Just Max
17th May 2016 - 0 comments
I had a photo session with the lovely Max and Maddie in May 2015 (there is a new Wal-Mart where that session took place now). Maddie unfortunately passed away, and then in an even more unfortunate turn, Max was diagnosed with bone cancer in his front leg. Rose wanted a photo of Max with a kiss on his head like we did with Maddie, so a second session was in order. Since Max wasn't feeling well and limping (and I run my own business, so I get to break my rules), we had the Mini Session at his home so that he wouldn't have to overdo it and would be as comfortable as possible. The yard wasn't perfect, but we managed to get some leaves together in the spirit of fall, and I think we had a good session. So with that... you know the drill...

Max putting on his serious face for his first photo.

But he couldn't keep that up very long, and ended up smiling.

Being at home helped Max relax unlike our first session. Look at that happy pant.

I spotted some bushes, so we moved to the side of the house. Max was happy to follow along on the short journey so long as I kept supplying him with treats.

When Rose temporarily went away to grab her lipstick, Max went to follow her. Giving me a chance to photograph his lovely spots not seen in portraits.

When Rose came back, she planted a kiss on his head, but it didn't look as much like a kiss as we were hoping for. A second try was attempted and shows just how hard using a dog's head as a canvas can be. Fortunately for Rose and me, Photoshop is always an option to make the vision become reality in a photo. Here's an example of the kiss gone wrong.

Unfortunately the focus wasn't perfect on Max's eyes, and I had chopped off the top of his head. So I used the kiss from the photo above, edited it and the photo in the before of this image below, and then placed it on Max's head where it belonged. It came out looking quite heart like, which I enjoyed.

Here's another photo of the edited kiss from a different angle. Max was taking a break from the modeling and watching the neighborhood.

We ended the session with a few close up photos of his lovely hazel eyes. Here's his left eye.

And his right eye.

I'm happy to report that while initially his owners were nervous Max would not make it into the New Year, he is still with his family and doing alright. He still limps on the bad leg, but pain medicine does help. I got to see him again when I delivered his prints, and he enjoyed hamming it up and getting attention. :)

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Darren and Dee
11th March 2016 - 2 comments
For the past two years I've had Mini Sessions with one of my clients. They had six dogs, so every year I come and take photos of two of the dogs. The first year I took photos of the gorgeous Richie and Happy, a greyhound and a cattle dog mix (who have both unfortunately passed away since our session, but I will always be happy that I had the opportunity to photograph and meet them). Last year (well 2014) I took photos of Tucker and Bug, a pair of gorgeous greyhounds. This year my session was with Darren and Dee, another pair of greyhounds. This year was my last year because I finally made it through this fantastic group of dogs. It was nice getting to see everyone again, and I think Darren and Dee were happy to finally be in the spotlight (and Miss Bug was wondering why she wasn't). So with that...

First up was the gorgeous Darren. Our session was in June, so it was pretty hot. We took the dogs out one at a time so they wouldn't get too hot. This way only the people suffered. ;)

Darren wasn't sure what he thought of being the center of attention and in the spotlight, but he came around.

Look at those gorgeous eyes!

And like every session with greyhounds, it was my goal to get a running photo. The greyhound crew are older and don't always run. His owners weren't sure if Darren would run, but I lucked out yet again. Darren gave us the running we were looking for.

With the running photo, Darren was tired out and panting, so he got to go inside and cool off while Dee came out. Dee is adorable. Here she is pretending she's bashful, but in reality she is a total sweetheart.

She's also the proud owner of a "dipped in white paint" tail which deserved its own photo.

A client recently asked me what my favorite kind of dog to photograph was. I had to think about it some, and realized my answer was greyhounds. I love all dogs, I really do, but greyhounds in action are something else. They make running look so EFFORTLESS, despite the fact that they are flying and hitting speeds that other dogs struggle to reach. One of the coolest things about them, and part of the reason they are so fast is they have a run called a double-suspension gallop. Other dogs do have this form of running, but greyhounds (and other sighthounds) are the ones who are known for it. If you catch a dog pulling a double suspension, you can just be sure they are pretty quick in the dog world. So what is a double suspension gallop? Well like the name implies they are suspended (in the air) twice. Most dogs have one suspension moment, where all four feet are off the ground, but greyhounds have a second one. Luckily Dee, helped me get some photos of it. The photo below shows Dee in suspension one. You can see that Dee has all four feet above the ground while in the collection moment of her stride.

