilled to be able to share my love of photographing the dogs and cats of Toronto, as well as the work I do for Fetch + Releash.

See some of the photographs we produced, the behind-the-scenes, a recording of the Global News segment, and information on how you can be a part of the next Tails of the World project.

The Featured Photographs

The one thing I did not worry about were the models. I’ve worked with Myca (the bernedoodle) and Sophie (the pomeranian) numerous times in the past, and they always knock it out of the park. The bonus is that, when these two appear, no one looks at me anyway laughing

bernedoodle dog posing in front of Toronto's skyline
pomeranian with hair blowing in the wind in Toronto
bernedoodle running on the Toronto boardwalk
fluffy pomeranian sitting on bench

Behind The Scenes 

(click on the photos to enlarge them)

Global News Segment Recording

Watch the 3-minute segment here by clicking on the link or the photo of Sophie.

Global News (link)

pomeranian on driftwood on Toronto's waterfront

Want to get involved?

We are fully booked for the 2023 Tails of the World project, but think you might want to be involved the next time? Sign up here to get advance notice of when we launch it next!

Treats For My Sweet | What We Use During Pet Photography Sessions

Treats For My Sweet | What We Use During Pet Photography Sessions

It’s been a tough couple of years, but if there is an upside, it has been all of the extra time with our pets. They have seen us through thick and thin and, here in Toronto multiple rounds of lockdowns, so is it no wonder that we feel like spoiling them a bit? I know that here in the Posh Pets® Photography house, we are definitely making time for play and treatos.

Talking about treats, let’s face it: we all like treats – why would your dog or cat be any different? So, if you are in the mood to try something new (it is January, after all), check out the list below to find the tasty treats that we actually use during our photography sessions. I have a broad range of sizes and tastebuds in my discerning furry clientele, so these are all double and triple-tested in the field! The added bonus is that we try hard to support local, Canadian options, so we’ve included links and a few discount codes for you!

dog getting treat from mom

1. Crunchy

These beloved traditional “biscuits” are hard and crunchable (cronch is good!), and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Because they have a low moisture content, they don’t require seal-tight packaging and are a favorite of businesses who like to give their customer’s canine sidekicks a little something special at checkout. 

♥ What we use: Northern Biscuit from Concord, Ontario.  These biscuits are loved by everyone and they have the best names! (To receive 20% off your order, use POSHPETS20 at checkout. Valid until February 10, 2022.)

2. Soft + Chewy

These treats come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and flavors and are sniffably good! Because they are so attractive to canine noses and taste buds and can be easily broken into smaller bits, they are great as training rewards.

♥ What we use: Farm Fresh Pet Foods from Edmonton, Alberta.

3. Baked

Just like it sounds, these treats have that homemade vibe because they are baked in ovens. Single-ingredient, healthy options abound and they can often be broken up into smaller portions and used for training.

♥ What we use: Healthybud from Montreal, Quebec. (To receive 10% off your order, use POSHPETS10 at checkout.)

4. Freeze-Dried

Treats that are a raw food that has had its moisture removed through a freezing and drying process that sometimes includes pasteurization to decrease bacteria.  These intriguing morsels can be fed out of the bag or plumped up by adding water.

♥ What we use: Benny Bully’s from Mississauga, Ontario

5. Cat Treats

As you know, I photograph a fair number of cats and need some good options to keep the feline attention. We also have a picky cat at home – Panda has consistently turned her nose up at anything labelled a ‘cat treat’ and I have history of donating or throwing away bags and bags of treats. However, there is one that she will come running for. So, if you are looking for a cat treat, that might be one to try.

♥ What we use: Feline Greenies™ Dental Treats   The Roast Chicken and Tuna flavours are a favourite. Greenies are manufactured in the United States and imported by Mars Petcare Canada located in Bolton, Ontario.

Remember, treats are yummy but high in calories, too. You don’t want a pudgy pup or chubby cat! Choose treats that are appropriate to the size of your pet, and keep them to less than 10% of their diet. Use treats as a reward for good behavior, and both you and your sidekick will keep moving toward the best life ever.

Saying Goodbye to Baxter

Saying Goodbye to Baxter

I have tears in my eyes as I am writing this post. It’s the type of news I never expected to share; certainly not this soon.

Last Sunday, we had to say goodbye to the goodest of cats: our boy, Baxter.

silver tabby cat

Baxter came to us from Toronto Animal Services on a dark, rainy evening in November 2012. From the beginning, he was the best cat. Calm, confident and kind to all; there will never be another. (Read his coming home story here.)

