Of the dozens of photoshoots I've done, I don't think any have been as sweet as this one. Meet Yorka, and her human, Jay.
Jay has been Yorka's guardian for more than five years now, and the two have had some fun adventures together. They moved cross-country from California to D.C., have gone on many hiking trips together and are pretty much BFFs. But Yorka isn't as young as she used to be, and Jay wanted photos of his beloved German Shepard while she is still healthy.
The three of us spent just two hours together, but in those two hours, there was no questioning the amount of love these two have for each other. The bond humans have with their pets -- especially dogs
-- can be unbreakable, and it was easy to see that Jay and Yorka have that special kind of relationship. They share a connection only those who love dogs can understand, and I was honored to be able to capture that bond in these photographs.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner and that can only mean one thing -- love is in the air! I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the #Caturday before Valentine's Day than by sharing these images of my good friend and former bride, Bethany, with her beloved cat, Toby.
Bethany married her long-time sweetheart last summer, and when she first asked me to take bride and cat photos, I wasn't at all surprised -- she's a huge animal lover! I was, however, slightly concerned about pulling this off. After all, wedding days can be hectic and cats can be finicky. But with a little love, patience and some kibble (how could we forget the kibble?) Toby turned on his charm. If you're wondering -- yes, that's Toby giving his mama a high-five/high-paw on her wedding day! The cuteness is almost too much!
Each winter, Cliff and I make an annual pilgrimage back to Nebraska to spend Christmas and New Year's with family and friends. It's always nice to go home, but one thing I particularly adore is stopping by Cliff's family farm. Far from any town, it offers a peaceful place to escape and unwind and has become like a second home to me. Part of what makes this place so unique (and fun!) are the animals that also call 544 Road J home -- namely, kittens!
By now, photographing farm kitties has become a tradition in it's own right. They're just so stinkin' adorable! Most of the time I have to bring them indoors one by one to get good shots, but this particular litter of kittens hung out in Cliff's barn (as opposed to the chicken shed or dog house) which offers enough space to move around and change angles. A little back lighting and some warm hay made the perfect setting for some adorable photos!
Much to the chagrin of Cliff's mom, a few cats did make it inside for photos. (I couldn't resist! Just look at that face!)
I grew particularly fond of a sweet girl I named Phoebe. She and I cuddled about as much as a cat and human can cuddle -- which was a lot! Seriously. You have no idea how badly I wanted to bring her back to D.C. Unfortunately, Louie and Cliff were not thrilled with this idea... :/
During the visit, I got to meet another new face. This is Jackson, who joined the Starkey family earlier this year. Jackson is a 1-year-old English Springer Spaniel and he's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. Best of all, he loves the kitties and the kitties love him back!
Sometimes most challenging part of writing blog posts is the beginning. I want to get the intro just right to set the tone for the rest of the piece. When it came to DachtoberFest, I just didn't know how to start. There were so many great things about the festival!
I asked Cliff for a little help. His response was perfect.
"Because puppies! What else do you need to say?"
Seriously? What else do I need to say?
Spending a day surrounded by these pups and their owners was such a joy! Cliff and I both agreed that the best part was knowing that we could pet any dog, anywhere, and not only would be not have to ask, but our affection towards them would be welcome.
DachtoberFest patrons, please see the note at the end of this post. Enjoy!
I think it's safe to say that October has officially become my favorite month. I seriously cannot wait for the next DachtoberFest! I had so much fun photographing this adorable breed and the owners who's hearts they've stolen at the Frederick Fairgrounds last weekend.
The festival boasted a costume contest, parade, and dog show. But my absolute favorite part were the races. As fun as it was to see these tiny, four-legged friends dash from one end of a room to another, the bit that got me were the racing categories. There were races for little links (puppies), bratwursts (adult dogs), senior schnitzels (seniors), and -- wait for it -- hot dog carts. You know, those little guys with the rolly wheels that help them walk? Or in this case, run?
If you haven't squealed with delight yet, don't worry. You will! Stay tuned for more coming soon!