And here, photo two shows suspension two during the extension moment in her stride. Her front left paw is about to touch the ground here (but isn't). Pretty cool stuff. Thanks Dee for helping me get some photos of one of the coolest things about your breed! Also, in the event you were curious about that brindle greyhound behind her that is Bug. I was told Dee only runs when Bug is with her. Bug was happy to be released and get to be in a few more photos.

After all that running Dee was also happy to go back inside and cool off. While I chatted with their owners I snagged a few more photos of Darren and Dee. Here's Darren.

And here's one last photo of Dee. I nearly forgot to mention that Dee is special needs and almost didn't get a home. She was going to end up staying with her rescue (in a home). She had a problem with her eyes not making enough tears to keep them hydrated, so she had to have a surgery where they moved some of her saliva glands and rerouted them to her eyes. She has to get a treat every few hours, which causes her to slobber, which causes her eyes to moisten (and sometimes need to be wiped, because it can get a bit excessive). Luckily her owners are awesome, and despite the fact she has to have a treat every couple of hours (and I think some other things need to be done every day as well) they were willing to take her in.

That's it in the way of photos for this blog post! I've enjoyed photographing the greyhound gang over the years, and any greyhound owners out there now know that they have a quick way to my heart for having a blast during the session. But don't feel left out non-greyhound owners, I have a blast at every session.

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Max and Maddie
07th February 2016 - 1 comment
I can't believe it has taken me so long to post this blog post, it has been on my to do list for quite a while. I had this session with Maddie and Max all the way back on May 1, 2015 when spring was in the air and gorgeous flowers were blooming. If any of you were/are followers of the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, you probably saw some photos of my personal dogs in a field of amazing red flowers. When I posted the photo I tried to say where the location was because I doubted I'd have any sessions there since it was a field of unknown ownership, right next to some busy roads, and I was terrified people would mow down the flowers (you have no idea how often that happens to me, I see a pretty flower filled field only to go get some photos with my mutts and find it has been mowed... they always look worse). About two days after that post, Maddie and Max's owner contacted me wanting to get some photos of Maddie ASAP who was ill (and they weren't sure how much longer she'd be with them). One of the things her owner, Rose, requested was flowers. I had the perfect spot, so we met there with fingers crossed that the field would be unmowed. Luck was on our side and the Crimson Clover (that is what it is called in the event you are curious) was still standing.

Without further delay (because I've delayed into the New Year) ON TO THE PHOTOS!

First up is the wonderful Maddie in some yellow flowers that we had to walk through before the Crimson Clover. Maddie is a shepherd-y mutt, and at the time of our session was 14 years old.

And here are a few of Max who wasn't sure if he liked being the focus of my camera, but did come around some thanks to treats. I think he was happy that Maddie was meant to be the focus of our session and he didn't have to be the center of attention very often. Max is a lab mutt thing who was 9 years old at the time of our session (I think, Rose wasn't positive of his age).

Maddie wasn't steady on her feet any more thanks to being sick, so she had to be carried (thankfully Rose's husband, Jim, was along with us and could carry her where we needed her to be). Once we got her where she needed to go though, she looked beautiful while modeling.

It was a hot day so Max decided that between his turns (and during) he'd lay down and try to cool off.

Rose also brought a bubble machine to provide some more interest to the photos since we knew walking around much wasn't going to be an option in this case. Both Maddie and Max were not impressed with the bubbles, but I did end up buying one when I got home because I thought it was fun.

Rose also wanted a few photos of Maddie and Max together.

While taking the photos and saying hello to everybody, I realized that Maddie had an awesome leather collar with custom tags decorating it. In the event you weren't aware, I love leather collars and custom tags so I was pretty in love with it. Thankfully it sums up Maddie's personality (which is why Rose bought it and created the sayings on the tags!) and was a collar Maddie had been wearing for years so I had an excuse to take a photo with the collar being the main focus. I was told her collar was made by Paco Collars and the tags were by Fetching Tags if you want to check either of them out.

The last photo is one that Rose wanted the most. On the homepage of my website (which is where you are right now!) there is a close up photo of a Golden Retriever (her name is Shelby in the event you are curious) with just her eyes. Rose was in love with it and wanted a photo just like that of Maddie, but also wanted a kiss on her forehead. It turns out getting a perfect looking kiss is harder than you'd think, but with the help of Photoshop, the kiss was cleaned up and made to look closer to what Rose was expecting.

Despite the heat, I think we had a pretty good session! Maddie, who at the time Rose wasn't sure would even still be with her by the end up the week, ended up passing away on June 23rd, 2015, with help, which was nearly two months after our session. I know Rose was thankful for that time with sweet Maddie.

