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Cash One Year
10th May 2015 - 0 comments
Okay! So this is the final blog post for Cash the Rottweiler puppy (probably anyway). Some things have changed... for instance, Cash is no longer really a puppy. Other things have stayed the same, such as Cash is still a Rottweiler (and I have a feeling he'll always be a Rottweiler). If you're late to the story, I started photographing Cash at just 8 weeks old (and you should click that link to see how freaking adorable he is and read a bit more about why I started photographing him) and I photographed him again at 6 months. Once you've clicked on those links and caught yourself up on the story of Cash, then you should be sure to come back here and see these photos. So...

ONTO THE PICTURES!
First thing that is important to know is that Cash is still a fetchaholic. Here he is with his ball in a moment of calm.


He has gotten better at catching though! And he was giving us lots of awesome jumps in his attempts to catch the ball (most of which were successful).




He also gave some hilarious faces in those attempts.




We let the family out to show how big Cash has gotten, and get some shots of everyone playing together. The fetch continued. Memphis was playing with Cash, and Tyson was in the back playing with Jinx.


Memphis was determined to play with Cash's ball while Cash was trying to bring it back to us humans to throw it. A few times Cash had to slam on the breaks to avoid running over Memphis.


At a year old, Cash was finally as tall as Tyson! When he was six months old he was only as tall as Memphis.


The giant tennis ball is also an opportunity for the first side by side photos of how big he has gotten!


Cash took a few breaks in between playing fetch (and by breaks I mean, while we were preparing to throw the ball). Here the sun was hitting him just right to show his breath and the fact that it was cold.


I also snagged a photo of Cash being serious, adult, and handsome all at once when he heard a sound in the front yard.


After playing around a little bit we settled down to take some posed photos, which Cash was happy to do for treats and other things.


When I turned around after getting the treats out, Mr. Jinx was right behind me wagging his tail trying to convince me he needed a few as well. Of course I was ecstatic. The whole reason I even knew who Cash was because of Jinx. The first time I came to the house, he was pretty shy and I didn't get any pictures of him. The second time at six months, Jinx hung out a little bit, but eventually wanted back in. This time Jinx was out with us the whole time and was more than happy to take treats from me!


With some treats, Cash was briefly convinced to shake and show how big his paw has gotten.


And also do a stay on the porch just so we could show him in the same place for the third time.


But stay is kind of boring, even if you get to a treat in the end. Cash thought it was way more fun when we brought out a pine cone just to see if he still liked them. Answer: Yes. And he thought it was fun to destroy it.


And last photo of Mr. Cash, playing tug-o-war. The first two photos in this little three photos were not set up. The third one was. Cash thought it was fun despite it being set up. ;)


And because I took like 8 years to post his session, I have some photos that are related to Cash because Whitney and Jesse (his owners) are involved in rescue, Midsouth Animal Rescue League to be exact. And so here are some adoptable dogs in their care (because HEY. Maybe you'll fall in love an adopt one of them).

FIRST IS SHAY/ZOE. She's a pit bull thing who lived out in the woods for quite a while and took forever to catch. She was a bit shy in these photos because she hadn't been living the good life for long. She's been living it awhile now and come out of her shell.




Those are brindle spots by the way. And she's gorgeous.


NEXT IS STRAY ROTTIE. As his very accurate name implies, he was a stray, and he is a rottie. Specifically a Rottweiler. He's full grown, probably around 3 years old. He's filling out some. He should hopefully get a real name soon (they haven't spent enough time with him to give him a name, he's been in boarding). If you'd like to speed up the process, adopt him or foster him and name him yourself. ;) He's a super sweet boy and loves people.




Look how happy he is! You could be the one to make him smile every day.



NEXT UP IS ARYA. She's a Rottweiler thing. She's young (about 10 months). I'm personally of the opinion 6 months to 1 year is the perfect age to get a dog, mainly because they have bladder control at that age, but still go through that enjoyable demon spawn deal. She's also pretty cute. And dog friendly. And people friendly. And spayed and ready to go to a home! I met Whitney at Walnut Grove Animal Clinic to photograph her (and see how long it has been since I took the photos of Cash, the grass is now green when it was dead).


