Celebrating My Best Friend

This guy:

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is Skylos. My furry best friend.

He’s TWELVE today!! Look at all the handsome gray on his chin.

Knowing my track record with goldfish and plants, I wouldn’t have put money on me being able to keep a living creature alive and thriving for 12 years, but…here we are. Every day I am grateful that I have him. For someone like me, who struggles with anxiety and depression, having this guy in my life has been a blessing from the universe. He makes me laugh, he gives great snuggles, and he makes sure I get out of bed every day.  I can definitely see that he is aging, and it hurts my heart knowing he won’t be around forever, but I am glad we are taking his journey together.

Now, like any good labrador retriever, Skylos eats everything in sight. But he’s also a weirdo. He absolutely *loves* bananas.  So he had a happy birthday banana this morning, but lest we be thought of as the equivalent of someone who hands out apples to trick-or-treaters, we will probably take him out for some vanilla ice cream this weekend.

Happy birthday, buddy! Here’s to (at least) 12 more, right?! We love you!

Cara: Old Town Alexandria Maternity Session

You may remember Cara and Mark from their Old Town engagement session a couple summers ago. They were so much fun to spend the day with, so I was beyond excited when Cara reached out to me and said they wanted to get together for another shoot – because they were going to be parents!! So it was back to Old Town with Cara and Mark, and this time we added in their chocolate lab Hercules, who was looking forward to being a big brother and hoping his new sibling is as entranced by squirrels as he is.

The day we met up with SO COLD. I have to give major props to Cara and Mark for being real troopers and sacrificing the warmth of their coats for a few shots. It’s also a good thing we got these photos done when we did, because their daughter made her debut just over a week later!

Cara and Mark, thanks for letting me be a part of another momentous event in your life. I look forward to meeting your expanded family!

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I love Herc’s adorable bow tie! He will be a dapper big brother for sure!

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Cutest. T-shirt. Ever.

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I loved this so much – Cara got an engraved spoon from Etsy and served dessert one night with the spoon, to tell Mark “You’re going to be a Daddy”!

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Sara, Justin, Sydney & Rootbeer: Burke Lake Park Family Session

So I am informed there is some big football game going on Sunday…? I admit I am not a football person; I am definitely one of those people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials and halftime show and I get way more excited about the Puppy Bowl than I do for the actual game. But I know a lot of people go all out for the big game (and ok, I admit, it’s a really good excuse to eat a lot of nachos) so I figured it was appropriate to share my shoot with this football loving family (and there is in fact a “puppy” as well, as a bonus!) Enjoy, and have fun this upcoming weekend, whether you’re cheering on a team, rooting for the underdog pup (yes, bad pun intended), or ignoring it all and doing your own thing.

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Kendall, Bill & Sadie: A Claude Moore Park Family Session

It’s been a gray, dreary, rainy day here in Virginia. I think my dog has had the right idea – he’s been snoozing pretty much all day, sometimes even under a blanket! (Spoiled? No way!) So it was really nice to put together this blog post – from a sunny and warm fall day, with an adorable little pup included! Sadie probably stole the spotlight at this session (look at those soft, floppy ears and big brown eyes!) but I have to say Bill and Kendall were both looking pretty darn good as well. Thanks to all of you for having me out for this – was a great way to spend an afternoon!

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Jason, Sarah, Sassy, Raven & Lucky: Walkersville Community Park Family Photos

I had so much fun with this family! I got to know Jason and Sarah through my volunteer work with Lab Rescue, so I was super excited when they asked me to do their family photos – especially when they emphasized they meant photos with their three awesome labs, Sassy, Raven, and Lucky! We met up at Walkersville Community Park, which is one of the cutest parks I’ve been too – great trees, little covered bridge, fantastic light as the sun started to set. Great choice, guys! Jason and Sarah were so sweet together – it was easy to see how much they care for each other and their pack. And the dogs were hilarious – quite the challenge to get all three looking at the camera at the same time, but they were wonderful to work with. Thanks again to all of you for having me out!

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I wasn’t sure how this was going to go, but against all odds, the dogs seemed to be perfectly content on the merry-go-round (and I resisted the urge to give it a spin!)

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Focus on a Friend: Fuzzypants Pet Photography

Aaaahhh!! I have been waiting to be able to do this post because I am excited to show off my friend Carina and the amazing work that she does. Carina, of Fuzzypants Pet Photography, is featured in the summer edition of The Virginia Maryland Dog magazine. This issue of The Virginia Maryland Dog features Carina’s sixth cover for the magazine – and all the covers show off dogs in the VA/MD area that are available for adoption! Carina is affiliated with Hearts Speak, a coalition of artists that provides pro bono services to help draw attention to the countless animals that are looking for forever homes.

Carina and I had been talking about doing a photo swap anyway, so I was so honored when she asked if we could do the swap and she could use the images I took of her and her work with my Skylos for the magazine article. OF COURSE. I’m so pleased to have connected with such a talented photographer who also happens to support a cause that’s so very important to me as well.

You can check out the feature on Carina and Fuzzypants Pet Photography here: http://issuu.com/thevirginiadog/docs/vamddog_sum13web (Page 34) and I’ve included below a few other photos from my session with her for you to enjoy as well. Thank you, Carina, for having me take these photos for you, and for the awesome work that you do for animals in need!

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Brett, Lindsay, Audrey & Mosby: An Aldie Mill Family Session

I was SO excited to do this shoot! Brett has been a good friend of mine for several years now, and his daughter Audrey is just a peach. He’s getting married to wonderful, beautiful Lindsay in summer. This was the first time I got to meet Lindsay and I thought she was just delightful. She fits so well with Brett and Audrey and they were all so natural together. And then there’s Mosby, who is just a big slobbery, smiley goof. It was a very chilly afternoon when we met at Aldie Mill for our shoot, but they smiled right through it like pros. I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking them!