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Samson and Emma
09th October 2015 - 0 comments
So in my efforts to catch up with session blog posts, this session is devoted to the gorgeous Samson and Emma. Both of them are golden retrievers and just as sweet as the stereotype says they are. The whole family came and we had a bunch of fun getting family photos. Our session was five months ago in April, so we had spring weather freshly arriving and flowers and lovely green to compliment those pretty gold coats.

We met at my favorite park in Lakeland, and as we walked around the park, we stopped to get some photos of them in the gorgeous light. Say hello to Samson!

And say hello to Emma!

We walked around the lake and as we were walking, I snagged this photo of Emma. Unfortunately, because we were in the process of walking, the family was not exactly posed, so I ended up editing them out.

We also got a family photo of everyone walking together.

We then got to the long grass. Samson and Emma thought running in it was a blast, and this is when they started thinking this photography session was a ton of fun.

And Samson may or may not have turned into a rabbit for a bit.

You would think I would have learned from my last session with a golden retriever (T-bone), but they tricked us and ran into the water when we thought they wouldn't. I forgive the retrievers for being water lovers like they were bred to be. I mean, look at this face. How in the world could anyone on this planet be mad at him?

Or this face for the matter? (Because they are a duo, and of course, both ran into the water, not just one of them).

We went and took some more family photos, and then headed back to the pond because NOW we were actually ready for water photos. Both were pretty excited to stop posing and just get to be dogs. Here Samson was diving into the water after a stick.

At first Samson and Emma didn't get the idea of fetch. They would swim out after the stick, and then swim back to us without it. Here Emma demonstrates the lack of retrieving.

Samson started to figure it out first (he's more outgoing than Emma is) complete with hilarious expressions.

Emma refused to be left out though. Samson was having too much fun with that stick, and she needed to be part of it. But because only one stick was being thrown (most of the time) she decided the best course of action was to steal from Samson. Although Samson thought the best course of action was to hold on tight and not allow her to get it completely. So they just returned to land together.

And then, of course, once on land they had to shake off. Here Emma shows the proper shake procedure. It should be done close to the person with camera equipment.

Between throws and shaking, once they had figured out the whole fetch the stick deal, they would stare at the humans to throw the stick again. Here Samson posed expectantly in the pretty spring flowers.

After getting sopping wet and having a blast playing we got a few more posing photos as we prepared to leave.

Including my favorite shots on top of the picnic bench.

I had a fantastic session with Emma, Samson, and their family. You can't go wrong with a dog (or a pair in Samson and Emma's case!) who loves to swim. And hanging out with golden retrievers reminds you of why they are also known for having a heart of gold because they are the sweetest dogs ever. If you don't include that mischievous side where they trick you to get what they want (water!).

And because it took me so incredibly long to finish their blog post, I have pictures of two of the three canvases they ordered (along with a bunch of prints). I always love getting canvases in. Prints are gorgeous, but canvases, they are just amazing. Plus, when they come in, they have an awesome smell. Similar to getting a new car. Even though I don't get to keep them (obviously), it is always like Christmas when they arrive. In this case, the photos Samson and Emma's family chose for smaller canvases (around a family photo) wouldn't work as a normal wrap around canvas. So we decided to make the borders black and put some words along the border. On the left border we had their names and birth days. On the right side we put their show names. On the top and bottom (which I did not get the best pictures of was the quote "All you need is love and a golden retriever". These photos were taken in my home, not in their final hanging place in Samson and Emma's home.

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15th September 2015 - 0 comments
Well! I've been gone quite a while. I haven't really been "gone." I've had some sessions, but I lost the drive to continue making blog posts and posting on Facebook and what have you. On top of losing the drive to want to post anything, someone dumped out a dog at my friend's house, and I ended up taking him in. That's a story for another post though. We'll continue on with this "lack of drive" of mine. The main problem was that Facebook has severely cut back on how many people see a post from a liked page in order to force businesses and other pages into purchasing advertising. I don't want to purchase advertising (mainly on principle) because I've already convinced you guys I'm pretty awesome and you want to see my photography. I don't feel I should have to pay to reach the same people again (new people is different).

SO! To combat that, Memphis Mutts Pet Photography has extended our social media reach. We were, of course, already on Facebook. That link will take you directly to the page, but if you want to search, it is Memphis Mutts Pet Photography. We are also now on Twitter (@MemphisMutts) which will be a struggle for my rambling side. And we are also on Instagram (@memphismuttspetphotography). One of the reasons I never joined Instagram was I wasn't a fan of the fact I would be forced to crop all photos to a square. Luckily, right when I sucked it up and joined, Instagram started offering other formats for photos! So that makes me quite happy. Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram because they are basically devoid of followers, and really quite sad. Like bust out my tiny violin sad.