She looks like she has dirt on her nose. I love it.


And here her mouth was all drool-y because she was wanting the treat Whitney was holding.


LAST BUT NOT LEAST IS IRELAND. She too is a Rottweiler thing. She too is around ten months old. She too is awesome, gorgeous, and dog friendly. Unlike Arya though, she's got a bad leg and gets to go through the joy of a hip replacement surgery when she grows up (because she has to finish growing first so she doesn't outgrow the replacement). Despite that, she's not slowed down in the least and didn't get the memo that maybe she should stay off that leg.



She enjoyed the toy I brought.


And Miss Arya got in the way of this photo, but I still love it. So hey, I get to add it. It's my blog. ;)


AND THAT'S A WRAP. This blog post is over. I hope you've enjoyed seeing Cash grow up like I have. And hey maybe you've fallen in love with one of the adoptable dogs I just posted and will get a new family member. ;)
Molly
03rd April 2015 - 0 comments
So I was preparing to do a blog post for Cash the Rottweiler for his one year old session, and then I realized I never did a blog post for another black and tan dog I photographed! SHAME. FOR SHAME, ERICA. I can't believe I forgot the gorgeous Molly! And she is gorgeous, I'm not just saying that. We had our session way back in November 2014. Our session took place at my favorite little park. Molly had been (kind of) recently adopted from Memphis Animal Services and was doing wonderful in her new life. Also, cool fun fact, Molly actually lives near my house, which I didn't realize until after our session. I was out walking my brats and saw her! Unfortunately my dogs tend towards the "asshat" when it comes to other dogs and don't typically get along with other dogs, so there was no friendly play as I caught up with Molly's owner. I've delayed sharing the wonderfulness that is Molly long enough!

ONTO THE PICTURES:
We started out our session getting some action shots. Molly had recently had a bath for her session and was still a bit damp so she was wearing a jacket to protect her from the slight chill in the air.




As Molly got sick of chasing Vienna sausages around (which were used to make her run, and currently make me hungry just thinking about it), we headed towards the lake to make a loop as I snagged photos.


We took off her jacket and got some photos of her with her natural born black coat with touches of smoke in it.


And then the light was coming perfectly through the woods surrounding the lake. We had recently had a frost and red leaves of the tree had fallen to the ground (to see the leaves before they fell off, check out T-Bone's session, the seventh photo). I squeaked a toy, and Molly gave me a wonderful head tilt to go with the gorgeous lighting, beautiful dog, and specs of red.


As we continued our trek, we also got Molly to show us her dance moves to beg for a treat.


And then, of course, I had to get a photo of her posed on the picnic bench so the background looked awesome. Look at those gorgeous eyes and sculpted eye brows.


As we were nearly finished with our session, she briefly went into the woods to look back at the lake, which gave me a second photo I absolutely adore.


For the final two photos, her owner wanted photos of Molly's "I want that treat, but I'm trying really hard to be good face." Her tail was wagging like crazy as she tried to stay in her sit.




THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL SESSION MOLLY! You have a fantastic home now. You went from the jail cells of the animal shelter to a loving home!
The New Year Resolutions
01st January 2015 - 0 comments
So like most people, I decided to do some resolutions under the guise of believing I will keep these resolutions up for the rest of my life and never stop. As opposed to what will probably happen, which is I’ll call it quits within a month. But I decided tell everybody what my resolutions were, just so I can feel extra guilty when I stop and you guys can all judge me. Look at me with eyes filled with shame. Also, full disclosure, the pictures in this blog more or less are awful. So you've been warned. I'll start you off with a few good ones though (well ONE good one that I'm proud of, the rest are just whatever).

This post ended up being absurdly long and I wrote it and even think that, so I decided to undermine all of my writing and give you a short list really quick. Then if you are like “that’s interesting, why?” you can scroll and read my ramblings. If you don’t really care, then you can just scroll and look at the pictures. After all, this is a photography blog the vast majority of the time besides whatever I think this post is. So here’s the short list:
1. Do a 52 Week project with both Brittany and Bello.
2. Train each dog for 5 minutes every day.
3. Walk the dogs twice a day.
4. Seriously work on Brittany's dog aggression. Seriously.
5. Work on Bello's recall.
6. Build up muscle in the dogs.


