09th November 2014 - 0 comments
I've been meaning to do Buddy's blog post for a while, but I just couldn't. For one, it took me a couple of days to have decent enough internet to load all the photos for his blog post. But that wasn't the main reason seeing as I've had the photos I wanted to add to this post added for over two weeks now. Buddy was a pointer mix and 8 years old. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with lymphoma which leads to my second and primary problem. Buddy passed away on October 14. Buddy's death got to me more than normal. Whenever I hear about a client of mine dying I'm always upset, I hate it, and don't want to imagine the loss. The loss that we all have to go through as animal lovers and pet owners. Despite typically only spending a few hours with each of my clients in person, I get attached to each and every dog I've photographed. It is hard not to when you spend hours staring at the screen, editing the photos, seeing their smiles, reliving moments, laughing at outtakes that perhaps don't make the cut because they are too blurry or I accidentally overexposed them. In Buddy's case he was not particularly a fan of me at our session. My giant bulk of camera gear made him nervous. Despite that, I thought a lot about Buddy's session after it was over, worried that I hadn't quite achieved the photos Jessica had wanted. Due to the lymphoma, Buddy had lost some of his vision and it made it harder to capture things that were typical Buddy as he had been described to me. He could no longer play fetch, our chances of getting a photo of him pointing was a big fat 0%. Buddy and Jessica also had an amazing bond that I'd never seen before. Buddy couldn't take his eyes off of Jessica, and while a few times he would come up to me, it was always an accident and we all knew he really meant to go to Jessica. They'd been through tough times, and they helped each other through them. They come through the difficulties with a better bond than most animals and humans will ever share. So I guess with a lot more sentimental introduction than is my norm, it is time for the photos of this awesome dog.

We had a beautiful day for a beautiful session in my favorite little park in Lakeland.

Since Buddy's vision was going, it quickly became apparent that fetch was not going to be achieved on our list of goals. While editing the photos I was happy to see I'd snagged this one (while preparing to see if Buddy would fetch) and at least we had a photo of the idea of fetch. The moment before the throw. Step one, in every game of fetch.

This is going to be the first of nearly every single photo in the rest of this blog post. Despite failing vision, Buddy nearly always wanted to be able to make eye contact with Jessica.

And again.

It really didn't matter what the setting was.

Although, he did take a break to shake off the water after taking a swim (well more of a deep wade) in the lake. Apparently he's not normally a big swimmer, but our session was pretty hot, and he had the humans jealous of him that he could go swimming to cool off.

I tried for one of my favorite "from above" shots, and Buddy thought it would look best if his eyes were closed, more peaceful looking that way I suppose.

And then he was back to having his eyes on Jessica, even though we were posing in front of the gorgeous lake with perfect reflections.

But Buddy must have heard me internally complaining, so he threw the pet photographer a bone, and stared into the camera so I had the photo I wanted to get as well.

Since we were at my favorite park, we paused for one of my favorite photos with the leaves behind looking gorgeous. With these photos I normally have the dogs jump up on a picnic bench, and for the few dogs who won't do it with the lovely bribery of treats, we pick them up and place them up there. In Buddy's case, I couldn't in good conscience place him up there. So we tried bribery, but since Buddy was going blind, he didn't want to climb up onto the picnic bench. He obviously knew what he could handle and couldn't so we took his photos from the ground. In this photo was one of our attempts to get him on the bench. Buddy showed us how one steals food in the stealthiest way possible. Apparently stealing food was a habit he had for a time.

After messing around we finally got the planned photo.

We rested for a bit due to the heat, and then got back to some posing, which Buddy was getting better at as our session went on.

One of our goals that we weren't sure we were going to get (and we didn't) was a picture of Buddy pointing, proving his pointer blood. When he points, his tail, which was broken when he was younger, pointed in the same direction. So I settled for a photo of his tail, which pointed up.

I also made sure to get a photo of his fantastic wavy fur. No styling was needed.

I leave you with one final photo of Buddy that was my personal favorite from the whole session.

