I’ve known Madison and Tyler for many years through Janice at Big Dog Little Bed and have photographed Tyler a few times for his videographer work there. But this was my first time photographing Madison and Tyler not only has a couple, but as parents to their sweet little boy River. River is SO CUTE and also VERY COOPERATIVE AS A BABY MODEL and also LOVES TO SHOVE SWEET POTATOES IN HIS FACE. He’s fun. He smiles a ton. We taught him how to play a tambourine. He did some swing dancing. He hung out on a backyard hammock. River’s living his best baby life over there. And who can forget Margie the Dog? I painted a portrait of Margie once for my Familiar Dolls side business along with her brother Vernon, and while Vernon is unfortunately no longer with us, Margie is thrilled to have River around. She is an incredibly sweet pup who loves attention and cuddles and insisted that I take at least 5 minutes out of my working schedule to sit with her on the couch (I did). Really she insisted on more than 5 minutes but I had to work and she’s still not over it. We had such a good time together in their beaaaautiful home (that yard!). And now that Geoff’s joined Tyler’s baseball team, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make up for lost Margie time.

Abbi and Olivia! It had been a little over 5 years since I saw these two last! I photographed their engagement session and then they got married and then there was a pandemic and then they had a magnificent child named Arlo! They also adopted Basil, a second German Shepherd to be friends with Maizee (but really Basil is Arlo’s bff and buddy. Also Maizee’s bff and buddy. Also your bff and buddy and everyone’s bff and buddy). Arlo loves smiling and watching his Mama and Mom act like dinosaurs, which they do frequently and with great gusto. It’s really incredible to watch. The roars are intense. Arlo loves it. Arlo loves building with blocks and watching Basil swim in the pool. Arlo also loves playing with video game controllers and with his (badass) toy staple gun. Yes, it makes staple gun noises. Yes, it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. And yes, I grabbed it and pretended to staple my clients because that’s what you do with a toy staple gun.

But what Arlo really, really loves is being turned upside down. I think he would’ve let us keep him upside down forever except that’s probably not safe so we made him take breaks but wow. He really loves being upside down when he’s not stapling things. He is heckin’ cute. He’s even more heckin’ cute when we goes swimming but we didn’t put him in a swim diaper so his diaper grew 3 sizes that day and he had a giant baby butt and we just love Arlo. Maizee, the black German Shepherd, is a polite lady who enjoys eating snacks and hanging around with all her friends. Basil is a high-energy ball of barking who is obsessed with tiny balls of reflected light that come from watches, rings, and cameras. She also enjoys swimming and fetching and protecting Arlo and responding to the word “squirrel” with lots of enthusiasm! I’m so happy for this family of 5. They’re so sweet and so kind and I’m glad to know them. I’m also glad that they introduced me to toy staple guns.

Ohhh, friends of the blog will remember Jessie and Dan’s wedding at the Pittsburgh Aviary in 2018 where I met a really lovely little penguin named Disco who pooped on my shoe and it was the best cocktail hour ever. I also met a very small adorable owl. It was the best. Anyway, it was also the best because Jessie and Dan were there and they are absolutely two of the kindest, sweetest people in the universe. I like them a lot. I’m sad that we’re far away from each other, especially since I developed a strong, undeliable, and presumably lifelong bond with their cat Lola in the 1.5 hours I was at their house. Lola is an *extremely friendly!* cat. I’d like to assume that she only loves me, but I don’t think this is the case since she seems to also really love Jessie, Dan, their dog Charlie (also very sweet!) and their lovely little toddler Lilli (also VERY sweet!). Lilli is extremely close with Lola and Charlie. She hugs Lola a lot, and Lola is totally cool with it. Charlie also accidentally hits Lola in the face with his wagging tail a lot, and Lola is totally cool with it. Lola recently went to the groomer and came away looking like a small little tortie lion, and she is totally cool with it. Lola is cool with a lot of things and I am totally cool with Lola.

I love toddlers who love animals and treat them gently and lovingly and I know that Lilli will grow up to be a sweet and kind person like her parents. She offered both of her parents her crackers. She offered both of her parents her ice cream (!!). She even offered Charlie and Lola her ice cream (we intervened). I can’t say that I’ve voluntarily offered anyone my ice cream ever, and maybe I think I should take some notes on sharing from Lilli. It was so much fun to see this family all together – cats and dogs getting along together, toddlers and cats getting along together, world peace and harmony. I’m so happy to have gotten to work with Jessie and Dan again and to meet their amazing little crew!

toddler sitting on couch holding a book
parents sitting next to toddler on couch reading a book
parents reading a book to a toddler in front of fireplace
parents holding toddler in living room with black dog
portrait of a toddler holding a book
toddler walking through a babygate
toddler standing in a hardwood floor and smiling
mom holding laughing toddler upside down
toddler feeding a dog treats and cat with lion haircut
family portrait with pets at home
dad tickling toddler and laughing
dad and daughter at home with black dog
smiling toddler on couch
mom handing juice to her daughter
toddler standing in a kitchen
cat doll on fireplace
parents helping toddler walk on the couch
mom and daughter sitting on a chair
girl hugging baby bunny doll
girl carrying around bunny doll and black dog
girl carrying around bunny doll
parents playing blocks with young girl
dog photobomb
girl laughing as blocks fall
girl stacking blocks in living room
dad crawling after baby girl
toddler photobomb
family portrait with pets
mom reading book to daughter
parents reading a picture book with toddler
toddler climbing to look out window
toddler looking out window in pittsburgh
pittsburgh family photographers
little hands on windowsill looking out window
mom and daughter looking out window in pittsburgh
toddler running around house
mom laughing with daughter
parents trying to get little girl to dance
smiling toddler reading book in a chair
mom reading a book to her daughter
mom reading a book to her daughter
parents reading book to little girl in chair
parents reading book to little girl in chair
parents reading book to little girl in chair
dad reading a book to his daughter
dad reading a book to his daughter
little girl carrying book around house
little girl and bunny doll
toddler meltdown
toddler meltdown during family photos
toddler smiling during family photos
toddler looking at stained glass in house
mother carrying daughter down the stairs
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
little girl eating crackers
toddler hugging cat
toddler and cat with lion cut
toddler and cat with lion cut
parents coloring with daughter
parents coloring with daughter
parents coloring with daughter
black dog and tortie cat with lion cut
girl holding ice cream cone
girl offering ice cream cone to dad
toddler gets cold while eating ice cream
toddler eating ice cream next to cat while holding cat doll
toddler eating ice cream next to cat while holding cat doll
toddler offering ice cream to dog
black dog smiling