He left us on a dark, rainy afternoon after 3 nights in the ICU ward. I hate to think that he spent his last nights in a hospital, but we were trying to save him. And I honestly thought we would be able to bring him home, even if it was for a short time.

His diagnosis was acute-on-chronic renal failure. Unbeknownst to us, his right kidney was small (from genetics or disease) and his left kidney had been picking up the slack for some time. That worked until sometime probably on Monday, when the left kidney became blocked. His creatinine levels shot up and by the time of his admission into ICU on Thursday evening, they were at 1300. (Normal levels are approximately 80-204).

Ultimately, he could not be stabilized and his little body could not recover. We, therefore, made the heart-rending decision to gently let him go. He was only 11 years old.

silver tabby lying on bed

His sudden decline has left us in shock. Especially his sister, Panda, who I would describe as bonded and whom he loved dearly. I would daily find them curled up somewhere sleeping. Or grooming. Or playing. Or quietly sitting experiencing the day together. He was a huge part of her life and his absence has left her disoriented and unsure.

two cats watching the snow

We are, of course, thankful to his vets Dr. Buller and Dr. Rosamund of Westbridge Veterinary Hospital in Mississauga who cared for Baxter during his life with us. And for the multitude of vets and staff in the ICU at Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Scarborough, that worked tirelessly to try and save him at the end.

Oh, Baxter…I thought we had years of adventures ahead of us. In the end, we had 9 years, 22 days, 20 hours, and 12 minutes. Every minute you were with us was precious.  We will take care of your favourite girl, Panda, and together, we will find a new rhythm. But the hole you have left cannot be filled and we will miss you and love you forever. At 1:12 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021, my heart shattered into a million pieces. 

Goodbye, my boy. You were the best.

tabby sitting on red furniture

The photos of Baxter I have now are some of the most precious things I own, and really all that I have that is tangible from the incredible life he shared with us. If you too have a loved pet that you want beautiful portraits of, a Heritage Session may be for you.


Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet. ™

  • High-priority sessions are reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice and work within their restrictions.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time together, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • More information can be found here.
Dog Portrait Award for Toronto Posh Pets® Photography

Dog Portrait Award for Toronto Posh Pets® Photography

Toronto commercial photographer vet visit tips

I have a confession to make – I have never entered a print competition. It is one of those things that I never got around to because choosing images to enter into a competition is a job in itself, and requires you to step away from from your images and analyze them for perfection. I love each and everyone of my furry clients and therefore felt that I was far too emotionally attached to their images to make hard decisions.

But, in February I received the opportunity and some encouragement to enter Portrait Masters. Even then, the truth is, I almost did not make the deadline. It was cold and dark outside when I hit the submit button – I think with only 2 hours to go! (shhh…don’t tell anyone…)

Then, you wait

There were over 8600 images entered and each image had to be reviewed by a panel of 5 master judges. So, as you can imagine, that takes some time. And the period between hitting submit and the results being published, is the worst! It gives you all sorts of time to second-guess yourself: did I choose the right image, is it good enough, will they like it…?

All that wondering though, came to an end on Friday when the results were released.

The portrait received a score of 76, and a Bronze Merit.

I have to admit, I was a wee bit chuffed to see the score. While I know that dog mums and dads everywhere love the portraits of their furry family members (as do I), it was admittedly a great feeling to know that completely independent judges feel the same.

Thank you Lilly!

I would be remiss not to thank my little client, Lilly, who is the subject of the portrait. Although she was initially a bit shy when I first met her – it was probably all of the studio equipment I brought and set up in her house – she turned turned into a star once she knew what I wanted. I can truly say:  without Lilly, none of this would have happened! So, thank you, sweetheart.

Are you looking for an award-winning portrait of your own dog or cat? See the details below and let’s make that happen!


