Being a Toronto pet photographer has its perks. Quite often I get to celebrate the joy that comes along with the arrival of a new furry family member, which can be such fun. But TINY Mochi’s arrival was even more special because she got to be a BIG part of a very important day for her family – the day her humans got engaged! (Tell me, what you were doing when you were only 9-weeks old?)
But yes, Mochi was the culmination of a very well-executed plan that her Dad had come up with in order to woo Mum into saying, ‘yes’. (She did!
Given those happy circumstances, during their Design Consult, both Mum and Dad said that they were hoping to incorporate the ring into some of the final portraits. While they may have thought it might be impossible because well, it would require posing a kitten, Mochi showed that she can model like a star.
Of course, in our never-ending quest to create timeless artwork, we mainly photographed Mochi as herself at this very brief period in her life. Mochi is a ragdoll kitten and will therefore grow to be much larger than she was the day we had her in our studio. Her colouring will change and her ‘tips’ will darken, so it was important to photograph in a way that preserves her ‘kittenhood’ forever.
There was one image that I envisioned in my mind before the session, believing that Mochi would be the perfect model. Reminiscent of fine art newborn photography, the beauty of this image is the colour, drape and texture of the fabric with an equally richly-coloured background. The monochromatic palette makes Mochi come alive. And just look at those stunning blue eyes!
In the end, Mochi went home with a gorgeous Posh Pets® Folio
and a large piece of canvas wall art
. I cannot wait until she returns for her second session…all grown up!
Interested in a Posh Pets Studio™ Session for your puppy or kitten? Find the details on how you can book, below.
POSH PETS STUDIO™ SESSIONS
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.
I’m a little behind adding to the Posh Pets blog, but I just had to share these little furry faces. There are so many lovely adoptables available (or soon to be available) at Toronto Animal Services. If you are thinking of adding a furry member to your family, this is the place to be!
Each week I get to meet all these cuties…big ones, small ones…I wish I could take them all home! I am so happy to say that when I share their faces on the Posh Pets Facebook page, everyone is so supportive in helping them find homes by sharing their images. Me and the dogs and cats wants to say thank you all so much!
If you want to meet any of these adoptables in person, please contact Toronto Animal Services – North Region directly. The staff there are great and will be happy to answer your questions and arrange a meet-and-greet for you and your family. Of course, if you do end up adopting someone, please feel free to send us a quick e-mail and/or pictures with an update of how everyone is doing. It is always such a joy when we get to share happy endings!
See you next week!
Posh Pets is back with another instalment of Project 52 with Beautiful Beasties! This week, our challenge was to do a little “street photography” by producing an image that showed a little more of its surroundings and was more documentary in nature.
We met this little guy on the street, gamely sitting on his balcony. He lives on one of the prettiest streets in Haifa, Israel, in the German Colony and seemed to be enjoying the peace and quiet of this particular morning. I loved how the morning light hit him just so…and so I snuck an image (or two or three or more).
If you haven’t followed us before, here is the deal…this is a blog circle of pet photographers who each interpret the theme in their own way. So, please go and check out our newest member StinkDog Photos in Denver, CO and see what she found on the ‘street’ this week! And then continue all the way around until you end up with Posh Pets!
This week was the first time that Posh Pets Photography photographed guinea pigs! They really are very cute and these two in particular, Molly and Millie, are sisters that would love to be adopted together. And there were a lovely group of furry faces, both canine and feline…so something for everyone. Don’t forget that Toronto Animal Services is offering 2-for-1 adoption fees for all cats who find forever homes until August 15, 2012. So, if you have been thinking about a new family member, don’t delay!
All of these lovely furry faces have more information about them on the Posh Pets Facebook page, so go ahead and check them out. Of course, you can always contact Toronto Animal Services (North Region) directly if you want to meet any of them!
This is a chance to go behind the scenes at the Posh Pets studio to see some of the post-processing that goes into every Posh Pets image.
It used to be that a photo could be taken as evidence, even in a court room, simply because what was displayed in the image could not be altered. These days, however, with the vast array of tools at our disposal, images can be changed to such an extent that what is portrayed can be complete fiction. My style of pet photography is such that I like as much realism as possible and so, like a lot of photographers, I aim to get as much of it right “in camera” rather than relying on fixing it afterwards in photoshop. But there are certain things and situations that call for a little more manipulation. So, I let my clients know that, for example, while their dogs are always on leash during our session, leashes will be cloned out later on.
