Objectives: to photograph the amazingly talented and gorgeous Perry Vaile of Perry Vaile Photography alongside her handsome husband Shawn. Also, to photograph the slightly elusive and slightly adorably-crosseyed cat Lexie. Also, to photograph the previous racing dogs learning how to be precious house dogs Huckleberry and Finnigan. This was the mission I accepted at their house. The second mission was to go to Perry’s neighbor’s farm down the road and photograph them there… where there happened to be the most adorable miniature donkeys ever.  Now, I’m not sure that “ever” really describes it as I’m fairly certain that miniature donkeys ANYWHERE would be the cutest ever, but, you know what I mean. So the house mission combined with the farm mission was total cuteness overload and WAY too much cute to photograph in 2 hours… so just know that I tried, Perry, but your family is way, way too cute… and thus this was only a glimpse into its cuteness.

I was super honored to be chosen by Perry to photograph her family this year as she is a WONDERFUL photographer and I was crazy nervous a bit like this. She and Shawn were so amazingly sweet to me and made me feel perfectly comfortable though… and I’m so happy to have worked on this for them!

What’s that? You can’t tell them apart? :)

Canela is 7 years old and has a slightly larger build and muzzle. He looks very much like an adorable fuzzy bear. He is suspected to be Layla’s uncle (Layla is 3 and looks much closer to the standard, traditional golden retriever without bear-relations). They like treats and belly rubs and chin rubs most of all. I was immediately greeted with kisses and licks when I met them at their door, and they proceeded to show me around their house while they went over their notes on how to look best for their pet portraits.

Now – I really and truly love them both (I had to slowly unhinge my jaw on the car ride home to get it functioning again after grinding my teeth the whole session because I was overcome by cuteness and spoke in a baby voice the entire time) …but Canela pretty much stole my heart not just because he looks like a little bear, but also because he is currently undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of his cancer. :( He is taking the chemo very well with little side effects other than he gets tired easily, and there is no prognosis yet on how he’ll fair, but he seems to be doing extraordinarily well and I’m sending all my thoughts and love for Canela to live many more happy doggy years.

Their parents are just as adorable and welcomed me into their home with open arms and a bag full of Guatemala coffee to take home to my parents (the coffee addicts). They met online with Ron living in Raleigh and Claudia living in Guatemala (born and raised). They were married 4 months later in 2005. Ron is now learning Spanish and Claudia checks his homework (although sometimes she grades it wrong). They are fantastic people and fantastic parents to these sweet little furry kids!

Every once in a while I meet a person with dogs who says they don’t like cats because cats don’t have any personality. Or they say they only like cats who are nice and friendly. Granted, I am sure there are some not nice/unfriendly cats out there, but every cat I have ever known has had a huge personality… it’s just that they don’t particularly care for many people besides their owners and their closer friends. We are crazy cat people ourselves so I’m quite partial to the feline club, but no matter what your views are – it’s a bit impossible to see these pictures of Logan+Sully and think that cats don’t have personalities.

Logan Lemewski (“Lemmy”) and Sullivan McSkillet (“Sully) are my nephew-cats. They belong to my sister Laura and live with her in Pittsburgh where they win the all-time award for being  the craaaaaziest cats in the entire world (photographic evidence below). She recently referred a wedding to me and wanted to use the referral bucks to get pictures of her furry crew, so I took their portraits before Christmas and documented the crazy: the catnip bubbles, the jumping off of doors, the hopping up on cabinets, the drinking from faucets, the red cat pajamas. They are stinking adorable but also absolutely insane. She’s had many stories over the past few years and it basically boils down to the conclusion that they must be getting their paws on some pretty heavy catnip stored away in some secret stash.

Cat Answer Key: Sully is the black cat, and Lemmy is the grey and white cat.

<3 Love you, Lemmy, Sully, and Laura!