Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Dog, Photography

It’s that time of year again, a review of some the most “award-worthy” images from last year.  And I think we can all agree that last year was quite the doozy.  All the more reason for some photos to make you smile, right?  

As you might have guessed, these awards are created for images that stood out to me for various reasons, though they may not be the traditional portraits.  But I’m not overly traditional so that’s okay 🙂  Regardless, make sure you read through to the bottom of this post where I announce the 2020 Pet of the Year contest – that’s where you get to vote (and possibly win a prize).

So let’s jump right in to the awards with “The Funniest Silhouette” because I think this one sums up how most people felt about 2020:

You know I like to swear and I love to laugh so I had several different award names for this image but I’ll keep it clean with “funniest silhouette”.  

Next up is the award for “Best Shake”:

Taken just outside Queenstown, New Zealand, last January…before the pandemic restricted everyone’s travels.  It was a dream come true to photograph pups in the glorious New Zealand countryside.  I think Layla enjoyed it, too :). Now to get the Taylor Swift sound out of my head….on to the next award.

The 2020 “Best Peek-a-boo”:

Buddy is just a tiny bit, well actually, completely 100% ball-obsessed.    You know the kind.  So I thought it was appropriate to include an unusual perspective.  Don’t worry, of course I threw the ball for him immediately after.  And another 50 times after that 🙂

Fun fact – Spinone Italianos are so cool they can defy gravity.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s proof with 2020’s “Best Levitation”

A glorious sunny morning capturing the antics of these two mud puppies = heaven.  The amount of mud on my clothes and camera bag = insane.  This is why my camera bag always has lens wipes!  But totally worth it to see these guys in their element.

And the reason why I have insurance on all my gear….the 2020 “Most Exuberant” award goes to Angel:

Actually Angel is so light on her feet that she didn’t actually run into me.  But I love her enthusiasm!  I consider myself more exuberant than graceful so I feel like Angel and I are a good pair.

Sticking with the action theme – here’s the “Best Pounce” of 2020:

Part cat, part fox?  Definitely 100% adorable.  Alaskan Klee Kai are generally beautiful dogs, but I think Cash has got that extra spark.  

Is that Taylor Swift song still stuck in your head?  Well good, because you’ll need it for this next award, “Best interpretive dance”:

Do you miss going out and dancing?  I have the solution!  Adopt Lizzy and you have a dance party in your own home!  Lizzy is available for adoption through Waggin’ Tails Dog Rescue and I can vouch for what an absolute sweetheart she is!  This dance is easy to interpret, it means adopt me!!  Learn more about Lizzy here.  

From the dance floor to the runway, these ladies make a striking team.  Here is the “Best Runway”:

I was almost going to call this best “cat walk” but my cats were not impressed so I left it as best runway.  Make way for this duo!

Speaking of models….this is definitely 2020’s “Best Accessories”:

Vinnie and Sarah nailed the buffalo plaid look, don’t you agree?  Totally adorable, and this pair are as sweet as they seem.

Cuteness overload with the 2020 “Best boop”:

I don’t think this one needs any explanation.  Except that I love how humans are usually doing the “boop” and in this case Leo is giving his best “boop” to his mom.

In case you couldn’t tell, I am also obsessed with flowers and gardening.  In fact I’ve signed up for the Master Gardener program this spring.  Margaux also enjoys flowers, I give you the 2020 Best Stop and Smell the Flowers:

I think we could all learn something from Margaux! 

For the last two awards I have two ties!  I know, but since I get to make the rules I decided that was okay!  It was hard enough to narrow it down to these two, but I give you “Best Sugar Face”:

I don’t know how I missed hearing the term “sugar face” before this year, but now it’s one of my favorite phrases.  Senior dogs have a special place in my heart.  I have two senior dogs of my own and at this point every day is a gift.  I love their soulful expression and how dignified their white faces make them look.  So congrats to Sanford and Murphy.  

Last, one of my favorite awards……the 2020 “Derpy Dog”(s)!  Again, I just couldn’t choose between two contenders so you get double derp this year!

Please understand that I say derpy dog from the heart.  As a Newfoundland (and former St. Bernard) dog mom I LOVE the derpy dogs.  And big dogs tend to offer more derp, even pound for pound.  I’d say that I’m not laughing at them but we all know that’s not true, I just can’t help it.  Enjoy the derp 🙂

I hope you’ve been entertained with the 2020 Pawdacious awards, but now I need your help!  It’s time to crown the Pet of the Year for 2020 and you get to vote. 

Not only that, but by voting you’ll be entered to win your own pet portrait session and be up for the 2021 Pet of the Year contest!  The winner also gets a cool prize – $700 to spend on new artwork from their previous session or a brand new photoshoot.  Giddy up!!