Every week, I volunteer my time to photograph the adoptables at Toronto Animal Services. In that environment, animals can be a little unsure of themselves and some do not necessarily want to meet the new person with the big black box (my camera) in hand, no matter what treats I offer. That was the case this week with this little guy, Bailey. Sure, he would take the treats and the little pats on his head, but turn the camera on him…and he took off. He really was the cutest thing though! So, I gave him his space and took out my 70-200 zoom lens. That way I could sit back and take images across the room. However, I couldn’t get close enough, so this is what I ended up with.
Bailey really is very cute in this image, but you wouldn’t know it because he is so small in the picture and his is surrounded by beige! So, it was off to a software program called Lightroom for a few tweaks. The first order of business was to check Bailey’s eyes by magnifying them. They have to be sharp or I essentially ignore the image. In rare instances, where I was purposely throwing the eyes out of focus (maybe focusing on the nose or a paw), then I am happy to see out-of-focus eyes. Otherwise, for my style of pet photography, the eyes are where it is at and they have to be in focus.
Second, I fixed the grey haze that all digital images seem to have. Truthfully, I never noticed it when I first started in photography until someone pointed it out to me. Now, I see it everywhere.
Third, I croped and straightened. Now, in this image, I cropped in a lot. In this situation, I felt confident to do so because I knew where this image would end up – as a very small picture on the web. I also photograph with a camera that has a large number of megapixels, so it can handle being cropped in quite a bit. However, please understand that I purposely used this image because it is rather extreme example of cropping and it demonstrates what is possible. But, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone routinely take images this far back and try to crop them in afterwards. In any case, it is amazing what a little crop and straighten will do for any image!
Lastly, I throw a little light on my cute subject. And, because I like the backgrounds a little darker, I often choose to do a little vignette. Not always, but quite often.
Then the image gets transferred into Photoshop where I will do any other heavy duty post-processing. This is where I will remove leashes on dogs, remove dandruff and fly away hairs if necessary. I might also choose to convert an image to black and white if I think it works.
After that, for every image, I look at the eyes and give them a slight pop (again, this is my style and not everyone will want to do that). Finally, every image gets sharpened and prepared for output depending on how it will be displayed.
Whew! Here is Bailey’s final image…what do you think?
So, that is about it for the Posh Pets workflow! I don’t use a lot of textures or actions (although I do like to experiment with my personal work) because I like to keep it as real and simple as possible. Hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak at the work done long after a Posh Pets Session has ended!
Next in the blog circle is San Diego Pet Photographer, Terran Bayer of Westway Studio. Please check out her work and the rest of the Beautiful Beasties gang this week. And please leave comments – everyone loves to receive feedback. Have a great weekend!
Here are the lovely adoptables we photographed this week! If you would like to inquire about any individual pet, please contact Toronto Animal Services – North Region and they will be happy to answer your questions. Also, be sure to visit the Posh Pets Facebook page, where you can gather a little more information, including ID numbers, so you can be sure who you are interested in. Thanks to all who share their pictures!
They named her Rags, short for Ragamuffin. The name fit. Found running down a main road by a kindly police officer, this snippet of a dog shivering from the cold was brought to the closest shelter. A senior dog, deaf, blind and not yet spayed, she had been hungry too long. And had too many puppies. As a result, her skin was many sizes too large for the small body she carried on her slight frame. Her coat was a clear witness to the neglect she had experienced.
The now permanently closed shelter had an arrangement with the local college – they “placed” animals with the Veterinary Technician Program with the hopes of them becoming socialized. It was a good arrangement. After all, the students need practice at handling animals, and a socialized animal has a much better chance of adoption than one that is not. In this way, a small, delicate Shih-Poo named Rags arrived at the college in a sad state. She was almost immediately shaved and spayed and met the students.
One of those students was my sister.
From the moment she met Rags, my sister held her and with words she could not hear, but affection she could feel, let her know that someone in the world cared. At the end of the semester when the time came for Rags to return to the shelter, my sister knew that that simply could not happen. Given her age and her medical condition, her chances of adoption were almost non-existent. She would only have shelter life to look forward to.
And so Rags was brought home. We are a close family, which means that this girl has become a part of all of our lives. It has been amazing to see the indomitable spirit of such a little dog. While she spent her first few days only sleeping and eating, by the third day, she wagged her tail for the first time. A few days later, she found her voice.
Today marks an anniversary. Rags has been with us for one whole year. She now shares her life with two other Shih Tzus, and although deaf and blind, she has quickly learned the routine. They have accepted her into the family and surprisingly, she is able to interact with them despite her limited senses. More importantly, she has not let her past taint her ability to accept the love she is receiving now and will receive on into the future.
