Five Business (and Life) Lessons from Lil BUB

Five Business (and Life) Lessons from Lil BUB

Last week, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Lil BUB as part of the CFHS Just for Cats Video Festival. She is just shy of 5 years old and weighs a mere 4.5 lbs. In other words, she is tiny. But, the little dynamo has a loyal following of millions of fans across the globe, including Posh Pets® Photography.

As part of the event, I got to sit down at Toronto’s Chelsea Hotel (who are totally pet-friendly, by the way!) with her human, Mike Bridavsky, and speak with him about the phenomenon that is Lil BUB. I really expected to write a nice post about a cute cat with a perpetual smile on her face. (I’m sure I said, “she’s adorable”, twenty times during the interview.) Instead, I came away with five lessons I think we can all apply to our personal and professional lives. So, sit back and learn something from Lil BUB…

Lil BUB smiling

 

1. Do what you do. Know why you do it. And don’t compromise. Especially for ‘success’ or fame.

I asked Mike how much of the public persona BUB now has was originally planned out. His answer? Nothing. “This is who she is”, he said, “we never set out to be famous.” It seems that BUB has always just been herself, spreading her positive energy with everyone she meets. If the comments on her various social media outlets are any indication, she has helped people who have faced tragedy, sickness or other challenges to have a positive attitude and face those challenges with dignity. The fact that she has now become a brand is just a bonus.

For those who would like to have the goal of making their pet famous, Mike’s advice is simple: get a better goal. “BUB is a one in a billion cat. I have five other cats who never became famous. I have a recording studio and the music is not as famous. You can’t force stuff. It just comes to you. Or not.”

These days, BUB receives many requests and opportunities from various organizations. It can be anything from endorsing a product, to appearing with a local politician at an event. But BUB and her people take her influence very seriously and have great respect for her following. She knows her mission – it is to spread positivity, to encourage empathy for others, to be proud of what makes us unique, and to throw a light on animal welfare as well as the challenges of caring for a pet with special needs. If an opportunity falls outside of that, it is turned down.

2. Know what you can’t do and surround yourself with people who can.

I was touched by how much Mike loves and cares for Lil BUB. “Her health and safety come first,” explains Mike. Obviously, BUB cannot always communicate her needs to everyone, so Mike advocates for her. Prior to our interview, I was told that any photography would need to be taken without flash because flash bothers her. During her interviews on the evening’s red carpet, I watched as Mike asked camera operators to dim their lights so as to reduce the effect it would have on BUB. Mike views his role as simply interpreting for BUB and translating it for the public. But, it’s a vital role and pivotal to her health, happiness, and success.

Mike is not the only one who takes care of Lil BUB’s growing empire. There are now three full-time employees, including Mike. They are all family and friends who care for her and ensure her business stays true to its mission.

Even in the little things, BUB has people to do what she cannot do. I discovered that she loves unsweetened yogourt. But not just any kind of yogourt. “The good stuff”, Mike quips. BUB obviously will not be heading to the store to purchase her favourite type of yogourt anytime soon. But that’s alright. She has people who can.

Lil BUB on the red carpet in Toronto

3. Be willing to be different. In fact, embrace it.

BUB is a traveller. She’s flown over 100,000 miles at this point. (“Always in the cabin. It’s an extra expense, but it is worth it.”) Considering that most people find that their cats can barely tolerate the drive to the local vet clinic once a year, she is remarkable. Mike assures me that she loves to travel and does not find it a stress at all. Interestingly, it’s been discovered that the vibrations from moving vehicles actually help her with her bone condition and makes her feel better. Her ability and ease with which she travels has opened up opportunities not normally available to her fellow felines. BUB is different and it has allowed her to do what she does.

4. Give back to something you care about.

Success opens up opportunities to give back to something you care about. BUB is using her influence to throw a light on animal welfare, especially for those with special needs like herself.  BUB’s BIG Fund in partnership with the ASPCA was started in 2014 and has, to date, raised over $125,000 for animals who need extra help. And it is not just lending her name to a cause so that funds can be raised. BUB spends her time and energy traveling to appear at events like the one in Toronto to spread awareness of animals in need. It’s her way helping those less fortunate than herself. No wonder she oozes happiness and positivity!