Classic studio portraiture

  • Studio portraits with a twist…we come to YOU! These sessions mean we are bringing the backdrop, the lights and all of the equipment necessary to set up a  photo studio in your home. Of course, if you prefer, you are welcome to come to our studio.
  • The result of this series is classic artwork with a timeless aesthetic that you will be proud to display on your walls.
  • Ideal for puppies, smaller breeds, cats or pets who are not comfortable travelling or spending time in the great outdoors.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed at a cost of $50 per subject.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Studio™ Sessions can be found here.
Have Dog (or Cat), Will Travel | Toronto Luxury Hotel Guide

Have Dog (or Cat), Will Travel | Toronto Luxury Hotel Guide

We, at Posh Pets® Photography, are wanderlust junkies – there’s nothing like exploring a city and discovering its secrets. And we know that the journey can be even more fun if you can bring along your entire family, including Fido or Simba. If you are planning a visit to Toronto, I’ve got great news – there are luxury hotels in Toronto that are cat and dog friendly.

I know that when I travel, I scour the internet looking for tidbits and information on how to get the most out of our trip. Having lived in the Toronto area for most of my life, I can tell you that this is world-class city. It’s also a city of pet-lovers. On any given day, you can see urban dogs going for their daily walks, making quick coffee runs or sitting patiently while their humans enjoy a drink on a patio. So, if you’re planning to travel to Toronto (or who just want to have a quick getaway in your home city), be assured that your Fido does not have to stay in a campground or dingy hotel. There are many options for luxury accommodations, and I’ve rounded up the five that I think you and your dog or cat will just love. (PS: Because you all know how much we love the kitties among us, I’ve indicated which hotels welcome feline guests.)

Four Seasons Toronto Hotel

This hotel is close to my heart because it is sort of the birthplace of Posh Pets Photography. We stayed here celebrating a milestone anniversary for my parents a number of years ago, and, at the time, they were one of the few luxury hotels I could find that would allow us to bring my mom and dad’s two shih tzus. After having photographed MacLeod in one of the suites, I coined the name “posh pet” and the seed was planted in my brain. The hotel has since undergone a major move and is the centre of all of the action during the annual Toronto International Film Festival, where I am sure they welcome their share of celebrity pets. To this day, even those with less star power can have a great night’s rest, so long as Fido doesn’t snore. (Additional $125 charge per stay) Please note: The Four Seasons also accepts feline guests.

main entrance of Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto

toronto pet photographer dog in hotel room

Image provided by the Four Seasons Toronto Hotel.

toronto pet photographer travel guide

Image provided by the Four Seasons Toronto Hotel.

Windsor Arms Hotel

Just down the road from the Four Seasons is another gorgeous boutique hotel. It’s located in the heart of the shopping district, boasts an amazing spa and, if you enjoy a British staple, hosts Afternoon High Tea everyday. My husband treated me to both last year for our anniversary, so I can vouch for the fact that the Windsor Arms takes care of its human guests. They are also very pet-friendly – one of the few that allow you to leave your pet unattended in your room/suite for short periods of time. (Additional $50 charge per stay) Please note: The Windsor Arms also accepts feline guests.

Windsor Arms Hotel at Bloor Street, Toronto

Gaby the hotel dog of the Windsor Arms Hotel

Image provided by the Windsor Arms Hotel.

suite at the Windsor Arms Hotel

Image provided by the Windsor Arms Hotel.

Le Germain Toronto Maple Leaf Square

Located in the downtown core, this is the hotel for you if you are a Toronto sports fan. The local hockey (The Leafs), baseball (The Jays), american football (The Argos) and european football (soccer – TFC) teams all have their home stadiums/arenas close by, as are the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium.  This luxury hotel has an entire page dedicated to #poshpetstravel information. (Additional $30 charge per stay)

Main entrance of St. Germain hotel in Toronto

Lobby of Le Germain Hotel, Toronto.

Image provided by the Le Germain Toronto Maple Leaf Square.

Suite in Le Germain Toronto hotel.

Image provided by the Le Germain Toronto Maple Leaf Square.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The Fairmont brand is known worldwide for it’s attention to luxury. The Toronto property was officially opened in 1929 and was originally the tallest building in the British Commonwealth. I loved our stay at the Royal York! If you are looking for a hotel that boasts all of the amenities of the modern world, but the old-world charm of painted ceilings, travertine pillars, crystal chandeliers and wall hangings, the Royal York is for you. You can even try and ride elevator number nine which has carried such guests as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I’m sure your posh pet will find that appropriate when you check-in. (Additional $25 charge per night)

Entrance to Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto

Signature Double Suite at Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

Image provided by the Fairmont Royal York.

Lobby of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

Image provided by the Fairmont Royal York.

