Pet Photography: Rescue Outtakes

A portion of my pet photography is for my favorite rescue group, Take Me Home Pet Rescue (TMHPR).  TMHPR is a foster home based rescue organization that finds its purpose in saving dogs and cats from the high kill shelters and the streets.

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My photography of these fabulous rescue dogs can be found here in my SmugMug account.  But, while the photos look calm and under control . . . . many times it is just the opposite . . . WILD and CRAZY.

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Sometimes they are just ornery and stubborn . . . .

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And sometimes they just not in the mood to smile . . .

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But, it is so fulfilling when they do smile and it helps them find that forever home.

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Dogs in photos include Rainbow, now known as Sadie.  Major Tom, who is currently looking for his forever home.  Puppy Tracker, now Shiner.  Fitzroy, dressed as a cowboy and Tiger who both would rather not look at the camera.  These sweet boys are both looking for their forever homes.  Minnie, the Calico who is very happy in her foster home; however, did not enjoy the photo session, so much.  And lastly, Sam who was tossed from a truck and left on the streets to fend for himself.  More info about TMHPR and the available dogs and cats can be found at www.takemehomepetrescue.com

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Naaman Forest: Cheerleaders

Rangers 12_1495This past week, I was invited to spend my evenings attending and photographing the Naaman Forest Cheer Camp.  The camp is hosted & taught by the Naaman Forest cheerleaders.  Those benefitting, the young cheer squads for the local Pee-Wee football leagues.

Evenings were filled with chants, cheers and dance.  The high school girls would spend their time mentoring & teaching the young girls.  And in return, the young cheerleaders learned so much about the sport they love from their “buddies”.

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You can see through the photos how much these girls looked up to their “buddies”.  They see them as the young women they want to become.

Rangers 15_1494So, as these Ranger cheerleaders begin another school year at Naaman Forest, remember that these young ladies are watching you.  As you cheer at the football games, they are in the stands watching your every move.

Sharks 2_1493Cheerleader_1484Bisons_1497You are who they will be watching and who they want to be.

Here is to an awesome 2015-2016 school year Naaman Forest!!  And thank you for allowing me to capture some great moments at your Cheer Camp.

Check my SmugMug account for new photos to be posted every day this week!  Purchasing prints of the photos will benefit the Naaman Forest Cheer Squads.

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Pet Photography: Tanzen

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Meet Tanzen.
Tanzen is 15.

Tanzen has been a devoted companion to Elisabeth since being rescued at a young age.  They have lived life together.  Change in jobs.  Move across the country.  New homes.  New cars.  Baby coming home.  Tanzen and Elisabeth have done it together.

So, in honor of Tanzen and his amazing friendship and devotion, he received his very own photo shoot.  The love between these two is tangible when you see them together.  They have lived life together.

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We had to bribe him to stay outside with us for this early morning shoot.  He was content to be inside on the couch.  He knows how to work for treats.

But, you know I couldn’t just focus on sweet Tanzen.  There is Tanzen’s younger four-legged sister Georgia.  And the two-legged kind too.

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Susannah Golden Hair 2_1490So, on an early Sunday morning, we took photos, played, laughed and celebrated Tanzen.

S Portrait B&W 8x10_1485And my favorite part . . . . being reminded that they are never too young or old to check out the photographer’s work.

2015-08-20 05.09.24I sure hope they approved.  But, just for the fun of it, I gave the budding photographer the opportunity to take her a few of her own .

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Not bad!!  Get that girl a camera!!  Isn’t her mother beautiful!

Elisabeth, thank you for letting me capture these moments.  I was honored to be welcomed into your home.

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Sparkle: Save the Date Photos

My Sparkle Friend is getting married!!

I was so honored when she asked if I could get a few photos of her and her soon to be hubby for their Save the Date cards.

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I am not certain if I have blogged about my Sparkle Friend before.  I have so named her this cause she likes anything that sparkles or glitters.

Unlike me, she is also the last minute type of girl.  I, of course, prefer a good plan laid out weeks, if not months in advance.

