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Victory: Together

Below are a couple of images of Victory and I at the dog park!  She loves to be held on my hip — she truly is our furbaby!  Victory continues to gain more confidence each day and her sheltie furs keep coming in, which is great!  She absolutely loves the dog park, and we usually go to the dog park at least once a week, in addition to our daily walks in the neighborhood, since she loves to go mingle with other doggies at the dog park!  This weekend Victory is meeting new sheltie friends for the first time!  We are sure that she will have a grand time!

Happy Friday and Happy Easter!


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Victory: Photography Project — 14

“All animals, except man, know that the ultimate point of life is to enjoy it.”  ~Samuel Butler

Beginning in January of this year, I began a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory! I will continue to share this project on the blog! I have also been documenting Victory’s milestones so to speak each month — you can read these here! I think that it is fun to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories.

Recently, we took Victory to Worthington Dog Park, where she has begun to run and she is beginning to learn to play fetch!  Victory loves meeting new doggie friends at the park!  She is really blossoming and coming into her own!  We are really proud of the progress Victory continues to make and she continues to do well in her training class, with a few more weeks to go!

Happy Thursday!


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Tips for Photographing Shelter and Rescue Dogs

Below are some photography tips for those people who photograph shelter dogs and rescue dogs to help increase their odds of receiving furever homes through photographs.  Photographs play a vital role in the adoption of animals, dogs in particular — so consider volunteering your time to help these dogs receive furever homes.

1. Use outdoor natural light: I find utilizing natural light is best when photographing shelter/rescue dogs.  The outdoors provides a nice backdrop as well.  I like to use natural spaces around the shelter when the dogs are not able to leave the premises of the shelter.  Alternatively, when dogs can be photographed in a different setting, I often like to use dog-friendly parks, which provide nice light and backgrounds.  However, when a park is not available, I try to use a natural background that is available.  I never photograph a dog in his/her cage, crate because you want to showcase the dog in a manner that makes each dog look the most attractive in a natural setting.  You want people to envision taking the dog home with them.

2. Try and have each dog bathed (or at least have each dog’s face cleaned): Whenever possible, I try to have each dog bathed prior to me photographing him/her.  However, sometimes, this request is not always possible.  In either case, I try my best to ensure that each dog’s face is free of debris to enable me to do less work in Photoshop during the editing process.

3. Use a dog handler, assistant: Whenever I photograph shelter/rescue dogs, I always have an assistant help me.  Since the shelter/rescue dog always needs to be on a leash, the assistant helps me position the dog in order for me to photograph each dog.  Thus, it is imperative to have an assistant while photographing the dogs outdoors.

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4. Introduce yourself to the dog: Whenever I meet a new dog, I always go up to the dog and let each dog smell me.  Each dog is usually quite excited to be outside and in a new environment.  Then, I talk to each dog and pet him/her letting each dog know that I am there to help.  Most every dog that I have photographed is so happy to be outside and the task of photographing each dog is typically not too challenging.

5. Allow the dog some time to roam around the new surroundings to in order to have the dog be more focused: Since I photograph all shelter/rescue dogs outside, the environment is typically very refreshing, full of new smells, and exciting for each dog.  Thus, I allow time for each dog to go potty, smell its surroundings, and get comfortable.  After this time, the dog is typically ready to be photographed.

6. Use treats and toys to show of the dog’s personality: I typically have organic treats with me when I photograph shelter/rescue dogs.  However, I always make sure that each dog is permitted to have treats, does not have food allergies, etc.  Many dogs are treat/food motivated, so this works well during photo shoots.  Additionally, if the dog has a particular toy that he/she likes, I incorporate the toys into the shoot with the assistant’s help.

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7. Use a shallow depth of field: A shallow depth of field blurs out any distracting elements in the background while maintaining each dog as the focal point of each image.

8. Be patient and have fun: Every dog is different, just like people. I find it best not to rush the photo shoot and just let the dog be himself/herself. These are the moments when each dog’s personality really shines through, and these are not contrived moments, they just happen naturally, and it is my job to capture these moments.