Shangri-La Hotel

I walked past this hotel almost every day during its construction (it’s one of Toronto’s more recent additions) and it’s modern all-glass exterior is simply striking. It’s great for art lovers, as this hotel is situated within walking distance of the home of the Canadian Opera Company as well as Roy Thomson Hall where the Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are just a quick cab ride away. And you can do all of this without worrying about your ‘small to medium size’ pet. They allow pets to remain in the room unattended (as long as they are crated), and the concierge is more than happy to assist you with pet-sitting needs if Fido one needs more individual attention. (Additional $125 charge per stay) Please note: The Shangri-La also accepts feline guests.

Shangri-La Hotel on Avenue Road, Toronto

Lobby at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

Image provided by the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

Moongate Suite at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

Image provided by the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.


So, with that, welcome to Toronto! While you’re here, you might even want to consider a custom portrait session for the one that makes you smile every single day. For the dog guests, a Posh Pups in the City™ Session would be the perfect place to start. For the well-travelled cats, we could arrange something inside. Either way, make memories of your visit to Toronto last a lifetime!


Where it all begins

  • Pre-session Design Consult that ensures we create images you will be thrilled with.
  • The result is gorgeous custom artwork the life your pet shares with your family.
  • A personal Ordering Consultation to ensure you select the right images from the gallery.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions can be found here.

Photographing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Photographing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

I am just getting around to putting up some images from my trip a few weeks ago when I travelled to Yellowknife to see and photograph the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. (I previously wrote about photographing for the NWT SPCA and meeting all of the furries in this post.) I had signed up for a workshop with Dave Brosha and Paul Zizka who are incredible photographers – if you haven’t seen their portfolios, please check them out – so it was the opportunity to not only see this night-sky wonder, but also a chance to learn how to photograph it.

For many people, seeing the Northern Lights is on the bucket list. I have actually seen them before, but it was in September, so the display was much dimmer. Of course, we are dealing with the forces of nature, so there is no guarantee of seeing anything. But both Dave and Paul had chosen the optimum time of year to give us the best chance. And, that time, I discovered, was in February. In the Canadian Arctic.

I’m going to let that sink in for moment.

February was chosen because it is cold and clear, giving you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Again, February. In the Arctic. At night. Because it is cold.

The only problem was: I really don’t like the cold. I don’t like the so-called cold in Toronto and try to make like a bear and hibernate whenever the winter hits. The idea of the cold in the Arctic…well, truthfully, I was a little scared. When the time came to leave, I thought maybe this was the worst idea I had ever come up with. But, I was booked, my bags were packed and my husband was pretty determined that I was getting on the plane.

The first night of the workshop and everyone was eagerly watching the Auroramax to see if the lights would make an appearance. It started slowly, but at about 9:00 p.m., we all loaded into cars and headed out to our first spot. The display that night was incredible! You could literally hear the cries of amazement from the groups of tourists assembled as the lights danced across the sky.

However, because it was the first night, it was all a bit overwhelming. I think quite a few of us had to relearn how our equipment worked. Working in almost complete darkness except for the full moon, along with a -41 temperature (with windchill)…well, there was a learning curve. Things like:

  • What glove/mitt combination will allow me to preserve all of my fingers while still allowing me to change the settings on my camera? (I had brought along four pieces which lent itself to a dazzling array of combinations.)
  • How do I hide that extra battery so that I can have a chance of finding it again under the numerous layers of clothes I am wearing? (I had five!)
  • Does anyone else realize what an absolutely fantastic invention snow pants are? (I cannot believe how much I fought my parents growing up about wearing them while walking to middle school because they were not ‘cool’.)
  • Is the unrecognizable person beside me, with whom I am having a conversation, a part of my group?(There were groups of tourists around and it’s hard to know what anyone looks like when they are bundled up.)
  • How do I tighten and secure my tripod when I can barely feel it?
  • Did my tripod just freeze in the open position and no longer fits into the car?!

While you might be chuckling as you read those questions, frostbite is a real possibility at those temperatures and it is best not to take chances. So, we left the car running the entire time. It gave anyone who needed it some respite if they got cold. (My lovely friend and host for the few days also kindly made us all hot chocolate and brought it in a large thermos – she’s the best!)

I have to say that I was always surprised when I brought my camera inside the car at night’s end how frozen it looked. But, it worked like a tank. Never gave me any problems and my batteries lasted very well.

By the second night, we were encouraged to push our creativity and see if we could do more than just ‘get green’ in our images. With some new found skills and experience, we set off! Some in the group had brought props, so we played around with those.