Last year I was in Illinois and kind of annoyed, so I headed off alone with my mutts and my camera and ended up watching the last sunset of 2013 and getting this awesome photo that I adore like crazy (if you've ever been by my booth when I go to events, you've probably seen it).


And it brightened my mood, so I thought I would make it a tradition of sorts, watch the last sunset of the year. Well it has been raining like crazy in Memphis, and I wasn't even sure if we would HAVE a sunset for me to watch, but the weather pulled through in the final two days of 2014, got it's stuff together, and I had a sunset to watch and photograph with my mutts. This was taken on our WAY to Illinois to visit family, but technically we were still in Missouri. It definitely was not as gorgeous as 2013. And I had to pose Brittany on top of my car to even attempt to get a photo with her short little self. She's a good girl who puts up with my stupid ideas, even though it was really cold out.


I even managed to get a few shots of Bello when he wasn't being distracted (hey! this is going to tie in with a resolution, look at me, using foreshadowing in a blog post!). Unfortunately, I couldn't get a combined silhouette of the brats this year.




Hopefully the tradition holds and I'll get some sunset pictures for the end of 2015. And maybe, just maybe, I'll actually still be going strong on my resolutions that I'm about to list out for all of you... right... NOW.

1. Do a 52 Week project with both Brittany and Bello.
By 52 week project, I mean take a photo once a week of each dog separately for every week of the year (52). I wanted to originally do a 52 week project including both of my cats as well, but the reason I've never done one for them is because I travel and am often gone for over a week. And it drives me CRAZY to miss a week (I've done two before, attempted to do a third one last year on my personal Facebook page, and then just quit). Brittany and Bello luck out though because they normally travel with me. So I'm still deciding on if the cats will be joining in or not despite knowing I'll have a few weeks missing for their projects (if I do them).

If you are just getting into photography, I suggest doing some sort of project. They can keep you motivated and picking up your camera to learn new things about it instead of letting it collect dust and crying at the money you just wasted! Although, be careful with making your project too hard. I've seen a lot of people attempt to do 365 projects (a photo every day) and seen a lot of people quit them. Very few people finish them (including people like me, who got to around day 330, realized I had missed several days and just quit). While projects are motivating, if you make it too hard, it kind of sucks the joy out of photography, and you aren't going to keep doing it if you aren't making it fun for yourself... which I think was a nice little entry onto my next resolution!

2. Train each dog for 5 minutes every day.
So I clicker train my mutts, if you don't know what clicker training is, that's a shame and you should learn about it because it is a lot of fun and normally dogs enjoy it! But the quick explanation is that clicker training is positive reinforcement based training, meaning I give my dogs treats when they do things right to encourage them to keep doing correct (good) behavior, the treat is normally food, though some people use toys. The clicker is a little box that makes a click noise. You click when the dog does something right. It marks the behavior in time so that when the dog hears a click they know that whatever they were doing in that moment was good and that some sort of reward will follow. If you just try to get the treat to them without marking the behavior, you run a risk of not getting the treat to them fast enough and the dog not understanding what behavior earned them the reward. Some people use words like good, yes, and x, which are all marker words and work nearly as well as a clicker does! I use a clicker when I'm teaching behaviors most of the time, but if I'm out on a walk or something I typically use the word "good" for Brittany. If you want to learn more, you should check out kikopup on YouTube. Her YouTube Channel is FILLED with dog training tutorials on just about anything, from tricks to behavior problems like aggression.

And if you aren't convinced or just want to see more about the awesome power of clicker training and positive reinforcement, you should check out this video (THAT IS IN NO WAY MINE) because the camera work is absolutely gorgeous, and the dog does some absolutely amazing tricks.


