“Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine!”  ~Thomas Hood

One of my favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day, with all the red and pink and hearts galore. So I loved getting the call that this mom wanted some portraits of her children as a Valentine’s Day gift for her husband. Four beautiful girls, each and every one so fun to photograph, and extra gorgeous in a group setting with their mom. We also created a fun montage which made the perfect Valentine’s Day card for family and friends…love!

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.”  ~ Gilda Radner

As I capture portraits of families, that often includes much-loved family pets; however, recently I have been able to shoot the last days of several pets, and it gives me such joy to create this lasting memory of loved ones. In the Fall of 2010, we included sweet lab Maddie in a family portrait, but it also happened to be one of her last days. So when I got the call that the family’s other golden retriever, Ginger, was not doing well, I rushed over for some portraits. Ginger was named for her stunning color, and had beautiful and soulful brown eyes. I think the shared love and emotions speak for themselves.

Another client called me in December to shoot some portraits of her family’s dog, Mae the german shorthair. A fabulous hunting companion (hence the safety orange collar!), Mae was having trouble with a growth on her eye, but we were able to showcase her “good” side! I went out of town for the Christmas break, and when I got back, learned that Mae had gone on to doggy heaven. In fact, that is the name of a book, “Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant, that my friend gave her kids upon learning the news. It is a lovely book that paints a picture that there are “fields to run in, soft beds (made of clouds turned inside out) and ‘angel children,’ because ‘God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world’.” Rest in peace, sweet pets!

“The old man said to me, said don’t always take life so seriously. Play the flute and dance and sing your song!
Try and enjoy the here and now, the future will take care of itself somehow. The grass is never greener over there.” ~ Howard Jones “Life in One Day”

Ahhhh, youth! I am an avid fan of “First Wave” and “80s on 8″ on my Sirius/XM Radio, and I heard this song the other day and it made me smile. It also reminded me of a portrait session I had with my gorgeous niece in January (with tons of snow!), where we documented another chapter in her high school career. Along with the most gorgeous eyes you’ve ever seen, it’s her sweet and kind personality that shines even more. Her future has never been brighter!

“Life is like a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can!” ~ Danny Kaye

I love sibling pics, especially when capturing the perfect pair for portraits, cards, gifts … and canvases. These two children are just precious in personality and I loved the happiness in first portrait below, which was turned into a huge canvas for the family room. I always wish I personally had endless wall space for fun shots like these! And the last groupings of portraits was used for annual Christmas cards, and my client couldn’t decide between the various cards in my minted.com and Tiny Prints storefronts, so she ordered two different ones!