I call this the ultimate selfie. Yep, that’s me, sitting in the snow (snowpants, yea!) and just gazing at the wonder around me.


person looking at northern lights

I sent this image back home to the amusement of my friends, all who know my aversion to cold. This is me, taking my last breath….

breath in cold air under aurora

I also had a chance to play around with off camera lighting. Visualizing, pre-focussing, setting a timer, trudging through the surprisingly deep snow (whoops!) to stand absolutely still for a long exposure…for someone who had little to no experience with night photography, it was great fun!

full moon in yellowknife

On the third night, it was not looking too good for seeing the Aurora – we had a lot of cloud. But then it cleared up and were treated to another show. Nothing like getting an image of the full moon and the lights in one frame! This image was created on the Dettah Ice Road.

northern lights and full moon

I also saw my first ‘moon dog’. Never having seen one before, I had nothing to compare it to, but I’m assured that this is a rather large one.

moon dog in the arctic

Towards the end of the night, people were trying all sorts of ideas. It’s nice when you have someone willing and able to swing burning materials around at great speed.

By the time I made it back to Toronto, I was dead tired, but happy. I walked out to meet my husband at the airport carrying my coat in my arms because I was too warm. It was -10C. My husband burst out laughing when he saw me. Here I was, the person who is cold inside the house most days during the winter walking around outside with just a light hoodie on. I guess I’ve got the North in my blood now…



Finding Pigs who Swim in Exuma, The Bahamas.

Finding Pigs who Swim in Exuma, The Bahamas.

Ever wondered what makes a Posh Pets® girl smile? Well, in terms of dream experiences, I have, for quite a while had one involving pigs. Ever since I read an article last year about these delightful, wild, swimming pigs who live on an island in The Bahamas, I’ve wanted to go there. Well, this week, I finally had the chance!

The swimming pigs live on a couple of islands in The Exumas, a region of the Bahamas. The Exumas are a chain of 365 islands – the locals say, one for each day of the year – with the most incredible clear, turquoise waters and a soft, sandy bottom. The clarity is stunning, but it does mean that it is very hard to judge depth which can be a real issue for boaters not familiar with the area. The particular beach we visited was called Big Major Cay. It’s now known as “Pig Beach” after its adorable residents. Isn’t this water gorgeous?

clear turquoise waters of The Exumas

The pigs freely approach boats as they come towards the beach which is why Big Major Cay is the most popular. The Cay is completely protected, resulting in very calm waters in which the pigs feel comfortable swimming. That is why, while a couple of other islands have wild pigs, they do not necessarily swim – their waters are too rough. Most tourists bring veggies or water, so the pigs have learned to look upon us gangly bi-peds as great sources of food. This was the first guy to approach our boat with a big smile!

swimming pig in water, Bahamas

Of course, their real intentions quickly became clear – they were looking for food! Seeing their opened mouths and knowing that they are not domesticated (always respect wildlife!), made me a little nervous to get off the boat. So, I did the wise thing. I let someone else go first. 🙂 But, once I saw that he survived, I was in! I found the piggies to be curious and friendly, so I got to pet a few heads and place a few carrots into eager mouths.

swimming pig with mouth wide open for carrots

These next few images were the ones I really wanted to get. The pigs swim like dogs, doing a little doggie-paddle. So, I wanted to be able to catch the pig with his head out of the water and the sight of his fat little body in the clear water. To do so, I had lure them out to deeper water with the promise of treats. They were funny little guys – they would come out so far, but if they saw someone else closer to land with food, they would give me this look as to say, Nope. Too much trouble., and turn around!

pig photography bahamas

pig swimming in The Bahamas

swimming pig in exam, bahamas

With about 20 adult pigs on the beach, it’s no surprise that there are also little piglets on the island. They don’t venture into the water too much, but they are happy to receive fresh water and apples (softer than carrots) from anyone willing to provide them.

3 little piglets on pig beach, bahamas

And because I am a pet photographer, I had to pose a pig and take a portrait. Well, truth is, there was no posing these guys…I just waited them out. This one was sizing me up. Was the carrot I was holding enough of a temptation to make the effort to swim?

pig portrait on pig beach the bahamas

You can watch a video of the pigs in action here. It was my husband’s first time using a GoPro and he did a great job of catching the underwater action along with what was going on above. Hope you enjoy it!

