Monday, September 25, 2017

Day 65



With the beginning of fall, I feel that I must prepare for the cooler months by purchasing sweaters and other nick nacks that may be found useful with a cold natured dog.  I must say that guessing Millie's size is a tad tricky.  She's short, she's stocky, and she's long.  So.. when going to buy her clothes I must consider a sweater that is A) long enough a sweater that is B) wide enough and C) a sweater that will not drag the ground.

So, this is why I find this XL Pink Princess Decal sweater so comical on her.. evidently, Millie does not find it funny and is still weary of wearing anything that isn't her skin.

She's being a good sport about it and let's me dress her up like a barbie doll.  Such a sweet disposition and it makes me feel so bad for her.

She is going to thank me later though when the weather starts dropping in temps.  I have a feeling by the end of winter, she is going to be best friends with her fashion line.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day 62



Lately, I have noticed Millie favorite thing to do is go hiking in the woods. This seems to be the activity that she becomes most excited about.  When she sees the leash and gets in the car, her head is held high and she looks out the window wondering where the next adventure will be.

Because of her enthusiasm, I thought it would be handy to have her start to wear a backpack to hold my keys, phone, her doggie bags, a foldable water bowl and water bottles, treats or any other item that could deem useful on a long hike.

I hadn't a clue how she would act when I put on her new back pack for the first time.  She seemed scared to move at first.. She didn't move an inch for several minutes until she saw me grab the leash and head for the door.

She slowly started walking towards me... Eager to not miss out on where it is I may be going.

Needless to say, that same day, I had her hiking a nearby, local trail to observe how she would behave.  The pack was empty as I want to build her stamina and confidence up before I decide to put all the common items needed for a day of hiking.

As of today, Millie has been hiking at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Oak Mtn. State Park, Black Creek Park, Red Mtn. Park, Gardendale's new 'GUT' trail, Ruffner Mtn. and she has visited several walking trails, a festival and has walked street sidewalks and is seen with me on a daily basis.

I am thinking about giving Millie a tour of Alabama's state parks as out of all the activities, it is hiking that she seems most fond of!




Friday, September 22, 2017

Laurel Grace is One!

Laurel Grace @ 3 months

Laurel Grace 6 months
Laurel Grace 1 year











Laurel Grace turned one this past weekend and I got to take her last session to finalize and complete our 'Watch Me Grow' photo series.  She has really been a true joy to document the various stages she experienced within her first year.  She is already walking as it makes it easier to keep up with her two older siblings, Jonah and Audrey.

Her mother and I joked about all of our past sessions together having barefoot children in them.  Lindsey's babies LOVE the shoe free concept and I must say, I do too!

Each session I have ever worked on with Lindsey, it never fails.. Laurel Grace is always dressed as cute as can be.  She always has the cutest bows and outfits.  I love her little wardrobe full of lace, flowers, pink and soft colors!

She is beautiful and I absolutely was honored to take part with her one year journey!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 60


Two months and so much ground covered with Millie!  As she begins to fill out, I think it is pretty evident that she is a BASSET BULLY Mix.  Her extra long torso, short legs and big head and chest are the perfect combination of two dogs mixed into one.  She stands just maybe 15 inches high .. just a tad taller than our French Bulldog but yet she weighs twice as much.

I think it is safe to say that she is no longer emaciated, starved and neglected.  She knows us and she also has come to know her new name we've given her. I don't know if she will gain much more weight than she is now.  She looks as though she never was neglected or starved and those who pass us walking at the park will never have an idea of who she use to be.

She has grown fond of human connection and affection and often asks to be loved on, scratched, cuddled and talked to.  She asks to get in bed with us every evening.. We can never say no and always welcome her with open arms.

I have never in my life had a dog that acts with such human emotions. Her eyes carry so much expression. At night, she sleeps with her head next to mine on the pillow as she rolls over onto her back and snores.. I have made a vow to capture this one day.  It's too cute to keep to ourselves.

Millie has also learned how to sit and stay.  She waits for her command when it's okay for her to jump out of the car and looks at me for her cue. She has also grown accustomed to the word 'NO' as she has chewed up my favorite sandals, two leashes, an electrical cord and chewed out the stuffing of a comforter.

A stern 'NO' is all that is needed to hurt her feelings and let her know it is NOT okay to chew on our things. She is starting to understand that her toys are the chew toys and takes to correction very well.

She is easily trainable and is a great listener.  I realize that two months is nothing compared to where she has been, in what appears to a very tormented living situation. I still have realistic expectations with her and understand that progress doesn't happen over night.

I know it's a slow and steady process and whatever experiences she has had prior to living under our care will take patience.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Letter to You




To the one that quit Millie,
I often wonder what you were like and have a hundred questions I wish I could ask. If we are to ever meet I must admit, I will have prejudged you by the state you left Millie in the past.

