Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

This Year’s Holiday Specials are Dedicated to Pets and their Kids

Posted on: Monday, September 23, 2013

from the Photo Lab

It is starting to feel like autumn again, our favorite season, our favorite light to photograph in and that means it is also time to reveal this year’s Holiday Specials!

This year, we wanted to pay special attention to that powerful bond that exists between a child and their dog or cat.

Both Bill and I grew up with companion animals and they are such a huge part of our childhood. A first dog, or cat often is a kid’s first teacher in terms of love, friendship, responsibility, respect and unfortunately, loss…
The one thing Bill and I regret about our childhood pets, is not having enough good photographs of them. So we decided to make that our focus this holiday season.

If your kid, or kid at heart has that special someone, we would love to photograph them for you. Whether as a gift or as part of your holiday greetings this year, we created three great options for you, each one includes a 30 minute mini session, 10 to 15 web-friendly files and 20% off additional a la carte products.

Have a look below, choose your spice, get in touch today and beat the holiday rush!

**Please note: we only do a limited number of these sessions (at these package prices), and they tend to book fast. The holiday cards are custom designed by us and are not available anywhere else or at any other time of year except now. The ornament is also a seasonal item only. Our Holiday Specials end on December 15th, don’t wait to book and miss out!

Make time for these moments, just like the seasons change, time passes and nostalgia sets in…
Making great photographs even sweeter.

Photo Lab Pet Photography Holiday Specials

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Dog Model Casting Call

Posted on: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Hellow friends! I know it has been a little quiet around here, but it is only because we have some great new things planned, including a much needed fresh look to this blog. In the meantime, I wanted to share our latest dog model casting call. Please share and spread the word, we would love to work with you and your dog. This is one of our favorite local companies to work with and we are sure you will have a blast.

**To our friends who applied for a casting previously but have not yet had your chance to shine, not to worry, you are at the top of our list for this shoot.

**To our friends who applied for a casting previously but have not yet had your chance to shine, not to worry, you are at the top of our list for this shoot.

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A Fearful Dog’s Tips for July 4th

Posted on: Wednesday, July 3, 2013

from the Labs

It’s that time of the year again… Having had a dreadful night last year with poor Willow (and Leeloo) terrified by the July 4th fireworks, we decided to grab the bull by the horns this year and we put together a little PSA from Willow’s perspective. Below I share some really helpful links to help make your holiday safer, calmer for your dogs and cats and a bit more enjoyable for you.

 

Helping your dog or cat cope with fear, anxiety and noise phobias: 

from Victoria Stilwell

from Patricia McConnell

Through a Dog’s Ear

Thundershirt

Rescue Remedy

Appeasing Pheromones for Dogs and Cats 

 

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

 

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Ask First! A Retrotastic Campaign Poster for Dogs in Need of Space

Posted on: Monday, February 4, 2013

from the Design Lab

Many of us have been there, whether we have friendly dogs who love everyone or we have dogs that are not so sure about new people or other dogs, chances are, we have all had a moment or two during a walk or a hike when an encounter leaves our hearts beating a little faster.
I happen to have both: a dog who loves everyone and a dog who loves dogs, but is afraid of people. Regardless, as their person, it is my responsibility to protect them from anything that might harm them or another person or dog.

I was thrilled when the lovely mastermind behind the popular DINOS: Dogs in Need of Space movement, Jessica Dolce contacted us to collaborate on a new project (we had previously worked together on creating a logo, brand and product line for DINOS). Ask First! is a public service announcement campaign to illustrate and bring attention to the importance of being responsible, respectful and safe when out enjoying the outdoors with our four-legged friends.

To read about the campaign, and why it is important to give people and dogs space, please visit her blog HERE. You can also go to her shop from there and download the poster for free or purchase stickers and lots of other goodies.

 

When Jess and I first sat down to draw some concepts for the poster, two things were at the top of our list: the need for the message to be clear and a love of all things vintage and retro.

So we got to work. Jess wrote all the copy she wanted in the poster and gave me a scenario to start from: two people with dogs cross paths, one dog is very friendly and eager to meet the other, pulling on his leash and directly approaching th other dog. The other dog in question is a DINOS, a dog in need of space, he may be afraid of other dogs or people, he may be in training, he may be in recovery etc. The DINOS dog depends on his person for protection, and so the person pleads with the other to keep a distance from them, with a raised arm and a universal “stop” hand sign.

