true love will find you in the end

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfFGMjXSB7s&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1]

I’m so so happy to finally be able to upload a quality version of this, a PSA I’ve been wanting to do since photographing these dogs nearly two years ago.

I’m very involved in rescue and shelter work in my community; and I encourage everyone to get involved. Yes, it’s very difficult to visit a shelter (that’s the main reason people won’t volunteer). But the animals there need you, they need your companionship and your reassuring voice and short walks. After you’ve volunteered at a shelter a few times, it does get easier. It is still heartbreaking, but you can leave knowing that however little you think you did, you improved that dog or cat’s day by, like, 1000%.

Please look into helping your local shelter or rescue in any way you can; if you can’t visit the shelter, considering a blanket drive, or a toy drive. Anything to help spread the word and get people to keep adopting, and not shopping, for pets.

(ps: thank you thank you thank you Alison for putting this together for me.)

[The song, “True Love Will Find You in the End” is sung by Beck, written by Daniel Johnston, and available on The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered

3 reasons you’re not so special

Everyone thinks about getting a professional portrait session at one time or another; really, no matter how many pictures you’ve taken on your point & shoot, you know it would be awesome to have some really nicely done shots of you, your family and/or pets.

But even though so many people want to have their portrait taken, very few actually take the step and do it. Why? It’s always the same three objections, and for those, I have these three basic answers:

1. Nobody’s kids listen

2. Nobody’s pets behave

3. You look way better than you think you do.

A long time ago, after my first kids’ shoot, I called a good friend of mine who had been doing that for years, and I asked her, “how do you get the kids to do what you want?” and she laughed and replied, “you don’t!”

So now you know the truth. You’re really nothing all that special (in the behavioral department, that is). Ok, with that being said: most professional photographers have a bag of tricks they use to get kids and animals to listen, and pretty much all of them involve bribery. I keep a baby bottle, a sippy cup and kids and pet snacks in my studio. I also keep baby cold medicine and Benadryl (no, you’re not the first person to think of that and no, that doesn’t make you a bad parent).

Kids grow up so quickly–as the mother of a 29-year-old, I can tell you it really is the blink of an eye–and pets are with us for such a short time; I always encourage people to get professional portraits done at least every couple of years. It’s totally, 100% worth it.

So book your session and don’t be afraid. Ask your photographer how to prepare; he/she should give you a list of do’s and don’ts for the day. And don’t go into it thinking that everything is going to go smoothly and your 1-year-old is going to think, “yeah, um, I’m going to sit my diapered fanny down right here where they want me to and I’m going to let this person stick this thing in my face and let all these lights go off around me and dang it, I’m going to love it!”

So you take time to play; you take a time-out; you take a walk around the block; you and your photographer do whatever it takes to get everyone comfortable, including yourself, and get the shots. Remember, when you’re looking through a photographer’s website or portfolio, you’re seeing the best of his/her work. You’re not seeing the shots it took to get there.

So for your information and enjoyment, here are some of the shots that it took for us to get there this past weekend.