5. When you are true to yourself, you attract the right people and opportunities.

Mike is adamant that they have never chased opportunities, and that they never will. Everything has happened organically as BUB’s sphere of influence has increased. “I have a pretty good gut instinct,” says Mike, “and can quickly decide if something is going to fit or not.” It’s not always right, but when it is, they seize it and BUB heads off to share her message again.

Mike never even set out to find Lil BUB. He already had other pets, but a friend texted him urging him to come and see a cat that “he knew was just the type I would fall in love with”. That chance meeting, along with the determined spirit of a little cat has changed Mike’s life completely. One that he could not possibly have imagined.

Lil BUB at the Toronto Chelsea Hotel

So there you have it! Our interview wrapped up with me taking a couple of images of Lil BUB and giving her a gentle scratch between her ears.  I absolutely loved meeting her and listening to her little mews and could have stayed there all morning. But she’s a busy girl and had more people to meet. So, I said good-bye and was on my way. As I left, all I could think was: she’s adorable.

 

 

An Event for Toronto’s Cat Lovers!

An Event for Toronto’s Cat Lovers!

We know that Toronto is a great city of pet lovers. There is no doubt that we have lots of Posh Pups, but did you know that there are more than 25,000 licensed cats in our fair City? That is a whole lot of cat lovers! So, it only makes sense that the national launch of the 2016 CFHS Just for Cats Video Festival happens right here in Toronto. And, it all takes place on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

According the press release for the event, “The CFHS Just for Cats Video Festival was created in 2014 as a national initiative to increase the welfare of Canada’s Cats and enhance the human-cat bond. It is the only series of national festivals exclusively dedicated to cats and their welfare and is set to take place in 16+ locations across Canada in 2016. Since its inception, the Just for Cats Video Festival has raised $210,000 for cat welfare in Canada.”

So, if you love your cat and spend your days watching cute cat videos on the internet, then you should mark April 14, 2016 as a date with lots of other like-minded people in the City. And, just in case you didn’t think it could get any better…

Photo courtesy of www.lilbub.com

Lil BUB will make her first-ever Canadian appearance in Toronto!

VIP headliner this year is none other than Lil BUB who is travelling (with her Dude, Mike Bridavsky) all the way from Indiana to Toronto for her first-ever Canadian appearance to help raise money for shelter animals in Canada. This little lady is one remarkable kitty. She has raised over $400,000 for shelter and rescue animals and has 1.2 million completely smitten followers on Instagram who know it.

Her story is one that needs to be told. Born to a feral mother in rural Indiana, she was diagnosed with dwarfism, which gives her the appearance of being a ‘perma-kitty’.  Her lower jaw is smaller than her upper jaw and she has no teeth. She was then diagnosed with the only case of Osteopetrosis in a cat, an extremely rare bone condition. But, she has overcome all of that to be able to tell her story, author two books, star in her own talk show and TV special, participate in ground-breaking genetic research, become a recording artist, and…help her fellow felines!

Photo courtesy of www.lilbub.com

Photo courtesy of www.lilbub.com

Got Questions? Tell me!

It seems that Lil BUB is pretty excited to be visiting Canada for the first time. The press release quotes her human companion, Mike, as saying,

“BUB and I have been wanting to make a trip to Canada for many years now, and this will be her first international appearance. We are thrilled to finally be able to meet BUB’s Canadian fans, help raise funds to help as many Canadian cats as possible, and of course to watch brilliant cat videos on the big screen.”

I will have the opportunity to meet and interview Lil BUB herself (well, I do expect Mike to do most of the talking). Any burning questions you would want to know the answer to? Leave your questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get those answered.

So….do you want a chance to screen some awesome cat videos, meet Lil BUB, take a selfie, and receive some great swag? Then get over here to purchase your VIP Tickets for the main event. There are only 100 tickets available and when they are gone, they are gone! See you all there!

Celebrating an Anniversary With a Family Dog Session!

Celebrating an Anniversary With a Family Dog Session!

I love receiving inquiries that are detailed and full of fun tidbits about my clients and this session was no different!

Mom explained that they had just celebrated their 20th anniversary and wanted to mark that ocassion with a family session featuring their dogs, two beautiful Bearded Collies, and some gorgeous spots in Toronto. It took a while to arrange the session because Mom and Dad are real honest-to-goodness opera singers! That means we needed to work around rehearsal and performance schedules. But, it finally came together and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it all turned out.

