July 28, 2015


if you know me at all, it may surprise you to learn that for a good portion of my life, I was terrified of dogs. not just mildly afraid when they barked, not merely nervous when they ran my way, but an all out ‘I-am-not-coming-to-your-awesome-birthday-party-because-you-have-a-dog’ terror when it came to man’s best friend. although my mom said that I was once nipped by an excitable cocker spaniel, there was really no basis for my behavior ~ but there it was. then one day, I met a cute guy (note: for better or worse, many of the important decisions I made during my twenties began with those 5 words) and he had a dog who was expecting her first litter. did I want to come meet his dog? ummmm… no. but after peppering him with questions, I learned that she was so close to delivering, that she rarely moved other than to eat, drink, and go outside. so I took my chances, and went. this dog could have cared less if I was there, let alone get close enough to make me nervous, so I exhaled. a few days later, the puppies were born and I spent the next two months visiting almost daily and doing what I could to help these 12 (twelve!) lab/great dane pups as they started navigating this world. it should come as no surprise, although it did to me at the time, that I fell head over heels with one of them. he had been nicknamed dempsey due to his rough and tumble nature and when it was time to release the puppies to their new homes, dempsey came home with me and my love affair with big dogs began. then about 5 years ago, I started getting more and more requests from my clients for their dogs to be included in their sessions – esessions, family shoots, and even wedding days were made even more special when the four-legged members of the family joined in and I loved it. so much so, that we started santa paws – easily our most anticipated and popular sessions of the year. we have worked with shelters, kennels, and even the baltimore ravens ~ with the goal being to raise funds for animals in need. what I trying to say, is that I know dogs. not only to I know dogs, but I love to interact with them, and I know how to photograph them – huge, small, old, or young. super friendly or standoffish – there isn’t a dog that I haven’t been able to work with and they always leave me smiling and smitten by the end of the session. but a cat? now that’s a whole other deal… I met kimberly at the wedding of meredith and josh at the beginning of this year’s summer season. soon after, I received an email from her requesting a session with her cat, sarah. I love cats, I really do – as a result of my no dogs allowed policy as a kid, my mom and I had several and I loved them all dearly. but when working with animals, I had become accustomed to being in charge.. or at least something resembling control. with a cat, I knew that the game was going to change, but I was looking forward to it. as kimberly welcomed me into their home, I went upstairs to meet sarah. unfortunately, she has been facing some health challenges so typically a stranger means some sort of treatment, and she was understandably cautious. kimberly and I sat and talked, letting her get used to me and my camera, getting a little closer, bit by bit. she sat in her favorite place in the sun and began to relax. I followed as she cooled down in the hallway, went to another room to perch from another familiar spot, and snuggled up with kimberly. I just took her lead to capture sarah being sarah and it was lovely.

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