She can plan an amazing shindig; however, just know she will have the outline of the menu, party decorations and activities scribbled on a napkin, approximately three hours before it is to begin.  Then she pulls it off without issue – just as people begin to arrive.

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So, knowing this about Sparkle, I knew booking a date for this photo shoot or having a plan as to how this would all go down, was just not going to happen.

After several attempts of her grabbing me and the camera at the last minute, we learned that our schedules do not mesh well.  We are both busy girls!  Getting a photo shoot in  was going to be a challenge.

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So, when we received about a foot of fresh snow on a weekday, she called me up right before sundown and asked, “How about we do that picture thing in the snow?!  Like right now!”

I had several good reasons to say “no”.  (1) Cause it had just taken me 2 1/2 hours to get home from the Adoption Center and (2) I was in my pajamas!  (3) Not to mention it was cold out there!!

But, she is my Sparkle Friend and I knew they would be fabulous in the fresh snow with the City of Dallas behind them.

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So, I have waited, sitting on pins and needles, for the Save the Dates to hit the mailboxes.  And now that they have, here are these fun and fabulous photos.

My Sparkle Friend had a vision.  She is a city girl who loves rock ‘n’ roll, designer clothes and a pretty cocktail.  He is a country boy who loves country music, hunting and fishing.  They make the perfect pair!

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Can’t wait for the wedding!!  I may even wear sparky shoes just for her!

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TMHPR Volunteers

I originally wrote this blog post for the Take Me Home Pet Rescue (TMHPR) blog, but once it was finished.  Felt it was personal enough to share with my audience as well.

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Yesterday, I met a couple of the volunteers at the Adoption Center to help walk dogs and get some photos of the dogs who are currently in the Adoption Center. 

(We are unusually full right now at the center as the cold weather has brought in a few additional dogs who were not planned intakes; therefore, we have called for all hands on deck.  Oh, and we have more coming this afternoon.  Did I mention how full we are?  Should I ask for new foster families now?)

While there, we took the opportunity to get a few shots of the dogs who are there onsite.  To do this we use dog and cat “wranglers”.  These volunteers help in the photography studio to position the foster animals for their glamour shots.  Treat them for sitting, posing.  Place props, etc.

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Fabulous volunteer Carolyn “wrangling”.

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Carolyn & her buddy both laughing as she tries to “wrangle” the big puppy.

It can become a very comical situation as we sometimes get more “tail” shots than head shots of some of the animals.

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Super Cooper (Adopted) showing off his swishing tail earlier this year.

When I came home from the adoption center, I was reviewing the photos and found some wonderful shots that included our volunteers doing what they do best.

Loving the dogs.  Truly showing what these dogs have to give back . . . and reminding us why it is so worth saving them.

Meet Marianne?

She was a part of a dog hoarding situation in Dallas.  We took in two Mama dogs and their litters on Christmas night.  (Here story via blog posts are here and here.)

She came into the center very scared and protective of her litter.  And rightly so, she had scars and puncture wounds all over her face.  Proof that she had worked hard to protect her little family.

Well, this is Marianne two months later.  She has grown into an amazing, gentle and loving dog.  This is all due to the wonderful volunteers who took the time to love her and teach her that she can trust humankind again.

She has a “thing” for Mark, so we had him help get her posed for photos.  I kept taking photos even when she was not in position.  It is what I do for a living, lifestyle photography

When I got home, this is what I saw.

Her eyes looking into his.  Nose to nose.

His look for true love for her as she went in for a kiss.

And the hugs and cuddles.

This is why we do what we do.  Because these animals do not know what it is to be loved when they come in the TMHPR doors.  But, when they leave, it is all they know.

To find out more about TMHPR, please visit the website at www.takemehomepetrescue.com

Also, their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/takemehomepetrescue

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New Partnership – Take Me Home Pet Rescue

This blog post as been months in the making.  I just had to finally sit down and organize my thoughts.  Sometimes that comes at normal hours, but most of the time it occurs in the middle of the night or during the shampoo of a hot shower.