Getting There: There are various ways from the do-it-yourself to fully guided tours. (1) If you are fortunate enough to own a boat or know someone who does, you could chart a course for Big Major Cay and spend as much time as you like with the swimming swine. (2) You can fly to Exuma and charter a boat. (3) You can book with a tour operator. We were staying in Nassau, so we went with Harbour Safaris who did an amazing job. Our day included transportation on a speed boat, swimming with the pigs, a lovely lunch at Staniel Cay Yacht Club (I hear the parties are legendary), and feeding grapes to a group of wild iguanas on yet another island of The Exumas.

Technical Info: I have never photographed underwater before, so there have understandably been some questions about my camera. These were not taken with my usual workhorse – the Canon 5DMIII – a DSLR I use for client sessions. The simple reason is because I was not ready to invest in the required underwater housing to keep it dry and safe. This is a little point-and-shoot which came with great reviews. It’s the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 and it is definitely waterproof and boasts that it can be dropped from a height of 6ft. and still keep ticking. Well, it wasn’t dropped at any time, but it was in and out of salt water, sand, thrown in a bag and it has held up. I rinsed it in clean, fresh water each night and dried it off, but that is just because I am used to showing a certain amount of respect for my equipment. This is a point-and-shoot camera which does not allow you to go into full manual, so as a hardened manual shooter on my DSLR, there was an adjustment period. However, it is truly amazing what can be accomplished by reading the manual and a little practice 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed coming on this little trip! Maybe now you will add seeing the swimming pigs to your travel list too…

Baxter – Happy Gotcha Day! | Toronto Pet Photography

Baxter – Happy Gotcha Day! | Toronto Pet Photography

Three years. Three years of a warm, dry, safe place to sleep at night. A full belly. An older sister you comforted and cared for. A little sister you adore. Conversations. Head bumps. Snuggles. Naps in a sunbeam. And lots of love from your two humans.

Happy Gotcha day Baxter! A celebration of the day you left the shelter behind and entered the Posh Pets family. Truly, our world is so much better with you in it.


black and white cat portrait

Dogs and Cats of the World – Bulgaria | Dog Photographer

Dogs and Cats of the World – Bulgaria | Dog Photographer

If you have been wondering why things have been a little quiet around Posh Pets lately, it is because I have been travelling in Eastern Europe! Bulgaria, to be exact. Now, it might seem a little off the beaten path, but the country is surprising accessible by major airlines. It also boasts membership in the European Union, but has not adopted the Euro, so travel is fairly safe, easy and inexpensive.

Our first stop was in the south, almost at the Greek border. We took a drive up to Kovachevitsa in the Pirin Mountains which was a breathtaking route.
Pirin mountains and valley

The tiny village of Kovachevitsa is a place where time seems to have stood still. So much so, that I am told that the village is used as a backdrop for movies when they need a authentic balkan experience.

old abandoned truck in Bulgariatraditional bulgarian house

Tons of tiny streets and alleyways to explore…

stone alley way in Bulgaria

But, you know my first love are the animals and I had the pleasure of meeting lots! Almost immediately, this sweetheart greeted us.

soft gaze of homeless dog

And not far off was this little one, peeking at me from under a car.

cat peeking out from under a car

This beautiful boy commanded my attention! He thought I was quite a curiosity with my camera and strange noises. And when he had figured me out, he walked off gracefully…

wolfhound in rustic village, bulgaria

A friendly little kitty followed us around while we explored the winding paths and ‘streets’ of the village.

cat walking on cobblestone road

However, this beautiful, BIG boy was the most outgoing of them all. He really was quite large – he easily matched me in weight and size. And he was a ‘leaner’ too. If you reached down to pat him, he nearly pushed you over with his big furry self. Just wanted to lovins’.

beautiful black and white lab dogwide angle shot of black and white dog

This is ‘his’ tavern (the translation of the word MEXAHA) and I could believe it when he was willing to pose beside the sign.dog-toronto-posh-pets

Sometimes, though, you have to look down and see the wee ones of the world. This tiny snail actually lifted his head and struck a pose for my camera – I guess he thought this was his moment of fame!

snail on stone wall

There’s much more to show and tell from our trip! I’ll keep sharing as I manage to process some of the photographs (I’m writing this post from an airport right now), so stay tuned…

Beaux-Arts Brampton Juried Fine Art & Photography Show | Toronto Dog Photographer

Beaux-Arts Brampton Juried Fine Art & Photography Show | Toronto Dog Photographer

A few weeks ago, I quietly entered my first juried show. (Well, it wasn’t completely quiet in Posh Pets land as I had sort of left it to the last minute to get my entry together.) I wasn’t really expecting much – more doing it for the experience and, if I was selected to show my work, that would be kind of fun.