We drew inspiration mainly from vintage style travel posters like the ones beautifully produced by Anderson Design Group. One of our favorites, being this one for Glacier National Park.

With simple shapes, playing with depth, light and shadow, we were able to create a similar style. Drawing people is no easy feat, especially in a case like this, where a message is being delivered, with a need to appeal to a wide audience, to educate without preaching and to avoid offending anyone.
Why are the people faceless? We thought it appropriate to match the style of the poster, but also, so that we could all put ourselves in that scenario. I’ve been the girl with the friendly dog (more on that below) but I have also been the guy with the DINOS dog.

 

Inside Look: To get just the right angle of bodies and movement, we took photographs of a girl and a dog very eager to get somewhere and a guy raising his hand in “stop” with his dog by his side, looking up at him. Here’s the kicker, the girl and the brown dog is yours truly (if you know me, my bangs are a dead giveaway) and the brown dog is none other than the Design Lab himself, Corbin, with a different coat color. The guy happens to be Bill (the other half of our team) and the little Beagle by his side, was originally modeled by our own DINOS dog Willow, a Shepherd-Kelpie mix that underwent a serious transformation.

We are thrilled to be a small part of this movement, and hope ti will bring awareness and improve safety and relations for dog lovers everywhere. Thanks to Jess and DINOS for always making collaborations so much fun!

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February’s Desktop: Hand-Made with Love

Posted on: Friday, February 1, 2013

from  the Design Lab

It’s month number two in 2013′s calendar series, and I’ve been drawing a lot of letters in my sketchbook lately for a branding project I am working on. I drew 4 more letters to share with you, after all, this fur-letter word is what February is all about right? I hope you enjoy this series and that you share our Design Lab Facebook page (where the download link will be available each month) with others.

To download your free desktop calendar, click HERE.

Thank you!! :)

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52 Weeks Project: Black & White

Posted on: Friday, January 25, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Welcome to Friday’s 52 Weeks project post, a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their photographic interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. We are back this week and have some great images to share. Start here and click on the link at the bottom of this post to jump to the next photographer’s blog, follow the ring until you end up back here.

This week’s theme: Black & White

It is safe to say that black and white film photography was what made me first want to pick up a camera. There is so much to it that just pressing the shutter; there is light, there is film sensitivity (ISO), there is grain and tonality, there’s Ansel Adam’s famed zone system… whew! In its simplest form, it is alluring and beautiful. Black and white can be powerful, it can better convey emotion and mood in some cases than color; you need only look at the work of some of my favorites like Modotti, Karsh and a favorite and dearly missed teacher, mentor and friend Nick Dekker to see what I mean.

Although wonders can be done digitally today, and yummy new presets, actions and filters can be purchased to emulate the “look” and feel of film, to us, there ain’t nothing like the real thing baby.
We took the dogs to the beach as the sun was rising, in celebration of Willow’s 1st birthday, and brought along nothing but a film camera. “What?! That’s risky! What if the film doesn’t come out?!” Well, it is exactly that “risk” that I believe makes us slow down, think, compose, expose and shoot mindfully, all the while making for a great opportunity to perfect our craft. And the delight and surprise that comes when we develop our film, never gets old.
For this session, we brought our favorite color negative film (click HERE if you want to see that too), but with this assignment in mind, we thought we’d play around with a roll of expired black and white film. Yep; film has an expiration date! Expired film can be unpredictable but it can render some pretty sweet results. In this case, large grain and high contrast. The abstract nature of the composition make for an effective nostalgic feeling. What do you think?

 

Follow the blog ring now for some more black and white eye candy, on to Princeton New Jersey dog photography, Barking Lab Studio!

 

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A Puppy Grows Up!

Posted on: Thursday, January 24, 2013

from the Photo Lab

My, how time seems to fly. Wasn’t it only yesterday I brought home a foster puppy named Willow? I will never forget seeing this beautiful creature, cautiously measuring me from the back of a kennel. I was sitting down on the cold floor, speaking softly and not looking at her, she eventually came close to me and allowed me to put a leash on her. This simple, then insignificant moment of trust and physical bonding I would later realize would be the start of something new and powerful. Something that would come to change our lives. That leash symbolized an indescribably strong bond; one I believe has made us better people. A fearful dog has taught us to be brave; to have the courage to love fiercely and unconditionally. To be patient. To be mindful. To be compassionate. 

