3 Local Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Dog

3 Local Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Dog

Temps are getting cooler and that means it’s a great time to get out and about with your pup. As a dog photographer, I’m so happy to live, love and laugh with pups at all the best spots around Toronto and the GTA so I’ve put together a list of my favorite dog-friendly places below.

What’s your favourite? Email me and let me know!

1. Grab a drink on a dog-friendly patio

Toronto recently changed the by-laws so more places have the option to have dogs on their patios. And with some (finally!) cooler temps in town, it will be more comfortable to sit outside in a cozy sweater and get a drink. I love this place because of it was one of the first breweries to welcome dogs. It’s also super cool because of the name – Black Dog Brewing. If you haven’t been before, seek out Snoopy, who is the original black dog.
snoopy of black lab beer

2. Go south to an island

Okay, so not that far south. As everyone here knows, but sometimes forgets, Toronto has its own island(s) that are accessible by quick ride on a dog-friendly ferry. The fall ferry schedule still offers lots of options for coming and going from the island and when you get there, you can create the iconic photo of your pup with our wonderful skyline.
dog on Toronto Island Ferry

3. Get out of town and take a hike

Southern Ontario has so many gorgeous conservation areas to explore and Autumn is the perfect time to visit. I first visited Kelso when I tagged along with Otis and his mum to photograph them. Dogs love to hike on the trails and smell all the smells. People love it because, if you choose to hike up to the top, you have a beautiful view of the area and the Fall colours. And, if you get to the lookout in time, you can enjoy the sunset together.
girl and dog at lookout at Kelso Conservation Area

4. Take more photos

One extra little bonus tip because you know there would be something wrong if I didn’t remind you to make memories and take more photos of your dog! Put on your most stylish outfits, get outside and explore. Better yet, get photos of you with your pup in the Autumn colours, among the fall leaves. And if that sounds like the perfect day, I just might know the perfect pet photographerwink

outdoor dog photo shoot in Toronto

So, that will get you started in celebrating the most beautiful time of year! Did I leave something out? Email me and tell me which local places you love to take your dog during Fall!

A Fall/Autumn session with your pup? Yes, please! (Psst…it’s our busiest season, so make sure you plan this now.)

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 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.
Piper | Photographing Puppies During a Pandemic

Piper | Photographing Puppies During a Pandemic

Back in November – before the most recent pandemic restrictions in Ontario – I took a walk in the park on a gorgeous late Fall day. There were others who had had the same idea, but there was one huge significant difference between the rest of the people and I. Every single one had a puppy. Not just a dog, but a puppy.

Truth be told, it made me smile. And gave me a chuckle. It seemed that everyone was in some stage of training their new little bundle of fluff with varying level of success. You could hear a lot of sit, stay good boy! or good girl! along with lots of treats being dolled out. Some were trying to walk politely on a leash. And some were just getting belly rubs.

It should not have surprised me. Pet ownership has gone up incredibly in Toronto, the GTA and really, all over the world during this pandemic and multiple lockdowns. But to see it all laid out on the grass in front of me was still a bit of a surprise.

New Puppy Photography Session

Of course, I love it that many would like to document those first few weeks and months when a pup comes into the home. They go by rather quickly and it is one way to hold on to the fleeting moments.

So let me introduce you to Piper, a gorgeous little girl who is bringing her mum such joy as she watches her grow and explore the world. Piper and I went down to one of her favourite spots on the Toronto waterfront to see what kinds of portraits we could create. And right out of the gate, she was a star. Look at her pretty sit and pose – she’s a natural!

corgi puppy at photography session in Toronto

It was Autumn, so we wanted to show off the colours – what was left of them – and a side pose to feature Piper’s girlish figure. 

