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Celebrating Buttercup

Golden retriever
Buttercup

I met Buttercup about 3.5 years ago. She came for her first photo with me when I did a photo fundraiser for Pete, our greyhound. She was such a sweet little girl. I will never forget her kind and gentle nature, so eager to please.

She had just been diagnosed with kidney disease and she was young, only about a year old. She went on to be a certified therapy dog touching peoples lives where ever she went. Her mom shared two memories with me:

Two of the most memorable was when we visited a gentlemen who had been non-responsive in a hospice unit for 2 weeks. Buttercup immediately jumped on his bed and he started petting her and talking to me. The staff were in tears. Another visit was at the hospital and an older lady was alone in her room and scared. Buttercup soothed her tears away.

Buttercup and CJ

Buttercup and brother CJ were a pair not to be reckoned with. They immediately gave chase around the acre once we released from their leashes.

Long before CJ even knew what was happening, Buttercup laid claim to the title Princess and she ruled the roost. CJ had no problems letting her be the boss.

Golden retriever rolling the grass
Rolling in the grass

After a quick run around the acre, there is probably nothing better than a nice roll in the cool green grass. Since this was Buttercup’s celebration session, I wanted to capture as much of her personality as I possible could. I think Buttercup had a pretty good time.

Apparently Buttercup took to catching snakes this spring. She never hurt them, she just brought her treasures to the back door for a little game of “catch and release.” It’s the new fetch.

Great Dane and golden retriever with their family
Buttercup and her family

The family photo is always one of the most important photos we capture.

Golden retriever with her owner
Know for her snuggles

Buttercup was a much loved therapy dog. She wore her princess crown like a champ. She taught CJ the ropes, even though he’s the big brother. And, Buttercup was best know for her snuggles and she loved her mom like no other.

Golden retriever holding a toy.
Buttercup

Thank you Buttercup for being a small part of my life. Your beautiful spirit will live forever.

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Fluffy is as fluffy does

Portrait of a sheepadoodle
Mandu, a sheepadoodle

I miss my sessions

March 15. 42 days. That was last pet session and I really miss them. I am doing fine working from home and I realize how lucky we are.

I can honestly say, I have used my time wisely. I am photographing one of our pets nearly every day and tinkering with a different editing style. I have ideas and plans for when we can do pet sessions again.

This little beauty is Mandu. I met her Albany and was so excited for her to come to the studio in Salem.

What do sessions look like?

Portrait of a sheepadoodle
Look over your shoulder

In the studio

I like to start my sessions in the studio. Somedays I love the glamour portrait. I love the simplicity, the elegance and the peaceful setting of a studio. The creative options are endless and the lighting is nearly 100% predictable. My little rustic studio is in the garage and it’s perfect.

  • Accident? No problem, let me take a minute to clean up.
  • Timid and scared? No worries, we have the time (I will rarely do more than one session a day) and little one, there’s lot’s of room, just have your human sit with your for a few minutes.
  • Can’t be off leash? This is even better, once that garage door goes down and we leave the garage, we go out to 6 foot fenced acre.

The glorious outdoor studio

Sheepadoodle running
An acre to run on

This is really where the fun begins. I also really love the look of animals in an outdoor setting. It’s natural, it’s always beautiful, and nearly every dog that has been to visit the studio loves it the best. We have pet-friendly gardens everywhere.

The first order of business for every dog that comes to the studio is sniff and race patrol. It’s a smorgasbord for the sniffer and even the shyest of dogs can’t contain their delight as they check out every inch of the fence line. I like to think of this as a model break. They worked hard in the studio to master the right poses and even though we try to pay them well, the romp on the acre is a well-deserved break.

The family portrait

Family portrait with sheepadoodle
The family, perhaps one of the most important photos of the session

I always encourage the family to have a portrait with their pet. When it’s time to pick out your package, you don’t have to purchase any particular photo, but if we don’t take a family portrait, we don’t have one. And, I think it’s a loss. We did a big family portrait a few years ago with all of our pets and it is one of my favorite images. I will never regret taking the time and trust me when I tell you it took a long time for me to agree to do it. Now, I’m planning the next one.

