Barney the Cocker Spaniel in Carlton Gardens

Melbourne Pet Photography Jo's name blinked on my ringing phone and my heart sunk. I had only met her a week earlier, in the middle of another shoot in Carlton Gardens. I knew that the health of her gorgeous cocker spaniel, Barney, was going downhill. Were we too late for his photoshoot? It's my very worst nightmare, and the reason I will move mountains to schedule old souls in early.

But no! Jo was calling with good news, the relief in her voice gushing through my phone. It turned out that Barney's recent exhaustion was due to a thyroid issue. Easily treatable and a few weeks later, when we had our photoshoot, you would never guess that the bouncy boy waggling his bum all around Carlton Gardens was eleven years old.

Girl with her dog under tree

They met nine years ago. She noticed Barney out of the corner of her eye, sitting at the back of his pen. She was at the RSPCA shelter hoping to adopt a staffy, but there was just something about the sweet, young cocker spaniel. He was incredibly shy, having been seized from his previous owner for neglect. Sitting on the cool concrete of his pen, Jo waited.

After what seemed like forever, he slowly edged forward. His big brown eyes watching Jo cautiously, Barney gently sniffed. A few minutes passed, and he let her stroke his head. Jo held her breath. Then Barney sat down beside her, rested his head on her shoulder and sighed.

It was love.

Dog Eyes Soulful

It took Barney a while to learn to trust people again. Nowadays, you would never guess that he had ever been unsure. When I met him at the park (just outside Melbourne's CBD) for his Soul Session (pet photography for our seniors), he was bursting with love and affection. He spun around in circles, jumping for treats and showing off for his Mum and Dad (who were still high on the shock of discovering that their boy was well).

Melbourne Museum in Carlton

"He is so loving and devoted. He totally has his own personality - he's very funny and has a stubborn streak when he doesn't want to do something. Just like his Mum!" ~ Joanna

Cocker spaniel

One of Joanna's favourite memories with Barney is walking through Carlton Gardens every day, so there really wasn't any other choice when it came to deciding on a photo location. Carlton Gardens features flowerbeds, ornamental lakes, fountains and plenty of beautiful walking routes. It's one of my favourite parks near Melbourne (although there are no off-lead areas, which is a shame). It makes for a fantastic location for a pet photographer, with the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and city skyline all in one beautiful spot! Old Cocker Spaniel dog drinking water

Royal Exhibition Building

"Barney: Cheeky, loving, funny, sausage-lover, bed-hogger."

 

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Audrey the Mini Dachshund Explores Como House in South Yarra

Como House in Melbourne I first met Audrey, the gorgeous red mini dachshund puppy, at the North Melbourne Spring Fling Festival. Her big, floppy ears were waving in the wind, threatening to blow that miniature body attached right up into the air. I squeaked as soon as I saw her and immediately left Johnny to man the stall so that I could go get my snuggles on!

Mini Dachshund Legs

Como House, South Yarra

A few months later, we spent our session at Como House in South Yarra, wandering through the beautifully manicured gardens around the glamourous historic mansion. Built in 1847, Como House is an "intriguing mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture" [from Como House website] and it seemed like the perfect location for this little lady.

Dachshund Puppy Melbourne

Audrey adores her Mum, Lilly, and couldn't resist planting a great big smooch on her lips when Lilly picked her up for a cuddle. That's some serious loving!

"Her big, brown eyes make every one melt. This inevitably means that we let her get away with everything! She loves kisses and cuddles, and I love her to bits and pieces!"

Melbourne Pet Photography "Audrey is my little bootylicious & bellylicious beautiful girl. On our walks, she likes to say hi to every person we meet. She immediately roll over for a belly rub or two!"

Mini Dachshund Flowers

Sausage Dog Running

I'd definitely recommend a trip to Como House with your furkids. The grounds were surprisingly quiet and peaceful, given that we were in the middle of South Yarra and only a 10 minute drive from Melbourne CBD. Despite the fact that it was a beautifully warm Saturday, the lush gardens were not busy. As we walked around, we passed only a handful of small groups of friends, lazing and laughing in the sun, delicious picnics sprawled around them. A pretty perfect afternoon for a pretty perfect little puppy!

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Natural Family and Pet Photographer in Templestowe

Muttley, Peanut and Pookie are three gorgeous old souls who are absolutely adored by their family. They were fantastic dogs to photograph - totally keen to get in on some treat action, but at the end of the day what they really wanted to do was snuggle in for a cuddle with their Mum. That worked perfectly for us, because Sharon's main reason for finding a family and pet photographer was because (in her own words) . . .

"I think that your photography is so beautiful! I would love some natural black and white family portraits of us with the dogs."

Natural Family Photograph with their Dogs in Templestowe

I photographed the pups with Sharon and their human brothers (Ethan and James) at the Ruffey Lake Park near Templestowe. After a rainy week, the sun shined upon us for a perfect few hours and lit up the lush green grass. For three dogs all over 14, Muttley, Peanut and Pookie certainly don't let their age get in the way of having some fun!

group photo of white dogs in Melbourne

Muttley: 17 Years, Maltese Cross

Laidback, Soulful, Gentle & Tolerant

Muttley was adopted from the Lost Dogs Home when he was just a puppy, around 12 weeks old. Sharon still remembers the day she visited him, she knew straight away that he was the one. She rang early in the morning as soon as he became available for adoption and they were both so excited to see each other! He has been her constant companion for over seventeen years - so gentle with Ethan and James as they grew up (even when they were pulling his tail and ears, riding him like a horse, boys being boys!)

Muttley has degenerative myopathy now. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to watch your best friend struggle with illness and my heart goes out to Sharon while she and Mutts fight the disease.

Candid photographs of woman with her white dogs in templestowe

Peanut: 15 Years, Maltese x Pomeranian

Quiet, Loyal, Stubborn & Sweet

The day Sharon brought Peanut home, Muttley leapt straight into "parent mode". Muttley would put the little pup to bed each night and even keep him from crying. As the boys grew older together, they became the best of friends. Nowadays Peanut is Sharon's shadow. He is mostly deaf and completely blind, so Sharon does have to help him out sometimes and he sleeps most of the day. He was pretty snoozy during our session - that is, until we brought out his squeaky ball! Then the little old man quickly became an excited puppy again - he was all about that squeak!