Side note: I get asked this question a lot, so I’ll answer it here: Piper was on a leash for these photos. Mum was never far off and always held onto the other end of the leash. That’s the beauty of editing and post-production. And this type of retouching of your final portraits is all a part of the service of a professional pet photographer.

beautiful corgi puppy during photography session

When you are a Toronto dog…

…sooner or late you have to get yourself photographed in front of the skyline. So, we searched for the perfect spot where you could clearly see the CN Tower. Piper’s smile says it all!

corgi puppy in front of the Toronto skyline including CN Tower

The timing of a session is also important. We choose the late afternoon to ensure that we would be able to catch the sunset, if we got one. Well, the weather cooperated and we ended up with these 2 gorgeous backgrounds for Piper’s photographs. Look at how the sun lights up her neck fluff on the second one! What a spectacular ending to a wonderful day!

corgi dog poses at sunset
puppy photo session at sunset in Toronto

Thank you Piper for spending a splendid afternoon with me! You are such a cutie and I look foward to seeing all of your adventures on Instagram.

Want your very own session with your new puppy? Here is how you can make it happen…

YEAR IN THE LIFE SESSIONS

A series of Boutique™ Sessions to capture the first year or the seasons.

  • series of three (3) Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions throughout the year. Perfect for capturing puppy or kitty’s first year. Or, to document the life your pet leads with the different beautiful seasons we enjoy in Southern Ontario as your backdrop.
  • The result of this series will be a gorgeous life story that you will treasure forever.
  • A Posh Pets Studio™ Session can be substituted for one of your session for a small fee.
  • 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.
  • More information on A Year in the Life Sessions can be found here.
Khaleesi | Toronto Puppy Photography Series

Khaleesi | Toronto Puppy Photography Series

It was mum that first contacted me. She was so excited because the family was welcoming a brand new puppy into the home and she wanted to document it. I, of course, was thrilled to hear this because the mere idea of photographing a new puppy is always a special high for me. I was even more excited when they chose A Year in the Life Luxury Portrait Series – this is the premier Toronto puppy photography series, giving them a chance to document Khali as she grew. The 3 sessions would be at their home, at the cottage and downtown Toronto. We were set!
A little side point: Khali (Khaleesi) is named after a character in a little known TV show. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Now, I must admit, I have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, but you really could not get away from all of the press surrounding the series ending. So…I know enough to know that this little, furry Khali will have a much better ending 🙂

First Photography Session | Home as a Brand New Puppy

Our first location was at home. Khali was so, so tiny! Precisely the reason I encourage everyone to book their session before the puppy comes home – this smallness is such a fleeting moment in their lives and you soon forget how very little they were. It was Dad’s idea to photograph her in his bucket because it would give him a frame of reference as Khali grew.
dog photography ontario
We also did a few portraits of the happy couple with Khali in Dad’s arms. She literally was so light he could hold her with one arm!
dog photographer ontario

Second Photography Session | The Cottage

A few months later, we made the drive north to their beautiful cottage on a lake. We headed out to the dock and did some puppy and family shots. You can see how she had grown in just a few short weeks!
dog photography ontario
We also did a family portrait in front of the cottage. This one will hang on the wall.

Final Session | Downtown Toronto

Khali is truly a Toronto pup – a dog from the 6ix. So, it made sense to photograph her in front of one fo the most recognizable skylines in the world. By this time, she knew the drill. Pose, look amazing and get all the treats! I really think she should have a cape here.
dog photographer ontario
And, of course, one with Dad. It is these kinds of images, taken over a series, that really highlights the growth spurt puppies go through. And, if you cannot already tell – Khali has her Dad wrapped around her (now much bigger) paw.
dog photography ontario
Finally a portrait in the leaves. Afterall, it is a beautiful time of year in Toronto.
hamilton dog photographer with boy
Thank you Khali for taking me on the epic ride during the first year of your life. I know your mom and dad and brother all love you very much – and I hear you might have a starring role in some upcoming nuptials! (Psst…let me know if you need a personal photographer to capture the day from your point of view 😉 

Want your very own session with your new puppy? Here is how you can make it happen…

YEAR IN THE LIFE SESSIONS

A series of Boutique™ Sessions to capture the first year or the seasons.

