We photographed Sara and Jackson back in 2016 when they were freshly engaged and before I knew that Sara had a household full of plants. SARA HAS A HOUSEHOLD FULL OF PLANTS. They’re all wonderful. She’s a very good plant lady. The plants like her. She keeps alive plants I’ve killed many times. Likewise, her husband Jackson and dog Pippa are also still alive (I’m clearly running out of good transitions) and thriving alongside Sara. Jackson is still a paleontologist (YAY!) but is still not Ross from Friends (booooo) and still doesn’t spend his weekends in tan khaki shorts, wool socks, hiking books, and a safari hat digging up bones with little brushes in the desert (double booooooooo). It’s really disappointing but I still like him. Sara is currently completing her masters and just finished a complicated thesis! She was thankfully not hunched over a computer typing during the shoot but instead had that satisfying look on her face of “I’ve turned in a large paper and now there’s nothing left to do.” A wonderful feeling. Together, they live with Pippa, a VERY GOOD GIRL who does tricks and is exceedingly friendly but looks like we’re constantly embarrassing her (probably because we are). So they put her in a Christmas sweater and made guacamole and I photographed it.
Sooo many pups lately! We’ve had a ton of them accompanying us to shoots, but we can’t complain because who doesn’t love fuzzy adorableness? I am a sucker for fluffy dogs and especially Huskies, so when Abby and Rick told us that they were planning on bringing their eight week old Husky pup named Athena, I went to work on devising a plan where we could pretend like we’re posing and photographing the couple, but really just photograph Athena the entire time. Then when Abby and Rick would see the pictures later, they couldn’t even be mad that there weren’t any pictures of them because Athena is so cute.
But it turns out that Abby and Rick were also really cute, and really nice, and the light was SO GOOD on this morning session in Durham that we decided to suck it up and not just photograph Athena, but also photograph her owners as well as her adorrrrrable and very very sweet older brother, Atlas, a Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix. Atlas is ridiculously calm and well behaved for his age (ten months), and also fiercely loyal to his mother. He cried whenever she’d walk around the corner despite many pets and reassurances from us that we weren’t kidnapping her. The pups kept Abby company while Rick was away on deployment, and now they are all very happy to have Rick back home to spend time together hiking and being really, really cute.
There’s no bigger compliment than having a client return to you for more pictures, and it’s certainly no exception with this amazing group. Claudia and Ron are some of my favorite people. I took their portraits last April in their backyard with their two Goldens, Layla and Canela. At the time, Canela was undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of cancer and was doing quite well, but he unfortunately lost his battle last November and passed away. This was incredibly devastating for all of us and he is very much missed to this day.
Claudia and Ron adopted another retriever pal for Layla and Canela shortly before Canela passed away (so Canela got to teach him the ropes!) and named him Reagan. He was so tiny then, and is so giant now (Reagan is white, Layla is golden). Due to Reagan lovingly destroying his parents’ garden, we decided to move off the homefront for the portraits this year. Reagan and Layla are adorable together (and so are their parents!) and were quite good on location (thanks goes to Geoff for puppy wrangling on this shoot and occasionally snapping a shot when not tangled in leashes and toys). We missed Canela terribly but we’re sure he was with us during the shoot and approves of the pictures! Thanks to Claudia and Ron for being amazing clients and amazing dog parents… the love with which they treat these dogs is awesome.