Did you buy her as a puppy?  Was she a gift?  Did you find her on the street?   Did you decide one day that 'this dog was just a 'dog' and it didn't matter how she felt.  It is after all, your 'happiness' right.. that counts?

Let me guess.. she is after all just a 'dog'.. She probably wanted to play too much or she could of peed because you didn't let her out.

I'd like to know why she was starved soo? Did it not cross your mind to feed her? Was this some sort of punishment or was it because you left and were always on the go?

She wouldn't look me in the eye or even lift her head.  Everything scared her. No matter what I said.  She didn't trust me, but I don't blame her much.

It doesn't seem she was shown much compassion...I wondered why?  I wanted to show her that not all people are bad.

Now it has been two months and Millie understands.  It's not all people that are bad.. just some don't deserve a furry friend because they are always thinking of themselves instead.

She shows her appreciation every day when she greets me with a wagging tail.  Sometimes she can't contain her excitement when she sees me come home, so she jumps up and down.

Millie has so much to offer, I'm glad I get to see this.  Not all dogs are given this chance to show their worth. So for you that gave her up, you will never know what you could have had as you probably were solely stuck on yourself.. which is really sad. 

Since the day you left her.. Millie doesn't seem to look back. It is me that is often wondering about you and on the attack. 

She is too busy wanting to play fetch.  She loves when I take her places she's never been.. She's learned how to play and be a dog again. She looks forward to the weekend when I take her hiking.  She has really grown fond of socializing.

Everyone tells her how beautiful she is.  I think she's starting to believe them.. Her walk is confident, her head is held high, she even has a new sparkle in her eyes.

To the one that quit Millie.. I pity you. It isn't the dog we save .. but the dog that saves you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Brita

newborn

11 month
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my repeat clientel!  This gives me an opportunity to actually see how the yearly progress report is going.. and for this little bright eyed girl.. All is ahead of schedule!

Ms. Brita is only 11 months and is practically running full speed ahead!  She was a quick little booger who I had to keep up with as if I didn't, she would be off into the next room before I could even focus!

They said she started walking just a quick couple weeks ago and there is no turning back now.  She loves her new found independence!

This little girl reminds me of a porcelain doll with her fair complexion, gorgeous strawberry hair and those bright green hazel eyes!!  She's a real life doll!

Jill and Eric have really been such a fun couple to photograph throughout the past year and it's just been a true joy seeing Brita blossom with her fun and full personality!

I really enjoyed hanging out with these three this past weekend! We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to enjoy some fun photos at the comfort of their beautiful home!







Nina's 1 Year

newborn

8 month

one year
Time be still.. I often hear this term but oh how much sense this makes.  Nina is now a one year old and I cannot believe how quickly this year has passed by. Each session has truly been very rewarding for me to document and I love reflecting on the year with all our recent sessions.

Nina has a beautiful head of hair filled with curls and big brown eyes that make you think of innocence, love and hope.

We decided to meet at Nina's home.. where our first session took place. I really enjoyed seeing her in her own, comfortable space.  She loves her stuff toy and clung to it tightly.



I honestly don't think this sweet child knows how to take a bad photo!  She was such a blessing to photograph this past year and as always, I wanted to take a minute to post some of my own personal favorites from our session this past Friday.

A big thank you to the Uffingers for allowing me into your home to capture some of these up close and personal moments of your sweet baby girl as she has gone from being cradled to sitting up to now standing!

She is perfect in every way!!




Friday, September 1, 2017

Day 40


I think it's safe to say 'Millie is home now' and she knows it too!  She has carefully let her guard down in the safety of our house. She often rolls onto her side and dozes off throughout the day with no need to jump up at every strange sound. She loves night time when it is time for bed as she likes to lay right next to me, often begging for me to pet on her before we go to sleep and if I don't , she makes sure to paw and remind me that I'm forgetting something.

I don't think I've had a good night's sleep in weeks but it's totally worth seeing her want to snuggle with me. On nights when my husband has a late night gig, Millie awakes me from a deep sleep when she hears the back door open, as if she isn't sure who has entered the house. She uses her nose to push against me until I stir awake. When she realizes it is my husband and her fellow pack mate, she lays back down and falls asleep..

Millie tends to be a morning pup to my dismay, as on average, she naturally wakes me up just after 5 in the morning.  She just can't wait to get her day started as she runs around with one of her toys in mouth. It is as though she is excited to be alive and can't wait to get started living!

Lola and myself are a tad slower as we drag ourselves out of bed with a little less zest.  If I've learned anything from this sweet girl, it is to enjoy life.. be excited about it and yes.. I should face each day as she does with the excitement that she has to be alive another day.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Pit-Stop

 


You all may be wondering.. what in the world is 'Pit-Stop' Photos?  Am I still working as L.A. Photography, did I open a new business?