Artistic Photographs of Lady with her Dogs in Templestowe

Pookie: 14 Years, Maltese Cross

Miss Bossy Boots, Crazy, Dominant & Sweet

Pooks was adopted with a heart murmur (her previous owners didn't want to deal with her illness). Her new family had the murmur treated and she has been ruling the roost ever since! She may be the youngest of the three dogs, but that doesn't stop Pookie from making sure that everyone knows she is the Queen of their castle. She is always the centre of attention, a crazy little old lady who apparently never got the memo about the "old" bit. Despite her disc problems (she had surgery for a herniated disc in early 2013), Pooks refuses to stop having fun. She races around like an energiser bunny, having "maddies" (mad dashes around their house like a lunatic) and making her family laugh.

Photograph of woman with her dogs in Melbourne

"For over 14 years, they have been the best friends that anyone could hope for. Childbirth, divorce, moving houses ~ Muttley, Peanut and Pookie have always been right there, by my side."

~ Sharon

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Melbourne Family Photographer

Courtney walked downstairs with a scarf draped around her neck and was greeted with a look of horror on her Mum's face. "Oh no!" Wendy exclaimed. "You're wearing a pattern - that's against the rules!" I have to admit that we all laughed at her (sorry Wendy!) Such attention to fashion seemed out of place in Wendy's bubbly, down to earth personality, but she was right. I had sent her a list of outfit advice, but rules are meant to be broken and damn it if that scarf didn't look perfect! Wendy didn't know it yet, but she would soon learn that in front of my camera there is no need to fret about what you look like. The beauty in family portraits with your pets doesn't come from forced smiles or matching poses (or non-patterned scarves  :) ) - it comes from capturing moments of pure joy, love and happiness.

Unposed family portrait

"I would say that my style is very similar to yours! That's why I love your work so much. I love the vintage-looking portraits and I definitely prefer relaxed, natural photographs to posed, formal ones . . . " ~ Wendy 

With four gorgeous "children" (Monique, Courtney, Aimee and Adam) and three spoilt furkids (Daisy, Alfie and Hamish) and one gorgeous mama (Wendy), we definitely had a full shoot on our hands! I have to admit that I was torn - I wanted to make sure I dedicated plenty of time for family portraits and to make sure everyone had portraits with the dogs, but I didn't want to risk the furry ones getting "concentration fatigue" too early.

There are no time limits during a Ragamuffin Pet Photography session, but I do find that after 2 hours or so my furry clients tend to decide that it's snoozing time! Rather than risk using all their energy up just with family portraits before we could get onto focusing solely on Daisy, Alfie and Hamish, I decided to split their session over two afternoons. I'm so glad we did, because I very quickly discovered that the Slevisons are SO MUCH FUN! We spent the entire time laughing hysterically (it's nice to meet people with the same warped sense of humour as me ;) )

Natural family portraits by Ragamuffin Pet Photography

Meet Daisy:

Daisy had me wrapped around her furry finger from the get go. She's a human dog - that probably won't make sense to non-doggy people, but it's the only real way to describe a human dog (my Lyra bear is a human dog, too). She is sweet, kind, gentle, funny and totally devoted. She looks at you with eyes that understand. The Slevisons found Daisy at Pet's Haven Animal Shelter. Earlier that year, they had lost their first dog Toby George. As a family they decided that they wanted to rescue a dog in his honour.

Wendy contacted Pet's Haven, waiting for a small dog to become available. One thing you need to know about Wendy is that her heart is an endless well of love, kindness and generosity. She is a total animal lover (she works for Urban Paws, a Melbourne dog walking/pet sitting business) and she made me feel instantly welcome and comfortable  - like I had known their family for years. The very first time I met her, Wendy had vegan cupcakes for Johnny and I, and an Easter doggy biscuit for Lyra! It's no surprise to me that she offered to foster for Pet's Haven while they waited for their little dog to come along. The shelter called her almost immediately with two little pups in desperate need of a foster carer (click here to find out more about foster caring).

Daisy and her sister Scout went to stay with the Slevisons. After only a week, Scout got sick with Parvo and passed away. The family was devastated, and Wendy still choked up telling me the story. Their vet told them that Daisy would probably die too, but there was no way on Earth this family was going to give up on her. They scrubbed the house from top to bottom, cleaning like they had never cleaned before! Daisy survived and there was no question that she was going to be part of the family. A big, cuddly, silly Rhodesian Ridgeback X, she is a far cry from the little white dog that they had intended to adopt but she turned out to be the perfect fit!

"We saved her and she was never leaving us after that. She is the sweetest, gentlest soul and now I love big dogs so much! I can't imagine life without her . . ."

 

Professional pet photography of a Rhodesian Ridgeback X

Meet Alfie:

Alfie is a funny, eccentric old man. When he was just a puppy his furbrother Harry was killed by another dog right in front of Alfie, and he was never the same after that. He didn't grow any more, and he's a rather anxious little soul. But despite his nerves, Alfie would do anything for his family.

Alfie once saved his brother Toby George (the one who preceded Daisy). Wendy was preparing dinner on a summer night, when little Alfie started to bark incessently. She stopped chopping carrots to have a look around, but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. Frowning, she returned to the kitchen, but then Alfie started barking again! He's not a yappy dog, so Wendy followed him downstairs to see what was causing his distress. Alfie had led her right to the swimming pool, where she saw that old, blind Toby had fallen in and was desperately attemping to hold his head above the water! She ran into the pool and scooped him up into her arms.

"I couldn't believe that it was our little Alfie, the most timid of all dogs, who was so determined to raise the alarm. I have never forgotten how amazing he was to keep trying to alert me until I realised the problem. Alfie is many things, but number one in my eyes is HERO."

Alfie the Maltese dog photographed with his owners

Meet Hamish:

It's difficult to sum up Hamish in a few words. When I first met him, he didn't want a piece of me. Daisy practically threw herself onto me and Alfie pranced around with his little bouncy ears, but Hamish watched from a distance, under the kitchen chair. That's okay ~ every dog is different and I suspected that with time he would see that this new strange lady was actually a treat-dispensing, praise lathering, fun-times-guaranteed kinda human. Once he worked that out, oh boy you should've seen this boy pose!

Wendy brought Hamish home to help heal the family's pain after losing Harry. Hamish was the polar opposite to Alfie. Like a fluffy whirlwind of excitement, he quickly made their house his home. He healed their sadness, but they came to learn that Hamish is a complex little man. He took a year to accept Daisy into his home, growling everytime she came near him for a year. Then one day he mysteriously resigned himself to the fact that she was there to stay, and now they are best buddies (not that he'd ever admit that!)