So, without any further ado, please meet Claymore and Poppy! Claymore (on the left) is a former show dog, so I was told that he often prefers to stand. But, you know, with a few tasty, smelly treats and we got a few sits.

two bearded collies with fall leaves

bearded collie show dog with friend

We started off the session in their backyard because that is one of their favourite places to hang out. The late afternoon sun was just peaking in on the steps as we started our session. Such great little posers!

dogs on steps

dogs posing on brick steps

Poppy is a pretty girl and has the most stunning eyes. This is truly her ‘spot’ in the backyard – she loves to sit here for hours. I think it is so cool that you can see one of her toys in this image. She likes to bury them around so she always has one close by.

dog portrait

dog portrait in the garden

We then went for a little drive to capture some gorgeous family portraits in a park they know well. We were pretty much at the end of the Autumn colours, but with a little ingenuity, you can find that splash of colour anywhere.

dog family by river in fall

This image now hangs proudly on the wall in their home.

dog family in fall colours in ontario

Poppy and Claymore also showed me they can let loose and run!

dog running in fall colours

bearded collie dog running

And finally, some quiet, beautiful portraits of them together as the sun set.

brother and sister dogs

two dogs by rivers edge

These two were such superstars. (And Mom and Dad did not too badly either.) It was such fun working with them to create some pretty awesome artwork. You can read what Mom and Dad thought of the whole experience, in their own words, here.

If you are reaching a milestone that you would like to recognize with a session, let’s start the conversation!

POSH PETS BOUTIQUE™ SESSIONS

Where it all begins

  • Pre-session Design Consult that ensures we create images you will be thrilled with.
  • The result is gorgeous custom artwork showcasing 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.
steel-wool-night-photography

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…

Toby – A dog in the City |Toronto Pet Photography

Toby – A dog in the City |Toronto Pet Photography

So, this is Toby. He’s a downtown dog. He’s the cutest, little Jack Russell Terrier just abounding with energy. He spends most of his days with his girl, Sarah, who he adores fiercely. And, let me tell you, the feeling is mutual.

dog headshot photograph

We wanted to create a custom Posh Pets session that would showcase Toby’s personality, his city, and his relationship with his favourite human.

dog and girl looking at each other

The other requirement was that the final images that would be quite clearly summer-y, with a beautiful blue sky and great sunlight. We rescheduled the session a couple of times before we got the perfect day.

head tilt of a jack russell terrier

Look at that light!

Laughing dog on a rock

Playing on the beach by the water (and in the water) is a past time of Toby’s. We had to get an image of him with his girl by the water. After this, he was in the water…

girl and dog at lake ontarioAnd then there was this image. Often times during the pre-session consultation, a client will reveal that there is one image they really want to have. For Sarah, it was an image of Toby and the CN Tower. There are logistics associated with such a photograph, for a dog is such a small creature and the CN Tower, well…it’s tall. But, we found an angle, a rock and an awesome sunrise to show it all off. Of course, this image got printed big!

dog in front of CN Tower, Toronto

Thanks Toby for all the fun we had that morning. You are a sweetheart. May your years together with Sarah be long and happy!

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.

xoxo

black and white cat portrait

Focus on Horses Workshop | Toronto Equine Photography

Focus on Horses Workshop | Toronto Equine Photography

As a photographer, it is important to always be learning, to stretch yourself creatively and try something new. It’s also often a chance to do a little bit of travel and connect with other photographers who share similar interests. So, each year, I look for educational opportunities that will allow me to expand my skills, and thus, the work I am able to offer to Posh Pets clients.

For some time now, I have wanted to try my hand at equine photography. Horses are gorgeous creatures with such grace and speed, and, having taken English riding lessons myself (many years ago!), I knew that photographing them would require a different approach from how I photograph dogs and cats. After doing some research, in September, I had the absolute joy to attend the Focus on Horses workshop in California. It was run by the immensely talented Eden Halbert of Sierra Luna Photography and Suzon Murray of Fuzzywunkle. I  had followed Eden’s work for some time and had been astounded by the horse imagery she produces. (Please check her out – her ability to capture the spirit of the wild horse is breathtaking.) I was not as familiar with Suzon’s work, but after the time we spent together during the workshop, I was in awe of the wealth of experience she has working with horses in all types of situations, and her mastery at processing an image to create a final piece of artwork. All of which she was more than happy to share with us!