So if you watched that video and are now in awe like I was and am every time I watch it. I'm going to admit I'm jealous of those tricks. And I know my "dumb" dogs are smart enough to learn quite a few of those if SOMEONE wasn't so damn lazy with them all the time... so! To combat that stupid lazy someone, she's trying to train her pair of awesome dogs more just to have fun. And Brittany and Bello both love training so there's also that. I figure if I can't spare ten minutes a day for training, I'm lying to myself. I can forgo watching ten minutes of television or ten minutes of Facebook to train my dogs and interact with them. If I can keep up with this one resolution throughout the year then I'll already have a resolution for next year which is a 52 weeks of Tricks project, but first I need a solid base of tricks so I don't quit and get frustrated.

3. Walk the dogs twice a day.
When most people train their dogs often through clicker training, they just use their dogs' kibble as the treats. It is small, and the dog works for their food instead of eating extra calories to make their dog overweight. But I have a problem. Britt and Bello eat prey model raw and I am NOT cutting up and training them with little bits of raw meat. It's gross and pretty unsanitary. But they also love raw and do really well on it so I have no intention of switching them back to dog food either. Meaning they are probably going to be eating more than they need. So to prevent weight gain we have walking more.


My dogs, like nearly all dogs on this planet, love going for walks. They think it is a blast. Best part of their day. They'd probably rather spend the day on leash walking around our neighborhood then all three of us sitting off leash in the backyard. They love the smells and peeing on everything.




There is also the fact that I like to tell myself I walk more than I do, when I know I don't. I try to walk Britt and Bello a mile during the day, and then we take a mile and a half walk at night. I've been doing really badly about that lately. So this is more like a vow renewal I suppose. But Britt and Bello will be happy to be back on track. Also, if anyone else out there has an "exercise my dogs more" resolution or you walk your dogs often, you really should install the WoofTrax/Walk For a Dog app which is available for both Apple and Android. It is a free app, all you have to do is turn it on and let it track your walks. While you walk, it donates money to a rescue or shelter of your choice for every mile. Which is wonderful and rescues are always in need of more money. Every little bit helps them.

4. Seriously work on Brittany's dog aggression. Seriously.
So I've kind of mentioned it on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, and I know it is mentioned a little bit in her bio under "About," but for those that don't know Brittany is dog aggressive. And not like "bark bark bark, oh this strange dog came up to me, I'll be nice." But a more fun "BARK BARK BARK, LUNGE, SNARL, HELL DEMON, BARK, GROWL, LUNGE LUNGE, LUNGE IF I REACH YOU I'LL INSTANTLY START A FIGHT, ATTACK YOUR FACE" kind of way. Which is considerably LESS fun then I sarcastically said. This is where I get on my soap box and yell to the heavens that if you are getting a puppy of any kind PLEASE socialize them well with other dogs (and people). Brittany was NOT socialized basically at all, and is also a terrier. Which is a bad mix, making her even worse. We should have done more research on dogs before we ever brought her home, but I wouldn't trade her aggressive little butt for a different dog if I had to do it over again.

I don't have any false hopes of Brittany ever interacting and loving other dogs in the event I get her dog aggression under control. Even with dogs she gets along with her interaction is limited to the occasional game of tug-o-war. Otherwise she just prefers to do her own thing. She'll never be a dog park dog. I just want Brittany to stop reacting to dogs that haven't done anything to her (stop all the barking and wanting to attack) and be capable of moving on with her little life. We've been working on her dog aggression for a while, but mainly around our neighborhood with the same dogs every day. She's not perfect with them and still lunges and barks.


But the really good news is that now if I call her name she normally stops within a second and comes over to me to get her treat for not barking anymore (we've been counter conditioning her so that when she sees a dog, she knows a treat is coming, dogs mean good things, not something to be barked at). Considering that when I first started giving her treats, she couldn't stop barking until the dog was completely OUT OF SIGHT FOR A FEW SECONDS, she's made HUGE improvement. But not as good as it could be since again, I'm slacking with her. Outside of the normal dogs behind the same fences every day, she still has trouble. If there is a dog coming down the street, she's going to react more, or if we go to a new place. So the goal is to start going places with her and working harder. I know she can do it. Her problem is me helping her.

