I was first introduced to Kyson (the cool Pom with the mohawk) and Kalani (the perky-eared toy Aussie) and the Bark For Life events this past spring. They stood out in the crowd and even made the blog and video from the events. I knew they loved the camera so I was super pumped when their mom decided to have a session with me!
It turns out that between scheduling her session and the day of our shoot, Kyson and Kalani’s mom adopted another pup, Jeter. Poor Jeter was raised on a farm and was left to run free with little care and loving. He is very timid and learning how to be a pup all over again. He is very lucky to now be in a home full of treats, adventures, and, most importantly, love.
I introduce (from left to right) Kalani, Kyson, and Jeter…
Kyson loves to be the center of attention. And with a mohawk and super-spectacular head tilt, I understand why!
Kyson has the Pomeranian charm down pat!
Kalani, which means Heaven in Hawaiian, is a little more reserved than her brother. She doesn’t mind stepping away from the spotlight but can hold her own if she needs to. :)
She’s a little curious about the camera…
When she perks those ears, she becomes a little irresistible furry cutie pie!
Lastly, we have Jeter. Like I mentioned, Jeter is still a little bundle of nerves but he did surprisingly well during our session.
As long as he was by his new mommy, the world was right. :)
However, once he figured out what a treat was and that they are super tasty, he was all mine!
We ended our session with the bluest sky over Charlotte.
And then the Duke Energy Building lit up in a rainbow for Charlotte Pride. What a perfect ending…
I just had to include this last image. At the beginning of our session, we spent some time at the pups’ great grandfather’s home. He simply adores these guys and has even said he wanted them at his funeral. His eyes spark up whenever they are around and they come to visit him often. I’m so glad we got to capture them together! And in Kyson form, he stole the show. :)
It’s been a little quiet over here for a couple reasons and I wanted to explain why and what’s going on. Great things are in the works both personally and professionally and I figured I should share. :) I don’t know if I’ve even ever written a personal post but here it goes!
For those that don’t know, we sold our house in Cornelius a little over a month ago. Not sure of our next step (and because we sold it faster than expected), we moved into an apartment close by. We had been searching for a new home in Uptown Charlotte but most places were out of our price range, in a condo or high-rise building (wouldn’t work with our pups), or were not the style we desired for our new urban digs. Well, lo and behold, about four weeks after signing our year lease at our apartment, we found a cute little townhouse in the First Ward district. We jumped on it!
Although very small square footage wise, our new home will be filled with cool windows, natural light, high ceilings, modern edginess, and is in the center of it all. It even has a private, fenced-in backyard area for the dogs. We had to give up space and a garage (sorry Brian!) but I think we will love it!
That being said, the last few months have been filled with going through stuff, garage sales, piles of paperwork, moving, etc. And now we get to do it all over. Fingers crossed we get settled and get some renovating done before the huge Fall rush (we close September 27th).
So what does that mean for the future of McGraw Photography? Well, hopefully some super exciting stuff!!! Eventually, I plan on moving my office from Cornelius to probably the NoDa area. It will be a few minutes from our new place and more central to all of my clients. Also, because NoDa is the arts district, there are more opportunities to find a space that I could set up a studio. Yep, studio work!!! Not sure when it will all happen but it will be in the works over the next few months. :)
Shew! I told you I have a lot going on! So thank you for your patience if my Facebook page or blog go quiet for a while or if I’m a little slow replying to emails.
Thank you all for your support!!!
Here’s the entrance to our soon-to-be home and the view from our neighborhood. :)
I was recently asked to do a live segment on the Charlotte Today show to share some tips and tricks for taking better pictures of your pet. I was super excited because it is so important to have great images of your pet even if hiring a professional isn’t in the budget. If this is something that interests you, check out the segment for more info…
First of all, I want to thank Charlotte Today for having me on the show. I did a pre-taped segment last year (the one they used to introduce me) and I was unbelievably nervous (as you could tell by my tied tongue). So of course I was even more nervous to find out I would be on live television!!! What!?! Freak Out! As I walked into the studio, I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I thought I might have a heart attack. Then things quickly got better.