Fortunately, we will never know all the details of her sad life before she came to us. That is a story that only Rags could relate and she is not telling. But one thing is clear: the Rags who arrived at the shelter just over a year ago, no longer exists. Fitting for a dog that has come so far, and whose life has changed so much, her name has changed. World…please meet Muffin. Muffy. The sweetest dog in the world. The little dog with an amazing heart. The little dog who has found her forever home.
Muffy, enjoying her life today.
Happy Anniversary Muffin!
EDIT: We said good-bye to Muffin at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. My sister had asked her for 2 years when she adopted her and that is what Muffy gave us. She was wonderful, amazing and incredible and is sorely missed. While her body eventually failed her, her heart loved until the end. Go gently into that good night, Muffy.
This week’s theme made me smile as I knew exactly the image I wanted to capture. While cats are known for their ability to jump, they tend to have the reputation for being independent and aloof. In other words, not cuddly. Well, Ripley is a bit of a contradiction in terms for a cat. At 17 years of age, he is not so much into jumping anymore, but he is an absolute suck when it comes to getting cuddles from my husband. I just knew that this was what I wanted to photograph. And so, I present Ripley, nestled into Dean’s shoulder for his daily morning cuddle.
We always can tell how relaxed Ripley is by his paws. I love how he crosses his little paws, one over the other, when he is relaxed and really enjoying his hug. When he does this, we know it will be a long one!
Now, please check out fellow Canadian photographer, Ann Kearns to see if her crew was jumping or cuddling…or both! And then follow the blog circle all the way back here. Have a great Friday and weekend!
It is hard to believe that we have almost reached the end of Project 52 for 2011, but here we are! Given the balmy weather we are enjoying today, no one would think that this is the end of December. But I, for one, will not complain about the lack of icy conditions and awful commutes. I am sure they are coming.
For this week, we were given the theme “silhouette” and the Posh Pets studio decided to do some still life imagery which I actually love. This beautiful guy hails from South Africa and was a gift from a dear friend of mine who had the opportunity to travel there at the beginning of the year. Usually he sits on my dresser where, interestingly, he has never been thrown onto the floor by one of our acrobatic cats. (Not that they ever admit to moving anything.) I guess he has a quiet resolve about him that even they know it would be wrong to mistreat him so horribly. And so, he stands and carefully watches over the comings and goings that is our life.
Today, however, he was the star of his own photo session and provided a striking silhouette as he marches across the African Savanna…
Hope you enjoyed your visit here today. However, this is a blog circle which means more amazing imagery is just a click away. To start with, please check out the talented Dana Cubbage! Her work is always stunning.
The Project 52 gang is used to photographing their usual suspects – lovely, furry dogs and cats. So this week, we broke out of our usual modus operandi and went for something a little “wild”. As in, we were to photograph animals that you don’t find curled up on your bed or lying on your couch, but rather those that make their home in the great outdoors.
It was a great idea until the weather decided to play havoc with my plans. Unfortunately, the last few days in Toronto have been wet, wet, wet! My hope is that all the little creatures have found themselves a nice, warm, dry spot to curl up in rather than scurrying around as subjects for my camera. (Incidentally, the electronics of my camera doesn’t like this kind of wet either.) So, Posh Pets had to go back in the archives to last fall when we had spectacular colours and I photographed this lovely duck. Look at him, enjoying the day, with his little chest puffed out!
Next up in the blog circle is Scott Robinson of Aussie Dog Photography. (It is no doubt much drier in Texas!). Please check out his work and then make your way all around the circle to you come back to Posh Pets. See you next week!
Welcome back to another week of Project 52! This week’s image was to illustrate the theme, “in the garden”. At first glance, that might seem quite easy. And, it is true that there is much room for inspiration in a garden. However, it is much more difficult if one does not actually have a garden. But we, at Posh Pets are resourceful and headed off to a park. Afterall, I reasoned, a park is nothing more than a very large garden that is shared by a lot of people.
So, off we went to High Park in Toronto once again. What a difference a week makes! The Sakura Cherry Blossom trees are now fully open and receiving visitors! And it definitely made a difference that we set off early in the morning to arrive at the park by 7:30 a.m. and see the sun bathe the trees in the lovely morning light.
Our first greeter was this little guy. We found him running around, busy doing what squirrels do in the early morning hours. But then he stopped…and posed for us! Here is his portrait.
Next up, was a beautiful robin. We also found him busy hunting around for worms and such. But he lifted his head to check us out and that was enough time to have his photo taken.
And, finally, this post would not be complete without a glimpse of the real reason we got up early this week – the lovely Sakura Cherry Blossom trees!
Please take a look at the next blog in our circle. This time it is Stephanie Madeline of Chase & Snap Photography. Cannot wait to see who she met in the garden.