So vote for your favorite entry here and spread the word!  Click here to vote

Shelter in Home 
A hard-copy fundraising coffee table style book featuring photos and stories of rescue pets during the pandemic. 
Available for pre-sale now!  Order a copy for yourself….and they make great gifts for those animal lovers in your life.
New!  A memorial section has been added for the beloved pets that are no longer with us.   Pay tribute to them with a photo and a story in the book.  Also available as a memorial & book combination.

Click here to buy now!


Dog, Photography

My favorite outtakes and derpy dogs

Over the course of the year I took a lot of photographs of pets.  Expressions can change in an instant – from facial expressions to body language (if you’ve got a dog with big ears you know exactly what I mean!) so I take a ton of images to make sure that I get those perfect moments that you want framed and hanging above your fireplace.  And sometimes I get pure gold in the form of funny shots. These aren’t the images that will be blown up on a huge canvas print. That would be too embarrassing for our pets, otherwise I would totally do it. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy them! I don’t always show these kinds of images to my clients, but these made me laugh and I thought you might appreciate them, too.  We’re all friends here, right? So for your viewing pleasure here are my 2018 pet portrait outtakes, aka the derpy dog awards….

Craziest running face:

Newfie parents everywhere will appreciate this face.  I’ve never seen a Newfoundland that loves to run so much, to my delight.  There were several images to choose from and since I couldn’t narrow it down myself I put it to a poll on my Instagram page (thanks to everyone who voted!) and this was the clear “winner”:

A black and white newfoundland dog running through the snow with a crazy look on his face

Best bad hair day:

This award goes to a little cutie called Mello.  Freshly groomed, her hair was no match for the wind.  Thank goodness for photoshop and luckily Mello looks good no matter what!

A small cream dog having a bad hair day

Best pout:

How can anyone resist this face?  Nestled between his parents, Piper did his best to convince me that he has a rough life.  I know better, but I’ll give him full marks and appreciate his efforts and flair for drama!  

Small mixed breed looks sad while sitting between it's parents

Best kangaroo impression:

Earl loves his tennis balls so much that he actually falls asleep with them in his mouth.  But the action shots are where the derpy moments are at the highest. Something about this one just makes me think of a kangaroo.  Do you see it?

Dog leaping into the air to catch a tennis ball

Best Future meme:

Someone help me caption this!  Leave your suggestions in the comments below.  Jax was pretty excited to see that he received a new squeaky toy for his modeling efforts, or horrified to learn that he does not also get his brother’s new toy.  Either way, this one cracks me up!

A boston terrier dog with a funny surprised look on his face

Best shake it off:

Usually my dogs wait until they’re standing right next to me to shake off all the water, but this guy was busy chasing his tennis ball in a gorgeous alpine lake in Germany.  It’s always a challenge to keep the dog’s eye in focus while they’re twisting around but when it works you can get some great results.

A small terrier mix dog shakes off water next to a lake

Best looks fake but is totally real:

Nothing to see here folks, just a T Rex taking it’s Newfoundland dog for a walk around Michigan.  No photoshop magic applied, this actually happened.

A newfoundland dog being walked by a TRex dinosaur in a neighborhood

Most regal slurp:

Little P was a perfect model all day (read about our dog portrait session in Italy here), but I managed to snap right when he was licking his lips from getting a treat.  My models are well paid. I think I also make that face when I’m tasting a delicious red wine, especially if I’m in Italy.

A brown dachshund dog licking his lips while seated on a stone staircase in Italy

Best “Phoebe” moment:

Before our photoshoot Athena’s mom told me that Athena most resembles Phoebe from the TV show, Friends.  Exuberant, sweet as can be, but a bit klutzy (don’t worry Athena, I can totally relate!). Athena lived up to her character assessment with a slight slip on the couch, which she immediately played off, cool as can be….but I caught it on film….well video.  And turned it into my first gif. You can see more poised images from her portrait session here.

A gif loop of a happy grey pitbull slipping on the back of the couch

Drumroll please…..the title of Derpiest Dog of 2018 goes to…….

Klark!!  With a name like Klark you know this is going to be good.  Klark is a darling doberman who more than slightly resembles Dobby from Harry Potter.  Klark wins the official title for both dog portrait image and action shot video. I think you’ll understand why Klark takes the prize when you view these masterpieces.

Derpiest Dog of 2018 Image: What now Klark

A goofy doberman dog surrounded by yellow coneflowers

Derpiest Dog of 2018 Video:  The ultimate doggy paddle

That sums it up!

I hope you enjoyed my review of my favorite cutting room floor images, I’m looking forward to creating more this year.  

Don’t forget to give me some caption ideas for Jax’s surprised look.  

And if you’re a pet parent join the pack and get a monthly newsletter filled with photo tips and upcoming pet related activities in southeastern Michigan. As a vegetarian I can guarantee no Spam!