In the event someone is wondering why I don't put a choke collar, e-collar, or prong collar on her to help her dog aggression, since they can be faster, the answer is that while those devices can and do work for some dogs, they also can and DO make a lot of dog even more aggressive. Brittany falls into the "more aggressive" category. She has had choke collars on her in the past, and just normal collars that I jerked her with when she was barking. She DID stop barking in the moment, but the very next time she sees another dog she's lunging even worse until you jerk on her. I don't want her fighting the urge to attack another dog because she's on leash and knows she'll get in trouble. I want her to no longer have the urge period. And I never had a clearer example between the difference of using treats or correcting her collar than when I was on a walk and angry. I had forgotten treats and was already in a bad mood, just wanting to have quiet, when Brittany who was feeling my frustration started reacting more than her normal at the time (and she had been doing REALLY well at the time). I jerked her leash and she stopped barking at that dog. The very next day we walked past that house and she absolutely exploded. But she didn't just explode at that dog, she was awful with every dog on the entire walk. I kicked myself, and she started wearing a harness on all walks a couple months later which had the added benefit that if I ever lost my temper again (and I'm human) she wouldn't get the correction as badly as she would when all the pressure is on her neck.

5. Work on Bello's recall.
Recall just means Bello comes when he's called. Preferably every time he's called without question. Bello is part husky which are notorious for being terrible at coming when called (although I know quite a few people with good ones that are awesome off leash!). Huskies have high prey drive, love to run, and are not "biddable". Huskies ARE smart dogs, just in different ways than breeds like border collies. Most huskies don't have much of a desire to do what you say when you say it. They're kinda like people. Bello doesn't run off or play keep away. If I walk up to him, he'll stand still and let me leash him, every time. His problem is just that he doesn't come and likes to wander away further than I would like. He knows where I'm at, and that's good enough to him. If I wasn't a slow human being, we could walk together. But I'm slow, and he's fast. So he's going to be fast, and I'll catch up to him when he takes a break to sniff something. Which honestly would be okay if he would, ya know, be reliable in coming when called for the moments I would like my dog briefly near me.

Bello's the white dot...


Bello is nearly five years old now and has chilled out some. He still loves to run, but now he has stupid elbow dysplasia/arthritis which means he doesn't run quite as much. I've also been doing better with him. He comes when called about 70 percent of the time within a few seconds of being called when there are no distractions. Hopefully by the end of the year, I can have him come when called even when there are things like rabbits to distract him (which is the BIGGEST distraction for him).

Maybe one day Bello can join the ranks of awesome dogs I've photographed that don't need leashes. Until then, he'll be like a lot of dogs who have to have his leash cloned out in editing (although in that picture above, he was off leash).

6. Build up muscle in the dogs.
Brittany tore her ACL when she was 7 years old. We didn't have surgery done and instead chose to let her rest and heal. I'm not sure if it was the right decision or not sometimes. I think for the most part she has healed. She can put weight on the bad leg and walk on it, but if she wants to get somewhere fast she resorts to limping. I think what happened was the muscle is just a lot weaker in her bad leg (left back) so it is easier to use her strong leg. Of course a vicious cycle occurs, if she doesn't use it, it just gets weaker. So we've been doing exercises to force her to use it and hopefully build up muscle. And by force I just mean I ask her to do harder things. She can quit whenever she wants since refusal to do something is the only way she can tell me if I'm pushing her too hard. If she would refuse to sit when I ask, I don't push her butt down and make her. That is a good recipe to hurt her. She does things like canine squats.


And pushing herself to lay down on an unstable object and hold her balance (or sit or stand).


I've also taught her to back up onto a wobbly surface so and sit and stand with her back end higher than her front.


For the most part, Brittany is game for anything I can throw at her. She thinks it is all easy as long as she gets a treat. When I get out the equipment, treats, and clicker, she starts offering behaviors like crazy, jumping on things, sitting on things, all four feet, two feet, front feet, back feet, lay down, jump off, etc. just over the moon that she gets to work. Although her expression in the photos might not seem like it (she didn't like having to hold still, while I took each photo, she just wants to move on to the next thing I want her to do).


There's even been the added benefit that doing all the same things with Bello seems to be helping his arthritis a little bit. I think because it is building up muscle to help support the bad leg. He seems to be limping less (although, it is still there).