"He's very bold and self-important, and hates for you to suspect that he actually loves or needs you. He's bumptious and anxious at the same time, and takes far too much responsibility on his little white shoulders. We keep telling him that he doesn't have to look after all of us all the time, but he honestly thinks it's his job to protect the household from the invasion of terrible passersby."

Hamish, the Maltese x Bichon, photographed by Ragamuffin Pet Photography in Melbourne

"Thank you so much Caitlin. That was so much fun! We haven't done a family thing like that since the kids were younger and their Dad was still with us.

It meant so much to me to do this some day, and it was when I saw your work that I knew you were our photographer. You're awesome and I'm so glad we've finally met! x" ~ Wendy

 

Melbourne dog photography

Maribyrnong pet photographer

 

I apologise for the overly verbose blogpost, but I really can't sum up how I feel about this family in a sentence or two. I feel so deeply grateful that my job has introduced me to such a wonderfully kind, understanding, patient and caring person. I'm truly blessed to count Wendy as a friend and I would have never even met her if it wasn't for Ragamuffin Pet Photography.

Thank you for everything.

xxx

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Album Proof:

Aussie Bulldogs!

Thank you all for attending the fabulous Aussie Bulldogs Melbourne Funday at the beginning of October. It was such an awesome, smooshy, wrinkly day and so great to meet so many gorgeous bulldogs (and their lovely humans, of course!) Aussie bulldog puppyAustralian BulldogAussie Bulldog

If you had your furkid photographed on the day and would like to purchase prints or your pre-purchased a package, please view the proofs online and fill in the form below.

(important note: link will expire on 1st December 2013 and files will not be accessible after that).

Click here to view the proofs

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Molly & Scarlett ~ Rett Angel

Dogs for Kids with Disabilities There are a few things that you might notice when you first meet Molly. Her butterfly adorned wheelchair. The fact that her speech is limited and her motor skills are wobbly. Nowadays you'll probably notice Scarlett, her black labrador companion dog from Dogs for Kids with Disabilities. But the number one thing that you will notice without fail is that Molly has a smile that will part the clouds of the gloomiest day.

Rett Syndrome

Molly has a rare neurological disorder known as Rett Syndrome, which is found almost exclusively in females.

"It means that she is intellectually disabled, has poor motor skills, limited speak, poor sleeping patterns and epilepsy amongst other things. Despite her issues she is a happy girl who just loves company. You'll always get a smile from Molly and she always appreciates the attention.

Retts girls are known as Rett Angels and if you are ever lucky enough to meet Molly, you'll know why. She'd be happy to meet you on the day, that's for sure!"  

(~ from Molly's parents, Tracy and Donald). 

Girl in wheelchair with dog

Earlier in 2013, Molly's family held a fundraiser to acquire and train a disability companion dog for their girl. That's how Molly met Scarlett. Scarlett gives Molly the ability to have the constant attention that she needs, helps her sleep, gives her independence in play and gives the rest of her family some respite to the constant care she requires.

Disabled Girl with her dog

I travelled to Geelong to meet Molly and her wonderful parents. We sat on the dry grass, sunshine warming the backs of our necks while Tracy and Donald told me all about their family and their beautiful girl. Molly laughed gleefully looking at her own photos on the back of the camera and munching on bright pink marshmallows, while Scarlett leaned softly against her.

girl with disability and her dog

 Thank you Tracy, Donald and Molly for letting me into your home and life for one gorgeous, sunny afternoon. I am honoured to have met you and thrilled to have photographed both of your girls, whose beauty and love is the sort that inspires me every morning.

xxx Caitlin

 

 

Did you enjoy Molly's Story? Click here to see more photographs from my Dogs for Kids with Disabilities sessions or click here to purchase the 2014 DKD Calendar (photographed by yours truly!)

Torquay Dog Photography ~ Ollie's Soul Session

Ollie is a beautiful lady with a wisdom and serenity that will calm your soul. I spent the afternoon with her and her Mum Ann down at their beach house near Torquay for Ollie's dog photography session. There is something so peaceful about spending time with an old soul - Ollie is blind and mostly deaf but she doesn't need her eyes or ears because she sees with her heart and follows in her person's footsteps. A truly humbling relationship to photograph.

Scroll through to see some of my favourite photographs from Ollie's Torquay dog photography session.

Thank you for allowing me to get to know you and your lady Ann - it has been an honour.

x Caitlin

 

Beach Pet Photography Traditional Dog Photographer Dog Under Pier Photograph Torquay Beach Pet PhotographyDog with Lighthouse PhotoGreat Ocean Road Dog PhotoDog Photographer on BeachOld Dog Photography

 

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Ollie's Pet Photography Album Proof

 

 

 

Castlemaine Dog Photography ~ Happy Gotcha Day Frankie

Today is Frankie's 2 Year Gotcha Day (Happy Gotcha Day baby girl!). When Whitney and Leigh first adopted Frankie, she was an emaciated, tiny puppy infected with a terrible case of mange. The people at the pound said that no one would want her, but the amazing team at Pet's Haven Animal Shelter saw something special in Frankie. With the love, care and patience of her amazing parents, Frankie has grown into a truly beautiful soul. On the left - Frankie (then named Scratchy) back when Whitney and Leigh were her foster parents. (photo from Whitney) On the right - Frankie when I first photographed her in 2012

Whitney and Leigh are part of one of the most animal-loving families I know - Whitney is Jobe's human sister and they are Gypsy & Chucky's Auntie and Uncle. They are an awesome couple and I wanted to do something a bit different and quirky for their session, so we organised to head up to Maldon near Castlemaine for Frankie's dog photography session. Combine the picturesque locations of historic Maldon with a sunny summer's afternoon, stunningly gorgeous young couple and a pup with more personality than most people I know and you have one happy pet photographer! Scroll through to see some of my favourite photographs from our session . . .