  • series of three (3) Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions throughout the year. Perfect for capturing puppy or kitty’s first year. Or, to document the life your pet leads with the different beautiful seasons we enjoy in Southern Ontario as your backdrop.
  • The result of this series will be a gorgeous life story that you will treasure forever.
  • A Posh Pets Studio™ Session can be substituted for one of your session for a small fee.
  • 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.
  • More information on A Year in the Life Sessions can be found here.
Softchoice | dog@work Toronto

Softchoice | [email protected] Toronto

I think you would be hard pressed to find a more dog-friendly workplace than the one the folks at Softchoice enjoy. That much is apparent when you first step inside their Liberty Village offices and are greeted by Clyde (pictured below), an impressive presa canario who is, in my estimation, one of the best ‘receptionists’ you will ever have the pleasure to meet. And in case you thought that perhaps there was a mistake, there is a sign on the desk that introduces you to Clyde and assures you that yes, he is meant to be here.

CB2 Dog Photography

The D.O.G. program manages 100+ dogs

It is not really all that surprising when you get to know a little about Softchoice and their take on [email protected].

There are currently over 100 dogs in the D.O.G. program at softchoice, spread out over their 2 buildings located in the Liberty Village hub. As anyone can tell you, that is a lot of dogs! Dogs who interact with each other and the humans around them on a daily basis.

A well thought-out program the key to success

There is a hardworking committee of 6 who oversee the program. There are some basic principles: an application and approval process; everyone should feel comfortable at work, zero tolerance when it comes to bites. These sound great on paper, but how to navigate the pitfalls of fear, allergies, washroom accidents and conflict?

So, how do they make it work? We sat down with the committee members and asked them…

Q – What are the requirements to bring your dog into the office?

Not everyone can just bring their dog into work with them. First to be considered is the human. Every employee must be in-role for at least 3 months before they can apply and must have their manager’s approval.

Then, comes the pup. All dogs must be potty-trained, vaccinated (the core 4), and females in heat cannot come into the office. All potential canine workmates are brought into the office to meet other people and other dogs and assessed on how they behave. If this goes well, dogs are approved.

Q – What about employees who have allergies or a fear of dogs?

Dog-free zones are established within Softchoice and are strictly enforced. Essentially anywhere with a sink (kitchen, lunchroom, gym, bathrooms) is dog-free. There are also dog-free working areas for those who find it uncomfortable or who are fearful of working with dogs.

For those with allergies, some dog-free areas have separate air duct systems and an employee can request to sit there.

Even within areas where dogs are allowed, all dogs must be on leash and connected to something (a desk leg) or someone at all times. They must also be supervised at all times by either the owner or a designated sitter. There is no allowance for inappropriate interactions.

Q – There must be, ahem, ‘accidents’…?

While every pup is potty-trained, accidents can and do occur. It is clearly the responsibility of the owner to clean up. There are clean-up kits (see below) distributed within the offices and 1 bathroom outside designated for this purpose.

Q – What about conflicts?

Softchoice has zero tolerance for biting. Any incident will be investigated and if a bite has occurred, the pup is immediately suspended for 6-12 months. After the time period has elapsed, the owner can request a reassessment, but it will only be considered if rehabilitation or training has taken place during that time. And any dog allowed to reenter the workplace will be on a probationary basis.

The employee complaint system is anonymous and follows a “3 strikes” system for employees found to not be following the rules: a dog not on leash, found in a dog-free zone, or being disruptive to fellow coworkers. Bringing a dog into the workplace is a privilege and employees who cherish it follow the rules.

Sounds great…now, can we meet some pups?

Everyone of the 17 dogs we met and photographed during our visit was a darling. As you will quickly see, Softchoice boasts a pretty awesome interior full of coloured walls, exposed brick, collaboration spaces, nooks and cranies for all…including all those dogs!

The Album – click through to see everyone!

