Choosing a location | State College pet photographer

You’ve decided on a custom photo session for your fur-baby, and have booked a date. Now, where to have the session? Choosing a location is one of the most important decisions you will make. Choosing a backdrop to tell your fur-baby's story can make or break your session. Here are a few tips to consider.

  1. Pick a place that is special to you and your fur-baby. Do you spend weekends hiking parks in the area? Does your fur-baby like to swim in a creek and explore the surroundings afterwards? Do you have a beautifully landscaped yard and pool where you and your fur-baby spend countless hours hanging out? Picking an environment that your fur-baby is comfortable in is very important.
  2. Consider the personality of your fur-baby. Is she older and unable to hike for long distances anymore? Is he an adolescent with boundless energy? Is your fur-baby ok with other people and pets nearby? If your fur-baby gets upset or scared around other pets, then picking a place where other dogs are likely to be, would not be a good idea. If your fur-baby has health issues, then picking a location where we need to hike for ½ mile to get to is probably not in your fur-baby’s best interest. Have fun and be creative! Does your fur-baby like to run errands with you and end the afternoon with an ice cream cone treat? Then, let's incorporate that into your session!
  3. Photography is all about the light. What the time of day your session will take place will also affect the location you choose. I shoot mostly outdoors on location using natural light. The best time to do this is early in the morning, from sunrise until about an hour after sunrise, or evenings, during the last hours of daylight, usually about 1 ½ hours before sunset. If it’s an overcast day, we can do the session any time of the day. If you would like to do the session indoors in your home, then mid-day on a sunny day is best.
  4. Scout locations on your own. Drive around town and pay attention to places that draw your attention. If you think a place is perfect, take photos and share them with me. Look around and notice the lighting. Is there any shade we can work in? Are dogs allowed? Is it safe for your fur-baby? If I don’t think the location will work, I will let you know.
  5. Consider your pet's coloring. If you have a black lab, then choosing a place with a dark background won't work. If you have a white dog, then picking a place that is all white or very light in color isn't best either. Look for places with color that compliments your fur-baby's coat. Pay attention to textures and architecture. Don't be afraid to try something new and unique! You get to choose two locations for your session, so vary it up!

If you need suggestions, I will help you as we go through this process. And as always, if you have any questions along the way, please let me know. I want to make sure your session is the best it can be. After all, this is the story of your fur-baby, so let's get it right!

Why custom pet photography? | State College pet photographer

So, why pet photography? With cell phone cameras getting better and better, and living in the digital age that we do, people are taking photos of their pets all the time. Why would anyone want to have professional photos taken of their fur-babies?

1. Their lives are too short. You’ve heard the saying before and it’s so true. My golden retriever Izzy is about to turn 5 and it seems like only yesterday we were anxiously waiting to bring our 8 week old fur ball home! Now that we have another puppy, Kita, I’m reminded of how fast time really does fly! With cancer rampant in so many breeds (like golden retrievers), I know I need to appreciate every day I have with my girls. I’ve heard too many people say they wish they had more photos of their fur-babies. Don’t wait until it’s too late!


2. Puppies grow fast! Some puppies don’t seem to grow much, like toy poodles, but you can certainly see the growth in breeds like Australian Shepherds, Great Danes and Mastiffs. And let’s face it, photographing puppies is hard! They wiggle, and move non-stop except, it seems, when they are sleeping. Trying to capture them during this stage of their life with a cell phone is a recipe for disaster. While you can get pretty good images, they are not fast enough to capture the action of our furry babies. How many blurry photos have you had to delete? What better way to capture this ever-changing period in their lives than with a professional photo session documenting their growth?

3. They have no milestones to celebrate. If you have kids without fur, then you know all the milestones they have. The first teeth, their first steps, their first birthday, their first Christmas, the first day of kindergarten, you get the idea. There’s no shortage of reasons to grab a camera and immortalize those memories forever. With our fur-babies, we don’t have events to mark the passing of their lives. Why not get photos now while they are still chasing tennis balls, going to the drive-through for that well-deserved treat, and hiking in one of your favorite parks. Yes, life gets busy, all the more reason to do this while you can.

4. You can’t photograph the relationship you have with your fur-baby. While you certainly can take lots of photos of your fur baby, what about capturing the special bond you share? Selfies are all the rage these days, but asking your fur-baby to sit close (and still!) so she can be in the photo with you, is well, about near impossible. Let me capture the special relationship between you and your fur-baby.

5. Your photos are personalized! Having professional photos of your fur baby also means getting personalized photos. Have a favorite park you like to go to? We’ll do the session there! Your fur baby loves to swim in the creek? Let’s get photos of him splashing in the water! Can’t get in the car anymore because of bad hips? Let’s capture your fur baby at home, where he feels most comfortable these days. A photo session is unique to you, so let’s create artwork that tells the story of your fur-baby! What are you waiting for?

What is custom pet photography? | State College pet photographer

So, you’ve decided to get professional photos of your fur baby, now what? If you’re looking at my website, then you’re probably considering whether custom photography is right for you. And I’ll be honest. It’s not for everyone. It will require an investment on your part -- not just your money, but also your time. But you’ll walk away with a personalized finished product that you will cherish for many years to come.

As your custom pet photographer, I will create a unique experience for you and your fur baby. It starts with our first conversation when I begin to get to know you. Before your session takes place, we'll set up a meeting to discuss your expectations, what specific shots you want and the style of photographic artwork you'd like to create. I will help you choose a location that is meaningful to both you and your fur baby. And I will give you tips on how to prepare for the session including what to wear, what to bring and how to get your fur baby ready. During the photo session, we’ll take all the time we need to get the shots that tell your fur baby's story. Because we've prepared ahead of time, the session itself will be stress free (and lots of fun too).

After the session, I will meticulously edit the photos by color correcting, cleaning up any blemishes, cropping and removing leashes where possible. I will consult with you during the ordering session to help you create works of art that you can proudly display in your home. Whether it’s that one showstopper piece of wall art, a wall collection or a photo album, our design will match your vision and fit in with your lifestyle.

I want you to walk away completely satisfied with your experience. More importantly, I want you to smile every time you look at the photos of your fur baby, knowing that your images are original, authentic, and genuine. That is what custom photography is all about.