Halloween Fun

In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to share a photo recently made in the studio with 6 month old fraternal twins and their pugs.  Needless to say, Mom/Dad worked hard to get the right costumes, ply those little cherub bodies into the costumes and after getting everyone comfortable, we have some fun shots.  They’re all little wigglers so working fast was of the essence.  We all sang “The Wheels on the Bus” and thank goodness the pugs sit for treats!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

It’s got that “who decided that this is what we’re going to do for Halloween” look to it.  It makes me smile that the twins will have these images, to not only see themselves when they were little, but also see their first dogs!

The People Behind Rescue Dogs

While peeling through Facebook the other day, I noticed an article posted by a friend about the old vs. new ways that dog rescues/shelters can best market their dogs and services to those that are searching for a future family member(s).   It started with getting rid of the “poor dog”stories and not dwelling on the past life of the dog.  You’ve probably seen those heart wrenching photos like these below, of our new dog, Helen Jane, when she initially came into a shelter in Indiana.  (These were from a 2 year series of photos from her initial rescue to adoption.  I’m just using these for illustrative purposes.)

Be Delicate with Me!

Be Delicate with Me!

Too Thin

Too Thin

Now fast-forward 2 years!  She’s made a spectacular recovery and was nursed back to good health with the help of Illinois Bird Dog Rescue and their system of dedicated foster homes and volunteers.  (Kudos to all of you because you saw her through the tough days and we benefited from that!)  The gist of the article was rather than dwell on the rescued dog‘s past and pull at the heartstrings with sob stories, it’s better to highlight the dog’s best behaviors, personality traits, and why the dog would be a good companion and family member.  In other words, show them in their best light!  Well here you go . . .

Catchiing Air!

Catchiing Air!

On the Scent

On the Scent

Cool Down Time!

Cool Down Time!

While we know nothing about her life before rescue (nor do we need to know), we celebrate the joy, companionship, humor and energy she brings to our everyday lives!  She’s also become my “never too cold, hot or rainy” exercise partner and has me running again, after a multi-year ‘resting period.’  Now, if I could only keep up with her!

Shortly after adopting her, I signed up for a dog obedience training class (1 & 2) with Holly Lewis (Cold Nose Canine) at the east side Zoom Room and in spite of her being an adult, 4-6 yrs old, our “bonding through obedience training” has blossomed.  Yes, you can teach older dogs (and humans) new tricks!   This skilled network of positive reinforcement dog trainers is vital in completing the circle of successful adoptions.

As I read the brief FB post from Beyond Breed, I thought of all the people that work tirelessly to rescue, shelter,transport, foster, treat and ready dogs for adoptions.  From executive directors to volunteers, there’s an army of people to celebrate and acknowledge.  Like Lisa, below, with her own dog, Buckwheat, who’s been rescuing English Pointers and English Setters for 12 years.

He's the best and he's all mine!

He’s the best and he’s all mine!

With that understanding, it’s time to start another personal photography project!  Spread the word because I need to photograph and blog about the people that are behind the scenes of every big and little dog adoption.   From home based rescues to large shelters, help me share the stories of their everyday successes and joys of working in the emotionally charged area of dog rescue/adoption.   It’s the successes that keep this “army” going and that’s what I intend to highlight.  To start things off, I’d like to travel to northwest Indiana, with Hellie, and photograph the people there that helped get her to me.  I think they’d love to see what’s become of her and I expect the joyful memory of our meeting would fuel them forward during some tougher times.

This project would also include the adopters and their new canine family members.  Then I can help supply the rescues with images such as the one below that illustrate that rescued/adopted dogs can be wonderful companions to children and families!  If you’d like to be part of this yet to be named project or know of someone, or a shelter/rescue that might be interested in participating, please contact me at peggy@peggymorsch.com or 414.550.5340.  Sites in the Midwest are encouraged but I’ll also consider other states if they line up with travel plans such as Alaska, western New York, or the driving route to Florida.  Thanks for helping this project move forward!

"I've got your eeaarr!"

“I’ve got your eeaarr!”

Ahh, the Fall!

When you’re photographing people outside in the Fall, you’re always at the mercy of the weather.  Will it be cold, windy, hot, or rainy?  Fall is a time of vast change and if I’m working with little ones, weather can make all the difference in the mood of the images.  So last week, when the weather didn’t cooperate for an active 18 month old, named William, I told Amy, the mother, “the weather’s surely going to get warm again.”

So with the temps in the mid 60’s this morning, I headed out to Cedarburg and had lots of fun with William and his apples!

I’m sooo big and strong!

He was so enthusiastic and enjoyed playing with his parents as we maneuvered quickly through 3 clothing changes and some time with his beloved Sammy.  The warm, morning light was pouring through the white birch leaves, while a steady breeze kept him cool in his warm outfits.  Even Sammy, the family pooch, gave me a spontaneous moment that they will cherish long after William’s buddy is gone.