Huge thanks to (in order) Molly, Murphy, Rosie, Gertie, Madison, Murphy, Clyde, Lola, Chili, Ducky, Sushi, Kaiser, Rosa, Q, Myla, Moose, and Kai. And of course the team of PEOPLE at Softchoice who coordinated it all!

Would you like us to come to your offices and photograph your corporate canines or first-rate felines? Contact us to see how you can bring Dog @ Work to your workplace.

Spring Forward | Daylight Saving Time Guide for Pets

Spring Forward | Daylight Saving Time Guide for Pets

daylight saving time tips for dogs and cats

This Saturday evening, in Canada, we will officially begin daylight saving time (DST). Good news: That means Spring is just around the corner! 

Now, the bad news: if you are anything like me, being robbed of an hour of my sleep, even just once a year, has me moaning, groaning, and struggling for a few days.  At least we know why we are suddenly changing our schedule…what about the dogs and cats in our homes who see us alter our behaviours for no reason at all?

Why Daylight Savings Time affects us all, including pets

Dogs and cats will not be checking the clock, but they will certainly feel the effects. Why? Simply put, it is all about you. After all, a change in your routine, or a hiccup in your schedule, can affect your pets.

Our pets are creatures of habit and their habits keep them happy, calm, and comfortable. Their lives revolve around you; they love you, you are their world. Rising even 60 minutes earlier, where the natural cues of how much morning light is available, tell them something is different. Certainly, receiving breakfast earlier is a sure sign that something is off.

It’s also important to remember that our pets are are incredibly intuitive: your stress is their stress. Just a small amount of frustration or time-change slump can set your poor guy and girl reeling for the rest of the day feeding of your emotions and even thinking that he did something to upset you.

So, the best thing you can do to help your pets make it through daylight savings is to quickly and smoothly adjust your own schedule.

How to make the transition smoother

  1.  This is a hard one. Go to bed at least half an hour earlier. It will give you a leg up on the hour you’ll be robbed on Sunday morning. It might cramp your style on Saturday night, but you will be much happier come the next day.
  2.  Wake up when your alarm goes off even if you didn’t manage the extra sleep you were hoping for. It is easy to hit the snooze button thinking that it is only Sunday. But, you will only be delaying the pain until Monday morning, and no one wants that.
  3.  Eat breakfast and drink some coffee if that is your normal routine. The fuel gets your metabolism and brain going.
  4. Stick to your routine. Even if you feel the drag of that missed hour out of your day, actively think of your pet and how your decisions will affect them.
  5. Get a little exercise. Of course, take your dog for his normal walk. But adding just a few minutes of exercise, will have your heart pumping and energize you for the day ahead.
  6. Go to bed another extra half-hour on Sunday night. That will leave you ready to transition on Monday morning.

So, as appealing as it is to drag through the day blaming it all on that missed hour of sleep, don’t do it! Lace up your walking shoes, grab the pet toys, put a smile on your face. Daylight Saving Time is here…get ready to spring forward!

 

Tail of 20 Cities | Toronto Dog Photography

Tail of 20 Cities | Toronto Dog Photography

toronto skyline posh pets photography

This is our city. These are the dogs.

Posh Pets® Photography is thrilled to be participating in Rover.com’s Tail of 20 Cities, featuring our very own Maddie and some quintessential Toronto dog photography. We were pleased as punch to be selected along with 19 other photographers from around the world for this great virtual #travelwithdog adventure.

Check out all of the photographs here in the Tail of 20 Cities Photo Journey and feel free to join the fun by posting your own pic of your dog repping your city with the hashtag #RoverCities!

Maddie and the Toronto skyline

Toronto dog photography cn tower

Maddie represents the 6ix in front of one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.

Maddie is a true Toronto dog. She was adopted 2 years ago from Toronto Animal Services and now lives downtown in the heart of it all. She spends her days exploring this city by four paws, TTC and ferry. She embraces all four seasons; sporting her doggles for those Summer days, fashionable jackets for crisp Autumn strolls or bundling up to run through Winter’s snow. Click through the gallery below to see some of her adventures.

