Modern Ontario pet photography | Happy Tails Pet Photography » Wag-worthy images of your furry friend in their natural environment! Servicing locations in southwestern Ontario..

It’s the kind of email that hurts my heart: “My dog has cancer.” As an Oakville pet photographer, I get so many of those messages — it’s just not right. And a golden … well, that hits even closer to home because my own dog is a golden.

When Gracie’s mom first got in touch, it seemed like we weren’t going to get these important images. Gracie’s health had taken a sharp turn for the worse and she had to have a feeding tube inserted. There comes a time when I recommend forgoing photography – you don’t want to look back on images of your pet looking sick and remembering a difficult time. Yes, those memories are important in their own way, but I encourage (beg!) people to get in touch while their pet is still healthy, or at least, still themself. So, we left it and hoped for the best. A week later Gracie’s feeding tube was removed and she had her first round of chemo. It put some pep in her step and she was acting more like her old self. She was more energetic and perky. I booked it over there.

Gracie, 10, is a typical golden – loves people, loves treats, loves belly rubs, loves everything. She enthusiastically greeted me at the door and before I knew it, I was her own personal ear scratcher. Goldens have a way of doing this. She promptly sat down — on my foot — and stayed there until her mom was ready.

Her energy wasn’t quite what it used to be, but Gracie was more than happy to go for a walk around the neighbourhood. All of these photos were taken as we slowly wandered from her apartment to an open green space a few blocks away and back. It can be easy to get caught up in locations and good backdrops, but so much variety is available just outside your front door!

Dog photography of golden retriever with cancer by Oakville pet photographer. gracie-4-copy gracie-3-copy gracie-8-copy gracie-10-copy gracie-11-copy gracie-14-copy gracie-18-copy gracie-20-copy gracie-21-copy gracie-22-copy gracie-24-copy gracie-25-copyThank you residents of Oakville, for choosing not to park on the street this day!

gracie-26-copySadly, Gracie passed away about a week after our session. I am so thankful she had a good day and we were able to capture her sweet smile and personality. I’m so lucky to have met her.




Do you have an ill or elderly pet you would like to remember with photographs? Happy Tails Pet Photography provides custom pet photography for clients in southwestern Ontario. Get in touch to book your own personalized experience.

share on facebook tweet this post subscribe by email contact me back to top

A “little hellion” and “pretty crazy.” That’s how several family members described Bunny, a morkie with lots of personality packed into her tiny body. I was told her big brother Hugh on the other hand — and I mean really big, he’s a Great Dane — is really mellow and cooperative, and would be easy to photograph at our Oakville dog photography session.

Can you see where this is going?

One of the things I love about animals is no matter what you think you can expect from them, they always have the capacity to surprise you! I have every client fill out a questionnaire prior to our session so I can get to know their pet a little better before we meet, but I go into each session with no expectations — you just never know what a pet will be like on a particular day or what they’ll think of the camera. But I love surprises and the fact that Bunny and Hugh were the exact opposite of how their family described them kind of made me love these two even more!

Here’s Bunny, the “wild” one. After only ever having great danes, this family got Bunny thinking a small dog could travel with them. It turns out Bunny hates travelling and always has to stay home — best. I love this dog.

Modern and contemporary Oakville dog photography by Happy Tails Pet Photography.

Natural outdoor pet portrait of Morkie dog by Oakville, Ontario pet photographer.

And here’s Hugh, who made me work way harder!


Note the dog that is looking at the camera (and SMILING) and the one that isn’t! Opposites in more than size!

Hugh and Bunny, dogs

In the end we got some really great pictures of these two tricksters. They have a beautiful Hamptons-like backyard complete with swimming pool and their own lounge chairs. I kind of want to move in with Hugh and Bunny.

Hugh and Bunny, dogsDid I mention how crazy bananas Bunny was? Totally out of control this one! hughbunny-19-copy hughbunny-10-copy hughbunny-5-copy hughbunny-14-copy hughbunny-16-copy diptych hughbunny-23-copy hughbunny-17-copyIf you want to see how pets make us feel … this photo pretty much sums it up! hughbunny-7-copy hughbunny-15-copy

I had such fun with these two, despite their differences and a brief bit of uncooperative weather at the beginning of our session. I work really hard to adapt to any situation that’s thrown my way and make great images — it’s a requirement of the job! I’m also exceedingly patient and I don’t get frustrated easily, which is so important when working with animals.

I had a lovely afternoon with you Hugh and Bunny at our Oakville dog photography session — feel free to invite me back to hang out in your lovely backyard any time!





Happy Tails Pet Photography provides custom pet photography with personality for clients in southwestern Ontario. Get in touch to book your own personalized experience.

share on facebook tweet this post subscribe by email contact me back to top

One of the most common questions I get from prospective clients is a variation of “My dog can’t be trusted off leash and needs to stay on a leash for photographs — will we still get good photos?”

Yes, yes, 100 per cent yes!

The truth is that almost every dog I photograph is on a leash for safety. Thanks to the “digital darkroom” and the detailed image editing I do after each session, however, you would never know it! Ah, the Internet — where every dog I photograph is a perfect angel!

I bring a long line to each session, which is skinny and easier to remove in Photoshop. Clients also play a big role in my sessions and are behind the scenes helping to position their dog and hold the leash, and sometimes they feel more in control and comfortable using their own gear, which is totally fine, too.

I’ve pulled together a few before and after comparisons to first show you the image straight out of camera — absolutely no enhancing or retouching whatsoever (eek, I feel naked!) — and below it the final image, followed by a side-by-side comparision. If you scroll down, there’s even a double leash removal!

First up is beautiful boxer Bella, perched on a rock with a dramatic sky in the background. Her person was within arms reach off to the right of the frame, and the angle of the image makes it look like she’s much higher off the ground than she actually is — she could easily hop right down.


Image editing and removing a leash from dog photos by Happy Tails Pet Photography.

Image editing and removing a leash from dog photos by Happy Tails Pet Photography.Next up are Shar-Pei Lily (LOVE the wrinkles) and standard poodle Freddie, who were both on a leash for their entire sessions. A technique I often use to make leash removal a little easier during the editing process is to fill the frame of my camera with the subject, which reduces the amount of leash that needs to be removed. lily-before Keeping pets on leash for photographs for safety by Ontario pet photographer. Keeping pets on leash during dog photography sessions by Ontario pet photographer. freddie-before Photo editing before and after of dog on a leash in Ontario park. Photo editing before and after of dog on a leash in Ontario park.And finally here’s beagle puppy Poppy and big brother Jackson (kind of a sneek peak because I haven’t blogged this session yet!). This urban session took place downtown, so of course these two were leashed during their full session — I removed two leashes from every photograph. poppyjackson-before-copy Urban dog photography in downtown Burlington Ontario. Pet safety for dog photographers by GTA photographer.After each session I work really hard to get all the details just right in each image — image enhancement, including leash removal, is part of the service I provide to every client and is included in my session fee. So, even if your dog is a total nut (and I love the nuts!) and needs to stay on a leash for photographs, I can still get really beautiful, natural images of your four-legged friend … and, bonus, everyone will comment about how well behaved they are 😉 Don’t let a leash prevent you from booking a session!




share on facebook tweet this post subscribe by email contact me back to top