Here is a blog post, that hopefully will help answer any of those questions.. Yes, good ol' L.A. Photography, LLC is still hanging around. This is my portrait photography business that still books portrait sessions for individuals.

'Pit-Stop' photos is affiliated with L.A. Photography, LLC but is strictly 'pet photography'.  This business helps separate my portrait work from my donations through Pit-Stop that go towards the GBHS that help contribute to the feeding and medical care of shelter animals.

So those who LOVE their pets and would like to participate in this side of my business, you can find pricing and more information here ( www.pitstopphotos.com ).

This is how I feel I can give back to an organization that does so much in our community and city. They depend and rely on generous donors to help with the high cost it takes to keep the doors open, lights on and animals fed... don't even mention the expense of medical care and treatment that many of these animals require.

I also feel that through 'Pit-Stop' Photos, it will also help bring awareness to individuals who may not be aware of the GBHS foster and volunteer programs as well as ongoing events that the Humane Society organizes.

Through fostering Millie, I feel that the veil has been lifted from my eyes with the care, time and money it requires to help each animal. Through my photography, I am in a position to help give towards something that I am passionate about.. and that is to stand up and speak for those who are unable.

Trey's Senior Portrait




Just like that.. they will all be graduated come this December for Trey!!  I can only imagine what a bittersweet time this is Trey and the family.  I had the opportunity to photograph his oldest brother, Marc's senior portraits and his sister's senior portrait sessions.. Now it is his turn to shine!

I was so thankful to have Collette contact me for all three of her children's sessions as each one has been such an honor to meet.

Trey is a fellow creative himself and is active in his school's theater program.  He will be cast in their school's play.  The school will be performing my favorite, The Great Gatsby!

He is attending Corner High School and plans on graduating a little bit earlier than most the students as he has already a big list of things he hopes to accomplish and be able to get a head start on.

After he graduates high school, he is looking into attending a university with an emphasis in art and theater.  He also mentioned to me that he is interested in screen play writing as well!

I was honored to meet the 'baby' of the family and I only know that with his hard work , focus and determination, he is going to conquer many things!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 36








It has been just over a month since I decided to take on the commitment to bringing Millie home.  Within the past month Gary and I both have been proud to witness so many 'first moments' with her.

So far during her stay with us she has experienced a music festival that Gary played at, she loves the outdoors and hiking.  She often jumps up and down when she sees that I grab her leash as this always means we are going somewhere fun. Milie has also become friends with Lola's good buddies, Tucker (a small daschound mix ) and Jackson ( a black lab mix ).

She asks to go out to play and has grown very attached to our Frenchie Lola.  I find the two of them together taking naps and chasing one another around our yard.

I have heard Millie bark briefly.  It was during a heated moment of play when she let out a large 'woof'.. It was playful in spirit yet loud enough to grab my attention.

Millie LOVES chewing on toys and on clothes.  She prefers soft chewy, cloth toys.. so this explains why I find socks scattered throughout the home from where she gets them from the dirty clothes pile that I soon would wash.

She has an innocence about her that I haven't seen in most dogs her age.  The GBHS said she looked to be roughly 3 years of age but after getting to know her and see how curious she is.. it makes me wonder if she is younger.

Millie has most definently gained a significant amount of weight to my liking and I often wonder how much more she will gain before leveling off.  Since Millie has started to fill out some, I can't help but notice her short stocky body resembling that of an English Bulldog.

She is most definitely a one of a kind find and everyone that crosses our path during our walks often seems intrigued by her.  Everyone wants to know what kind of dog she is.

My response is " I wonder the same thing."

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Lizzie, Emma & Panda


 


Word is slowly starting to get out for all those dog and cat lovers!  I am excited to see so much support within the community of those who want to contribute.  Yesterday evening I recruited my sister's dogs and cat for some photos.

I will be the first to tell you, her dogs have got to be the most challenging and timid little things.  I was happy to see we were able to get their cute faces.  They hate eye contact, they wouldn't stay still and they love to bark.. but ya know, I kept reminding myself why I was doing this in the first place.

Panda, the cat, was easy breezy.  He was calm and collective to never have had his photo taken before.  I was impressed with his style.

Panda was born a feral cat and my sister has a huge heart for rescuing animals in need.. so I felt this little project would be right up her alley.

Emma (10) and Lizzie (6) have always been part of her pack.  She has had them both as puppies. They are a Brussels Griffon which is commonly known as the Star War's Eewok dog..

Emma is a fighter.  She survived a car wreck and cancer.. so I feel it only right to pay her luck forward she is more timid than Lizzie and is not as comfortable coming around strangers for petting and love.

Lizzie will follow anyone home, so I guess it's safe to say that they balance one another out... and the cat.. well he thinks that he is a dog!