Country dog photography

Dog at railway station

Dog at train station

Exploring the old trains

Dog in train photography

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Environmental portrait dog and man

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Leigh from Sleep Parade

Girl and her dog

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Thank you for an amazing afternoon Whitney and Leigh - I can't wait to see Frankie's prints up on your wall! As usual I had an absolute blast shooting with you!!! Extra cuddles and kisses to Frankie on her special day.

xx Caitlin

A Family Affair ~ Geelong Dog Photography

I first met Ian and Obie when they were still tiny, clumsy puppies. They have grown into two beautiful brothers, Golden Retriever x Labradors and I was so excited to finally photograph them professionally earlier this year at their Geelong Dog Photography Session. Read on for Ian and Obie's story . . .

Geelong Dog Photography - two labrador dogs

"Pssssst! Caitie!" I could barely hear Danielle whisper to me above the loud laughter and wine-fuelled chatter of our big family Christmas dinner. I raised my eyebrows at her from across the table. She had a cheeky smirk on her face and bright, excited eyes that immediately aroused my curiosity. If I could choose three words to sum up my cousin it would probably be kind-hearted, gracious and generous. 'Cheeky' wouldn't normally come even close. She had a secret and boy! it must've been a good one.

We quietly snuck away from the table, dodging a tornado of giggling little cousins. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of Uncle John and my cousin Matt giving Johnny yet another tumbler of whiskey (oops). Danielle didn't say a word, just led me away to the back of the house and into the quiet garage.

They were adorable.

Two little puppies, fast asleep, just a jumble of big paws and little tails. They were totally oblivious to the happy craziness that is a McColl get together, oblivious to anything except the warmth of their bed and each other.

"This one is Obie," she patted the belly of the chubbier cuddlier puppy. "He's Mum and Dad's puppy. And this one," she lifted him up with a huge, happy grin on her face. "This one is Ian. He's mine."

Fast forward three years to another family Christmas. Ian and Obie have become two of the most beloved, spoilt, happiest dogs in the world. Everybody adores them both - you can't help but smile at their goofy grins and hilarious antics (but they will win their way into your heart with their snuggly cuddles). Danielle and her siblings Matt and Rhiannah had organised a Ragamuffin Pet Photography gift voucher for their parents, Viv and John. We scheduled their session/play date for a warm Summer's evening in Geelong.

Normally I am super excited for my pet photography sessions. But on this day, I was sick with nerves that I hadn't felt for years. Unlike most photographers, when I launched my business in 2011 I didn't use the pets of my friends and family to build my portfolio.

When I'm behind the camera, I feel like become a different person. More confident, more energetic, more assertive. To be honest, I feel like that photographer is the real me and sometimes I just don't have the guts to be that person when I'm not in photography mode. Clearly, it's the reason I've always been so sure that this was the right career path for me.

Anyway, my point is that Photographer-Caitlin has never really met Family-Caitlin (hence not using family to build my portfolio). Family-Caitlin would never tell her Uncle John to sit up a little straighter, never in a million years. I feared that I had a particularly awkward evening ahead of me!

Geelong dog photography in grass field

Well, I had worried myself over nothing (gee, that's unusual *rolls eyes at self*). The Sgarbis were awesome to photograph and I had so much fun! We laughed as the boys chased bubbles, splashed through the pond, wrestled in mud, raced through the long grass and then finally, as the sun started to set, cuddled into their family with a happy exhaustion.

Scroll down to check out some of my favourite dog photographs from our afternoon together. These two brothers can be tricky to tell apart in some of their photographs - watch out for the ridge on Obie's nose!

Couple with their dog

Muddy Dog

Labrador in water

Girl and her dog under tree in Geelong

Dogs wrestling

Family photo

Dogs with bubbles

labrador and golden retriever dog photography

 

Thank you so much to the Sgarbi family. Usually I would use this space to thank you for your business or for being a lovely client or for allowing me to get to know your family. Well, you already know how humbled and grateful I am for your support of Ragamuffin. You already know that I think you're lovely and obviously I knew your family long before our session. So let me take this moment to say something that I'm not sure I've ever actually said to you.

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for being you. You have such incredibly kind hearts, I doubt that there is a single mean bone in your bodies. All my life I have looked up to Danielle and Viv and hoped that one day I could grow up to be like you. When I find myself feeling selfish or sarcastic, I think of you and your beautiful good natures. I have always felt so very safe and happy at your place - the moment I walk through your door there is a weight that lifts from my shoulders. With all the different houses my family has lived in throughout my childhood, visiting you has always felt like we were coming home and I will forever be grateful for that.

I love you all so, so, so much.

xxx

Caitie

 

 

Geelong Dog Photography ~ Album Proof

 

 

 

In loving memory ~ Pepper

It's the sort of pain that reaches right down in your gut and twists your heart so everything feels funny. It's the sort of pain that condolences can't fix, but I'll say "I'm sorry", anyway. It's the sort of pain that is inevitable when you open your heart to someone four-legged and furry, but somehow you still don't really see it coming until 5, 10, 15 years have passed and then all of a sudden. It's the sort of pain that makes me want to simultaneously quit photographing pets and also to dedicate myself to photographing pets forever. It's the sort of pain that those who live without pets just don't get.

There's really nothing I can say that explains it properly. Let me just say that Pepper's family were devastated and my goodness, that boy was adored. It was an emergency session, scheduled the day after they found out about his aggressive cancer. He passed away two days later ~far too quickly, but pain free and showered with love.

But these photos shouldn't be about loss and sadness. This is a celebration of a life full of joy, care and loyalty. A celebration of the hard times and the good ones and above all else a celebration of a gorgeous little man who was so damn loved!

Introducing Pepper, a 13 year old Bichon X Schnauzer.

A sibling, a best friend, a soul mate.

Gentle, loving, fun, playful and FABULOUS!!!

"We want the photos to capture the old soul depth of Pepper's beautiful, expressive eyes. He has always looked at us and reached right into the very essence of our being . . ."

Old Dog Photography Melbourne

Pepper and his people (from left to right: Ryan, Rhonda, Sarah, Darryl)

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Pepper's Pet Photography Slideshow

 

Pepper's Pet Photography Album Proof

 

 

 

 

Bernese Mountain Dog in Melbourne

Brooke and her Bernese Mountain Dog Greta

I met Brooke and her Bernese Mountain Dog Greta after her friends organised them a Ragamuffin Pet Photography Gift Voucher for Brooke's birthday (at her request). Brooke knew right from the get go that she wanted an urban pet photography session. Luckily Melbourne is just overflowing with awesome photography locations, so we spent a couple of hours exploring some of the best. Read on for Brooke and Greta's story . . .

Dog Photography with Melbourne Graffiti

All she had ever wanted was a dog.

