Two Dogs and a Cat | Starling, Duke and Kitt

Two Dogs and a Cat | Starling, Duke and Kitt

2 dogs and 1 cat in silhouette at sunrise in Toronto
We had picked the day and time and it was EARLY! Time was of the essence as Mum had let me know that Starling, her black labrador, was not feeling well and she really wanted to capture her first pup in the early morning light.

When we arrived at the location, my heart sank a little. The sky was ‘socked in’ and it was just a blanket of grey, featureless clouds.

There is no way we’re getting a visible sunrise, I thought.

Add to that, the location was over the water because I wanted an unobstructed view of the sky which meant it was windy. And cold.

But it was too late to postpone now – the two dogs and one cat (!) were already on the long drive from home to meet me.

And so I waited, hoping that the sky might clear.

By the time they arrived, the sky was still awful. We had only a few precious minutes to try and get the pets to settle and simply hope for the best when it came to the sky.

By the time we got our first dog in place, the ‘official’ sunrise time had passed. Nothing but grey, mournful sky.

However, above the horizon, I noticed a sliver of clear sky and I thought: What happens when the sun gets there?

Well, we found out.

For less than 2.5 minutes tops, the sky lit up with the most incredible orange-red hues!

We quickly got to work as we needed all three furry siblings in place to create our portraits. As quickly as the colour appeared, it disappeared when the sun went firmly behind the wall of clouds and we were once again enveloped in the grey, windy landscape.

But it was enough. Enough for this. Meet Duke, Starling and Kitt silhouetted against the incredible morning sky.

Professional photographer tip: A portrait like this involving multiple subjects takes some forethought and planning to execute well. This is an outcrop over the water and we simply cannot risk anyone slipping or falling. Thus, the humans are very close by and all of the pets are on leash at the time.  The editing and retouching process ensures that the final portraits are perfect.

Photographing Your (Pet) Family

Whenever you have a family involving dogs and cats, the question always arises as to whether we can get a portrait of everyone together. To which I say: we are going to do everything possible to set ourselves up for success.

Much of our approach will depend on the relationships with each other and the temperaments of the furry siblings. In this case, believe it or not, Kitt (the gorgeous cat you see) was the most ‘stable’. (Stable is the word I use to describe the subject most likely to get into and hold a position.) Kitt also loves his canine brother and sister which is a great plus.

The result is that this final portrait was taking in one frame – no compositing!

2 dogs and a cat photographed outside in the Greater Toronto Area. (GTA)
Of course, individual portraits are important too. Here’s Kitt with his gorgeous colouring which matches the early winter tones of the forest.
brown cat photographed in tone on tone forest
Duke is the youngest and the most wiggly. But a head tilt and he got his portrait to match his feline brother.
boxer dog with headtilt photographed in brush
But this session was really for Starling, Mum’s baby. Starling had just recently been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing some treatments. Not knowing how much time they had left together, it was vital we had gorgeous photos of her.
black lab photographed in early winter forest

Celebrating the relationship

Given Starling’s diagnosis, we spent extra time and effort of photographing Starling and her Mum together. First in the early sky.
woman and her dog at sunrise during professional photography session in Toronto
girl and her dog at sunrise.
And together again later in the session. These unscripted moments are among the most precious. You can feel the love.
black lab and mum enjoying a quiet moment Toronto
senior dog giving mum kisses during photo sesion
dog mum hugging senior dog during photo session
Of course, we had to get a family portrait of everyone together!

Porfessional photographer tip: No one has to be in photographs during a session with me. But I always encourage someone to come dressed as if they might. It just gives you options during our time together.

family portrait of a couple, 2 dogs and 1 cat
Lastly, we ended up on the beach where again, we took a solo portrait of Starling.
black lab dog portrait on beach in Toronto
As well as Starling with her brother, Duke.
2 dogs on the beach

(Note: After I wrote this post and scheduled its publication, I found out from Mum that Starling had said her final goodbye.)

Starling, you have left a huge hole in your family’s lives. Your sweet spirit will be remembered by all who you touched. Run free, my brave girl.

And to Duke and Kitt, thank you for working with me during our session to celebrate Starling. It was like you knew that this was important for you were the most cooperative trio I have ever met. Thank you for giving me the honour. ♥

Looking to create meaningful portraits of your dog or cat during a Heritage Session? This is a special session to ‘celebrate the life, love and legacy of your pet.’™


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.
Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Toronto Pet Photographer

I love my weekly visits to Toronto Animal Services! The kid’s camp is still in full swing so it is nice to see all the adorable furry faces get their fill of walks, play, love and cuddles from eager campers. They also seem to get a good amount of treats and rewards as they learn new tricks and commands. And I have some very willing assistants to help me with handling the dogs as we get gorgeous adoption images of their charges.