As a reminder to all DachtoberFest patrons, prints of all photographs taken at the Fest by jhPhotography will be available for purchase soon. Learn more about the DachtoberFest deal here.
We all need a good dose of adorable sometimes. I know, I know. This post isn't exactly about dogs, but the cute factor is purrrfict.
The kittens live on the farm where Cliff grew up. It's always a special treat getting to play and photograph the kitties every time I go home!
I've got a huge smile on my face. I've been asked to be the official photographer for Dachtoberfest 2014, a Washington-based festival that celebrates dachshunds and -- get this -- dachshund wanna-bes. I love it!
There will be wiener races, a doggy parade and costume competition, dog show, and, of course, lots and lots of our K-9 friends! I have a feeling this is going to be one of the most unique and fun shoots I'll ever experience. I can't wait!
As part of the preparations for Dachtoberfest, President and Board Member Mary Zahn invited me over to her house to meet her four dachshunds Princess, Harley, Emmie, and Sophie. Now, for the record, this wasn't my first time being around this fun, spunky breed. Growing up, my grandparents and aunt and uncle had dachshunds and I lived next door to the one and only Icky, aka Mr. Ick, a long haired little guy who was quick to give kissies and could never get enough love. Every time I go home to Nebraska, one of the highlights is getting to hang with my niece's dachshund, Daisy.
I currently can't have dogs where I live, but my husband and I always talk about getting one. Our top two breed choices? Either a rat terrier or dachshund.
Below are some of my favorites from the session with Mary and her four pups. Just look at those faces! Has your heart melted yet?
Not long ago, a friend lost her beloved dachshund, Zirka, to cushing's disease. Zirka wanted nothing more out of life than to be loved. Patient and kind, she'd gently wag her tail and look up, a single question in her large, brown eyes: wont you pet me, please?
I first met Zirka at a trash-the-dress photo session last October. The bride, Larysa, had been married the summer before and couldn't wait to transform into a zombie for her Halloween party. Before getting down and dirty, though, she requested bridal portraits with her two dogs, Zirka and Gretchen.
We spent an evening wandering around the grounds of a church near Larysa's home. Rambunctious and energetic Gretchen used the opportunity to explore her new-found freedom. Little Zirka, on the other hand, stayed right with her mama, never missing a pat on the head or scratch behind the ear.
Since that photo session, Larysa and I have become dear friends, and my heart broke when I learned of Zirka's passing. Larysa had been Zirka's guardian for 11 years, and their bond was incredibly strong.
I recently revisited the files from that session. Below are a few previously unpublished photos of sweet Zirka. In Ukrainian, her name means "star." For Larysa, I know it will always mean love.
Zirka Tinker Rosemann Kautz
2002 - 2014
They say friends get scattered by the wind, tossed upon the waves and lost for years on end.
Those words may ring true for some relationships, but not the bond I share with a close friend, Kristy. Our friendship has withstood the tests of time and distance. As we grow older, I think it's safe to say we both take joy in each others' successes and life achievements.
Kris and I met in high school and have a special bond formed through a unique experience. We worked together at a mom and pop diner in our hometown called Howard's Pantry. Though Howard's no longer exists in its original form, the relationship Kristy and I have built is stronger than ever.
Kristy herself is a photographer who manages a small, local business in Nebraska much like jhPhotography. Through Whisker Photography, she caters to Nebraska families looking for inexpensive, quality portraits.
We often share tips and tricks with each other, so when she asked me to take portraits of herself with her beloved dog, Blizzy, I jumped at the opportunity to share in a learning experience with a friend.
Kristy is blessed to have space for a studio, a luxury that I don't often get the chance to experience. As we laughed and chatted, remembered old times and new, she let me experiment with backdrops, reflectors and a tripod. I'm pleased with the results, but even more excited about the time we were able to share together.
Of course, after our photo shoot, we indulged in peppery, hand-patted burgers, hand-battered onion rings and green rivers at our old stomping ground.
Hey there! I'm Jonna--writer, photographer, blogger, dancer, lover of food, folk music, travel, and my cat, Louie! Like what you see? Reach out! I'd love to chat about your next photo session!