The session bonus

Sheepadoodle sitting in a lawn chair
Modeling can be exhausting

When a session is done, nearly every dog needs a long nap. My favorite report is when I hear that the dogs slept all the way home.

That almost always means they had as much fun with their session as I did.

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Lost in desire

Borzoi eating an apple
Sage enjoying an apple

Observing pets is one of the best assets I bring to my client’s session. Once I start to photograph a pet, I’m so focused that very little conversation will come from me. All of my attention is focused to my model. In every corner of my brain, resides a list of all of the images that I want to get during the session. I’m watching every move, hoping beyond hope to anticipate the next perfect image.

Capture the magic on a summer eve

This summer I want to capture more evening sessions. We don’t water the through the grass throughout the gardens, that would be a waste of resources, but none-the-less, the gardens themselves are lovely and the evening light captures every moment of an animal’s soul so exquisitely.

Many times during the summer, I’ll grab my camera and just go out to observe. Sage is munching on one of the fallen apples so this is must have been taken in late summer, early fall. Sage has the most expressive face of all our dogs.

We’ve already begun our work preparing the garden beds, I am suffering from a big case of spring fever. And, even more important, I have a new surprise for pets and their families. I’m pretty excited for it to make its debut in the gardens. A few coats of paint is all we need now.

Have you booked your session yet?

Make 2020 the year you have family photos taken with your pet. No one has ever regretted having professional portraits done. Many have regretted never having done it. Call me and we can talk through the process. Would you like to the beach? Evening photos at the beach can be spectacular.

Call me to capture the spirit and soul of your pet through the lens.

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Dexter, a little guy on a mission

painted portrait of a dachshund
Painted portrait of Dexter

Dexter came for a portrait session the end of November. He’d recently been diagnosed with a malignant tumor over his right eye. He had no problem sniffing around the acre though. He had such joy checking out every little nook and cranny. So much so that I had a hard time getting him to stand still long enough to get a portrait. Photographing dachshunds means I have to get really low with the camera.

This is his painted portrait that I did in Photoshop.

Dexter was also blind, so I tried to work with eyes to remove the glow the best I could.

Portrait of a dachshund
Dexter after editing his original photo

This was his photo after editing in Photoshop. When editing like this, my rule of thumb is to only do what looks natural.

He is such a sweet little guy. So happy and true testament of how nothing was gonna hold him back.

Dexter and LG

When we set up Dexter’s session, they mentioned his little brother LG and I said of course, bring him along. LG is Dexter’s matching chihuahua. They were adorable together even though they were completely oblivious of the other.

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All for the love of Hope

Pitbull puppy laying on an antique sofa.
Hope, available for adoption through Second Chance Adoption

I think my most favorite part of pet photography is doing the adoption photos. There have been countless articles written about how important a good photograph is to getting an animal adopted. I have always been more than willing to help but the reality is love doing the photography. I have patience and stick-to-itness to work with any animal, no matter how shy or fearful. And truth be told, the shy ones are my favorite.

Pitbull puppy sitting on an antique sofa
Hope

Hope is the puppy of your dreams. She sits, she shakes, she’s totally food motivated and when I asked if she could do a down it took a few tries and she had it.

I’m not even going to go into how stinking cute she is. She’s outgoing and friendly, I don’t think there is even a stranger in her world. And as a future fashion model, this girl is going to steal the show every single time. My only regret is that it was raining and we couldn’t get her out into the gardens. I suspect she would have loved exploring and running around though.

Hope is available for adoption through Second Chance Salem. They are accepting applications for her now.

Painted portrait of Hope

She was such an amazing pup, I decided to spend a little time painting her last night in Photoshop, something I love to dabble with.

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Let’s be friends

located in Salem and Portland, Oregon

TEL :: 503.999.3047 :: EMAIL :: terri.jacobson@mac.com