We are the home of Toronto dog photography

It’s our speciality. And we love it! Our clients often work with us because they specifically want to showcase Toronto in their final images.

For example, Sumo travelled from New York City with his family to get photographed with the skyline and the Toronto driftwood sign. Seeing as this incredible piece of art has since disappeared, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But, Sumo will always have the memories from the Summer of 2017.

Toronto sign dog photography

The Humber Bridge is a landmark and is well-travelled by people and pets alike. Creating an image like this with no people in the background takes some planning and getting up early to greet the sun. Mischa and Nala did it in style!

Toronto dog photography dog fountain

Toronto’s waterfront is Lake Ontario and, when we have a willing participant, we go all-in. Myca spent the last half-hour of his session swimming and fetching sticks. There is nothing quite like the joy of a dog whose coat is now full of sand.

toronto dog photography lake ontario

Speaking of sunrise, there isn’t anything quite like it. Despite the fact that we were told that Lebron might not know how to work with a photographer, he proved everyone wrong. This gorgeous boy was the best model!

And just to show you that no two days are the same, here is Myca in front of his purple sky, just before the sun made its appearance.

pet photography Toronto

Want a piece of Toronto dog photography art featuring your dog? Posh Pets® Photography is the bespoke portrait experience for the urban dog and cat. Start designing your session today by clicking here.

Or, for the ultimate memory-making adventure, specifically designed for those out-of-town clients who #travelwithdog, check out flydographer™.

We cannot wait to meet you!

The Making of a Perfect Morning | Sunrise Session™

The Making of a Perfect Morning | Sunrise Session™

Would you be willing to get up before dawn to greet the sun?

If you have a dog, the morning walk is almost guaranteed to be a part of your daily routine. Even if it just a quick walk around the block because of the myriad of other things you have to do that day.

But…just for a moment…find beauty in the ordinary routine of life. Think about what it would be like to slow down and just relish that time with your one and only. To engage in conversation that only your dog can truly understand.

To share a moment like this…

Silhouette of dog at sunrise in Toronto, Canada

Start With the Sunrise…

Myca and his mum are two that truly celebrate their morning routine. They amble along the waterfront, taking in the gorgeousness of the city skyline when no one else is around. This is their city, their home and their time together. And on a crisp, fall morning, we got to share it all with the two of them.

Toronto skyline at sunrise with dog

The following scene is one that the two of them witness countless times throughout the year – but how to capture the first kiss of the sun in an image with Myca? Well, it’s all in precise timing (and a little practice on the part of your photographer).

We watched and waited…and waited a little more…until just the right time to have Myca find his place up on his rock. That gave him a moment to settle down into his pose – but not so long that he would become bored – just as the sun peaked up over the horizon.

The result? Exactly what mum wanted!

Bernedoodle at Sunrise

Enjoy Your Morning Run

After our sunrise was complete, we took a little walk and, like many Torontonians, enjoyed our morning run along the waterfront and the Humber bridge.

(The miracle here is the fact that we had the bridge all to ourselves! If you’ve ever been down at the waterfront in the morning, you know how rare that is.)

running dog on humber bridge, Toronto series
bernedoodle dog running on humber bridge in Toronto, Canada
happy running dog on bridge in Toronto, Canada

Take Time to Enjoy the Season

From there we moved on to where I knew there was a beautiful pocket of colour…

Autumn is truly a spectacular time of year in Southern Ontario, and you can enjoy it, even in the city. Mum wanted to capture all of that beauty of her boy and Fall in her gallery.

bernedoodle dog in autumn leaves in Southern Ontario, Canada

Mum also told me that she doesn’t like any pictures of herself. In fact, she hasn’t had a professional photograph of herself in years. Well, she doesn’t say that anymore…!

woman and her dog in Toronto's lakeshore park.

Feel the Sand Between Your Toes

And because no session would be complete without a good swim at the beach for a water-loving dog, we ended with a splash and a nice, big stick!