Well, I was so thrilled when I received notification that my photograph, Arctic Tundra Dog 1 had been accepted into the 8th Annual Beaux-Arts Brampton Open Juried Fine Art & Photography Show. As an exhibiting artist, I was invited to attend the Reception and Awards Presentation this past Thursday evening. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed when it was announced that I had been chosen to receive the 2nd Place Photography award.

The show runs from March 31 until April 18, 2015 and includes both the fine arts and photography mediums. Come and see a beautiful dog portrait on a canvas print as well as the images from all of the other great artists!

Beaux Arts Brampton
70-74 Main Street North
Brampton, Ontario L6V 1N7


Pet Photographer wins art award

Mentoring – A Chance to Learn from the Best | Toronto Dog Photographer

Mentoring – A Chance to Learn from the Best | Toronto Dog Photographer

Phew! It has been a rather busy Fall in Posh Pets land – so many cute, wiggly, furry dog faces to meet and photograph. And we had some of the most beautiful scenery to create portraits in with what was a gorgeous Autumn in Toronto. I cannot wait to share all of these sessions with you! (Hopefully, the imagery will keep us positive as we face another winter in Southern Ontario.)

In the midst of all of this, I also had a couple of days to catch my breath and spend some time with the amazing Barbara Breitsameter of Poppyblue Photography. If you are not familiar with Barb’s work, you should definitely go right now and check it out!  Barb is a Certified Professional Photographer, a Platinum Photographer of the Year for both 2013 and 2014, and a platform speaker for Imaging USA (National Convention). However, even with all of those accolades, she is an amazing, warm, down-to-earth, humble person who is more than happy to share her knowledge with those willing to learn. I felt so privileged to have the opportunity to mentor with her. Barb, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart!

So, you are probably wondering what did we do? Well, I have good news! I have finally finished editing some of the images we created together and am ready to share them here on the Posh Pets blog.

First of all, here is one of Barb’s own dogs, Fern.  Fern is a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy…gorgeous from head to toe. She had been at the vet for a small procedure just the day before I met her, so I expected a quiet, dopey puppy. Nothing could be further from the truth! Fern wagged her tail and strained to greet me. By the second day, she was my awesome model.

Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy on couchsweet bernese mountain dog

The great thing about a mentoring session is the opportunity to go beyond your comfort level and try new things. In this case, I wanted to master studio photography. Knowing that Barb has won awards for her studio work, I was keen to get inside her brain and learn everything I could. Barb lined up some amazing models for me to photograph and guided me in the lighting. It was a great chance to experiment with so many pieces of equipment. Of course, I spent a good amount of time simply snuggling with the models 🙂

Two of the most perfect, roly-poly, frenchies (french bulldogs) I have ever laid eyes on! I literally squealed with delight when they walked up to the studio!

two french bulldogs in studio

And then we had four of the most gorgeous basset hounds to photograph! They arrived in their very own, professionally wrapped vehicle…these guys are celebrities on the show circuit!

Basset hound on modern couchbasset hound on black backgroundprofile shot of basset houndbasset hound portrait on curvy couch

We also did some outside photography which is definitely my forte.  Again, these two snuggle-bums!

french bull dogs on boxes in autumn

And then Summer…she became our model after a rather serendipitous stop at the local veterinarian. Her Dad was so gracious to give us the opportunity to work with a lovely golden retriever puppy!

golden retriever in field

golden retriever puppy on blue benchLast, but not least, I really have to thank Barb a ton for this last image. It seems appropriate that one of the last photographs a pet photographer from Canada could take was a dog holding a maple leaf. Not only did Barb help me by setting this up, she showed me how she would edit it. The result is simply stunning!

golden retriever puppy with leaf in her mouth

Thanks for following along on this little pet photographer’s adventure. I am always so happy to be able to learn new things and then incorporate them into my business and client sessions. If you are thinking of a Winter or Spring session for your furry face, now would be the time to set this up. In fact, given how busy this Fall was, if you really have your heart set on capturing the colours of next year’s Autumn, contact me and we can get you on the books NOW. Your first step is to contact me here. I so look forward to meeting you and your furry family members!