We brought Willow home when she was 5 months old, and after fostering her for almost four months, we adopted her as our own. In making her a part of our family, we made her a promise, one that many dog lovers can relate to. Every day has been a learning experience since then and it has been so wonderful to see her blossom into what she is today. We see her progress and rejoice in the little things everyday; but it is even more rewarding to hear someone see and appreciate that progress even more, since they don’t see her everyday like we do, the change is even more evident.

I have no doubt we’ve had a small part to play in her overcoming her fears, but I believe that it was Willow’s love of other dogs that has been key to her progress; and one dog in particular, our amazing, giant heart of a dog, Corbin.
Corbin has probably done more for Willow than we’ll ever understand. She bonded to him before anyone else. He has been instrumental in helping us reach her, in teaching her the simple joys of dogdom.

Our Willow Bee turns one year old today. I cannot help but swell with pride and joy at that… knowing her story could have been a very different one, and seeing her run happy and free to splash along the beach on the cold winter morning we took these photographs. It still takes my breath away, to see this brilliant and beautiful dog come bounding towards us with nothing but joy in her face and body. The level of her trust in us, hard-earned but rock-solid is something I am thankful for everyday, and will never take for granted; for any dog, ever.
She is one year old, and I never thought I’d be saying this, but I am so grateful for her “normal” adolescent dog antics!

As a little symbol of Willow, aka Bee’s first year, and everything we’ve accomplished together, we bought a little yellow balloon. Yellow is her color, it’s a happy one and it looks great against her gorgeous black coat (this is where her nickname Honey Bee comes from). We released that little balloon into the sky, and releasing with it many of the fears that clouded her puppyhood. Sure, it might seem silly; to her, it was just fun to have a balloon to play with and chase after. But to us, it was cathartic, and very special.

Willow would not be where she is today if it weren’t for all the amazing people and dogs that have been instrumental in her life. To our dog behavior professionals who advised us, to our dear friends who lend your support and understanding, especially to those who love her just as much as we do, to all the awesome dog friends Bee has made over time, to the kitties for their patience and to our families, for accepting her as a new member of the pack. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Happy Birthday to our little darling. We love you beyond words.

 

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52 Weeks Project: Our Town

Posted on: Friday, January 18, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Welcome to Friday’s 52 Weeks project post, a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their photographic interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. We are back this week and have some great images to share. Start here and click on the link at the bottom of this post to jump to the next photographer’s blog, follow the ring until you end up back here.

This week’s theme: Our Town

Although we work all over the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, we live in a tiny and charming farm town named Petaluma. We are about 45 minutes away from San Francisco and 15 minutes away from Sonoma. Our town’s history is full of fun facts and juicy bits (think speakeasy and brothels in gold rush and prohibition times). Petaluma is famous for high quality eggs and chickens, if you are ever in a restaurant and see “Petaluma Free-Range Organic Chicken” in your menu, it is guaranteed to be good. It is also the town where a little movie called American Graffiti was filmed and every year it is celebrated with a festival downtown where thousands of classic cars come to cruise the downtown streets.
The historic downtown is full of well-preserved old buildings, adding to Petaluma’s charm. Overall, what we love about this place is its deep roots in community, a wonderful farm-to-table slow food way of life, it’s love of everything nostalgic and vintage and a place where regardless of where you get your ice cream (Lala’s Creamery yum!) or your coffee (Acre Coffee swoon!), you are likely to be talking to the owner of that small business as you hand over your cash to pay with. It’s a sweet place to live. Come visit!

This week, we took the pups downtown to get some of that historic downtown color as a background.

Keep travelling along the blog ring and visit Nashville Pet Photography by Kelly Coyle!

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Three LOVEly New Products from Design Lab

Posted on: Thursday, January 17, 2013

from the Design Lab

If you are anything like me, you are probably feeling January flying by! Before we know it, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we have yet to figure out what “little something” to get for our loved ones.

Fear not, your loyal Design Lab is here to help with not one, not two, but THREE awesome little designs for you to spread the love with this Valentine’s Day.

Each of these designs is available as a folded greeting card in 2 sizes as well as a postcard format for those of us wanting to save an envelope. Our good friends at RedBubble not only have the most gorgeous, high quality printing stock but also make shopping super easy.

Lessons from the Water Bowl: Never Be Afraid to Show Love
One of the favorites from the series (and featured in our calendar) is sure to bring a smile to anyone who receives it.

 

All You Need is PUPPY Love
Jack, a French Bulldog from one of our first illustrations for our Critter~a~Month series makes for a very sweet Valentine’s Day greeting.

 

A Great Love Deserves a Great Love Song
This piece was created last year as part of our DeskType Wallpaper series. It was so popular as a desktop wallpaper calendar we thought we’d offer it as a lovely new greeting card.

Get your Valentine’s card shopping done early from the comfort of your own home. Click HERE to visit the Design Lab RedBubble shop today!

 

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52 Weeks Project: Seasonal Fun

Posted on: Friday, January 11, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Welcome to Friday’s 52 Weeks project post, a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their photographic interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. We are back this week and have some great images to share. Start here and click on the link at the bottom of this post to jump to the next photographer’s blog, follow the ring until you end up back here.

This week’s theme: Seasonal Fun

The further up north you go in Northern California, the more seasons you see. Sure, you probably won’t see snow until you reach Lake Tahoe and our winters here in Petaluma tend to be cold and rainy, making for some incredibly green rolling hills. The reain was a bit of a challenge to work with this week, so instead, we decided to show you what winter looks like inside our house: puppies by the fire place.

Let’s head over to see what winter looks like for Windsor Pet Photographer, NCS Pet Photography . Have a great weekend everyone!

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New Year, New Desktop Series

Posted on: Friday, January 4, 2013

from  the Design Lab

During the entirety of 2012, I created a series of downloadable desktop calendars as a Thank You to our followers, but also as a monthly creative challenge. It was enjoyable and often quite a challenge! But people seemed to really enjoy them, and since I am a firm believer in doing personal work that is rewarding and allows others to catch a glimpse of what you care about as an artist I thought I’d repeat the challenge again this year.

For 2013′s calendar series, I’ll be creating a design by stealing from my sketchbooks. A sketchbook can be something quite personal and revealing, but the personal, hand-made touch is what I am truly excited about sharing. The more digital and automatized we get, the more I want to go back to basics. I hope you enjoy this series and that you share our Design Lab Facebook page (where the download link will be available each month) with others.

To kick off January, I share this sketch of our recently adopted pup Willow, for some reason we nicknamed her “Bee”. I was watching her play at the park one day after we decided to formally adopt her (she was our foster puppy) and she just looked so deliriously happy… All I could hear in my head were the words to Nina Simone’s I’m Feelin’ Good.

To download your calendar, click HERE.

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Hello, Goodbye!

Posted on: Thursday, January 3, 2013

from the Labs

If you have one resolution this year, only one… Let it be this one.

Goodbye 2012!

This past year was definitely one of growth at Photo Lab and Design Lab HQ… In every way possible, we grew.

  • We grew as a small business, bringing in double the happy clients we did last year.
  • We grew as working professionals, perfecting our craft and learning something new with each project and challenge.
  • Growing sometimes includes some difficult times, but we stuck together, regardless of the growing pains that we ultimately learned valuable lessons from.
  • We grew our following, surpassing 1000 fans on Facebook and making new friends in colleagues and fellow dog/cat/art lovers.
  • As members of HeARTs Speak, we enjoyed doing a lot of work for shelters and rescues this year, and some of it made it into Bark Magazine to our sheer delight.
  • We grew as a family, adding a shelter puppy named Willow to our pack!

In all, it was a good year for us, with its share of ups and downs but with great opportunity for learning from every curveball coming our way.

Below I compiled some of our favorite faces and projects for 2012, with gratitude to everyone involved in making them a reality. To all our wonderful clients, we sincerely appreciate you and look forward to an even better 2013!

From the Photo Lab

This was a BIG one for us our first BARk cover!! :D

From the Design Lab

These are some of the design and photography projects we worked on this year.

 

Wishing you the happiest of new beginnings this year!

 

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52 Weeks Project: New Technique

Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2012

from the Photo Lab

It’s been really busy here at Phtoto Lab | Design Lab HQ, leaving little time left to participate in our weekly 52 Weeks project post, a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their photographic interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. We are back this week and have some great images to share. Start here and click on the link at the bottom of this post to jump to the next photographer’s blog, follow the ring until you end up back here.

This week’s theme: New Technique

This week’s theme was all about trying out a new technique. As fate would have it, these past two weeks, we have been busy elves donating our time and services to do holiday photos. This is he first year we have done this, our style normally consists of shooting outdoors (for dogs) and by window-light for (indoor cats). We are professionally trained to shoot in a studio environment and really enjoy experimenting with light, and sensing that this might be the best possible way to approach holiday photo sessions, we set out to come up with a studio lighting and set-up that would look warm, inviting and full of holiday cheer without falling into something a bit too traditional and cheesy AND not to mention, be as safe and as least stressful to the dogs and their people as possible.

We eneded up combining three loves of ours: reclaimed wood, holiday lights and great light.

Our two holiday sessions presented different challenges and therefore required two diffrent approaches: One was an indoor Santa/Christmas tree set-up and the other was an outdoor winter/holiday theme set-up.
For the first, we used our beloved reclaimed barn doors as a background and the Marin Humane Society (where the Santa photos took place) provided Santa’s presence, the tree and the bench. We used a total of three strobe lights; a key, a fill and a rim. The wood really warmed up the environment and a quiet room with a very dog-savvy Santa ensured all the dogs in our sessions felt safe and received lots of cookies during their visit.

 

For the second session, we had a perfectly sized and lovely back patio belonging to our awesome holiday photo session host Biscuits, a great pet boutique in San Jose. We took advantage of an existing old wooden fence and strung some white holiday lights from two light stands. We weighed them down with some green garlands and rolled out some cotton sheets that were soft on the paws and resembled a snowy scene. Since we wanted to get the twinkle of the holiday lights and would be shooting outdoors throughout the day, we used one strobe light as a key to be able to warm up our subjects (and be able to freeze them in time) while dragging the shutter speed just long enough to get the lights in the back to show. For the smaller pups, we brought in a cheerful red chair for them to stand on.

 

Though I must admit we were a little intimidated by the scope of these two sessions at times, I have to say, we had a lot of fun, met many great people and dogs and were very happy to try out a couple of new techniques. Follow the blog ring now and visit Raleigh Pet Photographer, Tara Lynn of InBetween the Blinks!

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The Photo LAB turns 8!

Posted on: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

from the Labs

With all the holiday madness, this post got a tad delayed but nonetheless it is full of heart, a a giant heart that is.
Our boy Corbin, THE Photo Lab; the reason we do what we love, turned 8 years old this past weekend. I am so grateful for this one-in-a-million puppy that came to change our lives in every way possible. It has been an incredible 8 years together. We cherish every single day we have to spend with him and look forward to many more years of hikes, walks, trips to the beach or to camp, cuddles by the fire and of course many, many more rolls of film.

Corbie, you really are the GIANT heart of our little family. We love you beyond words and wish you the happiest of birthdays. You are the best of them my beloved, the very best.

 

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Black Lab Friday & Small Business Saturday

Posted on: Friday, November 23, 2012

from the Labs

BLACK LAB FRIDAY & SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Small businesses like ours thrive on your support. Small businesses boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.
We are so proud to announce our Black LAB Friday Specials and take part in Small Business Saturday, and we’re encouraging everyone to Shop Small® here on November 23 and 24th.

 

LESSONS from the WATER BOWL Calendar

Because of the awesome folks at RedBubble, this gorgeous calendar we’ve poured our heart and soul into is available for worldwide shipping! Take advantage of the TWO DAY ONLY price special and order yours today!

GET YOUR CALENDAR BY CLICKING HERE 

 

60% OFF EVERYTHING on our DESIGN LAB CREATIVE STUDIO Shop

We are making room at Design Lab and Photo Lab HQ for more exciting products in 2013, so shop for you, shop for gifts! Proceeds from the sale of our Search and Rescue Letterpress print will be donated to the Red Cross and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

GO TO THE DESIGN LAB’S ONLINE SHOP BY CLICKING HERE

 

We are so thankful for every single one of you. We hope you have fun shopping this weekend; get out there, Shop Small, and let’s make this November 24th the biggest day of the year for small business.

To learn more about Small Business Saturday, visit ShopSmall.com.

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