But, Shhh…let’s keep this our little secret. We don’t want Myca’s groomer see what we let him do…!

dog running on beach with stick and Toronto CN Tower

Myca’s gallery was so large that Mum had a hard time choosing her favourites. She ended up with a gorgeous folio box along with some stunning pieces of wall art. You can read all about the experience in her own words here.

Do you want to share the sunrise with your dog? The place to start is with a Boutique Session, described below.

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.
Five Ways to Enjoy Family Day With Your Pet | Toronto

Five Ways to Enjoy Family Day With Your Pet | Toronto

Toronto skyline with CN Tower.
girl with golden retriever dog

Family Day is the youngest statutory holiday in Ontario, as it was only added in 2008. The official reason for another holiday? Well, according to the website, it is because people “work very hard and they deserve more time to spend with the people they love”. What’s this about only people? Because in my books, family definitely includes the dogs and cats and any other furry creatures we share our lives with.

So, without any further ado, here is my rundown on how and where to create epic Family Day weekend memories with your pet.

1. Get outside

Got a favourite park or discover a new local spot! Take your time ambling, sniffing and building that human-canine bond. If you have a dog that loves to run, bring a ball, a frisbee or find a stick. No matter what you do, you will both enjoy the fresh air and get a little exercise.

Family Day at High Park in Toronto, Canada.

2. Discover a National Park

This might take a bit more than a day to do and some advance planning, but you have the whole weekend together! Did you know that there is free admission into Canada’s National Parks this year? You do have to apply for the Discovery Pass, which, in my experience, takes a few weeks to come in. But, this could be one of those amazing #travelwithdog memories you will remember for years to come.

Discovery Pass Canada - Travel With Dog

3. Enjoy the night life

The Toronto Light Festival in the Distillery District is being held from January 27 – March 12, 2017. Completely pet-friendly, come out at night and see the place lit up! If you choose to go Sunday night, you can enjoy sleeping in Monday. Your pet will love the luxurious decadence of lazing about in bed with you.

4. Appreciate warmth

For the ones who are not fans of the cold, spend the day at Purina Paws Way for their Family Day celebrations. The Woofjocks Canine All-Stars will be performing at 12 pm, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. There will also be special games, crafts and activities for the whole family, including furry ones. Free admission.

Family Day at Purina Paws Way in Toronto, Canada

5. Do some serious shopping

A lot of retailers of all things pet allow dogs and cats in their stores. But, it does not have to stop there. The Bloor Street location of Holt Refrew has a dog-friendly policy so that your favourite canine can help you pick out the perfect outfit. Afterall, their bark of approval is everything. Woof!

Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street, Toronto

A bonus…

Want to capture these Family Day weekend memories for all time? Sign up here for the Tips for Taking Drool-Worthy Pictures of Your Pet With Your Phone – a free pdf showing how to work with your phone to get great imagery. Have fun out there!

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!

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 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.

There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

I received the call one afternoon from Hugo’s mom. From the moment she spoke and her voice broke a little, I knew something was wrong. And, when you are a pet photographer, you almost always know what it is.

She told me about Hugo, all 165 lbs. of him. He was beautiful and, at 4 years old, in what should be his prime. But, the day before they had received devastating news. Hugo had just been diagnosed with lymphoma. A specialist appointment had been made to determine the course of treatment, so there was nothing more that could be done but wait the couple of days for that appointment. But now, what his mom wanted most of all were portraits. Portraits that should have been taken in the Summer but things had gotten busy and, well, they thought had all the time in the world. Portraits that would ensure that they had beautiful images of Hugo forever.

We quickly rearranged things and set a portrait date for a couple of days later. We were hoping for snow (there was woefully little of that this winter in Toronto!) and a nice day. And that is exactly what we got. The temperature was beautiful – maybe even a little too mild for a Bernese Mountain Dog – and we had snow on the ground! Plus our background was the lovely palette of winter. Hugo’s entire family came out for his photo session (even Grandma), so that they could get family portraits with him. He is one loved dog!