Bello doesn't move at quite the speed Brittany does, while Brittany is busy doing things that are quite a bit harder, Bello for instance is just learning to put his back feet up on a wobbly surface with confidence (he likes to just barely put a foot up there, and then remove it quickly, or he might die, so he thinks). Until then, we mainly use a stack of books.


So that's it!

My hope is that most of these resolutions will help me with my ultimate goal which is to start hiking with my brats more. They both need to build muscle up so they can handle it. If Bello has a better recall, than I can let him off leash to enjoy himself more. If Brittany can learn to not attack other dogs, she can go off leash as well (she already has a really good recall aside from around other dogs). And I'm hoping that just training in general and having fun will strengthen our bond to make everything go a bit smoother.


I actually started my resolutions in early December, so I'm a month ahead meaning when I quit, I can quit a month earlier than everyone else. ;) Although I'm still not doing everything perfectly. I'm still not walking twice every day, and I've missed a few days of training due to the hectic-ness of the holidays. But I've been doing better with everything than I was before I set these goals for myself, and that's what I really want. For anyone out there with resolutions, whether they are dog related or not, try to remember to keep it fun for yourself!
T-bone
29th December 2014 - 0 comments
Well I'm not sure if I'm going to finish all of the blog posts for the sessions I had this year, this year. I still have Molly after T-bone to write about, but who knows? Maybe I'll get it together and give you two blog posts in two days so I can feel successful! But, aside from my slacking, this is a blog post about the lovely T-bone. T-bone is a gorgeous purebred Golden Retriever who was nine and a half years old at the time of our session (so now he's a few months older) and weighs 90 pounds. Which when I was told he weighed 90 pounds, I had my doubts, people exaggerate... His owner did not exaggerate. He really was 90 pounds and huge. He was also a typical golden and very friendly. And water obsessed. When our session started, we had dreams of keeping him dry despite a lake being in the middle of the park, calling his name. We dodged it for the first few photos, but when we neared it again, T-bone made sure we knew he was more than just good looks. There were brains underneath that handsome exterior and he tricked us to get to the water. Once he had gone into the water we gave up and just let T-bone be himself to the fullest. I think we had a fantastic session, and shooting with a wet dog nearly the whole time just made it a lot more entertaining. So with that...

ONTO THE PICTURES.
For the first few photos we were pretty far away from the little lake, so T-bone instead played some fetch with his favorite toy. Look at him all dry!




After playing some fetch we started heading back towards the lake so we could get some different backgrounds. For the most part T-bone thought he should stick right next to his owner's side, but we managed to trick him a few times. T-bone has some absolutely gorgeous unique colored eyes that were a golden amber, rather than the typical liquid brown of most goldens.


We then stopped for a pose in front of the lake. I did not realize this would be the last dry photo. Look at his pretty collar though! That was bought new for our session together.


So T-bone did his thing and tricked us to get into the water (we gave him too much leash because he was being good, and then once he was pretty far out, he started heading back to us, once he had slack he darted to the water before we could collect the long line back and stop him). And then suddenly T-bone emerged from the lake in his true form. Wet. I loved this photo because his tongue was hitting him in the face and reminded me of a heart. For his love of water.


And once he had been in the water, we threw up our hands in defeat and just let him have some fun, so he got to play fetch in the water. Here, he was waiting for the ball to be thrown.


With the help of the ball, we did some posing between fetch cycles. We snagged this photo which is my favorite from the session. This bush was the first to get with the program and begin looking like we actually have a fall season. When I came back a week later for Molly's session, the bush had lost nearly all of its leaves.


We also had to get a "from above" shot which turned into more of a "from above and an angle" since T-bone was like "what do you think you are doing? I don't want to stare at your camera, I want to stare at the ball of fun!"


As we walked around the park, we also stopped and convinced T-bone to get up on the picnic bench. Except T-bone kept jumping on and off, and a couple of those times involved re-soaking his coat because he was starting to look semi-dry. We tried getting photos of him without the ball, but then he started barking because, well that was now his ball. Eventually he put the ball down (on his own!) and looked perfect for about 5 seconds. Then he determined (correctly) that I had gotten the shot I wanted, and it was time to move on!


