Westway Studio | Fine Art Pet Portrait Photography
 
   
 
 
 
 

Category: Notes

Give a Shelter Pet a Foster Home for the Holidays!

This is a special guest post from my friends at Furry Foster, a non-profit organization I whole-heartedly support…

As pet parents, we’ve all heard about adopting a pet but what about fostering a shelter dog or cat?

The holidays are a time to celebrate family and, while we can’t adopt every pet, we believe that all our furry friends deserve the same. If you can open your heart and home temporarily, fostering a lonely shelter pet will be a memorable experience that changes your life — and, most importantly, saves his.

Furry Foster is making it easy and fun to foster a dog or cat. You can help pets from over 20 local rescue organizations which all provide FREE food and veterinary care while you foster. Help a pet like Jaimie who found a furry foster home just in time for Thanksgiving last year!

Furry Foster

Furry Foster

  Give a lonely shelter pet a foster home for the holidays at FurryFoster.com!


Our Family Portraits | Jackson Hole, Wyoming

You know what photographers usually don’t have many pictures of? Themselves. I have so many photos of Roxy, but so few of them actually have us together in the same shot. Even fewer include my husband, too. I knew it was time to change that.

Over the past few years, Greg and I have made two trips to Jackson, WY. I always thought about how great it would be to have family portraits taken with the Teton Mountain Range in the background… but Roxy had never been with us. To me, family photos without Roxy would be like leaving a human kid out to a mom and dad… a family photo simply couldn’t happen without her.

When Greg and I planned our third road trip to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone and decided for sure that Roxy would be joining us, I knew this was what I’d been waiting for. There was no question about which photographer to call, either. It had to be the amazingly talented Katy Gray. I have followed Katy’s Facebook page for, well… as long as I can remember. I don’t know how I first came across her work but when I did, I knew that someday, somehow, she had to photograph my family.

I contacted Katy about setting up a session. We wanted the Tetons, barn-wood, and an aspen grove. Luckily, Katy knew just where to go for all of those things (and we got a dirt road as a bonus!)…

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

© 2013 Katy Gray Photography | used with permission

Our experience with Katy was great and the session was super laid-back. We hung out on a dirt road, played with Roxy, and adventured into an aspen grove for some really unique shots… laughing and sharing stories the whole time. Roxy was super excited about getting to sniff and run around someplace new…. I was super excited about getting family portraits in a place so special to us… and Greg was super excited to have a happy wife and puppy.

THANK YOU, KATY!!! You rock!
♥ Terran, Greg, & Roxy


Road Trip 2013 | Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Bozeman

WARNING: Long post with a lot of photos! :)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my heart lives in Wyoming (although, I’ve never visited in the dead of winter). Last year, my hubby Greg worked with my niece Sam to create a special video they played for me on Christmas morning. The video revealed my full Christmas gift: a road trip to two of my favorite places on earth, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone… but this time, Roxy was coming, too!

So, a few weeks ago, we set off…


I love driving the truck.

© 2013 Westway Studio


Roxy is a great traveler.

© 2013 Westway Studio


“Welcome to Wyoming” — my favorite words!

© 2013 Westway Studio


Our first few nights were spent in Jackson, WY at the Fireside Resort. Aren’t the cabins awesome?! They even come with a s’mores kit.

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio  © 2013 Westway Studio


On our first day there, Greg, Roxy, and I had our portraits taken down near Mormon Row (read about our family portrait session) and afterward, we hung around to take some more photos.

This is one of my favorite barns.

© 2013 Westway Studio


My love & The Grand Teton mountains. Does it get any better?

© 2013 Westway Studio


I just loved this horse out in the field.

© 2013 Westway Studio  © 2013 Westway Studio


A few days later, we headed up to Yellowstone. This is just one of the many gorgeous views along the way. Only in Wyoming have I seen skies like this.

© 2013 Westway Studio


Yay! Yellowstone!

© 2013 Westway Studio


On our way in to Canyon Lodge (located in the middle of the park on the eastern side), it started raining… and hailing… and sleeting… and snowing! We enjoyed watching the snow fall from our cabin…


After the snow stopped, we went out to take some photos near Hayden Valley.

Mr. Bison has a mouthful of grass.

© 2013 Westway Studio


The snowy Hayden Valley landscape was like a dream.

© 2013 Westway Studio


And the sunset was just magical.

© 2013 Westway Studio  © 2013 Westway Studio


We found a coyote hunting in a field… I realized when we got here that my tripod broke (of course!) so I used the hood of the truck until I could get a replacement. I’ve never seen a coyote hunt like a little fox before!

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio


Just listening…

© 2013 Westway Studio


And my favorite shot…

© 2013 Westway Studio


Speaking of that broken tripod… we had to make an emergency trip to F-11 Photographic in Bozeman, MT. I wanted to see Bozeman on this trip, anyway, so off we went. The salesman at the shop was extremely helpful and hooked me up with a brand new tripod and ball head that would work with the 600mm lens I rented from LensRentals.com. This lens requires the use of a tripod; it’s almost 18″ long and weighs just over 11 pounds… it’s not exactly a lens that can be hand-held (I dubbed it “THE BEAST” — yes, in all caps).