She begged her parents every year. At her fourth birthday, the answer was no. The answer was no on the Christmas when she turned 8. She was officially a teenager, but the answer was still no. Sweet Sixteen, but no puppy. 18 - no, 19 - no, 20 - no.

Her 21st Birthday was coming up, and as per usual she put in her doggy request. But this time, the answer was "Well, what sort of dog do you think you might like?"

Do you reckon she had to be asked twice? Brooke had been preparing for this answer for the past 17 years. She compiled a full dossier file on the Bernese Mountain Dog, and researched registered breeders until she found Felicity from Bernation Kennels (who is the founding member of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria and the current Rescue Officer for the club).

She waited, brimming with anticipation, for six months for her baby to be born. Finally, after 17 years & six months Brooke met Greta. They have been inseparable ever since.

Brooke with her Bernese Mountain Dog in the Queen Victoria Gardens

"I decided to ask for the Rolls Royce of dogs - a Bernese Mountain Dog!" ~ Brooke

 

Dog in Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Tragedy struck when Greta was only six months old.

She was hit by a car and both her front and back legs were broken. Brooke was devastated. Lesser people might have given up on Greta, but not Brooke. She simply did what she had to do to save her family. She carried her baby girl to the toilet for four months and didn't leave her side. She spent almost half of her annual wage on Greta's recovery.

21 years old, poor and she couldn't go anywhere without her dog. Greta even came to work. She was bound to living in a cage while her legs healed (and never did grow very big as a result). But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I am sure the trials of their first year together played an important role in the amazing bond these two ladies share. Greta would do anything for Brooke - and obviously, Brooke feels the exact same way.

"Greta is the reason that I get out of bed in the morning. She has been by my side through some hard times and she is my very best friend." ~ Brooke

 

Dog in Fed Square

Greta is now almost 10 years old. Brooke nearly lost her again last year - this time to Pyometra. Pyometra is an infection of the womb - a common disease in unneutered female dogs. Fortunately, Greta recovered after a full hysterectomy and she is now back to her gorgeous, healthy self.

"She is Crazy, Needy, Smoochy, Precious . . . Idiotic!"

 

Bernese Mountain Dog in Melbourne CBD

When I first met Greta, she was chilling out by the graffiti on Hosier Lane, cool as a cucumber just watching the busy world walk by. She's a beautiful girl (we had crowds of people stopping just to say hello) but it's her funny personality that made me fall in love. This girl goes from melting in a cuddly heap right in the middle of a bustling street, to rolling around like a puppy (tongue lolling and big feet sticking out at all angles) all within 15 minutes. We had so much fun exploring the city together! Scroll down through the photographs to see some of my favourites from our afternoon - be sure to let me know your favourite photo by leaving comment below.

Dog in Federation Square and on Princes Bridge

Dog at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne

Dog at Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Dog by the Yarra River, Southbank with Melbourne skyline in the background

Waiting for a tram on Bourke Street Mall

 

Brooke and Greta - thank you so much for such an entertaining afternoon. The love that you two share is the kind that inspires me - if more pet owners were as dedicated, responsible, loving and unselfish as Brooke then the rescues and shelters wouldn't have to exist. Greta is such an awesome, hilarious, gorgeous girl and I can see why you both adore each other! Can't wait to see your stunning canvas prints up on the wall!

 

xx Caitlin

 

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Silhouette ~ Pet Photography ~ Lyra's Project

The theme for this week's photo is Silhouette, so we took the Lyra bear out at sunset for some awesome games of catch (her favourite - she fancies herself a bit of an acrobat). Lyra's Project is part of the Beautiful Beasties blog ring, so next visit the blog of Unleashed! pet portraits in Victoria BC to see her interpretation of the theme and keep on clicking through the links. 

Silhouette Dog in Australia

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About Lyra's Project:

Lyra's Project is an ongoing personal series, and part of Project 52 from the Beautiful Beasties Network (an international group of professional pet photographers). Project 52 exists so that we may collectively challenge ourselves and our creativity with a weekly assignment. Every week a different pet photographer chooses a theme, which each person interprets in their own way. The photograph must be taken during that week, and on Friday evening (8pm Aussie time) everyone's blog posts go live. Click the link above to see the next photographer's image and continue around the blog circle until you end up back here - enjoy!

 

Welcome to Manksville ~ Beach Dog Photography

"Welcome to Manksville!" Tina greeted me with a huge grin and the kind of excitement that is infectious and my first thought was "Yes! This is going to be FUN!!!" Old Dogs

"I've now seen the amazing shots Caitlin took of my boys, Webster and Rosco. Caitlin, you are such a talented girl.

I am so looking forward to getting my book with the amazing images.

Thanks so much for the magic photo session and for your patience with me last night as I 'pawed' over each photo for so long." ~ Tina

Manksville is the nickname for the home of this hilarious, down-to-earth, mud-loving family. Tina's friends and family had organised her Ragamuffin Session as a birthday present and she was as excited as Rosco with a tennis ball by the time our session date finally arrived. It was long overdue - we had to reschedule TWICE because Melbourne likes to toy with my emotions by raining out the sessions that I'm really looking forward to! We were planning on focusing the session on beach dog photography, so we needed the weather to behave! Luckily, Tina kept me amused by sending updates from Webster and Rosco.

Rosco (aka Manky dog, aka Manky aka MANKSTER) is a puppy stuck in the body of a 10 year old Boxer x Labrador x Staffy. He has the most adorable underbite - Tina claims that he has a face only a mother could love, but I'll leave you guys to be the judge of that.

Perhaps it's a face only a mother & his photographer/treat-giving/ball-throwing/friend-for-life could love? Admittedly he does have an eye that turns in slightly when he gets overexcited and a habit of throwing his tongue out of his mouth in pursuit of OMG-BALLS-CHASE-TIME, but my goodness there is just something about Mr. Mank that melts my heart!

I laughed out loud watching Rosco whirl like a tornado when Tina told him we were going for a walk (watch out for it in their pet photography slideshow at the bottom of this post). When we got to the beach he whizzed off, while Webbie trotted patiently him. He is a total Mummy's boy and if I'm honest I see a lot of similarities between them. I think that if Rosco could talk, he and Tina would spend their days laughing together with the same wicked sense of humour. He has a total joy for life and is such a loving, clever, loyal boy (constantly by Tina's side).