The staff at the show were seriously amazing. They were warm and welcoming, so sweet, and more than attentive – even with being short-staffed by 3 people. They made me feel right at home with their help, direction, compliments, and so on and so on. My nerves seemed to melt away! I had to take a minute to myself and take it all in. I’m so grateful that I was allowed to be on the show and I really appreciate everyone (and of course all of the pets) that have helped me get to where I am in my business. It has been a very long and hard road but I keep walking it everyday. Thank you! <3
Now back to business! :)
Just to recap the show, here are the 5 tips that will hopefully help you take better pictures of your pet… :)
1. Use Natural Light/Turn off Your Flash
Natural light is your best friend when it comes to pet photography. Flash can scare your pet or, even worse, give your pup or kitty those freaky glowing eyes. Try placing your pet near a window or go outdoors during the golden hours – the hour right around sunrise or sunset. Golden hour light is nice and low in the sky with a warm, even tone.
2. Get Down on Their Level
Be prepared to get a little dirty. Lol! Try something different and lay down, squat, or sit in front of your pet. It will give a whole new look to the image!
3. Shoot Tight/Middle/Wide
You can get three different shots without needing your pet to move! Sweet! Shoot tight – a headshot – then either move back or widen your lens. Then shoot a mid shot – include the body and some of the background. Then move back or widen your lens again. Now you can include quite a bit of the background for a nice artistic image.
4. Use Treats, Toys, or People to get Your Pup’s Attention
Hold a treat or toy right above your lens to get your pet to look right at the camera. You can also hold it out to the side or have someone walk over to where you want your dog’s gaze to go. Funny noises work great too! Don’t forget to reward your pet if he/she does what you want!
5. Know Your Camera!
Try reading the manual and play around with those weird looking settings. Try using AV, TV, and M modes. AV mode means aperture-priority. Aperture controls the depth-of-field so you can get the eyes in focus while blurring the background. TV mode is shutter-priority mode which is great for controlling action. M is manual which means you control it all! Experiment and see what changing the numbers does!
The Bonus tip is to be patient and have fun!!!! Learning photography can be tough and frustrating but it is sooooo worth it in the end! I hope these tips help!
And many, many thanks again to Charlotte Today for inviting me to the show. You guys rock! I also want to thank my family, friends, and Facebook fans for all of the sweet messages, emails, and texts that I got after the show. You made me feel like I should be on TV! Haha! ;)
Koda and Laska’s session is the new record holder for “Session that got Rained Out the Most”. I think we actually lost count of how many times we had to reschedule. In fact, Koda and Laska’s mom is pregnant and we were worried she would have her baby before we could get a dry day in! Fortunately, it has been a little drier lately and we got lucky with a beautiful, sunshiny evening!
We started off the session photographing Laska. Laska is an adopted pup believed to be an Alaskan Malamute mix. He’s as sweet as can be and sports a super-adorable underbite. Seriously. Check out his two smiles below…
Laska is a little of an adventurer. Lol! He likes to wonder a bit but he always comes running back to mom and dad. :)
Koda, also a very handsome rescue, is a Flat Coat Retriever mix. He has so much soul in his eyes. I can see why his parents couldn’t pass him by.
Koda has a secret grin that his mom told me about. I don’t think I got to see it during our session but I don’t mind his normal smile. I think the edges of his mouth turn up when he’s super excited!
Koda really is a stunner…
Of the two brothers, Laska is the more cuddly of the pair. I’d sure like to curl up with him on a cold evening!
Did I say something funny, Koda???
Oh, he was just waiting for a treat!
Koda gets spooked easily by loud noises. We wanted to be sure his session happened on a day without any chance of thunder occurring. I’m so glad we waited because he sure looks comfortable and happy!!!
My dog LOVES to go between our legs. We call it the “carwash”. Do your pups do the same thing?
And one last shot of Laska’s grin. What a happy face!!!
I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Koda and Laska’s parents. They were so understanding and patient when it came to the weather. I’m so glad we finally got a reprieve from the storms and were able to spend an evening together. I hope they enjoy the sneak peek!