We had 3 days of a combination of in-class business information and post-processing techniques, as well as hands-on time to photograph horses and models. (The in-class portion was a welcome relief from the California drought and crazy heat!) I’m immensely proud to share with you here some of the images we were able to create.

We started with the traditional western seat. Lily brought her horse and a lovely outfit for us to photograph in the early morning sun.

girl walking with her horsegirl and her horse portraitrunning western rider

Elaine was the English rider, Hunter seat specifically. The bond between Elaine and her beautiful horse was amazing to see and photograph.

girl with horse hunter seatgirl with wild horserunning horse hunter rider

best equine photography

Our final model was Sandy, who wore a stunning bridal gown for the session. Under the never-ending California sun, she was able to give us some truly unique and beautiful images.

toronto-horse-photographytoronto-horse-photographerbride-with-horse-photography

running horse photography

And just because I do truly love the little furry faces, I couldn’t resist this little barn cat who followed us around all 3 days and, at this point, seemed to be saying, “Hey! What’s with all of the interest in the horses? I’m standing right here. How about you photograph ME?” Saucy little thing. I wanted to bring her home. 🙂

saucy little barn cat

 

Niko | Toronto Puppy Photographer

Niko | Toronto Puppy Photographer

Nothing like a day of playing with Posh Puppies! This little bit of fluff is absolutely adorable. His name is Niko and he is my entry into this month’s I Heart Faces photo challenge. Usually those challenges are strictly for human faces, but let’s be real – who could not want to see this little face! Let’s hope he wins the judges over 🙂

shih tzu puppy studio photography

 

Bart – Posh Pets Heritage™ Session | Cat Photographer in Toronto

Bart – Posh Pets Heritage™ Session | Cat Photographer in Toronto

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

As a pet photographer, I get quite a number of requests for sessions with cats. I love our kitty friends – their quiet and calm demeanor, the grace with which they carry themselves and the nuances of their individual personalities. My sessions with them are always a joy.

I met Bart on a quiet summer afternoon in August. Those perfect days when it is not too hot, the sun is shining and no one is running tools to disturb the quiet peace of the neighbourhood. Bart was a 15 1/2 year old black beauty with a kind and gentle nature. He had been adopted by his humans when already full grown (I love it when people fall in love with the adult adoptables!) and had lived a wonderful life with his feline brother, Toby, and his human family.

When his mom first contacted me, she told me worriedly that Bart was a black cat and very difficult to photograph. He was exclusively an indoor cat, so he needed to be photographed inside. Additionally, he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and she really wanted some beautiful images that would highlight his gorgeous eyes and ensure that they had tangible, physical memories to hold onto when the time came to say good-bye.

We spent a couple of hours that afternoon photographing Bart in all of his favourite spots in the home. He was quite happy and was engaged for his photo session. I am always amazed by pets who ‘seem to know’ and therefore muster up the energy to give their families this last gift of photographs. As I was leaving his home, I gave him one quiet cuddle and told him to be a brave boy and let his family know when the time came.

Four weeks later, Bart said his final good-bye at home, surrounded by his loving family.

As I delivered Bart’s final artwork, we talked about what a great life he had, how hard the past couple of weeks had been on everyone, but how right the decision had been to have him photographed professionally. As always, I left the meeting with tears in my eyes.

“Bart, you have left a huge hole in the hearts and lives of those who loved you. I was privileged to have met you and to photograph you. I will remember you with fondness, always.”

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

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

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, 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.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.
Pampered Pooches Wrap-Up Part 2 | Toronto Dog Event

Pampered Pooches Wrap-Up Part 2 | Toronto Dog Event

Welcome to Part 2 of the Posh Pets Pampered Pooches wrap up which happened on Saturday! If you missed it, you can find Part 1 here.

Again, I am unsure of many of the names, so if you know these doggies, please leave a comment below and let me know their details (of course, let me know which picture you are talking about). I’ll be monitoring the comments and will definitely edit the post with names as I receive them.

