Westway Studio | Fine Art Pet Portrait Photography
 
   
 
 
 
 

Featured Session: Toby | Carlsbad, CA

Meet Toby, the spunky little Sheltie-mix who loves being outside and going on adventures with his mom!

Toby is originally from Pensacola, Florida where he was separated from him birth-mom at just a few weeks old. A nice family took him in for a few years but, after realizing his exercise needs were more than they could give, they began the process of finding him a new home. That’s when Toby’s forever-mom found him. And, boy, it was a perfect match!

Toby and his mom love to hike at Lake Calavera Trails in Carlsbad every week with a group of friends, so we decided that’s where we’d have our session.

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography  © 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Toby says, “these are my favorite trails!”

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Toby knows this bridge and couldn’t understand why we were stopping on it. He was ready to get hiking!

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Don’t you think Toby looks like a little fox in this golden field?

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Toby loves his mom so much, he never takes his eyes off her!

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


And Toby’s mom loves him just as much…

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Toby also loves to run, run, run…

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


He was very good at posing in front of the gorgeous yellow mustard…

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


And finally, a very special paw shot for our friend Tess — who does Toby’s nails at Peticures by Tess — as a little “thank you” for introducing us!

© 2013 Westway Studio Pet Photography


Please leave me a comment below and tell me which is your favorite shot of Toby!



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!!!


Featured Session: Mr. Cosmo Topper | La Jolla, CA

I am so excited to introduce to you the one, the only, Mr. Cosmo Topper! This boy lives in the heart of La Jolla, CA, a seaside village full of art, good food, and beautiful scenery. Being a Pomeranian, he’s as fluffy as can be and has personality galore! Cosmo loves food and would do absolutely anything for the salmon treats I brought for him.

We started our session in Cosmo’s living room. He wanted to pose on this couch so we could all see how regal he is.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Then, he hopped over to this couch to let us know that, even with his royal status, he’s still really fun and down-to-earth.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Oh, but he’s very studious, as well. I’m pretty sure some favorite titles would include The Royal Pomeranian, How to Look Handsome, Feed Me Now, Chasing Squirrels, and How to Be Popular and Make Everyone Love You.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



After Cosmo showed me his favorite spots in the house, we went out on a little walk so he could show me his favorite outdoor spots in La Jolla. First up was this beautiful little garden area.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio
“The key is to look like you belong!”

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Oh, yes, Cosmo has two people who love him dearly!

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



This is Cosmo’s mom and soon-to-be dad! They are getting married in just a few months! Hooray!!!

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Cosmo approves.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Mr. Topper and his mom needed a few photos together. They love each other so much.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



Cosmo is such a handsome boy! He loves being down by the shore.

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



On our way back, Cosmo wanted to stop at his favorite local café. Sometimes he likes to sit at the table…

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio



…but sometimes he prefers to be closer to mom (I think he’s hoping some food will fall from the sky).

La Jolla Pet Photographer | © 2013 Westway Studio

I really had a great time with Cosmo and his family. I wish his mom and dad a HUGE congratulations on their upcoming nuptials!

Lionel’s Legacy Senior Dog Rescue Photography

Back in May at the Walk for Animals, I stopped by the Lionel’s Legacy booth to introduce myself. What I learned is that Lionel’s Legacy is a rescue dedicated to saving, caring for, and finding loving homes for senior dogs who are left for an otherwise very sad fate. Well, make me cry already, would ya. I absolutely adore senior dogs and I practically begged Lionel’s Legacy to allow me the honor of photographing their adoptables. Turns out, I didn’t really have to beg… they were just as excited about it as I was.

This past Sunday, a group of Lionel’s Legacy foster families and previously-adopted pups all joined together for a walk and some socialization at Balboa Park. I joined them on the walk and after the dogs got their energy out, we sat down in a nice quiet area and did photos of six adoptables who were there. Wait, did you say “got their energy out?” Yes. “But they’re seniors!” Yes. I know. They may be older but many of them still have a lot of get-up-and-go and would make such wonderful companions!

Before we get on to the photos, I also just want to say that some of these dogs do have medical problems that need attention. Since senior dogs are harder to find homes for than puppies, many of the dogs are with their foster families for a long time. All of that adds up to a lot of expense for Lionel’s Legacy. As a non-profit, they depend on the generosity of others to help care for and save these wonderful animals. Please consider making a donation to Lionel’s Legacy. And no, they didn’t ask me to say any of that.

OK… now on to the photos!



First up is Harry the Harrier. He is one big love and a total goofball. Harry is around 12 years old and LOVES belly rubs. At the first inclination that a belly rub is coming, Harry will roll over and say, “here you go!” Harry is neutered, up-to-date on his shots, and house-trained. He’s perfect!

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Harry

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Harry



Next up, meet Lottie… or Lottie the Hottie, as she was introduced to me. This sweet little girl is a 12-year-old Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix who weighs only 12 pounds. Little Lottie the Hottie sticks her tongue out all the time because when she came to Lionel’s Legacy, she had to have her teeth removed. It doesn’t slow her down any, though… she was still gobbling up my salmon treats like the other dogs! Lottie is spayed, up-to-date on her shots, and house-trained. Her missing teeth do require some extra attention, though, so she is considered “special needs.”

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Lottie

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Lottie



Now it’s time to meet Sweet Pea! She is a super easy-going girl who loves everyone. She is up-to-date on her shots and house-trained, but prefers a home without any feline siblings. Human siblings, on the other hand, would be welcome!

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Sweet Pea

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Sweet Pea



Next up is Lady. What a perfect name for this elegant girl. Lady has some medical issues that Lionel’s Legacy and her foster mom are working on. She’s such a laid back lady, though, you’d never know. I love the way her hair blows in the breeze. Supermodel!

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Lady

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Lady



I can’t wait for you to meet Kane. This boy stole my heart! I just kept giving him hugs and kisses. He’s such a gentle and laid-back dog, we were even able to remove his leash for most of our shoot. He LOVED the salmon treats I had for him and any time he’d see I had one, his ears would perk right up. Kane is about 13 years old and was saved from a high-kill LA shelter (hey, so was my Roxy!). He does great with the kids at his foster home and he loves to go for walks and play tug-o-war. Kane is neutered, up-to-date on his shots, and house-trained. He seems to be deaf but it doesn’t make him any less of a completely wonderful and amazing dog!

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Kane

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Kane



And finally, we have Misty. This girl loves to go-go-go! She is about 7-9 years old and has the best smile around. She’s great with other dogs and kids but is not a fan of the kitties. Misty doesn’t bark and can be trusted home alone. She doesn’t get into any trouble! She’d be a perfect first-time dog. Misty is spayed, up-to-date on her shots, and house-trained.

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Misty

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Misty



And here’s a bonus tryptic of Misty… I couldn’t resist!

San Diego Rescue Pet Photography for Lionel's Legacy - Misty


Please share these wonderful dogs and, if you’re interested in adopting, contact Lionel’s Legacy!