While we were there, I wanted to check out Hedvig’s Trail, a 37-acre — completely enclosed — trail system for dogs to enjoy off-leash. Here’s a shot of Roxy (well, her butt, at least) enjoying sniffing all the great smells.

© 2013 Westway Studio


On our way back, we came across this gorgeous bull elk.

© 2013 Westway Studio


Then he made my life complete by bugling. I was meant to live where the elk bugle.

© 2013 Westway Studio


The rut was definitely in full swing. Here are two bull bison fighting for the attention of the ladies!

© 2013 Westway Studio


Later that evening, the full moon rose over the mountainside. Greg flung the truck off the road so I could get this shot.

© 2013 Westway Studio


The next day, we came across a grizzly guarding an elk kill on far the side of Swan Lake. He stayed there for days, guarding his prize, only getting up to eat and chase away the birds.

© 2013 Westway Studio


On our travels, we came across so many pretty spots.

© 2013 Westway Studio  © 2013 Westway Studio


Oh, Mr. Fisherman, pay no mind to the GIANT BULL BISON crossing the river beside you.

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio


We stopped at Old Faithful for a show. Apparently, Roxy and I were more exciting than Old Faithful. HAH!!!

© 2013 Westway Studio


The quote of the day came from a little boy walking around with his parents. He saw Roxy and said, “that dog looks like a wolf!” Totally made my day. My little Yellowstone Wolf.

We also enjoyed some soft-serve. Yes, we shared some with Roxy, too.

© 2013 Westway Studio


A few days later, we moved up to Mammoth Hot Springs. We had never seen bighorn sheep before and it was on our wish-list for this trip. We knew they were around the Mammoth area and we got completely lucky one evening. We were driving by and — Oh! Hello! — a bighorn sheep right on the side of the road. We parked in the nearest pull-out and took a look up on the steep cliffs beside us…

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio


We also love seeing moose. This bull was enjoying the first rays of sun one morning. Don’t make fun of his small antlers; that wouldn’t be nice.

© 2013 Westway Studio


Look at his breath — it was chilly!

© 2013 Westway Studio


We also came across this gorgeous little pronghorn antelope near Slough Creek.

© 2013 Westway Studio


After our moose and pronghorn encounters, we continued into Lamar Valley for a little picnic.

© 2013 Westway Studio


Roxy put her paw right on top of a bison hoof-print when she went to take a drink! My wild little wolf!

© 2013 Westway Studio


Greg took a few photos of us. We are all so happy here!

© 2013 Westway Studio  © 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio


On our way back out of Lamar, headed toward Tower-Roosevelt, we came across two pronghorn right off the road. We stopped and I got out THE BEAST lens so I could get some up-close shots of these two. What transpired was a truly special sight to see!

First, we have our bachelor, Little Guy…

© 2013 Westway Studio


And the lovely Lady (oh, those eyelashes!)…

© 2013 Westway Studio


Well, the Big Guy pronghorn — up on the hill with his harem — also liked the lovely Lady. Little Guy said “pfft, she’s mine!” (Look at the tongue! Hah!)

© 2013 Westway Studio


Big Guy took offense at that, so he started chasing Little Guy. Run, Little Guy, run!

© 2013 Westway Studio

© 2013 Westway Studio


After he chased Little Guy, he chased Lady.

© 2013 Westway Studio


This all went on for a while, but eventually Big Guy ushered Lady up the hill to the rest of his harem. We’re not sure if she was a part of it to begin with, but we felt pretty bad for her… she didn’t want anything to do with either of these guys… she just wanted to eat some grass!

© 2013 Westway Studio


After our pronghorn adventure, we stopped into a nearby lookout to see what we could find. There were lots of bison and elk roaming the hillside but the weather was rolling in so we decided to get back to the cabin…

© 2013 Westway Studio


There was so much more to this trip that I simply couldn’t get photos of. Sometimes, I just need to enjoy the moment. Some of these moments included: watching a mama bear and her two cubs far, far away on a hillside; spotting a little black bear just off the road one evening enjoying some dinner; and having picnic lunches in Slough Creek and watching Roxy sniff around all the new smells.

But, by far, my best memory of this trip was watching the Junction Butte wolf pack play on a hillside one morning. We met up with a group of wolf watchers and researches early that morning at a favorite lookout. The wolves were about five miles away (hence, no photos) but we were able to see them through the use of a spotting scope. I counted seven wolves, although others counted more. I could see this year’s puppies playing with each other, rolling around, then napping, then playing some more. We could see that some were gray and some were black. It was just so special to see the wild wolves of Yellowstone. As an added bonus, the bull elk in the canyon below were bugling the entire time!