Everyone should have one gorgeous portrait of their pet

Hugo’s mom said that, if she could get nothing else, she wanted ONE gorgeous portrait of Hugo looking happy, majestic and healthy. I knew the second I took it that this was the ONE. It’s now a beautiful, framed print, hanging in the family home.

fine art portrait of bernese mountain dog

The family also selected a custom folio box for their family portraits and some smaller portraits of Hugo. (It’s so stunning that you will see that I decided to update the official Posh Pets® Folio images for the website with it.)

bernese mountain dog portrait toronto

dog in forest in Toronto, Canada

Why choose to photograph your pet now?

Simply put, because it is important to capture the life of your pet as they are now. In all their stages – the wiggly new-to-life stage, the goofy teenager, the athletic adult stage, and the sweet senior. And because honestly, we never know what tomorrow brings.

I’m happy to report that Hugo has begun his treatment and is tolerating the chemotherapy well! Last time I saw him, he was perky and quickly greeted me at the door. He’s ravenous too, so he eagerly searched me for treats. Believe me when I tell you, everyone here at Posh Pets® Photography are all wishing very hard (with fingers and paws crossed!) that Hugo makes a full recovery!

If you are looking to book a session for your pet, the place to start is here. (Please see the update, below.)

beautiful mountain dog in snow in Canada

Update: Hugo passed away in August 2016 after bravely fighting his battle with cancer. His Mom sent me the most beautiful note regarding his session:

“I called Posh Pets® Photography in a panic the day after receiving the devastating news that my 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Hugo, had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  I wanted to get  professional photographs done before he started chemo.  Karen was so understanding, compassionate and accommodating.  She made herself available within a couple of days.  Hugo was already quite ill but Karen worked her magic and took amazing photos that caught his spirit!  Karen was very supportive and a great help in choosing the photos (not easy when there were so many good photos to choose from).  The finished products are beautiful and we treasure them everyday, now that our beloved Hugo is gone.   Karen is clearly an animal lover and very talented – the perfect combination.”

Sleep well, dear Hugo.

POSH PETS® HERITAGE SESSIONS

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

starting at

$400

  • High-priority sessions are 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 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.

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.
Introducing…Posh Pups in the City™ – Toronto Edition!

Introducing…Posh Pups in the City™ – Toronto Edition!

No doubt about it – Posh Pets® Photography loves our home city, Toronto. It’s a great city full of great dogs, cats, and their people. It’s busy and vibrant and boasts an easily identifiable skyline. And, it simply looks spectacular in photographs!

Toronto skyline in Autumn

To celebrate our home city, we’ve been working on a project for some time now – finding a way to incorporate that awesome cityscape into images with YOUR dogs. We’ve been quietly scoping out locations and enlisting the help of many urban pups and their intrepid humans.

This has not always been easy. As you know, the Toronto skyline boasts one of the tallest buildings in the world, the CN Tower. Finding a perspective that will allow me to place a sitting dog who is about 12 inches high, in the same frame as a 1,815.4 ft building can be a challenge. Even large breeds are not really all that big when you place them beside architecture.

These images celebrate that truly quintessential urban pup. You know the one…they embrace the city lifestyle. They know their neighbourhood…Uptown, downtown, the Annex, The Beach, Cabbage Town, Liberty Village…you get the idea. Toronto is their home. Or, they lived here at one point and haven’t forgotten their roots.

If you are looking to create a Posh Pups in the City™ image(s) in your Boutique Session, then you are in the right place. You might have a location in mind, or we can research and explore an awesome spot together. We will create something that you will be happy to display on your wall for years to come! Let’s do this…

PS: If you have an urban feline that loves the outdoors, does well on a leash, we would absolutely love to meet them too. Posh Cats in the City™…why not? Me-ow!

Toronto skyline with 3 dogs
dog family portrait with Toronto skylineDogs portrait with lake ontario and Toronto skylineDog with CN TowerDog at Cherry Beach in front of CN Towerdog on rock in front of Toronto skyline