All of these furry faces are available for adoption. You can find out their current status by contacting TAS – North directly. I will, of course, feature their little faces on the Posh Pets Facebook page and you can help by sharing their images around…it is amazing how many proud pet parents found their fur-baby via an image that was shared on social media! If that is you, feel free to contact Posh Pets Photography and let us know – it is sooo nice to hear the details of the happy endings!

Thanks to all the fans of this blog for following along!  We’ll see you all next week!


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Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Pet Photographer Canada

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Pet Photographer Canada

Here are the results of this week’s visit to Toronto Animal Services – North. So happy that the weather is getting milder and the furry faces (and the humans) can spend a little more time outside!

These are available from TAS – North, so please contact them directly to inquire about them. As always, there is some information such as ID number and other little details on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page. Enjoy and see you next week!

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Lifestyle Pet Photographer

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Lifestyle Pet Photographer

Today may be a holiday for most happy people in Canada, but Posh Pets still headed off to Toronto Animal Services – North Region to photograph the furry faces awaiting their forever homes. It was a gorgeous day outside which is entirely appropriate the for the holiday weekend that, in the minds of many, starts the summer season!

Please note that a number of the dogs are not quite ready for adoption – in most cases they are going for their spay and neuter tomorrow. But then, it will be all systems go! Please feel free to contact Toronto Animal Services directly and inquire about any of these lovely guys and gals here.

Enjoy your holiday!

52 HeARTs – Friendship | Toronto Pet Photographer

52 HeARTs – Friendship | Toronto Pet Photographer

I am really happy to announce that Posh Pets was recently granted membership in an organization called HeARTs Speak. What is that? Well, it is a group of pet artists (photographers included!) who provide their services to rescues and shelters to “foster the importance of animal adoptions, (and) dispel the notion that shelter animals are inferior or damaged…” It is something close to my heart as both of our two cats, Ripley and Lady Jane, originally came from a shelter and, more than 16 years later, are still the most wonderful pets!

The HeARTs Speak group has recently embarked upon “52 HeARTs” which is aimed at producing images each week centred around a common theme.  For this week, the theme was friendship. I hope you enjoy the images below!

Meet Luna. Luna is a 7 year old black Lab, so she is by no means a puppy anymore. An older lady, she is a little overweight, walks a little slower, and doesn’t jump and down like a unmannerly dog…rather she looks intently at you, wags her tail and patiently waits. She was recently transferred to the Toronto Animal Services from Ohio as part of a group of 3 black Labs. For some reason, black animals can sometimes have difficulty finding homes and, given her age, she did not have much hope of finding a home in Ohio before a heartbreaking decision would have to be made. The good thing is that Toronto shelters don’t seem to experience the same issue as their US counterparts – lots and lots of black coloured animals are adopted. I am not sure that I can pinpoint a reason for the difference – I can only say that I am happy that TAS had the room and were willing to receive Luna and her friends.

I met Luna as we were preparing to take her adoption photo. She came into the little courtyard, and immediately greeted me. The soft muzzle of an older dog is a wonderful thing. You never know the background of the individual dogs, so you try a few things to see if they know even basic commands or can take direction. Happily, when Luna was asked to sit, she did.

And then Luna did something magical…without being prompted, she held out her paw to the staff member who was with me. Who, of course, took her paw. In a moment, friendship, graciously offered and accepted.  From a shelter animal. One that someone didn’t want anymore.

All those that meet her know that Luna will make a wonderful pet for a loving family. We sincerely hope she will find her forever home soon. Surrounded by love, belly rubs and a warm bed.

And because we are all about equality, I have another image (this time of cats) from a few weeks ago at the same shelter. The cats at the TAS have a pretty nice place to hang out, a lovely “cat pod” that has an entire bank of windows on one wall, tons of toys and the ability to interact with each other. (For those who prefer to spend limited time with others, there are lots of places to snuggle in and sleep and other private rooms.) Each week, I enter the pod to see who is new and needs their photograph taken. Then begins the process of isolating them from the others and coaxing them into a cute, little pose…

I was photographing the brown guy on the right who was lounging up on his cat tree where I could get a photo of him. At this point, I was pretty sure I had the image I wanted, when the orange boy, jumped up and settled in as well. Now, this cat bowl/perch was really not big enough for the two of them. In fact, you can see the big orange guy hanging off the edge in this image. In some circumstances, this could have resulted in a bit of a cat fight. But, not these two. They were obviously friends and they figured out a way to get the both of them on there and then began grooming each other. Proving that, friendship can blossom just about anywhere…




Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Pet Photographer Toronto

Adoptables – Toronto Animal Services | Pet Photographer Toronto

After just realizing that Posh Pets did not post last week, here are two week’s worth of cuddly, furry adoptables! They are available from the Toronto Animal Services (North Region), so if you are looking to find out a little more, please contact them  directly. They will be happy to give you the information you need. These guys and girls will also be featured on the Posh Pets Facebook page if you are looking to see more of them.

From this week…

And here is last week’s large gang! Most are still available for adoption!

Thanks for visiting and please share these images around – you never know where a forever home may be found!