I still can’t get over this shoot. It was perfection. I was approached by Katie way back in November, December maybe? She wanted to shoot with her husband and their two huskies in the snow. I was so down, but snow shoots require a lot of patience. For six weeks we waited and waited for the perfect opportunity. Boy, did we get it. I met Katie and her husband, Blaine along with their two pups at Cave Spring Park on a frigid afternoon to shoot. We opted to go the day after the snowfall, rather than during due to the difficulty in getting to the location. The snow was practically up to my knees in some areas. It was obvious no one had been in the park since the snow and it conveyed an ethereal untouched beauty. I don’t think I felt the cold the entire time I was shooting. This is easily my favorite pet shoot to date.
Filtering by Category: Lifestyle
Every once in awhile I feel the need to photograph something challenging, fun, and utterly adorable. For me, that’s cats every single time. Cats are temperamental beyond belief, completely unpredictable, and unlike dogs who you can usually guilt into behaving, cats could care less. If you’re a cat lover and a wedding photographer this is an excellent exercise in capturing things as they occur! However, I definitely learned a few things along the way:
Don’t expect to get a “money shot.”
I shot six cat sessions and not once did I get a perfectly posed, everyone looking pleasantly at the camera moment. Since I learned quite quickly this wasn’t going to happen I choose to focus on capturing their personalities and interactions with their owners. Luckily, since this is my style anyway all the clients I worked with seemed perfectly happy with the results.
Other people’s cats are not going to treat you like your own.
Being a photographer, I handle and photograph my cats constantly. All five are used to my cameras and easy to handle. This is not true for most as I quickly learned. Expect to be met with a lot of hissing, running, and maybe even a few battle scars. (Lookin’ at you Jude.) For these particular mini sessions I offered 30 minutes of coverage, but all sessions took at least 45 minutes to shoot, with the exception of one (Bless you, Peppa.) This was because it would take at least 10 to 15 minutes to get the kitties used to me and my camera, which I didn’t take into account.
Find a source of motivation
I had all my clients play with their cats favorite toys while shooting; cat nip, a feather toy, a string, a laser pointer, etc. This allowed for a tiny source of control when wanting a cat to look or move in a certain way. It takes trial and error, but most every cat seemed to be fairly relaxed by the end of the shoots.
Overall this was a super fun project to take on! If you didn’t see it advertised, you’re not alone. I offered these sessions to my personal Facebook friends only. If I get enough interest I may offer them again in a more expanded means! I also may have exaggerated just a bit when implying I’d photographed 19 cats; I may have included my five kitties plus my mother’s three cats as well…. Whatever.
Katie & Rosalind + Barb
Melaney & Wolfie + Internet
Jessi & David + Case & Molly
Cydney & Daniel + Maxwell, Scout, & Josey
Shelby & Daniel + Jude
Summer & Elliot + Peppa
Generally speaking, when someone approaches me about taking newborn photos I send them along to one of my very talented friends who specializes in working with newborns. However, when Brooke told me she wanted me to take baby Nash’s newborn photos in a lifestyle family setting I was thrilled!
I’ve worked with this family before, and they are a dream to shoot. For one, they look like they could’ve come out of a catalog. All five are super good looking, naturally photogenic, and at ease in front of the camera. They also are super warm, laid back, and always make me feel welcome when I’m working in their home. I’m serious. They’re a total dream!
I don’t share lifestyle work a lot anymore, but I just couldn’t resist posting this sweet session. Baby Nash was so timely in making it home just in for the holidays. I think he makes the cutest Baby New Year.
Last October I attended Artist Inc, a six week long artist seminar, alongside a select group of area artists. One of those artists was Americana singer/songwriter Kelly Hunt. During our initial introduction presentations I was very drawn to Kelly’s haunting voice and timeless style. Her music sounded like the images I hoped to capture; rural towns, dark highways, empty rooms, specks of dust floating in sunlight. When she approached me a few weeks ago about updating her branding images I jumped at the chance. I take on a very select number of solo portrait jobs each year, but due to our similar aesthetics I knew we’d be a great fit.
We settled on the quaint town of Weston, MO for the shoot. Kelly had spoken to me about wanting to find a particular type of light; the cool light of an interior meeting the warm light of golden hour. This type of light is hard to replicate if not happened upon, so shooting at sunset was absolutely necessary if we were going to have any luck at all. I had no idea if finding the perfect spot was going to happen, but I was definitely willing to try. I’d attempted to get in touch with a local pub to no avail, and considered the dilapidated interior of a grain silo turned salvage yard. Kelly ended up leading me to the old rail-station, now city hall, and once we entered I knew this was the place. We shot in a blinding sun spot centered on the waiting room’s checked floor. The light illuminated the portraits beautifully. Then we walked into the tiny bathroom just off the sun flooded interior, and there it was. The warm light of the setting sun, diffused just enough by the windows met the cool shadows of the small interior. It was magic.
Listen to Kelly’s amazing music at kellyhuntmusic.com
I think anyone who knows me well knows I have a huge heart for animals. For a long time Michael and I were known as "that couple with five cats," and recently we added a Great Dane puppy to the mix. Throughout my life I've had a lot of pets and I've seen them leave this world multiple ways. However, the three that have always stuck out the most were Chance, Levi and Luna. (I know I know, I'll get to Peaches in a minute I just need to provide some context here.)
Chance, Levi and Luna were three cats I had as a teenager. Each of them died of cancer (various types of cancer) within a year and half long span. It was a horrible, awful thing that happened to them, and to all of us as a family. Owning a pet means having to make very difficult decisions for them, and deciding when their quality of life is compromised. The hardest thing is knowing when it's time to let go. While we had many beautiful photos of Chance. Levi and Luna were cats we'd mostly shot images of on early 2000s cellphones. We didn't back them up, and my mom ended up losing her phone some time later. Two and half years after the images were lost my mom found the old phone buried under the seat of her car. There they were; our few pictures of Levi and Luna in all their glory. I could've cried.
And so enter Peaches, a dog with cancer. When I read the simple request for photography the words really hit home. "Beloved family dog recently diagnosed with cancer." Within 48 hours I was meeting Peaches and her sweet family. We went through all her favorite activities; laying bedside while reading stories, playing ball in the backyard, taking a walk through the neighborhood and down her favorite trail, and even getting to sit on her mom and dad's bed. (Because this was a special occasion.) I am overjoyed I was able to take these images for Peaches and her family. Peaches is a beautiful dog, and while her prognosis is uncertain, it was wonderful to get to see her as her happy, content self in her home, surrounded by her people, and all the precious day to day joys of dog life.