 

Webster is the ying to Rosco's yang. He is a smoochy 12 year old Golden Retriever with a heart of gold. He has the most outrageously fluffy coat and is possibly carrying a little extra holiday weight under there, but you didn't hear it from me ;). The boy has a bit of a Cabana fetish and like any Golden Retriever, he would eat non-stop if Tina let him!

When I first arrived at Manksville, Webster and I headed outside to his favourite spot on the back porch. We sat down and had a good long chat. He leant in close to me and planted a huge slobbery kiss across my nose.  He then proceeded to explain that even though Rosco sometimes seems like the rebellious one who demands all the attention, Webster was also pretty cool, man.

He regaled me with stories from his youth - apparently he once STOLE a police badge! He hid it in his mouth with expert stealth and he would've got away with it too, had it not been for the sharp eyes of the badge owner. "Wow, Webster!" I exclaimed. "You are way more edgy than your soft fluffiness suggests". He cracked his million-dollar smile with pride and I never had the heart to confess that I already knew the police badge belonged to his own mother . . .

"Webster is the academic and Rosco is the sports jock . . ." ~ Tina

Tina, thank you so much for such a ridiculously fun afternoon! I thoroughly enjoyed getting soaked with you and the boys at Altona Beach and I am so glad that your lovely family organised your pet photography gift voucher. Give your boys a big cuddle from me  - I look forward to plenty of Manksville updates!

xx Caitlin

 

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Jobe ~ Dog Photography in Inverloch

It was late at night. My phone buzzed with her message. "I've had a few wines tonight", she said. "I've been cuddling Jobe for hours. He's my baby boy, we grew up together. He means the world to me. How soon are you available . . ." Jobe is a beautiful 12-year-old Rottweiler, suffering from arthritis and a large (possibly cancerous) mass on his spleen. His sister Whitney contacted me to organise a Soul Session, because they weren't sure how much longer they would have with their boy. I've worked with the Kendall family a few times before (photographing Whitney Kendall's gorgeous girl Frankie and Sheridan Kendall's Gypsy and Chucky) so I knew how much they adored their furry family members. Unsurprisingly, Jobe is just as beloved.

"Caitlin takes you on a journey where you get to see your pet's soul and their beauty captured in stunning portraits; something you don't even think is possible. The experience will move you to tears and remind you that every moment with our pets and loved ones is to be cherished.

Caitlin went above and beyond catering to my family so that we could capture special moments of our 'old soul' Jobe and she was with us every step of the way through an emotional time. We can't thank her enough xx" ~ Whitney

Dog Photography in a Beach house on the Mornington Peninsula/Inverloch

Jobe's favourite place in the whole world is Inverloch, a sweet seaside town on the spectacular Gippsland coastline. I know why it's his favourite - I felt at peace the moment I walked through the doors of the family's beach house. The home is made of fresh whites and happy memories, flooded with soft light. I walked into the big family room and there was Jobe.

He was lying right in the middle of the room, surrounded on all sides by his family: Alison (his Mum), Tim (his Dad) and Whitney, Sheridan and Jack (his siblings). Frankie leapt with excitement, covering me with her happy kisses. Gypsy stood back for a minute, then her memory twigged and she greeted me with a quick kiss and a wag of her bum. I watched Jobe as he watched us, calm and content. Did I catch a glimpse of bemusement, as the younger dogs carried on their delighted omg-theres-a-new-person-here-and-she-smells-of-schmakos dance?

Rottweiler on the beach in Inverloch

The beach is only a 3 minute walk from their house, but Jobe's legs aren't made for distance anymore. His Mum and Dad drove him down, gingerly lifting him in and out of the car. He's a big Rottie to lift, so that's a fair feat! I'm sure there is nothing that this family would not do for their boy. His arthritis makes it difficult for him to stand up when he's been laying down, so every time he wants to stand someone helps him by lifting his back legs. It's a tender moment, one that shows his age. Once he's standing, he resumes his powerful posture - every inch the handsome, strong Rottweiler that we all know he is.

"Now that Jobe is older and wiser, he spends a lot of his time resting. We try to shower him in love, because he has given us so much in return . . . more than most dogs could ever offer. He is a source of comfort and happiness and we all share a unique bond with him that will last a lifetime. Growing up with Jobe as my best friend has been more than I could ask for!"

Rottweiler with his girls at the beach in Inverloch

Family group photo with dogs

Jobe was a surprise for Whitney. She had been badgering her Dad for months.  It was love at first sight - and a whole lot of work. Suddenly her promises of "I'll do everything - I'll pick up his poo and feed him and walk him . . . I'll do everything!!!" became real and Whitney did admit that Alison ended up doing most of the chores for Jobe.

"Jobe has a strong and intense bond with all of us. He is the first to know when something is wrong no matter how hard we try to hide it. In fact, it's usually through Jobe that we know something is bothering someone in the family. He will stick to us like glue, even follow us into the toilet and lie at our feet."

Old dog at the beach

"I don't think you can top the moment when Jobe met Don. I had never heard Donny speak or seen him smile. When I watched his whole face light up with the biggest smile I've ever seen, I knew Jobe had changed Don's life forever . . ."

Old dog with his family members

 

 

Kendalls - thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me into your home and your family to celebrate Jobe. He is such a gorgeous man and the love for him that you all share is inspiring. I know you all know how much I love your family. Thank you for a beautiful weekend.

xxx

Caitlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jobe's Album Proof

Child and Pet Photography ~ Felix & Chance

Felix, Chance and I met months ago, after their Mum Micky contacted me to organise a child and pet photography session. Chance is Felix's Smooth Collie, from the Dogs for Kids with Disabilities Organisation. Felix is six years old, a wonderful little boy with autism. He was full of giggles and jokes and Chance was there, ready for a cuddle when he started to feel unsure. It broke my heart to hear some of the stories of prejudice that Micky and her family have had to deal with, but it is clear that Chance is already doing wonders in calming Felix and by helping break down those social barriers in the community.

Child and Dog Photography Melbourne

For those of you who don't know, DKD is a not-for-profit organisation that trains assistance and companion dogs for children with autism and other developmental disorders. I am always deeply humbled and inspired to see the positive effect that these dogs have on their children. It's a beautiful relationship and one that I am honoured to be given the opportunity to capture.

