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!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Progress



So I will be happy to start the Doggie Donation process as my two, Lola and Millie , are more than happy to give to those in need of a forever home at the GBHS.  We are donating $50.00 in hopes this will help towards food and medical needs that these animals need.

I have also recruited my fellow friend and dog enthusiast, Stacie Moore to help with the cause.  She is an awesome Graphic Designer and has offered to help with the flyer design.  Her two pups, Tucker and Jackson are offering a generous $100 donation.



We have one more that decided to join early on the doggie band wagon and that would be my mother and dad's dog, Martin.  He was once homeless, skinny and full of fleas until my parent's rescued him off the street as a puppy.

He has been part of my family ever since and I'm thankful that my mom's donation of $25 will help contribute towards any of the overhead that the GBHS incurs on a day to day basis with proper care of the shelter animals.


Each and every loved one that has so far offered to help and participate has been very heart felt.. I also can't forget to mention how fun it is to have all these adorable fur babies in front of my camera as we attempt at making a difference as well as showing others that as a 'whole' we can make a change through educating the public and bringing awareness.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day 25






Millie's life seems to be in full color now!  She is vibrant, playful and has finally started to realize that this is her home. She loves her back yard and will ask to go outside just so she can lay in the grass, look up at the sky and feel the warmth of the sun.

It is as though she has never seen any of these things before and she is just now seeing them for the first time.  When I take her on walks, she loves taking her time and makes sure to look at each blade of grass and rock.  I even catch her watching the butterflies floating by.

She has discovered her 'favorite' toy and loves to walk around with it in her mouth.. she shakes it around, chews on it, tosses it up in the air and prances around in circles as though she is showing it off to me.

It warms my heart to see her play, relax and enjoy life.  I often feel that a pet should show people how to have fun and enjoy life but I feel that it has been opposite as I have literally spent the past 3 weeks trying to show Millie how to let loose, have fun and enjoy the ultimate 'dog's life'.

So far she has learned to love car rides, she enjoys exploring but still is timid to go new places if she hasn't been there before, she loves to play with Lola and will run big circles around in the yard in hopes Lola will chase her. She still has not barked although she has become a little vocal when she plays with Lola..

I do not want to take Millie's trust in me lightly and make sure to find ways on a day to day basis for her to know she is safe in my care.

Caring for a dog who was once considered '2nd hand', 'rejected', and 'someone's trash' really has been a humbling experience.  It has shown me first hand how much good a person can do to another being but it also shows me how much bad an individual can do to another person.

It really all boils down to choices..

As I wake up and get my day started, I have a  new sense of gratitude in knowing that, yes.. even little ol' me has made a difference in another being's life.  There is no other feeling in the world that I would want to have.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Doggie Donations



Since I have started volunteering at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, it has allowed me to be up close and personal with the dogs in need of homes.  I walk them, love on them and play with them in hopes to help them feel loved,  if only temporarily.

Sometimes I hear of an adoption with one of the dogs I have gotten to know and sometimes, unfortunately, I hear that the dog isn't always lucky due to overcrowding and it makes me wonder.. Did I do everything I could possibly do within my power to help prevent this?

This is why I have started the Doggie Donation program!  In hopes that I can involve the community of other dog lovers to contribute and in return be able to grab some awesome, cute photos of your fur baby.

I am not putting a 'DEADLINE' with these doggie headshots and foresee this being an ongoing and open donation for as long as people are willing to participate.  These doggie sessions aren't just limited to dogs, as I welcome all animals!

These sessions are held at a location where your pet feels most comfortable, as we want to grab the best photo possible! I want to treat these sessions as I would any other session with good service and high quality images.

After your pet's session, I will email you a link to view online proofing and you can pick your favorite image for a high res download.  This favorite image will be posted with your dog's name and amount that was donated to help out their fellow fur babies.

Susanna's 1 Year







You would think this this is Susanna's two year old session and I caught myself thinking.. is she two?  Did I loose track of time?  Nope.. not at all.. She is a fast learner.. quick runner and can do most things that I have not experienced in most one year old children.

I loved having this little lady back in front of the camera. This session was stark contrast to her newborn session we did last year.  She seemed so helpless and fragile then. Now, this isn't the case at all.

She was full speed ahead with no fear and don't get me started with all her expressions!!

Lord, how I love this precious baby girl!!  So thankful that her mommy chose me for her one year session.  I was honored to capture this stage in her life.  It was a lot of fun to say the least!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bruce Family










I loved hanging out with the Bruce family this past Sunday!  When I learned that they made the drive from Fort Payne, I was honored to say the least!  They were wanting something different than what they have around their town, so Morris Avenue was the perfect go to location.

I do admit that Morris Avenue is a one of a kind find and I am so thankful that it is here in my own hometown of Birmingham.  I don't think there is another street like it anywhere near, so I do love taking advantage of the historic cobblestone road, vintage lamp post and buildings.

We had the whole place to ourselves.  The morning air was still cool but I could tell that if we waited much later, it would be hot and humid.  They were such a fun family and I loved that they brought their dog, Harley, to the session.  He was too cute not to grab a quick photo of.

I wish the kids the best of luck with the start of a new school year.  Baylee is a senior this year and will plan to attend the U of A next year and her little brother Brody starts his freshman year and is on the football team.

Lots of new exciting chapters for the family and I am happy to have taken part with their family photos.

Day 21 - First Hike

Three weeks and what a crazy, fast, rewarding and challenging three weeks it has been.. and worth every minute of it!  There has been so much laughter and compassion towards this little lady as she went on her first hike this past weekend.  I met my friend, Stacie and her dogs at Moss Rock Preserve.  At first she was very hesitant and would lay down on the ground, not moving an inch... I immediately thought to myself.. 'oh no'.. this hike is going to take FOREVER!!

Laying down on the ground seems to be a common tactic she uses when scared or unsure of a situation... There is nothing I can do when this happens. I have learned that baby talking, petting or any attention just encourages her to stay still longer..

So when this dreaded moments happen while on leash, I find that standing still, calm and quietly will give her enough time to assess the situation and trust that it will be okay and just like that she stands up and starts to walk again.

Small challenges throughout each day seem to work best as it builds confidence in her ability to make decisions when faced with unfamiliar territory.




My friend Stacie has been very supportive and encouraging with Millie's recovery and I really see how Stacie being there, socializing Millie with her own dogs and taking part with activities such as hiking and playing have helped tremendously!

It was through quiet observation that Millie saw playing could be fun. She would sit and watch the other dogs running, chewing and playing and then it happened.. Out of nowhere.. She went into play stance and the other dogs welcomed her with love.





I felt a sense of pride as she ran circles and shared with us her carefree side.  It was such a joy to watch and I could see in her face that this was the most fun she has had in a long while.. If ever.

Now when I pick up the leash, she associates this with 'fun' , 'walks' and 'adventure'.. as she becomes excited to learn where will she be going to explore next.