BUT ENOUGH OF ALL THAT SELF PITY. Self-pity is not the name of this blog post, the title clearly says "Yankee" which is whom this blog post is about. Yankee is an awesome golden doodle I photographed ALL the way back in April (which shows you how far behind I am). We had an Ultra Session. And it was spectacular if I do say so myself. We got a lot of fantastic photos, and I think we had a blast (or at least I did). So without further ado,


Since Yankee had the Ultra Session, I met him at his home first. We went outside for a few shots just so the camera wouldn't startle him (it didn't at all, but it was just in case) and let him play around in the backyard while he got used to being a model for the next few hours.

It was quite hot (and Yankee was still sporting his winter coat so it was even hotter for him). His mom had a list of photos she wanted to get while we were home, many of which were inside. Typical Yankee things. One of those was him staring out the front door. To get this photo we had to send his mom to go stand outside out of sight. :)

Another was of him lying on the window sill looking outside into the backyard. His mom had to go outside for this one too.

With it being so hot, and the fact Yankee was also hot due to playing about ten minutes earlier, it was a struggle to get photos of him not panting. I managed to "luck" out and kept getting him the moment he would close his mouth for a moment.

After managing to get all the photos on the "inside the house" list we went back outside for a few more shots since Yankee had had a chance to cool down. One of which was of Yankee's adorable lamb like feet. Minus the hooves

Another was a close up of his eye.

We also got a photo of his fur before he got wet. He has the most adorable curls!

We then headed to the Shelby Farms Dog Park. A place where Yankee and his mom spend a lot of time enjoying themselves. You should be sure to enjoy this last photo of Yankee the little lamb, because from here on out he is Yankee the water lover.

As promised! He's all wet. Here he's looking back at his mom wanting her to throw his toy again.

Yankee is also really smart. When we were at the house, his mom was showing me all of the tricks he can do (which are outside of normal tricks, one was weaving through her legs). Another cool thing he does is play a version of the hot and cold game. Except with the word yes or no. Yes meaning he's getting closer, and no meaning he's getting further away. And he was good at it. It helps his mom not have to go into the scrub and muck to retrieve his toy when he loses it. Here he was in the middle of searching for it when it got lost in the grass (from his point of view, we could see it as tall humans).

I don't think there are too many photographers that encourage their subject to go play in the mud. But it was on the list of things to get. Yankee was happy to oblige.

After getting Yankee all muddy, he got to go play in the water some more. The next photos are a series. Yankee likes to go out into the pond and play with his ball. He hits it with his feet and bobs for it.

I'm pretty sure Yankee would have been content to sit in the water and bob for ball for the next few hours, but alas, we had more goals to reach! So he got one more throw of the ball for him to chase, and we were off again.

After all the photos of him being himself, it was time for a little bit of posing.


Posing is hard work! Even if you get paid in treats, you still need to take a break to swim, and then shake off that water right next to the person with really expensive camera gear (always, every dog ever).

Yankee says he's not just adorable playing in the water with his ball, he's also super fun playing on land.

While up to this point, I had had a blast taking photos of Yankee and getting wonderful photos, the next photo is when the session turned into one of my favorites. The light was on its way to spectacular while we continued on with the list of photos.

As the light started to move into "golden hour" Yankee pretended he was going to a DockDog event and leaped off the shore with some encouragement.

Another pose. But the grasses behind matched his coat!

Another up close photo of his fur. The water certainly tightened those curls!

And then golden hour was upon us in all of its gloriousness. BEHOLD. GOLDEN YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

I also couldn't resist getting a photo of him over the gravel.

And over the luscious spring grass.

At that point, I said we were done and we headed back to our cars. But I was a liar. As I turned around I saw an opportunity for a silhouette photo (which can be pretty difficult because you have to be over the horizon).

Yankee showing off his "kiss" trick was adorable and absolute perfection.

And of course, I couldn't resist a photo of Yankee having some grass picked out his beard. If you have ever lived with a scruffy dog, you know this is constant.

Again I thought we were done, and again I was wrong because Yankee stared out over the water wanting to go for a final swim as it perfectly reflected the setting sun's colors.

My last photo makes me happy because it was nice that after a multiple hour photo session, Yankee was still happy! Which is always my goal. The dog should have a blast in the process.

I hope you guys enjoyed looking through some of the photos from Yankee's session as much as I enjoyed taking them (which was a lot). And hopefully, I'll be better about updating my social media. No promises though. ;)