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

What do you do when a dear friend texts you that her beloved adopted chihuahua had to be rushed to the vet due to breathing problems and the prognosis wasn’t great? Pack your camera bag and head straight to her house the minute her little friend is feeling up to it!

I posted earlier about my friend Jane when she adopted her first dog, Ringo, a senior chihuahua who was a bit of an oddball. Jane loved that little guy and not too long after added George to the mix, also a senior chihuahua. On Christmas Day 2015, Ringo suddenly passed away. So, when the text came earlier this spring that George wasn’t doing well, I immediately offered up an Oakville old dog photography session at her home, so she would forever have great images of both her loves (no offense to her husband!).

I have Celebration Sessions just for times like this. I love photographing old dogs and I always advise people to call me before their pets get too elderly or sick. But life surprises you sometimes, and the timing isn’t always the best, so I always try to make these sessions a priority. Not only is it an honour to meet these wonderful creatures, but it’s also so fulfilling to know I’m providing their owners with cherished keepsakes that will last long after their beloved pet is gone.

George, 14, barked at me the whole time. He also showed me the side tongue that his late brother Ringo was known for. He seemed to be doing OK after his ordeal.

Oakville old dog photography for sick or senior dogs to remember your pet. Senior chihuahua dog portrait in Oakville home. Commemorate your senior pet with candid dog portraits by GTA dog photographer Happy Tails Pet Photography. Dog photography of small chihuahua by Ontario pet photographer. Outdoor dog photography of elderly chihuahua at Oakville home. Human and animal bond, pet and owner story in Ontario dog photography..

I’m happy to say that George is still hogging the couch and barking at visitors – he’s on heart medication to help with his symptoms. Not only that, but Jane has adopted a sister for George – at the spry age of eight, Milly, a chihuahua of course, is the youngest dog Jane has ever owned.

Senior dogs make great pets and Jane is proof that you can have room in your heart for more than one! There are so many great rescues and shelters in Ontario to find a senior of your own – a great place to start is petfinder.com or just search online for organizations in your area.

Wags,

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I thought I’d do a little before and after post to give you an idea of what goes into enhancing your photographs. A little technical context first: most photographers shoot images RAW. Photographing in RAW format produces high-quality image files because no information is compressed or lost. The other benefit is you can correct any problems that would be unrecoverable if you set your camera to a format like JPG, which does compress your image data, eliminating some of it in the process. Make sense?

It’s important to have decent gear. But regardless of what equipment you’re using, images shot RAW come out of the camera looking flat and dull, and kind of yucky. This first image of my dog Chloe at her favourite leash-free area is straight out of camera with no adjustments. See how blah it looks? And there’s some kind of blur in the lower right corner, likely from some tall grass, that needs to be fixed.

Chloe, bronte park

And then with some enhancement magic …

Pet photography of golden retriever dog in Ontario park by Happy Tails Pet Photography, Burlington.Some of my adjustments on this photo of Chloe include tweaking the temperature by warming up the glow of the sun peaking through the trees. I also corrected the bottom right corner and added contrast to make the blacks blacker and the whites brighter. I increased the overall vibrancy and then selectively brushed in some saturation to make the colours pop. I finished by adding some sharpening. Because this was a leash-free area, I didn’t have to remove a leash, which is also part of my workflow 99 per cent of the time (safety first!).

I use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to carefully edit 20-25 images for each client, and often there are several unique combinations of adjustments that need to be applied to individual files, since I try to find a variety of backgrounds and settings, and the light can change.

It’s so important to me that your photographs look amazing – these are your memories, they should look amazing!

Image creation doesn’t end when I put my camera away. It continues long after your photography session and requires several hours at my keyboard to make your pictures look the way they should. This is all part of the Happy Tails experience – I want your images to look their very best!

Questions or comments about the process? Feel free to leave a note!

Wags,

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Albums are a classic – timeless, cherished and will never go out of style. I love sitting down with my own albums to quietly flip  through the pages, remembering the moments of my son’s babyhood or seeing the increasing white hairs appear over the years on my dog’s muzzle. It’s amazing that I can hold these memories in my hands and revisit them whenever the mood strikes.

It seems others feel the same way and albums have become one of the more popular Happy Tails products. An album tells the story of your pet, the story of your bond and of the day we got together to make the pictures you’re now holding in your hands, bound together in a beautiful archival product.

I’ve recently upgraded my album line to ensure I’m providing the highest quality and most beautiful product that will stand the test of time — you can flip through these albums endlessly and enjoy them for years to come. There are more cover options — fabrics and leatherettes in a wide range of colours, from subtle and textural neutrals to vibrant and happy tones, or a soft-touch lustre photo cover. Custom designed just for you, the pages are thick and sturdy, there’s no middle gutter so pages are seamless and lay flat, and these beauties are hefty and substantial. Albums are available in two sizes: 8×8 and 10×10.

Because I love colour, I ordered my studio sample as a 10×10 album with a leatherette cover in Ocean Blue. I like how it picks up the blue sky and happy vibes on the interior pages.

freddie-2-web freddie-3-web freddie-4-web freddie-5-web freddie-6-webMany clients like to add text that’s meaningful to them, which I love incorporating.

freddie-7-web freddie-8-web freddie-9-webBecause I’m an animal lover, I’ve consciously decided not to offer genuine leather covers. I don’t think it’s necessary because the faux leather options are so high-end – you wouldn’t know the difference! The leatherette colours come in shades of classic to happy, to suit your taste, personality or home decor. The fabrics come in more subtle and neutral tones with a timeless linen look and feel.

freddie-10-webAnd they’re Chloe approved! Signature albums can be ordered on their own or as part of a value-packed Happy Tails collection. If you want your own personalized heirloom album, get in touch today to book a session!

Wags,

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