OBLIGATORY SHAKE SHOT! It took a couple of tries to get a decent one, but T-bone was more than happy to keep trying for me since it meant he kept getting to go in the water.


And we finish this blog post off with one final photo of T-bone. I don't have anything witty to say, so just enjoy it. :)


Since I missed posting anything for Christmas, hopefully you all had a terrific merry Christmas!
Pepper - Six Months
19th December 2014 - 0 comments
If you missed Pepper at six months on Facebook, HAVE NO FEAR. You'll see this gorgeous blue girl all throughout this blog post. What is with that "at six months" phrase? Well it is because gorgeous Miss Pepper already had a session at around 12 weeks so we have to distinguish her sessions. In the event you've forgotten or have never seen her because you're new around these parts, Pepper is an adorable blue Weimaraner girl. She's a dark little thing (in color, not in soul, she's got a quite happy soul) and I absolutely love it! We had our session at Overton Park, which was a first for me. I went down and visited it before our session, like I always do when I go to new places, and got some ideas in place before heading out there for our actual session. One of the reasons I had never had a session out there before was because it is such a gorgeous place that tons of people go there and that makes it distracting for dogs (and photographers who shun large populations of people) when we are attempting to do posed photos. And it WAS busy when we went. But Pepper (and I!) handled it like a champ and we got a number of gorgeous photos! I loved the photos from our session so much it -almost- makes me want to use it more often. I'll have to think about that for any final decisions, but if you love these photos and plan on doing a Standard or Ultra Session you can always yell at me and be like "ERICA, WE ARE GOING TO OVERTON PARK FOR OUR PHOTOS. I LOVED PEPPER'S SO MUCH, AND I WANT MY DOGS PHOTOGRAPHED IN THAT FANTASTIC PLACE."

SO IT IS ON TO THE PHOTOS:
So if you have been to Overton Park, there is a large open area that people play soccer, Frisbee, have picnics in, etc. We chose to play some fetch and let Pepper have some off leash fun.




Pepper also decided we needed a full body shot of her gorgeous six month old self, and when she was distracted by a band playing drums, we got that photo.


After playing, barking (Pepper, not us humans), and having some fun, we stopped at this large tree stump for some posed family photos. I don't normally post the photos plus humans, so you can enjoy this one with just Pepper before the human couple clambered up there to be with her.


We then attempted to do some posing over some clover. Clover annoys people with perfect lawns, but provides a rich green color for photos when the grass is beginning its death for winter.


But Pepper quickly sprawled out a like a frog to cool off a little. She made me laugh, and gave me one of my favorite photos of the session.


And then we headed into the woods, to escape the multitude of humans for some privacy. There are tons of fallen trees and tree stumps, which we of course utilized for photos.




We also found where Pepper is in camo mode and nearly blending in with the background.


As we were leaving the woods that seemed to be a sauna, we stopped for posing next to some flowers, which I don't think you can even see, but the photos were magnificent all the same since they had such a lovely green backdrop, and an even lovelier model. I considered getting rid of the vines that were attacking Pepper from behind. But decided they added, so they stayed.


We then got my "tied for favorite" photo, right up with Pepper the frog once Pepper decided to add her own flare and lay down instead of sit.


Once we were done, Pepper was happy to get up and continue our trek out of the woods and back into the open.


For our final photo-- "HOLD UP ERICA. I WAS SEMI UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THIS WAS A STANDARD SESSION. There are 25 photos with that session, WHY ARE THERE ONLY 13?" Because my astute reader of this blog with ninja abilities to know what kind of session this was without being told before now, I don't post people pictures for some reason and once I culled the people photos from the final gallery for this blog post, we were left with only around 13 photos. I'll probably change that rule shortly, and remember to start asking owners if they are okay with their face being on the internet again. If I get permission for Pepper's final session at a year, I'll include my favorite people pictures from all her sessions (and I absolutely love some of the human photos as well) in her final session blog post. Until then, this is the last photo of Pepper the little hound with the large ears posing in front of the Brook's Museum.