This entire trip was an incredibly special one: we had great fun, saw a countless amount of wildlife, and now I can officially call Roxy my little Yellowstone wolf. Best Christmas present ever.

Easy Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

UPDATE: Before changing your dog’s diet, ALWAYS discuss it with your vet to determine what is right for his/her specific needs. If you are feeding home-cooked meals frequently, talk to your vet about adding a doggie daily multi-vitamin and calcium to every meal.


I love cooking meals for my family (Thanksgiving is my holiday!) and that includes cooking for Roxy. If you read about dog food nutrition and really start to look at what ingredients make up your pup’s kibble or wet food, you’ll be shocked—no matter what brand you feed. This post is about a FUN, EASY (seriously EASY!), and HEALTHY way to feed your pup, though, not about the horrors of processed dog food. So… onward and upward!

We’ve been dog-sitting our very picky pup-friend Maya this summer and she loves this meal as much as Roxy. The girls squeeze between me and the counter as I prepare their bowls and cry if I don’t make it quickly enough. We are starving, they whine. Please, please let us have some food!

So what’s this magical favorite dish they can’t wait for? I thought you’d never ask…

© 2013 Westway Studio | Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

1. Cover the bottom of your Crock-Pot with a layer of brown rice (use as much as you’d like – I usually use a little more but I ran out – that’s what you call good planning) and top it with a frozen chicken breast.

© 2013 Westway Studio | Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

2. Cut up about 3 medium carrots.

3. Cut up one sweet potato (or is it a yam?).

4. Cut up some green beans. Mine were blanched a few days beforehand and frozen until I was ready to make the meal.

You can use whatever veggies you like, too. The girls love this combo so I’ve made it a few times now.

© 2013 Westway Studio | Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

5. Throw the carrots, sweet potato, and green beans into the Crock-Pot and top with water.

6. Cook on Low for about 5 or 6 hours until everything is soft.

© 2013 Westway Studio | Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

7. Mash it all together with a potato masher. Little Miss Picky Maya won’t touch a chunk of vegetable with a ten-foot pole but when it’s all mashed together, she gobbles it right up. Haha, tricked you, Maya! Then, you just scoop it into some Tupperware and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Roxy and Maya are medium-sized dogs and will go through this in about 5 or 6 days. For smaller dogs, you could make less or freeze portions and thaw them as needed.

© 2013 Westway Studio | Crock-Pot Meal for Dogs

8. When dinnertime arrives, just scoop some into a bowl and top with a dollop of plain yogurt… and, if your pup is like Roxy and Maya, they’ll also get a scoop of cooked ground bison and a scoop of cooked salmon to really complete the gourmet dining experience.

I’d love to hear from others about what you put in your Crock-Pot meals for your pups! I think this is such a fun and easy way to feed our fur-kids a healthy, balanced meal. Plus, they absolutely love it! Be sure to leave a comment below so we can all share some great ideas!




Commercial Project: Dog Food & Treat Bags

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Oh my gosh, you guys, I have been waiting to share this with you for months and I am so excited to finally be able to show you a big, exciting project I got to work on…

As some of you know, I’m also a graphic designer. I work with a few other designers in my area and we all help each other out with projects when needed. Well, I was super-duper excited when one of them called me up and said, “Hey! You love dogs and I have the perfect project for you!” My Perfect Pet is a long-time client of his and they wanted to re-do their packaging. He was overloaded with work at the time and thought I’d be a great fit to help out with the new designs.

My Perfect Pet is a local pet food company who sells their products all across the country. The food is made from fresh, 100% human-grade ingredients, which I think is pretty darn awesome. They wanted to update their packaging to more-closely match their current look and they wanted to introduce more photos of dogs on their products. I worked closely with my designer friend and the clients to create just what they were looking for.

First up is the new dog food bag. While I created the design of the bag, the photos were done by another photographer (I’m sorry I don’t know who!). The yellow lab on the front is Boomer and the black lab on the back is Knight. Aren’t they handsome pups?

© 2013 Westway Studio | Dog Food Commercial Project

Next up is the new dog treat bag! With this one, I created the design and shot the photos. You might recognize the lovely ladies featured on the front of the bags… my beautiful, stunning, supermodel Roxy-Girl (of course) and two other dogs who are very special to me and I love dearly: Quila (the little chihuahua who you might remember from my blog posts: Tails from the Other Side, Pets & People, Accessorized, and Second Chance) and her adorably chunky pork-chop of a sister, Tiki (the little Frenchie also featured in my blog post: Second Chance).

© 2013 Westway Studio | Dog Treat Commercial Project

Here’s a closer-up view of the front. Aren’t those girls just adorable?

© 2013 Westway Studio | Dog Treat Commercial Project

So, go check out My Perfect Pet and look for their products in the freezer section of your favorite pet food store (you can also use the store locator on their website). And as a little challenge to you all out there… when you find the treat bags, snap a photo of you with it, and email it to me or upload it to the Westway Studio Facebook page! I want to see all the places where Roxy, Quila, and Tiki are now famous!!!