When I left the corporate world, I knew I was in search of a new focus in life.  (Hence the name of my business.  Refocused)

I knew I wanted to start my own photography business.  I wanted to spend more time with my dogs.  And I wanted to simplify life.  No more long days in a high rise sitting behind a computer.  No more high heels, business suits or internal meetings that drag on forever.  And most of all no more Obama changing the legislation on a daily basis.

But, I knew I also wanted to use my talents for the greater good of all mankind —- and animals.  (Say that bold part in a bold and dramatic voice.  In your head of course.)

But, for about 6 months I didn’t really know what that something actually was.  With some soul searching and watching for doors to open, I found those somethings.  Yes, more than one.

Since finding my talent, I have often wondered what life would have been like, had I learned photography at an earlier age.  Would I have pursued a formal education in the art?  What would I have done with the talent?  And where would I be now?

And due to my love for animals, I knew I wanted to try to find a rescue organization where I could assist in photographing the dogs as they wait for their forever homes.  It has been proven that when an animal has a beautiful portrait, they are more likely to be adopted.

In November of 2014, I was introduced to Take Me Home Pet Rescue through a friend that I have known of almost 20 years.  I did some fostering of puppies and then volunteered to help with photos for their website.  And then it took off from there.  And it has been AMAZING!!  (And a lot of hard work, but so worth it.)

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I can’t wait to see what all God has planned for me as I work with this organization.  The people and animals are just wonderful.

Here are a few cute puppies that I have recently photographed.  All photos of the pets I have photographed can be seen here.  Or by clicking on the photos below.

Annie Face_0722 Rudy Wire Basket_0710The first little girl is named Annie and she is currently available for adoption.  The second little guy was actually a foster I had for about four weeks.  As I work with this organization, I am being challenged by writing for their blog, fostering, and learning all I can about social media and how to optimize their reach with social networking.

Want to follow that blog?  Click here.

You can learn more about Take Me Home Pet Rescue at www.takemehomepetrescue.com.  That way I don’t continue to go on and on about how wonderful they are and all the good that they are doing.

The 2nd something.  Well, that will come in another blog post.

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Photographing Teens – Dallas Photographer

Photographing teens can be a bit tricky.  But, through my experiences, I have learned they are simply just bigger versions of those 3 and 4 year old children that I photograph.

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Learning to adjust to who they are and how they want to be photographed, in order to truly capture who they are at this moment in their lives is so very important.

So, when these boys were determined to be silly and wrestle each other during their shoot, I kept shooting.  And came up with some shots that truly captured the love these brothers have for each other. (But, don’t tell them that.)

No, they are not your typical posed, striving for perfection shots, but this is my style choice.  (Style choice is another blog post that is just brewing in my head and will be released through the fingertips soon.)  I shoot lots of shots of the many moments of the photo shoot.  Not just the posed ones.

I photographed the Plumer boys in the Fall of 2014 for their annual Christmas cards.  I took a new approach in this particular shoot.  I took each boy with me on the streets in the Bishop Arts District to photograph them separately and then together.

And allow me to mention that together, we ended up throwing rocks at each other.  Some how they draw the fun out of you!

Boys Skipping Grant Up2 B&W_0678Boys Skipping Arms B&W_0677Who would a thought I went get these awesome shots in an alley of these boys skipping!!  And the laughing was endless!

Many times, sending the parents away means the teen can focus on me and listen to my instruction.  Or better yet, I can talk to the teen, so they relax in front of the camera.  (I’ve been known to do that a couple of times with little ones, as well.  But, this approach is only done when I know the parents and children well.)

Grant4_0686Grant was very serious during his shoot.  He was serious about his hair, the angles and not smiling.  So, it was during a rock trowing moment, when I banished him to a stool and then to the car that I captured this true laugh that now hangs in their home.

