Saturday, January 12, 2013

Capturing Time

I am a photography nut. It's not that I'm a good or skilled photographer in any way shape or form. I just LOVE photos, mainly of what's important to me, family, friends, special events, places traveled and of course my furred and feathered loved ones.

Photos to me are snippets of time that I get to keep forever. Memories sometimes fade as we age, but photos preserve those moments. Lots of people like to take photos of special occasions and trips and other one time things, Sure, I like those too, but I found one year when I challenged myself to take at least a photo everyday, that I ended up loving all the day to day photos too that seemed unimportant at the time.

Thumper (friendly neighbor now at the Rainbow Bridge)

My sweet Maxx now waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge

My cuddly bear, Sheila now also waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

My first truck--oh the fun times we had together!

Another cute shot of Maxx who died on 2008
Let's face it, we have our every day lives. We have our routines (good or bad),  and often times they seem mundane and unimportant. But then when somethings in our life changes (as things do and always will), we reminisce about "the good old times". How many time have you wished you could go back and see photos of all the rooms in the house you group up in or all the fun places that you played as a kid or of people (and pets) no longer in your life? Chances are you might have SOME photos of those things, but probably not as many as you would like.

I take a lot (or buy) a lot of photos in any given year. These photos are places I have gone, dog or volunteer events I have participated in, and of course family & friends. Friends kid me because I always buy ALL of Rio's agility photos.
Rio at an agility trial

Yet, I still don't feel like I take (or get) enough photos my life (and the lives of my fellow Team Zero Gravity members). And I know I end up with more photos annually than the average person. I store my photos on Shutterfly (love them!) I've been using Shutterfly for about 11 or 12 years now. Shutterfly says I have almost 34,000 of my photos stored in albums in my account on their website :)

Anyway, in the fall of 2012, I got the chance to have some incredible photos taken of my dogs. I had a gift certificate for a local pet photographer, Leesia Teh ( towards a photo sitting for my dogs that I had won in an auction. I had seen some of her work and really liked it. I contacted Leesia about using my gift certificate. She went over the details about how she works and she does a shoot. She had me fill out a survey online all about my dogs. She tries to capture your pets as themselves --where their personalities shine through. That's exactly what I was looking for.

The date and time was all set. We had decided to do it at my house where all my dogs feel the most comfortable and where they could run around and be their goofy sweet selves. When Leesia showed up at my house (with just a camera--a really nice one, but just a camera--no special lighting or anything else), she greeted me and then instantly proceeded to introduce herself to my dogs. She already knew each by name from having read our survey. All my dogs liked her right off the bat.

She also met PJ (the cat) and Reggie (the parrot) and took a couple nice shots of them as well so I could have those as well.


She spent some time just visiting with my dogs so they could get to know her and just relax and be themselves. We did pictures both inside and out. She took her time in order to capture my sweeties being themselves. It was a fun, leisurely shoot. It didn't feel like there was any time deadlines or rushing. I don't even know exactly how long she was there but it was quite a while.

The results were mind blowing. She got some of the most amazing and loving shots. I shared my proofs with others and everyone just loved them.

Here's a few (besides the ones top right):
Blaze and Cori

Cori, Chloe, Blaze and Rio





After I saw all the wonderful proofs, I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was going to spend a lot more money than I planned. But, I figured, it's not like we do something like this all the time--in fact, I had never done something like this. I would just make it work. I actually cashed in some savings bonds so I could buy a package, extra prints and products. It was worth every penny too. I will have these photos forever--long after my furred and feather family departs this Earth (I can't think about that or I will start to ball) and long after memories fade.

I added a slide show in the right side of the blog about 1/2 way done. See for your self, all the wonderful photos. If you decide to do as I did and capture some of these precious moments with our pets, I HIGHLY recommend you contact Leesia Teh to help you do that. And if you do, please tell her Kathy Rakestraw referred you. 'Cause if you do, I get a referral credit and um, there's a few more things I'd like to get :)

Make a pact with yourself to take more photos this year--even if you don't have them professionally done. You'll be glad you did.


  1. I like that she came to your house instead of using a studio setting. Every photo is fantastic!

    I started blogging so that I could have a visual diary of the dogs. By doing it, I stated taking my camera everywhere with me just in case a blog-appropriate moment presented itself.

    1. Yes, I tihnk that's a big part of why the dogs are relaxed and more themselves. Thanks. I love all the photos too. Yes, you're blogging is a great visual diary of your life with your dogs. I still think you should a book. It would be so cute!

  2. Thank you so much for such kind words!! It was such a pleasure meeting your crew - I loved every minute of it. Even though they're each different in their own way, all your kids have such sweet, gentle souls and it was wonderful getting to know them. I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the experience.

    Ps - LOVE your photo of Thumper!

    1. Thanks Leesia. My pups enjoyed meeting you also. Blaze & Rio especially love to show off for visitors :)

      Thumper was a very special squirrel at my old house. She used to tap on the window for food. She hing around for a few years. The last time I saw her (I think 2005) she didn't look so good. I've never met another squirrel like her.

  3. I agree! I've had professional pictures of our dogs done several times over the years and I always spend more than I planned, too! It's worth every penny, though. And I have to say that you have some lovely models at your house! She couldn't help but get gorgeous pictures of them!

    1. Thank you. I'm pretty biased about my "models" too. A couple of them are real posers and just seme to love posing for the camera :)