As anyone knows, wherever there are large crowds of people gathered it is important to have good security. Well, Pampered Pooches had some of the cutest security around for the day. His name is Sneakers and he belongs to Kristen of TheDen Toronto. (They have some of the coolest workshops around – design and make your own wedding rings, anyone?) Here you can see Sneakers ‘on patrol’, checking out the booths as we were setting up in the morning.

security patrol at Pampered Pooches

He also came to the Posh Pets booth to ensure our water and treats were good. I am happy to say we got a ‘Pass‘!

security dog at festival in Toronto

I’m thinking of renaming this post to “dogs-in-arms”, simply because there were a lot of furry faces being carried around. Finding yourself in a sea of legs can be overwhelming when your little. But, when you have an awesome human who is willing to scoop you up, it is oh-so-good.

Mark head tilt

This one could be a model – she has the gaze just right!

dog in arms

Happiness written all over this girls face!

smiling happy dog at toronto pet festival

This little one is Penny and she is a gorgeous Cavalier King Charles puppy. If I could have distracted her human long enough, I would have tucked her in my bag…

tiny king charles cavalier puppy

A frenchie puppy is always a good thing.

posh pets festival

A little senior chihuahua – love the grizzled faces!

chihuahua being carried at Toronto dog fest

Could I be any happier?

happy curly white dog

Look at those ears!

beautiful white dog posh pets

At first glance, Zona appears to be big enough to walk on her own four feet.

smiling dog in sunlight

But, given half the chance, she too is happy to be picked up and cuddled. She even shows her appreciation by showering you with kisses! Here she sneaks in a few with her dog walker Katherine, who runs the awesome Katie & Co. If you live in the Toronto area and need a dog walker, check out her website for more info.

dog licking girl with a kiss

These two opted for the stroller and had quite a bit to say about it!

two dogs in a stroller in liberty village

Their sister, on the other hand, likes to be personally carried. She deserves it – after all, she is a bit of a celebrity, and her next star turn I am told, is the role of Toto in the Toronto production of The Wizard of Oz.

toto in wizard of oz

Max is 3-year old beautiful boy who has helped so many others with his work as a therapy dog. Unfortunately, he is facing some health issues of his own, so it was easier for him to enjoy the festival from the vantage point of his pram.

dog in pram stroller

This little dude was quite happy to walk, strutting about and showing off his brand new striped harness. He had just received it and boy, did he look good!

pug in striped harness toronto

And sometimes, even if you don’t need to be picked up, it is just enough to know that your human is near by.

grey and white rat tail terrier

There are still more furry faces to go. Stay tuned here and we’ll be posting Part 3 soon!

Monty –  A Golden Doodle Boy…| Toronto Pet Photographer

Monty – A Golden Doodle Boy…| Toronto Pet Photographer

As a dog photographer, it comes as no surprise to anyone that I love dogs of all shapes and sizes. In case you haven’t noticed, Toronto and the GTA are full of dogs! I see them them everywhere – at dog events, riding in cars, pet stores and on the streets and in the parks.  Walking down the street, I am that person who will always stop to ask if I can pet your dog. But given the number of pets in Ontario, I realize that I only get to know a relatively few number. Which is why, I am always so thrilled when someone chooses me to create beautiful images of their furry face. Not only do Posh Pets clients get something they love – custom art work that centres celebrates their pet – but I get to spend time getting all up close and personal with another awesome dog. With my camera, an arsenal of lenses, a few treats and the ability to make ridiculous sounds, we always end up being the best of friends!

I initially met Monty and his mom at a DoodleRomp. I can’t tell you how happy I was when his Mom contacted me and I learned that I was going to have the supreme pleasure of photographing her gorgeous boy. We designed a session that featured images of Monty’s favourite places to hike as well as a few in his backyard. Monty did not disappoint – he showed his skills and enthusiasm for climbing up and down tree logs, over the crest of hills and down into river beds, over bridges and through tree trunks, all the while working the camera with his beautiful smile. His gallery was stunning and made it terribly difficult to choose the final images. But, we did it! Today, these portraits are hanging as framed prints in Monty’s home, where he can be admired by many.

Monty, thank you for inviting me on your hike! It was such a pleasure to get to know you and most importantly, see how much you are loved. Be good, my boy…and try and keep those white paws clean!

golden doodle in autumn scenehappy golden doodle doggolden doodle dog on shalegolden doodle dog headshotgolden doodle dog in tree trunk