I always struggle with what to say to my clients when I'm informed their dog has died. This is because I am terrified of saying the wrong thing and making it harder on you guys, not because I don't care. I personally grieve by getting away from everything and I can't stand when people try to comfort me, so just know, that although I'm saying very few words in most cases when I find out, I'm thinking about you all a lot more than I may mention. I hope you guys have enjoyed getting to know Buddy through his photos because I sure enjoyed getting to meet him and Jessica.
Womack All Grown Up
21st October 2014 - 2 comments
I can't believe it. It has been a year since I met Womack at only 6 months old. At our most recent session the gorgeous brindle boxer boy was a year and a half old and an old pro at this point with two sessions under his belt from his six month old session and his ten month old session. Winston was also with us this time, and if you don't remember Winston, that's understandable since it has been over a year since his own session. If you want to check out the handsome boy as well as his sister that unfortunately passed away soon after our session (the gorgeous Lola), click this. Winston was unfortunately a little bit under the weather. Since the last time I had seen him, he had undergone surgery on his ACL in his left leg, and then right as he was about to get the all clear for being active again, he tore the ACL in his right leg. The weekend after our session he went in for surgery. I think our session was a good outing for him before he went back down into lockdown. He wasn't limping for nearly our entire session, but I think that was mainly due to the fact he was excited to be out, not because it didn't hurt. This session Winston and Womack's owners wanted to have some railroad tracks, so we headed up to Arlington and did some posing on some railroad tracks as well as some exploring to a cool place I had been wanting to take someone, but was just looking for the excuse to take them there. It was pretty hot, but we got some pretty fantastic photos if I do say so myself.

This is my proof that Womack is an old pro. We were playing on the tracks (seriously, don't do that) and I was going to ask Womack to stand up on the tracks like he is in this picture. With barely a lure, Womack placed his feet up, and despite Ashley trying to distract him with a treat and keep him looking up, he did the oh so wonderful "stare off into the distance, I'm a freaking super model." Which was even better. Pretty sure he got the treat. For ignoring the treat, and making the photo even better.

And then we of course had to get one last photo of his paws, which he appears to finally fit into. Not that they were crazy oversized at 6 months, but they fit the adult dog he is.

And one of my personal favorites because you can't not love that face!

This photo made me laugh when I took it. It made me laugh every time I looked at it while I was looking through all the photos and would accidentally stop on it. And it really made me laugh while I was editing it. We were in the middle of taking photos and Ashley announced that she wanted a photo of her holding Womack like a baby. Which made absolutely no sense to me because I was thinking "Womack is like 60 pounds." But I smiled and said okay. Ashley then just picks Womack up like you see here, and he put his paws on her shoulders. Apparently, Womack lets Ashley carry him around the house like this all the time. Like, it sounded like most of the time it was Womack's idea to be carried. Still laughing over it.

After the railroad track pictures, we moved on to literal greener pastures.

Which apparently bored Womack.

But I told him, that I wanted a few more photos, so he put up with me.

Putting up with me was worth it though, and his reward was getting to run around in a field.

As well as running around in circles around Jeff which led to one of the harder edits I've ever done (and am quite proud of).

Winston (who you are just now seeing) got to run around some as well, enjoying his freedom.

They even played together some, even though it was mainly Womack attacking Winston's face while Winston tried to get out of range of his Womack's leash. Apparently their normal play style is Womack chasing Winston and biting his back legs, but with Winston's legs currently not being all for a game of "attack from the boxer," I never saw that.

Once Womack was tired, he went back into professional model mode.

And then we went to where I was excited to go. It looks like desert, and I refer to it as the "little badlands." I've gone a few times with Brittany and Bello, but the reason I can't actually use it for sessions (besides Ultra Sessions or when I'm being excited and going above and beyond) is it is kind of boring. Besides the cool factor that it brings looking like a desert scene in Memphis, there really isn't any way to get a good selection of photos. Also, it might be private property (I'm not sure...). And it is actually like excess sand from building that is hard packed. They are slowly building the area up and I would be scared that when I scheduled a client to go out there, it would be built up. SO. For all those reasons, enjoy these photos because you probably won't see any other clients starring here.

Winston, who by the end of our session was a bit sore and we weren't sure if he would leave the car, was the first one out. He was determined he would not get left behind.

I wanted to do a few photos of side by side from all of Womack's sessions. Here he is sitting through the months. At 6 months his ear had to be flicked into place so it would hold in the position it used too when he was even younger. By 10 month and 18 months I don't think his ear was even capable of bending that way anymore.

Womack has turned into one handsome dude. Don't believe me? JUST LOOK AT HIM.

And one more side by side with a bunch of face shots. His face definitely got thicker from when he was only 6 months old.

And I couldn't leave Winston out of the face shot photos since he was determined to join us at all the locations we went too.

And now I leave you with one final photo of the Winston and Womack together! Womack is just as tall as Winston is, and has turned into an unbelievably handsome boxer.

P.S. In the event you are curious like I was about how Womack's collar has stayed in such perfect condition for over a year, it is because his owners bought a brand new collar and leash pair for both Winston and Womack for this session. I like to ask the hard hitting questions...
Cash at 6 Months
05th October 2014 - 0 comments
If you don't remember Cash from our first session, that's sad. If it is because you are new to Memphis Mutts Pet Photography, than it is understandable. To remind everyone that has forgotten who Cash is, here is his first blog post. He was only 8 weeks old then. And he was pretty freaking cute. Now, as the title clearly states, he is (well, was at this point) 6 months old. And he's STILL pretty freaking cute, but he's also shifting over to handsome, as well. For those too lazy to click the link to his first blog post (which is sad, because you won't be disappointed if you do!), Cash is a pure bred Rottweiler puppy that belongs to a friend. I decided to do three sessions with Cash as he grows up as a thank you to Whitney and Jesse (his owners) for taking in Jinx... Who's Jinx? Click that link above! I can't re-explain everything. Just summaries this time around. ;) So anyway...

We are going to start this show off with a photo of... not Cash? SAY HELLO TO JINX. This time he wasn't completely still terrified of me and I snagged a few photos of him looking not scared! After a little bit he changed his mind and decided he wanted back in the house, but I was still thrilled. And as I was leaving and walked back through the house with my 7 million treats and too many pounds of camera gear he did take a few treats from my hand. So, I was quite the happy camper when I left.

I was REALLY tempted to do an 8 weeks and 6 months comparison between EVERY photo I got that reminded me of one from the last time I saw him, but decided not to... One thing that has changed with Cash, besides his size, is his love of water. I don't know if he didn't like water at 8 weeks, but at 6 months it is definitely a love affair. As soon as Jesse filled up the bone shaped pool, Cash was in it.

I love this photo. Cash in his pool again. ;)

Cash also now is a tennis ball lover. I think he might actually love all toys... But here is one photo of him with his tennis ball... there are more. Plenty more. :)

He's also learning to catch them, he wasn't great at it at six months and missed quite a bit, but I have hopes that when I return when he's a year old, he'll be a catching fool. I won't mention if he caught the ball or not...

And here the handsome faced boy is posing with a tennis ball in his mouth... again.

Cash being all focused about playing fetch. Memphis, Cash's pit bull brother, was attempting to get Cash to play. This photo shows just how big Cash has gotten. Last time Cash didn't even reach Memphis's belly. Now he's the same height.

I asked Whitney if she still had the huge tennis ball from when I met Cash at 8 weeks. And she did! So here's your first of four side by side comparisons. He's gotten a tad bit bigger.

We kicked (because you can't throw it very easily, the thing's the size of a freaking soccer ball!) it around some and he had fun chasing it.

Sometimes Tyson, his rottie brother (as opposed to the pit bull one named Memphis, and the chow dude named Jinx) got to it first. Again, look how big Cash has gotten since we first saw him!

Other times Cash got to the toys first. And you aren't imagining things, there are three rotties in this photo. The rottie in the foreground is Venus, and was vacationing at Whitney's house. She belongs to Linda, who is the founder (? pretty sure) of Midsouth Animal Rescue League and if you are ever looking for a rottie, I promise her rescue will have a few available for you to adopt.

Besides all playing, we did get some posed photos. Jesse attempted to dry Cash off (this is not a posed photo, we are getting to those) and Cash couldn't resist playing tug with the towel... which made me laugh because he had done the same thing when Whitney attempted to clean him off at 8 weeks with a baby wipe.

Now for some posed photos! Cash in front of the cool bush lining the driveway in his backyard.

While Cash didn't play with pine cones when I visited him at 6 months, he did at 8 weeks and I was told he still plays with them and brings him into the house. So we found one for him and convinced him to pose where I had photos of him playing with them at 8 weeks. I realize this comparison doesn't have a pine cone in the 8 weeks, but his pose was nearly exactly the same here so... yeah. I do have a photo of him with a pine cone on the porch in his first blog post!

We also worked on a sit and stay with some tasty treats to convince Cash to pose while I got some photos of him with the gorgeous purple flowers behind him. When editing them, I couldn't get over how similar these photos looked, it wasn't on his first blog post (I rarely put ALL edited photos from a session on the blog) so consider this one a bonus.

And we are going to wrap up this session with my favorite photo from the session, and perhaps one of my favorite client photos ever. Cash was an adorable puppy, but I can't wait to see him as the handsome adult that is beginning to shine through more and more.

P.S. Cash totally didn't catch the ball...
Pepper the Puppy!
27th September 2014 - 0 comments
If you missed Pepper because you aren't on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, that's a shame. BUT! Don't you worry because you will get all those Facebook photos and more here on the blog. Pepper is a purebred Weimaraner (and I had to look up how to spell that). She was 4 months old at the time of our session, and absolutely squee causing adorable. Originally I was supposed to have a session with Ellie Mae, another Weimaraner that belonged to April and Matt and who wasn't doing so well. I was unfortunately out of town and they soon realized that Ellie Mae was doing worse than they thought. They decided the best thing to do would be to put Ellie Mae to sleep. April told me she would contact me when they eventually got another puppy, but she didn't intend for that to be anytime soon. Life works in funny ways and a few short months later they had adopted Pepper through Arkansas Weimaraner Rescue. Arkansas Weimaraner Rescue had taken in six purebred puppies right before they were about to be surrendered to Memphis Animal Services (which is not a good shelter). She had apparently been from a litter of something like 15 puppies and when they couldn't find a home for everyone, they were just going to give them to the shelter. When April and Matt saw them, they couldn't help but feel like it was meant to be. And obviously it was since they were approved and chose a new little silver girl to join their lives!

She was a bit tired from spending a day at an event before her session, but she was still capable of throwing out some posing and a smile.

And like any good puppy she was curious about her environment.

LOOK AT THAT FACE! She was so cute. I loved her smile (and those ears! which you'll see more of in a little bit).

I was trying to get photos of her from above (which is like, one of my favorite things), but her tiredness briefly came out.

Or maybe she was just recharging her eyes because then she opened them and threw out another gorgeous little blue smile!

Okay, so this next photo might not seem special to you, but there was a deer during our session! And it is in this photo, just blurry. It was so chill. It stood there and watched us all for a few minutes and were maybe only a hundred feet away from it. And then it just slowly walked into the woods, all calm. Despite getting Pepper to run around in front of it, it just stood and watched us instead of leaving. You can BARELY see the blurry form behind the bent piece of grass in front of Pepper that isn't blurry.

Once the deer left we went and played in the longer grass. Pepper enjoyed running around, and look at those air plane ears!

And then they flew behind her because she hit supersonic puppy speed!

We then did some posing, which I already bragged about how cool Pepper was for this photo since a lot of dogs can't do it (stare off into the distance overlooking the lake) but Pepper could!

As we were walking around the lake, April couldn't resist giving Pepper a kiss.

And after a kiss, Pepper was off to catch up with Matt and make sure she didn't get left behind from anything fun.

I made April, Matt, and Pepper all do a posed photo, partially so I could get a photo of how small Pepper's paws are. Matt was determined that his hand would be the one under Pepper's paw, which made me laugh while we were setting up the photo. Ellie Mae was April's dog, and Pepper is Matt's first dog from puppyhood (so he named her, and was pretty excited about raising the newest edition).

We then walked around the lake to my favorite picnic bench and had Pepper pose to get the fantastic leaves behind her. When we got over there Pepper played briefly with a young lab who was showing her how cool swimming is. Pepper was not convinced.

We also did some posing in front of the woods as some cool light hit the ground. Pepper rocked that light!

We wrapped up our session with a puppy who was pretty tired, but we got some fantastic photographs of her. Including this last one, which I love.

This isn't the last you've seen of Pepper, so be on the lookout for her next session!
Rylee and Peter
20th September 2014 - 0 comments
Okay, so it is time for another of my not really famous, famous blog posts! Guys, when I got an email about possibly photographing a pair of English Setters, I was beyond excited. I love all my clients, but I keep a mental list of dog breeds I haven't interacted with and get super happy when I get to check another one off. Most of you are lucky not to be on my personal Facebook page where I update occasionally with vast pride about how I saw some rarer breed like the time I saw a Puli when I was at one of the events I occasionally go to to get Memphis Mutts' name out there. So back to those English Setters, I was REALLY excited, and I asked about thirty thousand questions during our session. First thing you need to know, that pair of English Setters' names are Rylee and Peter. Rylee is the gorgeous black and white speckled girl at around 3 years old, and Peter is the handsome square-faced orange dude under a year old. They are both purebreds from breeders, and it took their owners awhile to find a reputable breeder who was willing to sell to them. They finally found a breeder that was willing to take a chance on the English Setter owning wannabes and purchased Rylee. Shortly after proving themselves as good owners, they ended up buying Peter because their breeder thought he would be a good match for them, and apparently in time for our session they had just recently brought home a third English setter puppy. Which if I had known that, I would have totally broken my "two dogs per mini session" rule and brought in a puppy. Because I'm a total sucker for puppies (but who isn't, don't judge).

I'll start us on an introductory picture. Pretty girl in front is Rylee. Handsome boy behind her is Peter.

Now that I went and got us off track, we started off by taking Rylee and Peter down to some tall grasses. When Rylee was let off leash she instantly went into hunting mode and started looking for pheasant (I think that was what she and her owner hunt, my lack of knowledge over hunting is showing). She was gone down the path searching. Peter stuck around (partially because he was on a drag line in the beginning) and enjoyed leaping through the grass after toys. One of the reasons why Rylee and Peter's owners had an easier time getting more English Setters after getting Rylee was because Rylee's owners hunted with her (respecting her working dog heritage!) as well as show her. And for good breeders, that is what they like to see happening with the puppies they brought into the world.

Rylee, as apparent by her disappearing act, is better in the hunting portion of her heritage. Peter on the other hand has his owner's hopeful about his show career. He's not in a perfect stack here, and obviously the mud wouldn't be on him in the show ring, but you can see he's a good looking boy! Even with the mud he picked up from the lake.

Peter couldn't help but run after Rylee as she was returning when her owner called her back.

And finally a picture of Rylee alone! Look at her pretty face. She's really a tricolor girl as noted by her brown eyebrows and bits of brown ticking on her feet.

We continued walking around the lake, and did some posing on the picnic bench to get the wonderful bokeh behind them.

The below photo is my favorite from our session. It is different from my normal style, but it represents how Rylee was for most of our session. She was constantly on the lookout and hunting. I personally love seeing a working dog in action. And while she might not have actually got to catch anything and retrieve, she was trying to find prey, none the less.

Two last images to leave you guys for the end of this blog post. I had a blast and learned a lot about a breed I didn't know much about beforehand (and I love learning). I hopefully didn't drive their owners TOO crazy with all the questions.

P.S. If you have a rarer purebred dog and plan to book a session, expect the same treatment. Millions of questions. :)