Photo of a boy playing with his service dog and lego

I met Felix and his awesome family in their Northcote home. Micky has had more than her fair share of life's difficulties, but to her credit her whole family is beautiful, friendly, sweet and so animal loving! This love-filled home is really a testament to the joys and endless benefits that pets bring to families and children.

Photo of a girl with her cat

Portrait of a Girl with her Dog

After I met Felix's sisters, furry family and his Nana Helen, it was time for Felix, Micky, Chance and I to walk over to the nearby All Nations Park. It was a beautiful sunny Summer day as the four of us wandered through the park together. We found a sweet little private area where Felix could play happily with his lego whilst Chance watched over him with his alert but calm gaze.

Photo of Dogs for Kids with Disabilities

Chance is so gentle with Felix, patiently standing still while Felix gleefully wraps his arms around Chance's neck. DKD Assistance dogs help build friendships and provide their children with a completely different level of comfort and companionship. Felix can confidently express all his emotions with Chance (although Micky is quick to make sure he doesn't get too enthusiastic as he happily grabs a handful of Chance's smooth fur).

Melbourne dog photography of a smooth collie

Child with Dog Photography Melbourne

The tethered leash of a DKD dog plays a huge role in helping the children. Walking with a hand wrapped around their dog's tether not only prevents the children from running away, it also gives them a wonderful sense of security, responsibility and confidence. Felix is so proud to walk with Chance by his side.

Dog and Child Photography Melbourne

Micky, thank you so much for inviting me into your home and giving me such a beautiful insight into your life and your family. I am truly in awe of you and your endless well of love, care, patience and courage. Lesser men and women would crumble, but you are one of the strongest people I have ever met. It was my absolute joy to spend time with you, Felix and Chance.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

x Caitlin

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ~ Templestowe Pet Photographer

Chico

I met Chico at his home in Templestowe (Melbourne) - he wagged his adorably fluffy bum at me and I fell in love instantly! Chico's Mum, Monid, had called me a few weeks prior to organise a pet photography session, having found out that her beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had congestive heart failure. This isn't a sad post though - Chico is still very happy dog and other than a little cough he seems completely healthy! He is also now being kept young by his energetic new little brother, a puppy named Harrison.

Girl giving her dog treats during our dog photoshoot in Templestowe

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by Ragamuffin Pet Photography Templestowe

We started photographing at Chico's home in Templestowe, where he was quick to show me just how snoozy a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be. Don't you just love the purple of their bedroom against his red fur? Chico is his Mum's snuggly shadow - they share their bed and he follows her everywhere. Monid told me before our photoshoot that their bed was one of Chico's all time favourite spots in their home, so I just had to photograph him there!

Cavalier King Charlles Spaniel Lying in Bed in Melbourne

Pet Photographer Templestowe

Chico the cavvie cuddling his Mum during our pet photography session in Templestowe

Once we finished photographing at home, we headed over to the nearby Ruffey Lake Park, one of the most popular parks in Manningham. I could see why straight away - the view of outer Melbourne from the top of the hill was beautiful. Chico and I had lots of fun (and lots of treats) posing as the sun slowly set. He's a fussy eater, but luckily my big stash of treats was a winner - check out that happy smile!

Girl and dog walking in Templestowe, Manningham

Cavvie cuddling his human during our melbourne pet photoshoot

Chico the Cavalier against the dramatic skies in a moody Melbourne afternoon

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the arms of his owner in Melbourne

Even with my tempting treats, it was hard to coax Chico out of the arms of his Mum. This boy is so in love - he was clearly happiest in her arms. This is exactly the sort of unconditional, unwavering love that has made me dedicate my life to celebrating our furry families as a pet photographer. There is something so beautiful, so pure, about it that just fills me with joy.

templestowe pet photographer

Thank you so much for inviting me into your home Monid. I have had so much fun getting to know you and your furry family these last few months - a wonderful client and now a beautiful friend!

x Caitlin

Chico's Album Proof

 

Melbourne Dog Photography ~ Jaxon

Professional Dog Photographer, Caitlin McColl of Ragamuffin Pet Photography photographs an adorable grey Staffy Puppy in Melbourne as a surprise gift for his Mum. Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne Jaxon's dad, James, contacted me way back in February about organising a secret pet photography session for his wife's birthday. James and Maree are the very proud parents of a gorgeous one year old English Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Jaxon, and James wanted to surprise Maree with professional pet photography that captured everything they adored about Jax!

We met secretly at Jaxon's house, where I discovered that this spoilt boy has his very own couch! He was such a smoocher - I was covered with doggy kisses within 2 minutes and then Jaxon proceeded to show me all his favourite spots and his best chew toy.

Professional Dog Photographer, Caitlin McColl of Ragamuffin Pet Photography photographs an adorable grey Staffy Puppy in Melbourne as a surprise gift for his Mum. Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne

Professional Dog Photographer, Caitlin McColl of Ragamuffin Pet Photography photographs an adorable grey Staffy Puppy in Melbourne as a surprise gift for his Mum. Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne

Professional Dog Photographer - Staffy Puppy in Melbourne

After photographing Jaxon at home, we headed to his favourite park and had a blast running around while the sunset beautifully in the distance. He was such a good boy off lead too - very impressive for his third time. I was so in love with how Jax's photos captured his big goofy smile and twinkling eyes and could hardly wait for the big reveal at their Ordering Session.

Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne

Professional Dog Photographer, Caitlin McColl of Ragamuffin Pet Photography photographs an adorable grey Staffy Puppy in Melbourne as a surprise gift for his Mum. Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne

We organised the Ordering & Viewing Session to take place on Maree's actual birthday. She still had no idea what James had organised for her until I hit "play" on the slideshow (click here to watch it on youtube). BEST. SURPRISE. EVER! I officially love surprise sessions - the look on her face was priceless!

Thank you so much for organising Jaxon's session James - I had so much fun being part of your big surprise and I hope that you and Maree will treasure your beautiful wall gallery and Jaxon's album forever!

Happy Birthday Maree!

x Caitlin

Professional Dog Photographer, Caitlin McColl of Ragamuffin Pet Photography photographs an adorable grey Staffy Puppy in Melbourne as a surprise gift for his Mum. Dog Photography - Grey Staffy in Melbourne

 

Album Proof

Gypsy & Chucky ~ Australian Dog Photography

"I had seen and loved your photos before, but the large prints you had on display at the Gala blew me away. I had to have one!

Lucky for me I adopted a new baby 3 weeks later, so it's now the perfect opportunity to photograph them together!"

