VIDEO: Heart of The Labs

Posted on: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We truly love what we do for a living. As animal photographers, a typical day at work for us involves time spent with dogs or cats and the people who love them, creating photographs that speak of a timeless bond, where pets are far more than just pets; they are partners, companions, friends, soul mates… they are family. Take a peek inside who we are — a couple of animal lovers and photography geeks who frequently still shoot with film, how we became a celebrated creative team — inspired by a certain black Labrador, what working with us is like — from the lips of some of our favorite clients, and most importantly, why we do what we do.

At the center and heart of who we are as The Labs are three things: a love and appreciation for companion animals and their people, to be of service and give back to our community and to have fun in our professional lives. These three things go hand in hand with one another, and the balance of the three inspire us to create work we are proud of and have a great time producing.

It all started because of a dog — a beloved black Labrador named Corbin. The word “cancer” is the last thing you want to hear from your vet’s mouth. Thankfully, we caught it early, and Corbie beat it. The love and support of fellow dog lover friends was key to helping us get through that fight. That support and compassion from others, combined with the realization of how precious our time with these creatures is, ultimately inspired and became Photo Lab. Photographing Corbin and our lives with him — and knowing that this was something we could gladly do for others — became our mission, and after a lot of hard work and preparation, our dream job.

Today, we work hard and play hard, and this wonderfully crazy idea has helped us connect to amazing people who share our values and passion for companion animals. Whether they are families we photograph or working with business owners involved in the pet industry, our dedication is the same: giving 150% to creating a great experience from start to finish and leaving them with images we put our heart and soul into.

HeartOfTheLabs_Linda_2 Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.59.19
Client Love

There is nothing quite like making a connection with a person over a shared love. Putting our heart and soul into everything we create has time and again left us humbled with the response from our clients.
Read More →
A Creative Collaboration

This gorgeous film is the result of the collective effort and participation of a small village of amazing people. There were more than a few laughs and good meals shared, making this whole experience one we will never forget.
Read More →
About Bill & Nat

Our world is one in which art and animals come together in a wonderful way. Photography is about savoring the “now” and preserving it to continue enjoying it later. It is a privilege to get to work with animals so tied to the human condition.
Read More →

Our 2015 Calendar Revealed: Dogs, Cats and Beautiful Words

Posted on: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

: from The Labs :

Throughout the year, we pour our heart and soul into the work we do. Whether it is a photograph we create, a design or illustration project or an original piece of writing, our Lessons from the Water Bowl Calendar is the culmination of a year’s worth of creative works. We curate some of our favorite images from this year and I sit down to ponder what lessons the animals we have met have taught us this year. After I write each lesson, I arrange the text and place it over each photograph. I am a typography nerd, so this meticulous task takes a lot of time.

When you have one of our calendars hanging on your wall, you are supporting every hour of care and attention to detail we, as artisans, have put into our craft. From the moment our camera shutter clicks, to putting pencil to paper to write these words and sitting in front of the computer making everything look perfect. We care about the products we create, so we carefully sourced the paper that the calendar is printed on to ensure it does justice to our photographs, but also to contribute to the protection of the environment. Support small business and artists by giving a gift such as this one, to those you love.

We are thrilled to bring you, for the third year in a row, our Lessons from the Water Bowl 2015 Calendar. It is our hope that these works bring you joy day to day and remind you each month to live life fully and well, the way our companion animals do.


Our calendar is currently being printed and ready for pre-order in limited quantities and will be ready to ship after December 6th. To get your calendar, and many other original gifts, please shop HERE.

Take advantage of our Black LAB Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday specials!
Friday through Monday, 
calendars are $28.00 ($32.00 original price). Buy 3 or more calendars and receive a FREE Dangerous Foods for Dogs magnet!

And now, it is my great pleasure, to unveil a closer look at our 2015 Lessons from the Water Bowl :)

**All photography and original text Copyright of ©Photo Lab Pet Photography. All Rights Reserved. Text or image may not be used without permission. Pin and Share if you like, but please be kind and give credit. Thank you!**



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**All photography and original text Copyright of ©Photo Lab Pet Photography. All Rights Reserved. Text or image may not be used without permission. Pin and Share if you like, but please be kind and give credit. Thank you!**

Corbin’s Gift : Celebrating 10 Years

Posted on: Friday, November 21, 2014

: from The Photo Lab :

Photo Lab Pet Photography was inspired by a certain black Labrador. On November 23rd, our favorite guy and the dog that started it all is turning 10. This is a huge milestone for us, especially with Corbin being a twice-now Cancer survivor. We cherish every day we have with him, and photographing him and our lives with him has not only been a pleasure, but a very important mission: to do the same for you and your beloved companion animals.

So, in honor of Corbin’s 10th birthday as well as his feline sister Leeloo (who also turned 10 this year), we put together a little something for you:


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Once Upon a Dream : A Halloween Theme Photoshoot

Posted on: Friday, October 24, 2014

: from The Photo Lab :

If you spent 5 minutes talking to me about creating for a living, you will hear me say time and time again how important I think personal work is. When putting food on the table depends on your creativity day in and day out, it is very easy to feel drained, tired and uninspired; the ever feared “creative burnout”. This is where I find it crucial to make time for personal work, to actively do something to make us fall in love with our craft all over again.

Great things come from personal projects; in fact, from last year’s Halloween shoot, we booked a few more jobs because people loved what we created. It is still one of my favorite things we have ever done, and in part it is the story behind those images that makes me even more attached to them. We had so much fun last year, that we decided to make it a yearly affair. Why Halloween? Because it is the perfect excuse to make some magic happen!

To see and read about last year’s Halloween theme shoot, click HERE and then come right back!

This year’s theme came to me, funny enough, in a dream. I woke up excited and giddy, the way you feel about the possibility of something. After a brief brainstorm session with Bill, and a quick message to our friend Jen to see if she would be up for the adventure (she was!); we set out to quickly plan the shoot. I knew I wanted a moody, dreamy scene. I knew I wanted Willow to be a part of it again this year and I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot… only it involved a hike up a steep mountain… with gear, a dog, and some props. Thankfully, Bill and Jen caught the same excitement bug and were game for the challenge.

A little sweaty and out of breath, we made it to my ideal location. The sun was quickly setting, so we had to move fast to get our gear setup before we found ourselves in a pitch black Manzanita grove. While Jen did her makeup and put her costume on, Willow sat by very patiently (so incredibly proud of my girl!) while Bill and I raced around messing with flashes, light stands, camera and exposure. By 7:00, we were ready to roll. The sun was gone, it was dark and if someone had walked by and seen us… well, I can’t even imagine what they would think, haha!

Just like last year, serendipitously, everything fit and went smoothly. Jen was amazing, in character and looking bad-ass. Willow reprised her role of a wolf without any trouble, and as if she knew what we needed, she delivered, and then some. The result is even better than what I had dreamed once upon a time: a dark, enchanted forest where a misunderstood fairy queen met her loyal friend, a black wolf. And in my head, I heard Lana del Rey singing “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…”

Happy Halloween everyone! Have fun, and keep your pups and kittens safe!

PL_OnceUponADream**All images are © Photo Lab Pet Photography 2014. All rights reserved. Share and pin if you like, but please be kind and give credit.**


Holiday Specials 2014

Posted on: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

: from The Photo Lab :

A gift of custom photography is a tough one to beat. Your gift is that of an experience, with tangible memories that celebrate something meaningful. Time goes by, trends change, clothes go in and out of style and the newest gadget will be replaced by something newer, faster and better in a matter of months.
Photographing those you love however, that lasts a lifetime.

We are thrilled to share our Holiday Collections for 2014! We book up very fast, so this year we are releasing them a little earlier. Each if these packages is available as a gift certificate if you are giving it to someone. If you are getting it for yourself and would like to send some amazing Holiday Greeting Cards out this year, we recommend you book soon so we can make sure to have your cards ready in time to send out for the holidays.

The last day to snag one of these puppies is December 1st. After that date, the Holiday Specials go back to the North Pole and won’t come back until next year; so if you have been waiting for the perfect time to get a taste of what it’s like to have a portrait session with us, this is the perfect taste, don’t wait until the last minute! Get your shopping done early and relax.



If you have any questions regarding any of our packages or would like more information about creating your own custom package, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

PLEASE NOTE: We will be away from the office from 10/24 to 11/2. If you need to get in touch right away, please send us an email or Facebook message for a quicker reply. We won’t be receiving any voicemail messages left at our office line. 

We look forward to making your Holidays a little warmer! :)

A Great Dane at a Great Beach : California Dog Photography

Posted on: Tuesday, August 5, 2014

from The Photo Lab

It is no secret; puppies grow up way too fast. Nowhere is this truth more evident than watching a Great Dane puppy grow up.


This is the first of three portrait sessions in our Puppy’s First Year package. We absolutely love doing these. We get to see a dog grow up and photograph them at three different stages within their first year of life. The changes, especially in large dogs, are remarkable; so we were thrilled when Claire Dane’s family (get it? Claire the Great Dane, Claire Danes :) )contacted us about doing the honors.




Claire’s family was initially worried that the foggy weather at Dillon Beach would not do much for our portrait session, but we were actually thrilled to see that lovely marine layer. Claire has the most stunning coat patterns and features, and the fog, light blues and taupe tones of the beach that day, combined with her moms’ black outfits, it was a dream of a color palette for us, and it all made Claire stand out from the environment.





Claire is your typical happy and healthy (and beloved) puppy. After an hour or so of running and digging in the sand, she started to get tired, and nothing sounded cozier than to come back in from the mist and settle in for a nice puppy nap.



Did you know that a dog’s pink/spotted nose will change throughout their life? The spots will change with age and weather, so it was definitely something we wanted to photograph.



We saw Claire and her moms again recently, and she had already grown so much! We are looking forward to the second session, and sharing her gangly, adolescent glory with you all.

**Pin and share if you like, but please be kind and give credit. All photographs ©Photo Lab Pet Photography**



Client Love: Heart of The Labs

Posted on: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

In photographing what we love and care about, we have managed to strike a chord with like-minded and passionate people. There is nothing quite like making a connection with a person over a shared love. Putting our heart and soul into everything we create has time and again left us humbled with the response from our clients.

Our number one goal for any photography session, whether it is a commissioned portrait, or a commercial/editorial shoot, is to create beautiful, artistic and engaging work while making it a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, especially the dogs and cats being photographed. That connection and comfort, paired with our voice and style as artists is what ultimately makes our work what it is. Our work has an emotional response and that feedback is what keeps us going, working hard to be the best we can be.

Casting for our recent film really made us see how lucky we have been to have created such an incredible network. Not only was seeing all these faces again a fabulous thing in itself, now they will always be a part of us in the frames of this film.

See the film here.

HeartOfTheLabs_Linda_2 “The photos that they delivered…they made me cry.” — Linda

Linda and her dogs Kacee and Oscar were our first ever clients. It was Linda who planted the seed of photographing companion animals as a full-time job. She has since been our most devoted spokesperson and advocate and has been lovingly nicknamed our “fairy dogmother.”
HeartOfTheLabs_JaymiNiner_2 “Bill and Nat had such calm, patient energy that the photoshoot went super smoothly, we had a wonderful time.” — Jaymi

Jaymi and Niner have become one of our favorite teams to work with. Whether for commercial photo shoots or commissioned portraits, these two have such an enviable bond and connection, it makes them a dream to work with.
HeartOfTheLabs_Poppy_Jen_Steven_2 “It was just an immediate connection, we’ll have these photos forever and that makes Poppy timeless… so it makes us really happy.” — Jen and Steven

Jen and Steven are a perfect example of our core values when photographing families, honoring a bond and making a moment and a beloved dog (or cat) timeless. Photographing Poppy was like photographing sunshine.
HeartOfTheLabs_CameronCharlie_2 “Working with dogs and animals in general, you have to expect the unexpected. You have to improvise and really have a connection with animals, and both Nat and Bill do that. They are always able to get the best out of the dog.” — Cameron (Bark Magazine)

When Cameron Woo, creative director of Bark, contacted us with a request to photograph the cover for their spring issue, our jaws hit the floor. We had the pleasure of photographing the newest member of the Bark family of canines, a sweet little terrier mix named Charlie.

Creative Collaboration: Heart of The Labs

Posted on: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This gorgeous film is the result of the collective effort and participation of a small village of amazing people. We had a lot to say, there would be valued dogs and people involved, lots of hiking to do, and there was only one team we trusted with it all: Viktor Budnik, Director/DP and Gaszton Gal, Grip/Camera Operator.

From day one, talking about what the message and feel of the film would be, Viktor immediately captured our voice, and he knew what we needed to convey before we even did! Viktor studied our work, our lighting style, he asked a lot of great questions to get to the heart of why we do what we do. Viktor and Gaszton were so kind and fun to work with that we felt completely at ease throughout the entire three-day shoot. They took care of our clients, making them feel appreciated for the time they took, and they made all of us feel comfortable, resulting in everyone looking and sounding amazing!

There were more than a few laughs and good meals shared, making this whole experience one we will never forget. The final testament to the work they have done — with the love and support from everyone involved — is this exquisite film we are so proud of. None of it would have been possible without all of those ingredients, and we have never felt more humbled and appreciative of our little circle.

See the film here.

Fairy Dogmother to The Photo Lab

Posted on: Monday, June 2, 2014

: from The Photo Lab :



How often can you truly say someone changed your life? Where something they did, or said, completely altered your way of looking at things and set you on a different path? We can. That person is a dear friend, her name is Linda and we have lovingly nicknamed her our “Fairy Dogmother.”

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An Enviable Bond : Jaymi & Niner

Posted on: Thursday, May 29, 2014

: from The Photo Lab :


One of my favorite parts of our job as animal photographers is witnessing that powerful bond someone can have with a dog. Being invited into such an intimate experience is a privilege and we give it all we have to make sure our work honors and does justice to what we see.


Niner, a stunning Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler mix is a very special dog, he is brilliantly smart, agile and incredibly sharp. He needed a very special person to share his life with and thrive; someone exactly like Jaymi.

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