The making of a family portrait

I have always felt comfortable photographing pets. They are my people and the families they bring with them become my family.

If someone told me five years ago I would love photographing pets with their families as much as I love photographing pets, I would have landed on the floor laughing my, well, you know what off.

Enter this delightful family.

Diesel, Cooper, Daffodil, Jenna and Cierra—2014

I met this family in the fall of 2014. I was immediately smitten with Jenna and Cierra and their little family. Their dogs were their everything and clearly these pups were in a family that loved them more than anything.

We met a park in the Portland area and had a delightful time walking around enjoying the fall weather.

Cooper, Mabel, Diesel, Jenna and Cierra—2016

Two years later we met at the same park on the other side. Just as we all pulled into the parking lot, the Oregon skies opened up and it began pouring. We laughed, shrugged our shoulders and dashed from cover to cover to stay as dry as we could.

I was so sad to learn that had lost Daffodil, but here was Mabel, a senior basset hound. We all knew that Mabel could never replace Daffodil but she made their hearts bigger and did her best to keep the boys in line.

Mabel, Cooper, Cierra and Jenna—2017

Santa Paws was visiting and I was so happy when I heard that these guys would be there. Their family portrait had down-sized. Once again, they had a devastating loss, Diesel had made his way to the rainbow bridge. My heart was broken for them, Diesel was such an integral part of the family, I really missed him and I knew the hole in their hearts was huge.

Cierra, Jenna and Clay—October 2018

Early last fall, my heart was shattered when I learned that they had lost both Cooper and Mabel. I know them well enough to know that life without any dogs just isn’t as full.

Now what I haven’t talked about is how big Jenna and Cierra’s hearts really are. Daffodil, Diesel, Cooper and Mabel all held onto the corners of Jenna and Cierra’s hearts and they will always be there, but these two have ever expanding hearts and now their hearts were ready to grow even bigger. Clay wrapped his puppy paws around their hearts as they continued to grow bigger and bigger.

But wait, there’s more. As we were talking and taking photos, my daughter Holly was scheming with them. She had seen another dog, roughly the same age as Clay available for adoption.

Murphy, Jenna, Clay, Cierra—November 2018

Enter Murphy and the happiest family on earth.

Thank you so much for the walk down memory lane Jenna and Cierra. Next family photo is at the beach and I can hardly wait.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

My favorite top 10 photos of 2018

Drilling down was by no means an easy task. I loved all of the animals I was so fortunate to photograph and I was always happy with my photos. Picking my favorites was tough, there were way more that I didn’t include.

Here we go in no certain order.

Kittens that were available through Meow Village.

One of my most favorite things to do is photograph pets that are available for adoption. If that is all I did for the rest of my life, I would die a happy woman. Kittens are so much fun. I suppose photographing kittens is a lot like being a grandma. I get the fun, I get the joy and then they go back home.

Jo Jo

What a sweetheart this little senior is all decked out in her pink and bling. When we arrived at her house for her session, I had no idea that their would be a whole garden of flowers for me to play in.


Bunny was another little fluffy available for adoption through Second Chance Salem. More pink, more bling and more adorable for my pleasure.


Pancakes chose to do her session hiking up at Silver Falls State Park. That little girl knew how to work the trails. She was so tiny and totally dwarfed by a 65′ waterfall.

Ruben and Remi

These two boys are the nicest dogs. I’ve taken their photos a couple of times now and they were meant to be in front of the camera.

I have to add here that the beach is by far one of my favorite places to go. These two had a blast as they ran in and out of the surf.

Tekken, Mugen, Nikko and Tsuki

I loved this session. Not only were the dogs really great to work with, but when the couple came over to look at the acre, they asked if I could use something that was personal in the photo. When I found out about their vintage, work-in-progress truck, I was over the moon excited. We just opened the gates and drove the truck in.

Four Newfoundland pups

Seriously who doesn’t love to cuddle puppies and these guys were four big bundles of fluff. Just. So. Cute.


Abby belongs to Santa Paws. If you haven’t seen his photos and had your pet photographed with Santa Paws, you are seriously missing out. Richard is the best Santa Paws around. A few years back he moved to Arizona but so far, he’s been gracious enough to come back to Oregon for one weekend every year. Next year he’ll be here in September.

This was taken in our gardens just as they were in full swing.


I drive by this field all of the time. In the spring it is full of these purple flowers and it’s gorgeous. When no one else is around, I just grab one of my own models and go have some fun.


Most people that know me, know that my gateway drug to the bigger guys, the greyhounds and borzoi was a pair of Italian greyhounds. Winny stole the show and my heart.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Will you throw the ball forever

We welcomed 2019 in the best way possible. I closed out 2018 taking photos of kitties available for adoption through Meow Village, one of my favorite rescue organizations.

Jingle and Bell, available for adoption through Meow Village

This morning we met Gary. There was frost on the grass and a chill in the air but Gary was more than happy to go outside and chase a ball.

Gary, available for adoption through Oregon Weimaraner Rescue

Gary is the sweetest little guy. He really lucked out when he landed his foster family. They know weimies through and through and are probably the most loving people a foster dog could ever have. The best guesstimate for Gary’s age is about 10 months, he’s still a puppy and for anyone that knows weimaraners, they maintain their puppyhood until they are about 13 years old, so this guy has his best years to come.

Gary, Luna and Tikka—Gary’s foster sisters

So Gary doesn’t look like your traditional svelte Weimaraner, but he is just as cute as a button. His ears aren’t as big, his eyes are just slightly smaller and he’s a tiny petite little thing, but his heart and soul… they are larger than life in true weimie fashion.

Play ball!

Also in true weimie spirit, this guy loves to play ball. His future family will either need the arm of a pro baseball player or invest in a chuck-it.

A little yoga ball

Playful is the forever puppy. Gary is beyond charming and delightful.

Gary—available for adoption through Oregon Weimaraner Rescue

Gary hasn’t been listed on the site yet, but he will soon be available for adoption through Oregon Weimaraner Rescue. This little guy will make some family very happy. He really does deserver a loving family to call his own.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Celebrating Mickey

One day old Baby Mickey

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Our dear friend Nancy called and said “I have something I haven’t had in a long time.” She knew how much I loved the white and black greyhounds, the cow dogs. The very next day we were in the car and on our way up to Gresham to see the baby cow dog. Of course it was love at first sight. Of course we all knew that when he retired from his racing career, he would be coming home to Greyhound Gardens.

Three week old Mickey

And so, we watched that cute little dog grow. He was a shy puppy, just like little kids he watched to make sure he was safe, and he was. He was destined to have a long and happy life with us.

Two month old Mickey

He became more beautiful and sweet as he grew. Life happened and we didn’t get up to see him as much and before we knew it he was off to the race tracks in Florida as KNT Wings O’ Fire. We worried as every momma does, but we knew he was in the best hands possible and we knew that as soon as he was done racing, he would make his way back to Oregon.

Of course, Mickey was a party boy and he had zero to no interest in racing, so it didn’t take long before we got the call to bring him home.

Karen and I had been taking turns flying out to Florida to fly the retired racers home. This time it was Karen’s turn to fly.

Retired racer Mickey

On February 20, 2008 our incredibly beautiful boy flew back to Oregon. Oh my goodness, what a handsome boy he was.

Portrait of a cow dog

I was mesmerized by his beauty and thrilled to have our cow dog home. Mickey was tested and was one of our blood donors. Back then, we were on call. When the vet clinic needed blood, Mickey ever so generously donated his blood. He really didn’t enjoy going places with people, but oh how he loved to run and chase on the acre. It was his happy place.

One toy, one happy boy.

He loved his toys and for him, we could toss the toys for hours. He’d bring them back for just one more toss. Running around the acre though, chasing squirrels and birds were his favorite games and almost to the very end, he was out there on squirrel patrol.

Garden Mickey.

Living with Mickey, I never realized how gray his muzzle got over the years. To me, he was still the most beautiful greyhound in the world. He never ever lost his love for the acre or his love for life. As long as he had his family, he was just a really happy dog.

Senior Mickey

On September 11, Mickey celebrated his 13th birthday. We always feel like we’re doing pretty good when we get a greyhound to between 13 and 14 years old. But this guy was so vital, so strong, so full of life. I just knew in my heart he was going to celebrate his next birthday.

Last weekend though, his hind-end started to give in. We thought maybe the cold weather was affecting him and gave it a couple of days. All of our hopes weren’t enough. By mid-week it was pretty clear that Mickey was not going to be able to get past this. He couldn’t run and play and open the back door like he could the week before. It happened so fast.

Karen and I are firm believers in quality over quantity.

Today, we said good bye to our bouncing baby cow dog. Goodnight my sweet baby Mickey. I will love you forever and cherish the piece of my heart that holds you.


KNT Wings O’ Fire • September 11, 2005–November 16, 2018

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Santa Paws is coming to Salem in August

Really, truly? Santa Paws is coming in August?

Last I heard from Santa Paws, it was 116° in Arizona. Even for the jolly ol’ elf, it was a tad bit toasty. He’s coming to Oregon in August to escape the heat. In return, we hope the temps aren’t too hot for his red velvet suit.

We have two dates set aside for Santa Paws. Both days will be on our fenced acre with a couple of different settings that each little mini-session will move between.


Dates: Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Location: 2075 Hollywood Dr. NE, Salem, OR
Cost: $50, non-refundable and paid at the time of booking
Includes: 15–20 minute session with Santa Paws, online gallery of five images to choose from, one high resolution digital image, one low resolution image (same image as high resolution)
Add-ons: double-sided ornaments, prints, holiday cards, metal prints and maybe a few surprises

Book your session today

Santa Paws moved to Arizona three years ago. Every year I think it might be his last trip to Oregon and then, because I’ve been a good little girl he surprises me and says he’ll be back. The way I see it, you’ve got two choices. You can book one more session to add to your Santa Paws collection or, if this is your first time, start your memories now.

Call Holly at 503-999-1926 or email her at to book an appointment.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *