Photographing children with their dogs is my absolute favorite because everyone is so at ease with each other. Children are generally pretty comfortable with themselves, and when you add in their dogs, they literally cannot be uncomfortable, which makes for a great photograph. Plus, what’s more beautiful than the bond between a child and a dog?
It’s easy to do, trust me. I have to make a conscious effort to do so because mine really don’t like having their pictures taken anymore. They’re not small, and they can run a lot faster than me which means when I try to take their pictures, they bolt and I can’t keep up with them. :)
They’re just as cute now, weird middle school odor and all, so don’t forget to take lots of pictures. You will appreciate it down the road!
These are not my kids, although I love them like they are.
I recently took some editorial shots for Grateful Dog Daycare in Midtown, Sacramento. My three dogs have stayed there many times, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you're looking for a clean, safe, cage free environment where the staff and owner genuinely care about your dogs, than look no further.
I recently wrote a short essay about my dog. She made quite the impression on my family. I shared the essay online, and the last time I looked, it was shared over 5,000 times. Hundreds of people emailed me personally or sent private messages to send their condolences and tell me about the dog or dogs that they've loved and lost. It was so incredibly heartwarming.
Here's my story ...
She arrived in a van full of unwanted castoffs, most of which had been abused in some way; a three legged pit mix, an elderly chihuahua, an extremely anxious husky that never made eye contact, a chubby bulldog, and her.
The pack burst through our side gate with tremendous enthusiasm, and I loved watching them play in the back yard. They were finally safe and they knew it. My job was to take pictures of them, so the woman running the dog rescue could find them homes. Better pictures meant a better chance of being adopted, so I volunteered my services as much as possible.
She waddled through the gate, and it was her big honey-colored eyes and long eye lashes I noticed first. She was an overweight, middle aged, Pit Mix that no one wanted, scheduled to be euthanized a few days prior, but pulled just in time.
The dogs swam in our pool and romped happily in the sunshine, except for her. She snuck in our back door, where I eventually found her passed out amongst my two children who were just toddlers at the time. The yelling and giggling did not deter her, and she fell fast asleep beside them, snoring like an exhausted 70 year old farmer who had been working the land since dawn. In our home she would remain until her passing 8 years later.
Dogs come into our lives for a reason, each one with a special purpose. I've loved them all with every fiber of my being, and I've grieved their passing with the same intensity, however there was something special about her. She was my soulmate. I lost my own mother at a young age, and have never felt comfortable in the role. I know how to love unconditionally, but raising children is beautiful and terrifying and so confusing, and I often felt like I was falling short. Her presence kept me calm. She was one part fierce protector, one part organic pillow, and one part wise sage Indian warrior. Her knowing glances said: you are doing your best.
It's hard to explain such a bond to those that don't love dogs like I do. Over the years I've stopped trying; you either get it or you don't, and it's perfectly okay either way. They are the epitome of pure love, pure joy, pure patience, and with all of our lofty aspirations to imitate them, we continue to fall short. There is simply nothing like a dog.
She arrived in a van full of unwanted castoffs, and my job was to photograph them so they could be adopted. I never took a single picture of her that day. What would be the point? She was already home.
We just completed our second year of mini sessions at DayOne Baby in San Francisco, and this year was just as much fun as last.
I say this all the time, but it's such an honor to capture the many milestones of your children and family, and something I take very seriously. I value the pictures of my own family above every other material item I own, and want you to love and cherish yours just as much.
Here are a few of my favorites. If you're a shop owner or event planner that would like to set up mini sessions for your place of business, feel free to give me a call anytime, and I'll tell you all about how it works. They really are a lot of fun, and a great way for parents to have beautiful, updated portraits of their children, at a lower price point. 916.850.5161
I love film because I believe it's tiny imperfections more closely mimic real life. It's a little bit messy, and occasionally blurry, and often completely captivates my attention in a way that digital photography can't. Plus it reminds me of my childhood and makes me nostalgic for what once was ...
The following images were taken with an old 35mm film camera I found at a thrift store. I think it was $12. You can view all of the images by scrolling right.
How do you feel about film photography? I would love to know.
It's hard to put into words how beautiful this place is. Rolling hills covered in oak and madrone trees, and no sign of civilization for miles. I'll share more soon, but here are a few of my favorites from Kinsey and Jesse's wedding.
It was raining all day today, so we stayed in and played board games and cuddled. It doesn't get much better than that.
I try to do seasonal mini sessions as often as possible because they're so much fun! This year I did them at Day One Baby in San Francisco. They let me use their space which I greatly appreciated. The day could not have been better, and look how cute these kids are! For mini sessions I bring my trusty assistant, and Waldorf kindergarten teacher, Lea, and she absolutely charms the pants off every child and parent in the room. They absolutely adore her, as do I. We didn't have one single cryer out of 28 children, and that's mostly because of Lea's super calm demeanor and natural ability with children. We are so lucky to have her!
This Fall I'll be doing mini sessions at Natural Resources in the mission district of San Francisco. Sign ups are happening this week. Feel free to contact me for more information if you're interested.
I'm in the process of editing hundreds of these, and wanted to share a few. They will be included in a data base for companies to purchase for marketing and advertising; a stock photo agency that represents people with disabilities. It's the first of its kind, and so long overdue in my opinion.
Since this shoot, I've received so many thank you notes from parents who have never had professional photos of their family taken because they were afraid of how their children would behave, and they didn't want to feel judged by the photographer.
Photographers, if you're ever approached by the Changing the Face of Beauty organization for a headshot clinic, I suggest you do it. It's a lot of hard work, but completely worth it to make so many parents happy. My heart is full.
There's just nothing like black and white photography.
One of my favorite families of all time wanted family pictures taken at their house in The Bay Area.
In home sessions are my absolute favorite! In ten years would you rather see pictures of that one day everyone got dressed up and went to a park and fought for an hour, or would you rather remember your life exactly as it was ten years ago? That's a no brainer, in my opinion.
If you'd like to schedule an in home family session, please contact me here: email@example.com. I really think you should consider it! What's stopping you?
Multigenerational shoots are so important, and I strongly encourage everyone to have them done sooner rather than later. I promise, you won't regret it.
Multigenerational shoots are so important, and I strongly encourage everyone to have them done sooner rather than later. I promise, you won't regret it. I would do anything to have more pictures of my dad with my children, and I cherish the ones I do have. Don't wait, friends. Time waits for no one.
Every season the children's store, Janie and Jack does family portraits in the store. I've been fortunate enough to shoot the Spring and Summer portraits for 2016. Aside from our store being the size of a small closet, it's a lot of fun, and I've met wonderful people from it. Here are some of my favorite photographs from Summer 2016. I love photographing children so much. They are perfect in every way.
My sweet client Anna wanted professional pictures of her daughter because as she put it: "she's only 15 once". We took pictures near the red footbridge in Fair Oaks village, and on the bluffs. It was so nice to meet her lovely daughter. She's a beauty, inside and out.
I should be editing pictures, but instead I'm taking headshots of my dog. It's very important to have a professional looking headshot for social media and Linkedin. Even if your name is Wendell and you spend your days trying to steal sandwiches out of children's hands.