Family portrait with pets

The family portrait.

Education comes from everywhere. My most valuable of all the classes I have taken happened on the other side of the lens.

I have an eternal supply of patience when I am photographing pets. I am the queen of saying “just one more”. It’s what I love to photograph more than anything. I understand that it takes a little while for them to settle in and I don’t worry about getting  the perfect image, it almost always happens.

A dear friend of ours wanted to do a family portrait. Karen and I put it off for over a year, maybe even two years. But thankfully, Michael was gently tenacious. He never gave up and continued to persistently nudge me. For his gentle persistence, I will be eternally grateful.

There aren’t many photos of me out there. My comfort zone resides from the back of the camera to front of the lens. End of story. Planning our family photo took some thought. I wanted it to be meaningful and I wanted elements from all the things I hold dear to my heart from day-to-day.

The barn is where we have our coffee morning and night in the winter. Karen and I spend hours planning for the next year’s garden, sharing our day and enjoying the companionship of our dogs.

The white chairs we move about the yard in the heat of the summer in search of a cool breeze and some shade.

The greyhounds are how we met. I had a pair of dogs that needed a forever home, Karen had an acre.

The borzoi came into our world very much an unplanned joy.

And the chickens. Who would’ve thought that chickens could be so much fun and bring so much entertainment into our lives. They were just supposed to be pets with benefits.

And so, with a tripod and my camera, Michael became our beloved shutter buddy. I knew in my head what I wanted. Executing it to near perfection… that was a big giant question mark.

Two-by-two we brought out each of the critters. Michael’s patience was amazing. To put together one family photo, it took us an hour and a half. And this, this is where I received my most valuable education. It’s hard work being on the other side of the lens. It’s frustrating, it’s easy to want to say “we’re done”, all of the patience that I pride myself on having was gone. My expectations outweighed my patience by a lot. And yet, behind the lens Michael smiled and waited as we put everyone in their place just one more time.

I have taken thousands of photos of our dogs. But this one, with the help of Michael will go down is history as one of my very favorite photos.

It’s destined to be a large canvas over our fireplace.

Four dogs sitting on an antique settee

Sully, Gizmo, Mochi, Frankie

Today we were at Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville helping them celebrate their third successful year in business. We had a wonderful time and can’t thank them enough for inviting us back this year.

These are the four dogs that manage the store. When they came back for their portrait, they hoped to get a portrait of all four together. I would say these pups did their job quite well.

I really love working with a group. I welcome the challenge.

Thank you so much for having us back this Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville.

Pet portraits at Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville.  

Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary on Saturday, October 21. They always throw the best parties and if you are looking for a little fun with your four-legged friend, I highly recommend that you stop by, meet the vendors and celebrate with Jenny and Matt.

We will be there from 11 am to 3 pm doing pet portraits. I’ve dusted off the antique blue settee and it is ready for the most elegant of portraits.

Come join the fun.

Pet portraits at Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville.

We are thrilled to return to Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville and help them celebrate their third anniversary. I find it so hard to believe that it has already been three years since we first visited the store. It’s one of our favorite stomping grounds.

This year we are bringing out the antique blue settee, perfect for every dog.

Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville always has an awesome party. Their knowledgeable vendors can direct you to the best food for your pets and the best part, there are always amazing treats for you and your pets.

Come see us on Saturday, October 21 from 11 am to 3 pm for a pet portrait of your favorite furry or feathered friends.

Nature’s Pet Market Wilsonville, 9740 SW Wilsonville Rd., Suite 210.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 503.999.1926 or email Holly at

Siberian huskies

Zoe and Della

With a twinkle in his eye, the jolly ol’ elf traded his red velvet and white fluff for his Southwest desert wear and he is officially headed south in his bright red sleigh.

We had the best of times these last two weeks. I’ve said it before, he is the best of the best and I am so lucky to be able to work with him. There just isn’t another one like him, anywhere.

Bantam rooster

Jethro the rooster

This year we changed out our locations and it was better than perfect. We both loved being in the great outdoors and the settings felt so natural. We started our time together at a farm in NE Salem.

Blond American Pit Bull Terrier


The backdrop was the best and fall days in the Pacific Northwest can’t possibly be any better.

Yellow and black lab

Ranger and Remi.

Yesterday, we spent the wandering around our own greyhound gardens. A few bales of hay and we were set for a more farm-like setting in front of the barn. The gardens are close to hibernation, but they are still beautiful. We were able to have three set-ups. In front of the barn.

Boston terrier in a carriage


We opened the doors of the barn, threw in a couple of bales of hay. This spot came in quite handy during the downpours we experienced. Yes, even in schizophrenic weather, the show must go on.

Basset hounds with Santa Paws

Cooper and Mabel.

And just because we could, we brought out the antique settee to the gardens.

Oh how I loved being out in the open with options. Yesterday was the best day ever.

Japanese Chins

Yoshi, Hiro and MagiMai

And we finished our time together at Nature’s Pet Market Salem. And today was another awesome day.

I want to give Santa Paws a huge shout out. He is amazing and always so willing to work with me as I move here and there.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Santa Paws. You will always hold a special corner of my heart.

And, I have a secret. I thought this would be our last year together… And then, the jolly ol’ elf and I made plans for one weekend next August. Stay tuned.