It was a exhilarating morning with William and his family and we all were blessed with the wonderful, soft kisses of warmth that Fall can bring.  A great joy accompanied me all day as I thought of the fun I had in the company of William and his apples.  I hope you can find time to go outside and breath it in over the next few days in the Midwest.  Be sure to eat an apple while you’re out there!

I’m ready for frost now.

 

You are my very best friend in the whole, wide world!

On top of the world on dad’s shoulders.

 

Got my weight-lifting over for the day!

 

 

 

BARKS at St. Mark’s

     Every once in a while, someone enters my life and brings into it much more meaning than I would have every thought possible.  That’s how it was with Fr. John.  From my initial greeting with Fr. John Allen, I knew that he was a unique, spiritual guide and man.  There was a twinkle in his eye, a sincerity in his voice and his Irish Wolfhound puppy was sporting a different kind of collar – that of a priest!  You see, Flynn works the spiritual side of life with Fr. John.  They’re a team and Fr. John understands the talents that his spiritual partner brings to the table.

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     As I conversed with Fr. John, he asked me to photograph them together, and then wondered if I’d be interested in helping them out at their upcoming Barks at St. Mark’s  (2011) at his church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (1314 E. Rawson Ave.  South Milwaukee).  Click HERE for directions.

     Remember I said he had a twinkle in his eye?  Barks at St. Mark’s is a Sunday church service, held outside, under a large tent, and it’s EXPECTED that you bring your dog/cat/pet.  In fact, Fr. John tells me that pets are welcomed on any Sunday during the year – inside or out – not just to celebrate St. Francis of Assisi of the Barks event.  Fr. John knows and lives inside the healing, nurturing world of pets, year round!

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     Last year the weather was beautiful and people/pets of all shapes and sizes (cats were there too) came forward during the service for a communion (dog/cat biscuits) and a personal blessing from Fr. John.  I loved what I saw that day and I teared up a bit when some of the older dogs stepped forward for his blessing, knowing they were one step closer to meeting their maker.

     This year’s event is next Sunday, June 10th and I’ll be there at 8:30 in the morning to photograph your and your dog, inside, BEFORE the mass starts at 9:00 a.m.  I’ll be photographing again AFTER the mass until 11:00 a.m.  Due to the number of people/pets wanting to be photographed, these will be “quick takes” of about 5 minutes.  You may want to brush up on your sit/stay, or down/stays prior the event.  Images will be available online for ordering/delivery.  Parking is available in the back but you may find street parking more convenient.  Be careful exiting your pet from your vehicle, as it can be a busy street!

     Following the blessing, there will be a complimentary picnic provided by the members of St. Mark’s parish, and you can browse some of the pet-friendly businesses that will also be there.  If you were  a participant of Barks at St. Mark’s 2011, post a comment and tell others about your experience!

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     For those who are photographed, a $15 donation is required.  This donation goes to helping St. Mark’s provide assistance to those in their community who have pets but have trouble meeting the financial responsibilities of veterinary care, medications, food, etc.  You can make your check out to St. Mark’s Church.  Cash is also accepted.  You will be notified via email when your images are ready to viewed online.

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     As there will be a number of dogs there, it’s requested that dogs be leashed and up to date on their vaccinations.   

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See you on June 12th!!

Summer’s Here Kids!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here.  Windy, but sunny and definitely shorts weather!  It was my first session of the outdoor season in Lake Park and I got to spend it with two of my favorite kids – Katie and Sam!

Katie was all decked out in her girly-girl dress and fun white hat.  She couldn’t have looked any better!

Looking absolutely lovely, Katie!

Sam, the ever-helpful, big brother, even helped Katie get her wardrobe right.  He LOVES his sister and it showed when he pulled himself away from the playground to be Katie’s escort on the sidewalk.

"You'll look better with this on, Katie"

Sam helps to steady the newly walking Katie

Katie enjoyed her time chasing dandelions and Sam found some ‘alone time’ with his trucks and colorful sunglasses.  Having photographed Sam since he was 2 months old, I’ve come to appreciate his ‘let’s try it’ sense of adventure.  If I suggest something, he usually cooperates with great gusto.  Glad you like the sunglasses Sam!

I'm heading for that dandelion!

Look at my trucks!

So school’s just starting to wind down and soon kids and families will be outdoors enjoying the Wisconsin summer.  Don’t let time go by this summer without booking a Summer Mini-Session ($85) in the great outdoors.  Your kids grow up too fast to not record the fun they have!  Ask me to photograph your children doing the things they love and capture the relationship they enjoy with each other.   You’ll be glad you did!

Call or email me today and we’ll book a date and a Rain Date to work around the weather.  These sessions are limited, as is the time with your children.

Beachin’ It

Spending time with my extended family is always a great way to relax, laugh, recharge and, of course, record family memories through photography.  Since I have a 3 year old nephew and 4 other great nieces and nephews under 3.5 years, there was lots of action to go after!   Enjoy the images made at New Smyrna Beach, FL.  First my mom,  then it’s Ryan, George, