Entries Tagged as 'film'

Favorite Cameras, Favorite Film | Bay Area Animal Photographer

Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

: from the Photo Lab :

Every artist, no matter what medium they work in, has their favorite tools. Though I am of the belief that gear is not as important as what you create with it, we do have our favorites for sure.

A little while back, we were contacted by Lexi Vornberg of Belle Lumiere Magazine, asking if we wanted to take part in a project she is working on; no deadline, just go out and shoot each other’s portrait and favorite camera. Belle Lumiere Magazine is about film, so these portraits should be shot on film and any film camera of your choice. Of course, being total film nerds, we dove right in and this is the result: a little love letter to the things that make us the photographers we are. And while we still work with digital cameras to an extent, film has slowly been taking over (to my delight) our workflow, simply because it gives us everything we want to offer an audience, but also the sheer joy of the experience of being a photographer. These portraits were taken on a Nikon F5 35mm film camera with Fuji and Kodak film respectively.

Here they are, our favorites.


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Real Fairy Tales: The Fox and the Hound

Posted on: Friday, February 28, 2014

: from the Photo Lab :


When I was little (and ahem… to this day), I would watch or read a fairy tale a day. Back before the days of whatever digital cartoons kids watch today, there were hand-painted classics. It is no secret that my favorites always included animals; one of them being Daniel P. Mannix’s The Fox and The Hound.

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Year of the Horse

Posted on: Friday, January 31, 2014

: from The Labs :

Happy Lunar Year!

Wishing you good fortune, health and great fields to run free in.

PL_Year_of_the_HorsePin and share if you like, but please be kind and give credit. Image and text ©Photo Lab Pet Photography 2014


A Life, Wild and Celebrated

Posted on: Thursday, January 23, 2014

: from The Labs :

“We’ve come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have to celebrate you baby,
I have to praise you like I should…”

(Praise You by Fatboy Slim)



Our girl is two years old today. It means so much more to us knowing a very specific set of circumstances allowed for this to happen; had it not been for Sonoma Humane Society, it is no secret that Willow would likely not be alive today. Instead, she turns two, and the catchy song by Fatboy Slim phrases it perfectly, we have been through so much together, and I have nothing but praise and a heart bursting from love for her.

As a beautiful twist of fate, on her birthday, she is paying it forward, helping another fearful puppy find his legs in this world. It could not be more perfect, and beyond the sweetest of dreams.

Happiest of birthdays my darling heart. I can’t wait for the rest of our lives together.


Italy + Hasselblad + Film = Bliss

Posted on: Thursday, June 20, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Last May, we were very lucky to spend a few days working and playing in Italy, visiting fantastic places and experiencing them with all four senses. In the company of great friends we hadn’t seen in too long, we ate, we drank, we walked, we laughed and we took pictures… lots of them.

When we were packing our bags for the trip, there were two cameras on our list: a recently acquired Fuji X20 for it’s gorgeous quality images and light weight for long days of walking; and the heart and soul of our film photography work, our Hasselblad 503.
There was no way we were leaving without it, I couldn’t wait to see Italy through that buttery lens. Packed snug in my inconspicuous Epiphanie! camera bag, with 5 boxes of Fuji Pro 400 H and Fuji Neopan 100 Acros  film, we took to the skies. Italia, here we come.

I am saving the Fuji X20 and multiple iPhone photographs for another post, for today, I am excited to share our favorites from the multiple rolls of film we shot while walking our way through Florence, Bologna and Venice.

*a dorky note to photography enthusiasts, other than minor adjustments in Levels (5 black, 250 white), these images are otherwise untouched. You’ll find no fancy Photoshop tricks here. When you have good film, you expose it, process it and scan it correctly, you end up with deliciously buttery images with a wide range of tones, you spend less time in front of your computer and more time enjoying your photographs. That’s why I love film.

But more on that on another post; for now, come with us to Italy!

First off, was the countryside of Florence, far greener than I could have imagined, it made my 6 senses oh so happy.

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Boy + Girl + Dog ~ a Sneak Peek | Bay Area Dog Photography

Posted on: Friday, June 7, 2013

from the Photo Lab

Take a boy from Petaluma, add a girl from Georgia and you’ve got a sweet love story; add on to that a Golden Retriever named Poppy, and a California sunset and we’ve got ourselves one of our favorite photo sessions ever.

Steven and Jen are newlyweds. Their little girl Poppy, named in honor of California’s state flower, made them a family.

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52 Weeks Project: Man’s Best Friend

Posted on: Friday, March 8, 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: Man’s Best Friend

All dogs are special. Each one we share our life with is an individual, and our bond to him or her is just as unique. There is no “one size fits all”, and I am glad of it. Yet, every once in a while, we have the sheer priviledge of finding ourselves in the company of a one-in-a-million dog (or cat), often called “heart dogs”, they are the kind of companions that as the saying goes, enter your life and change everything.

We are extremely fortunate, that in our life, we happen to have two such “heart dogs”. Corbin is Bill’s first dog. Ever… and much like a first love, they have a particularly strong bond. I know Corbie loves me, and I adore him, but Bill is his person. He lights up when Bill comes into the room, it’s just beautifully different.
I happen to have the same relationship they have, only mine is with Willow; though I can’t speak for her, I know I feel my heart close to bursting whenever I am in her company.
What about our kitties you ask? Well, I don’t exagrate when I say that they happen to be heart cats too! Though I feel they are equally bonded to both Bill and myself, in different ways perhaps but still.

Since this week’s theme is called “Man’s Best Friend” however, I thought I’d dedicate it to my boys: Bill, Corbie and RT.

This is an outtake from a recent photoshoot for the wonderful folks at Found My Animal, who happen to make the best leashes!

Real men have a soft side, and they are not afraid to show it :)

Want more heart-warming photographs? Follow the blog ring by clicking over to Unleashed! pet portraits, Victoria BC! 


52 Weeks Project: Happy Face

Posted on: Friday, February 15, 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: Happy Face

This is the one thing that shoots an arrow straight to my heart: a dog’s happy face. There is nothing sweeter and more amazing than to see joy expressed by such an amazing creature. Whenever Corbin smiles, he reminds me of the very first time we took him to the beach, he was just a baby and he was pure joy. And I will never forget the first time Willow expressed genuine joy at seeing me, it was hard-earned from a fearful pup and it melted my heart to the core.

However, since I always share photographs of our pack, I wanted to share a few new happy faces. Both are from sessions we’ve had this past week.

Meet Lilly, the lovely, three-legged itty Pittie, oh so loved by her family. Now THAT is something worth smiling about.

This is Lilly’s brother Cooper, an Akita mix and quite a dapper gent.

This really cool girl is Georgia, an Australian Shepherd/Labrador mix. She helped us out with our Valentine-themed photoshoot. Her gorgeous markings remind me of cookies and cream ice cream :)

Georgia adores her mom Sue, an unbelievable trainer and canine behaviorist.

Want to see more happy faces? Follow the blog ring and visit Maryland Pet Photographer, KRS Images…

~ Love Should Be Celebrated Everyday ~

Posted on: Thursday, February 14, 2013

from the Photo Lab

As photographers dedicated to celebrating the tremendous bond people share with companion animals, nothing makes us happier than creating something truly custom and special in honor of that relationship.
It is a powerful thing to witness such a bond, to listen to the story behind a friendship, and to photograph it is truly a pleasure.
We believe that love and friendship should be celebrated and cherished every day and a gift of custom photography is something that, just like this very real love, will endure the test of time.

Our Valentine to You
Book your photography session or purchase a gift certificate for your Valentine by February 28th and receive a $50 credit towards any of our great products. We have been working hard on sourcing and creating a brand new line of products we are dying to share with the world, and you’ll get to to experience them before anyone else does!

What a better way to say I Love You than to give your loved one something carefully and masterfully handmade and truly custom from start to finish? This gift of custom photography is a love letter to friendship.
Give us a call today and tell us about your beloved. In the meantime…

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!


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.


The Other End of the Lens

Posted on: Monday, August 20, 2012

from the Photo Lab

Photographers often balk at the idea of being in front of the camera for a change, or some of us do at least, unless you are a bit more self-confident.
For pet photographers, this is often no different. But for us, it can be a special treat when a fellow pet photographer photographs our dogs. We are used to photographing them ourselves. They are our muses, our constant models willing to put up with whatever new trick or technique we have up our sleeves; but that is our interpretation of them, it is often not what we offer our clients: a truly custom and fine art experience.

Our good friend and fellow pet photographer Jesse Freidin shares a deep love for analog photography with us; Jesse specializes in beautiful black and white, hand-crafted photographs, we tend to work with color film most of the time, our great love; it is what brought us together over beers one day, and since then we have collaborated on a number of great projects, shared Thanksgiving dinner and had been wanting to take our dogs hiking for a long time and bring the cameras along. Due to our busy schedules, it was challenging to find the right time, but when it finally came it was well-worth the wait. The weather was great, Corbin (our boy) and Pancake (Jesse’s boy) were excited, the cameras were loaded and we were ready to get going. Throughout our hike the pups had a blast, we chatted about a myriad of things and stopped to take photographs of each other’s dogs along the way.

Being on the other side of the lens was a surreal experience, Bill is a natural (he says that’s a lie, but I think he is), but I tend to get nervous and make chipmunk faces (true story). Jesse had a special way about his technique that put us all at ease, and somehow found ourselves just being… us; no posing, no faking. I didn’t even hear Jesse’s shutter go off.

I cannot tell you in eloquent words what we felt when we saw Jesse’s photographs of Corbin. All I could tell him as I wiped tears off my face was “you got him. You got us.” He truly did. As professional photographers solely dedicated to photographing companion animals, we strive to give our clients nothing but the best experience, and we are truly humbled and thrilled when they see their images for the first time and often cry, overwhelmed with emotion. I am embarrassed to say, that until now, I never fully got it. Now we get it. Jesse’s photographs will go on our wall, where they will be cherished just as much as we cherish the time we have with this amazing dog of ours.

In photographing Pancake, we wanted to show Jesse what we saw, that amazing partnership he has with his little Boston Terrier, and to pay a little homage to our mutual appreciation for all things analog… and tattoos ;) . The photos below are our favorites. Be sure to visit Jesse’s Blog today to get his perspecctive on this fun day.

Before we struck a special frienship with Jesse, we admired him and his work dearly. We feel so fortunate, for it is not often in life that your heroes become your friends.

52 Weeks Project: Windows

Posted on: Friday, August 17, 2012

from the Photo Lab

We are glad to be back in the 52 Weeks project this week! This is a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. 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: Windows

Our kitty girl Leeloo is obsessed with windows… or the sunlight that magically comes from them. When we learned this would be the theme for the week, we knew we had to try and catch her in action (or lack thereof lol). The instant photos below are what we often come home to, and how our little girl greets us :)

Loo loves her sunny window. And Willow is happy to provide a little shade break.


Follow the blog ring now to see what Charleston SC modern pet photographer Dana Cubbage, our good friend, is up to!

Here Comes the Bride… and Her Dogs.

Posted on: Monday, May 28, 2012

from the Photo Lab

I should begin this post by clarifying, loud and clear: We are NOT wedding photographers. We are NOT venturing into the world of wedding photography. We leave that to the wonderful people who love wedding photography. We photograph companion animals, and humans sometimes make it in the photographs, that’s it. If you need a wedding photographer, we can gladly recommend one (we know many!) ;)

That being said, there comes a time in every photographer’s life (professional or amateur) in which someone will ask: “do you shoot weddings?”
My gut response is to yell “NOOOO!!” and run the other way, but my polite response is: “No, but I know many that I can recommend!”
So why will you be seeing wedding photographs in this post you ask? Well, in truth, the bride happens to be one of my closest friends from Brooks Institute of Photography, one of the sweetest people I have ever met and she won us over with two sentences: “I don’t WANT a wedding photographer, I want YOU.” and “The most important photographs I want you to get are those of Jon, myself and the dogs.” Throw on to that the AMAZING wedding location (I am always up for an excuse to go back to Santa Barbara area, my home for 4 years), a gorgeous set of models (the bride and groom are pretty good looking too ;) ) and really, what was there to say no to? Plus, our bride was so down to earth, she let us perch her atop a tractor for some photos. How can you beat that?

"Heather and Jon, sittn' in a... tractor?"

We approached Heather and Jon’s wedding the same way we approach every photography session, applying our signature style and treatment, a great deal of which is really just exposure and film. We tried not to think of what a wedding photographer would do, (that is not why she insisted on having us shoot it anyway) but having been in a white dress myself a few years ago, we wanted to give them images of the key moments and elements they would want to hold on to. After all, I have always said, if you are going to splurge on one thing on your wedding day, let it be the photographs, they are the only thing that will last along with the marriage itself.

We shoot with a combination of film and digital, leaving the digital camera to do all the quick, documentary shooting of the day, and assigning the important shots to our beloved Hasselblad. Risky move you say? The key wedding moments on film?? Yep. That is how sure we are of what we do. No digital camera can come close to the quality, look and feel of film. And we have our formula down when shooting, so that regardless of the situation, we can envision what that film will do. We shoot primarily with a combination of Fuji, Kodak and Ilford films; all with available/natural light and a consistent lighting and exposure formula that sits at the center of our photographic style.


We were nervous, yes. This was an important day not just for a client, but for a close friend. She trusted us with this special day. And two wedding photographer friends would be there as guests…no pressure! Yes, we were nervous (how do you wedding photographers do it?!) but it’s the kind of nerves that make you want to hit it out of the ballpark, and if you ask me, the day you cease to get butterflies doing what you do, consider retiring or changing jobs.

Thank you Heather, Jon, Jack, Buddy and Justice, for such heartfelt trust. We hope we did ok by you on your special day. :)

52 Weeks Project: The More, The Merrier.

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2012

from the Photo Lab

We’ve been out of the loop for a little while, but we are now back to the 52 Weeks project! This is a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. 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: The More, The Merrier

We were so excited to see this week’s theme, because it gave us the chance to share an image from one of our most recent shoots. A separate blog post about it will be forthcoming but, this happens to be our favorite image from the batch. We feel it represents the theme in more ways than one:
Boy with two little Terriers meets girl with one big Lab. Boy marries girl and so a family is created. The more, the merrier indeed!

The more, the merrier right? Well follow the blog ring for more great photography, like Fort McMurray Pet Photographer KLAD Photography!

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