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Now Reid, he is not the smiling type.  I quickly learned that being asked to smile makes him nervous.  So, I just had him talk to me.  We did some serious shots and then we just let him show off the new tennis shoes that he loved.  (Don’t ask me who’s they are or what team he plays for, I have already forgotten.)

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And I find they are more open to your ideas or suggestions when you allow them to be a part of thecreative process.   So, I always ask them what shots they have seen that they may want to try and then I show them the shot in the camera and measure their reaction.

Reid Wall_0683 All About the Shoes2_0681Every photo session teaches me new lessons.  But, this particular session was so insightful.  Learning that my style is not wrong.  There is not a wrong or right when you are talking art.  And I will continue to develop my style using what my clients bring to the session in their personalities and demeanor.

If you are needing a photography session that expresses your child’s personality, please contact v2 Refocused Photography and let’s plan a session!  469.571.0245

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Dallas Arboretum – Family Photography Session

One of the greatest perks of owning a predominately “word-of-mouth” business are the wonderful people that I meet on a daily basis.

You see these meetings result when other clients, friends or family want their friends or family to become my clients.  What a blessing and HUGE compliment to be recommended for your work!

Meeting a new family through my family photography business is an adventure.  I love the challenge of working their personalities into the photography session.

And once again, my recent photo session did not disappoint, as I worked with a fabulous family who were so excited to have their little ones’ personalities captured by the camera.

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We have had unseasonably warm weather here in Dallas the last few weeks, so I was able to get a few photo shoots in that were outdoors.  This family had decided that they wanted to try a family photography session at the Dallas Arboretum.

Now, as I have learned in the past, the colors at the Dallas Arboretum are not grande in the winter, but the textures of the rocks, ground coverings and plants truly shine.

And the family members shine as well.  We started out letting the kids be kids.  Let them run the paths, climb the rocks and see what candid shots we could get.  (They were not ready for the posed shots anyway!  And I needed to get to know them more.)

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So, they climbed some rocks . . . . . .

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Gave some silly grins . . . . .

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And played on the paths.

Then we got serious, sort of.

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They did some sitting in their really cute outfits.  But, if you wanted sitting still and posing, that was not these kids.  So, we didn’t force it, we adjusted to them.

So, they laughed . . .

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Giggled . . .

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and tickled their way through the family photo shoot.

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And I think it turned out . . .  perfectly!

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Want to see more of this family photo shoot and other work by v2 Refocused Photography, please use this link.  Or click on any of the photos above.

Need to schedule a family photo session?  Contact me at vanessa@v2refocusedphotography.com

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Fun Family Photography – Dallas

I continue to meet the most wonderful people through the many different avenues in which my life as a photographer takes me.  I am amazed at how God opens doors for me to meet some of the most caring and genuine people.

Some of those people are, in fact, entire families who have asked me to capture a moment in their lives that includes how they interact as a family.  It is a joy to capture the personalities of the individuals and the family, as a whole.

Just a couple of months ago, I was approached by my dear friend, Beth, who asked if I was interested in donating photography services for her MOPS auction at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

More than interested, I  donated two full sessions, knowing that this would be an opportunity to meet new people and expand my world. Something I am challenging myself to do more and more often.

So, that is how I found myself photographing this fun family in the beautiful winter weather at the Dallas Arboretum this last weekend.

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Stay tuned for their photo gallery later this week.  It will be filled with great fun and surprises!

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Dallas – Newborn Photography

Some of my favorite clients are the tiniest.  Newborn photography is some of the sweetest for me because it means I get to cuddle and coo with some of the tiniest of newborns.

Meet sweet Kade.  I have known Kade’s grandmother for almost all of my life, literally.  She and her husband were neighbors of ours so early on in my life, that memories of them are a bit fuzzy.  But, oh how I remember loving the time that we lived next to them.

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This sweet boy is the first grand baby to bless this family.  I can’t wait to watch this little one grow.  To see more of Kade’s newborn shoot, click on this link, or the photo above.

Take a moment to browse my SmugMug account to see additional photo shoots.

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