9. Remove leashes and ‘distracting noise’ from the image: After each photo shoot, I cull, select, and edit the images and find the strongest face and body image for each dog. In these images, I remove the leash and any other ‘distracting noise’ in the image, maintaining the focus of each image on the dog.

10. After editing, promptly share the images with the shelter/rescue organization to help get the word out via social media to help the dogs get adopted: After each photo shoot, it is my goal to cull, select, and edit the images promptly because time is of the essence — these dogs need to find a forever home as quickly as possible. As such, I send to my contact at the shelter or rescue organization the best head shot and body shot of each dog to enable the shelter/rescue to promptly post the images online via social media, etc. Every shelter/rescue organization that I have worked with is always very appreciative of the help photographing the dogs, and it feels good trying to make a difference in these dogs’ lives.

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I hope that you found these tips helpful!

Happy Wednesday!

Why Make Art?

Why Make Art?

because you feel the need and calling to create

your passion is at the root of creating art

your passion overcomes your fear of uncertainty

you cannot imagine a life not making your art

you feel more alive and fulfilled when you are creating

because, most of all, your art fuels your soul

this is why it is important to follow your passion and share your art with the world

“Don’t cheat the world of your contribution.  Give it what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield








Around Here

Below is an image of what a typical weekend morning looks like.  Victory loves to sleep above my head (or Doug’s head) with her back leaning against the headboard!  The weekends are nice because things are slower moving and we can sleep in!  Sometimes in the morning, Victory snuggles right up against my face with her snout!  This image captures our weekend mornings perfectly — serene and peaceful!

“Every morning is a chance at a new day.” ~Marjorie Hinckley


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Victory: Six Months In

“The average dog is nicer a nicer person than the average person.” ~Andy Rooney

Tomorrow marks six months since we adopted our little Victory! You can read more about the previous months’ milestones here.  The time is just flying by and Victory is blossoming!

Below are some things that we learned about Victory this month:

  • She is enjoying her dog training class!
  • She went to the dog parks for the first time!
  • She loves the dog park, and she has begun to run and play fetch at the dog park!
  • She is beginning to eat her dinner on her custom Orvis mat and feeder!
  • She gave us paw for the first time this month!
  • She is giving us tons of kisses in bed right before bed time and she loves to lick Doug’s arm pits via his t-shirt right before bed — she must like his ‘natural scent’!
  • She still loves to chew, and she has been chewing away at her little “friends!”
  • She loves eating little pieces of her Daddy’s malted waffles on Sunday mornings!
  • She absolutely loves chicken and cheese!
  • She started giving me her paw this month!
  • She let us give her a bath last week without jumping out of the soaker tub!
  • She received a clean bill of health at the vet last week at her six month check up! Yay!  The vet said that she is just healthy and perfect!  She is now 25 pounds!
  • She is beginning to eat adult kibble, she eats Fromm kibble.
  • She is beginning to spend time on her Orvis bed, which initially she was apprehensive about.
  • She loves evening walks in her Hound About, which she inherited from Biscuit!
  • She still has not barked as of yet!
  • She is still waking us up for her nightly drink of water!
  • Most of all, Victory has stolen our hearts and she is her Daddy’s girl through and through!

If you have not already, be sure to check out the six month video of our little Victory!  We hope that you have a great weekend.  It is supposed to be warm and sunny here — perhaps Spring is finally here!

Happy Friday!


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Victory: Video Debut

I recently decided to make my first video (with music) of our little Victory, shown below!  I often wish that I had made videos of our precious Biscuit.  I only have one video of our Biscuit just prior to his final surgery.  However, I am grateful for all the images we have of our beloved Biscuit.  In addition to my other series on the blog, it is my intention to make one video per month and share the videos here on the blog with all of you!  (Perhaps with more practice, the videos will get more sophisticated!)  The video below of our precious Victory is short and low key of her sitting on the sofa, but you will see what a sweet and gentle soul she is along with her true beauty shinning through!  Don’t you love her one floppy ear!  She also often likes  to sit with her front paws under her tummy!  To date, we still have not heard her bark!

You can view the video of Victory by clicking on the arrow in the video below or alternatively you can click here.

Happy Thursday!




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