I met Sheridan after she bid (and won) a Ragamuffin Pet Photography Fundraising Package at the Pet's Haven 2012 Gala. Sheridan has a heart of gold and is dedicated to the world of pet rescue - both Gypsy and Chucky are adopted furbabies and their Mum dedicates so much of her time & soul to Pets Haven (click here to "like" their facebook page). That's Gypsy on the left and Chucky on the right the the photo above.

Australian Pet Photographer

I travelled to their farmhouse for their session - not shortage of gorgeous locations there! It was there that I met Gypsy and Chucky for the first time - and promptly fell head over heels! Chucky is a hilarious, quirky boy (and one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever met) but I hope he doesn't mind if I admit that Gypsy had me wrapped around her little furry finger from the get go. Something about her shy, quiet but intense loving reminded me about my own girl.

Dog Photographer Australia

"Gypsy can be quite shy and timid,

but once she loves you she will be all over you!"

Dog Photography Outside

Chucky spent the first two years of his life going to work everyday with his owner, then one day he just disappeared. Two years later, he showed up at his owner's workplace - a miracle! When Chucky's previous owner took a 6 month contract for a job overseas, he put Chucky in a boarding kennel while he was gone. Another two years later, his owner had not returned for him and the kennel had still not been paid for his keep. They loved Chucky and looked after him as best they could, but they knew a kennel was not the best place for him and they were looking to move locations.

So Chucky came to Pet's Haven - and that's where he found the happy ever after to his sad story. Sheridan spent a weekend with Chucky at the shelter and at a Petstock adoption day. He used his funniest, cutest and most playful little habits to woo his new Mum (Sheridan didn't know she was his new Mum yet, but I'm positive that Chucky knew the instant he met her).

When she said goodbye to Chucky at the end of the weekend, Sheridan cried the whole 2 hour journey home. But Chucky was clearly meant to be part of the family, because without any prompting Arin (the family's friend, housemate and honorary fur-uncle) suggested that they organise a meet-up for Gypsy and Chucky to see if they liked eachother. One week later, Chucky had been adopted and he was finally home.

"His story touched me greatly, but it was his funny little personality

that captured my heart  . . ."

Pet Photographer Melbourne

Gypsy found Sheridan at the AAPS shelter in 2008. There were a couple of other dogs (two Rotties) vying for her attention, but there was something special about the 8 month old German Shepherd Cross who just wanted to sit on the bench beside Sheridan and be cuddled. Sheridan couldn't make a decision on her first visit to the shelter, so the shelter suggested that she placed one of the dogs on hold for the day. But Sheridan couldn't bear the thought of one of the dogs missing out on their chance for a happy home (didn't I tell you - heart of gold).

She went home and returned two days later with her Mum's dogs to make sure they got along with the new baby - still not sure which dog from the three was the right choice. Unfortunately when she returned she found that all three dogs were on hold - and discovered that she was devastated to hear that she had missed out on the Shepherd girl.

Just as Sheridan was preparing to leave her details with the shelter in case the hold fell through, their phone rang. The gentleman who had her on hold couldn't make it that day and was requesting an extension on the hold. Needless to say, the shelter didn't extend the hold and Gypsy's paperwork was signed then and there. She has been glued to her Mum's side ever since the day she came home.

Dog Photographer Australia

"To be honest, I don't think she has any German Shepherd in her at all.

Her breed is a little bit of a mystery to me - and I like it that way. She is unique, one of a kind . . . the best kind!"

Australian Pet Photographer

Chucky especially loves the chooks on his farm, so a portrait with his feathered friends was definitely a must! Recently his fur-uncle Arin spotted Chucky sitting still while they preened his chest!

Pet Photographer Melbourne

Chucky showing off his little rabbit bum and Gypsy chuckling at her own silly joke.

Pet Photographer MelbourneThat pet photography package to Pets Haven was the best donation I have ever made. I have to admit, that's purely for selfish reasons. It's not because of the fundraising, or because my business got a client - it's because thanks to Pet's Haven I met a beautiful, wonderful, kindhearted lady who I consider myself lucky to call a friend. Thank you so much Sheridan - it has been my honour to create artwork that celebrates the amazing bond you share with your Chucky Monster and Baby Girl.

xxx

Pet Photography Album Proof

Charlie and Eddie's Session ~ Pet Photography Melbourne

 

"Caitlin photographed my 2 very energetic dogs in action down the park. The results were spectacular! She was so patient with them, encouraging them with balls and squeaky toys.

The photos of the dogs in and out of the water were amazing action shots ~ if you're looking for someone to take stunning photographs of your pet, Ragamuffin Pet Photography is the best!" ~ Lesley

 

I first met Charlie and his Mum Lesley at the Pet's Haven Thank You Day in 2012. We clicked instantly (pun intended) and I couldn't wait to meet Lesley's other furkid Eddie!

Charlie and Eddie are both kelpie cross rescue dogs. Charlie was adopted from Pet's Haven Animal Shelter. He's a very sweet, affectionate boy who was initially a little nervous around the camera. After plenty of treats and cuddles, Charlie soon learned that posing for the camera is FUN and I was subsequently covered in lots of Charlie-kisses!

Eddie was adopted from the RSPCA after Charlie's furry sister Jess passed away. Eddie was rescued from an abusive owner and his leg had to be amputated. After 10 months of rehabilitation (physically and emotionally), Eddie was ready to find his new, loving home with Lesley and Charlie!

After getting to know the boys in their home, we headed to their favourite swimming hole. Charlie just adores the water - he will happily swim lap after lap after lap. There was no stopping him - or distracting him! That is until my trusty squeaker toy made an appearance!

While Charlie swam his laps, Eddie ran up and down the edge of the water barking encouragement - he takes his job of being Charlie's coach very seriously.

During her pre-session consultation Lesley explained that she really wanted the energy of her boys to shine through in the finished photos. This called for plenty of action shots to complement their portraits. If there is one thing that Charlie loves more than swimming, it's playing fetch! Eddie doesn't play fetch, he just likes to shadow Charlie. I couldn't help laughing while I photographed these two - Charlie couldn't take his eyes off the ball and Eddie couldn't take his eyes of Charlie!

Thank you so much Lesley - I had an absolute blast with all three of you! I hope you enjoy your wall display for many years to come!

For more information about the Ragamuffin Melbourne Pet Photography Experience, click here.