McGraw Photography Blog » Charlotte, NC | Pet & Dog Photography

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Home Makeover – Guest Room

I have quite a few hobbies and interests but I’m not necessarily very good at them. For example, I’m very interested in architecture but I would never step foot inside a building I designed. It might collapse. Ha! That being said, this post is based on one of those interests that I’m not especially fantastic at - decorating.

As some of you may know, we recently moved into a tiny condo in Uptown Charlotte.  It was previously a rental and wasn’t in the best shape ever. It needed paint, added storage, and some kitchen and bathroom updating. We’ve slowly been working on all of that and we are *this close* to actually completing one room – the Guest Bedroom.

To give you an idea of what the room looked like before, I dug up some photos from when our condo was on the market the past two times. Evidently, in 2010, the room was a baby room with a seriously green wall. When the condo was listed when we purchased, the walls had been painted a neutral color but they still needed freshening up. We liked the concrete floors so we decided to keep them. However, the lighting needed an upgrade and, because there is no closet in this room, we needed some storage.


Guest Bedroom before
As we brainstormed about the bedroom, I began to put a storyboard together. I was really starting to like this makeover! The only thing that varied from the storyboard were the curtains. We already had linen-colored ones on-hand and they ended up looking great too!
GuestBedroom storyboard
And here is the *almost* final room. A few caveats first… 1) these are quick snapshots with no added lighting (because I felt lazy today) so sorry if they aren’t the best quality; 2) The landscaping in the backyard is an upcoming project and I didn’t move our bicycles (see #1) – sorry; 3) I still need to add some cool decorations to the mini nightstands I made. Anyway, you get the idea!
Cat Portraits
I LOVE this light from West Elm! It really makes the room!
West Elm Lighting
I got these gorgeous watercolor prints from a fantastic artist on Etsy. I highly recommend checking her work out!
Etsy watercolor prints
A few more shots. 
Guest Bedroom makeover
And, because this is a pet photography blog, I had to include an animal in a couple of the shots. Here’s Teton (who is celebrating his 13th birthday this week) getting ready to decorate the room his own way…with cat hair.
Charlotte NC Cat Photographer

Quite the transformation, huh? If this stuff doesn’t bore you guys, I’ll try to share more as we move along in our home. If you want to know details about where some items are sourced, I’ll list them below. Thanks for reading about my side hobby! ;)

Paint color – Nimbus Cloud by Martha Stewart (color-matched with Behr paint)

Curtains – Ikea

Cabinets – Ikea

Chandelier – West Elm

Grey Quilt – Target

Rug – West Elm

Red/White Duvet Cover and Shams – West Elm

Throw Pillow – West Elm


Frames – Michael’s

Picture Ledge (also used for “nightstands”) – Ikea

Vinyl “wood” tile accent wall – Home Depot

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Meghan - Looks awesome! I love it!

Charlotte Reeves - And you say you’re “not particularly fantastic” at decorating – are you kidding? You’re amazing! Can you come do my whole house pretty please?

Charlie – Fort Mill Magazine

Fluffy, adorable, little and puppy. Mmmhmmm. I’m in.

Those words describe Charlie to a T! I had the opportunity to spend an evening with him as I shot some images for a story about Pet Photography for Fort Mill Magazine. He didn’t disappoint and I think he had his game face on knowing that these images would be put out there for the world to see. Here are a few of my favorites of this I-wanna-kiss-your-face-all-over Havanese puppy…

Fort Mill Magazine Dog Portrait
Fort Mill SC Dog Photographer
Pick up a copy of the magazine and flip to page 18 for the full story. Or, check out the digital copy HERE.
South Carolina Pet Photographer

Beth - He’s so incredibly adorable!

Smitty – HSC Adoptable

This post is focused on one specific dog that I meet while photographing adoptable dogs and cats over at the Humane Society of Charlotte. His name is Mr. Smith, aka, Smitty. I don’t know what it was about him but he just really stole my heart!

Smitty was brought to the shelter by a family. I don’t know why he was turned in – all I know is that he was healthy at the time. Well, lo and behold, shortly thereafter, Smitty became very ill and had to undergo exploratory surgery. It was discovered that he had a horrible case of hookworm. During his recovery he was taken to a wonderful foster home where he learned tricks and how to potty outside. He’s now back at HSC full-time but is ready to find a permanent home.

Smitty is a very handsome and unique pup with a wrinkly snout and huge ears. He was such a model for the camera and I hope I can keep him close by should I ever need a striking dog model.

He will make a wonderful pet in an active home. I just love this handsome fellow…

Charlotte NC pet photographer
Humane Society of Charlotte adoptable dog
Adoptable dog photography
Modern Images for posh pets
Charlotte NC adoptable dog
Smitty pit bull mix

Noel – Angel Session

Noel was a legend of sorts over at the Humane Society of Charlotte. The story goes that she was adopted three times – each time being returned for one reason or another. Finally, the staff decided to adopt her and make her the official office cat. Since then, she has seen staff, volunteers, and thousands of cats, dogs, puppies and kittens go in and out the door all while she managed to hold down the paperwork, help with typing on the keyboard, and coordinating adoptions. She was even placed at the top of the staff organizational chart. She was a legend.

Charlotte NC Cat Photographer
Noel had been sick for quite some time but she was in the best place in the world for extra loving and medical help. Unfortunately, she had to help type her last email, take the last couple licks from her Lickety Stik, and say her final goodbyes on Friday. She will be very missed.

Pet Photographer in Charlotte NC
I’m starting to cry again as I write this but I want to keep this as positive as possible. I’m sure Noel’s spirit will roam the halls and kennels at the HSC and make sure each and every cat and dog have the opportunity to find love like she did.

I only got to spend a short time with Noel but I know she touched lives throughout the Charlotte area. Let us celebrate this little queen…

Humane Society of Charlotte mascot
Charlotte NC Cat Photography
Modern Pet Photographer
Charlotte NC Pet Photographer
North Carolina Pet photographer

Rest in peace sweet angel…

Ann L. Gearhart - Thank you for capturing the essence of Noel for all of us to share. Noel – one of a kind, and yet, we have all known “Noel’s” in our lives, especially those of us who work in the field of animal welfare. I can tell how endearing Noel was in the office and how powerful her story will be as people visit your shelter and see her photo, read her story and meld all of the good that comes from the work you do, the animals you serve and the people who are blessed to have your fine organization in their community. I know Noel will always have a special place with each of the people whose lives she touched – thank you for sharing her with all of us – there was a reason she was returned three times – it was so she could be with you. The many twists and turns of life frequently happen for a specific reason. Noel was meant to be in your embracing arms, and a legacy to your work and shelter.

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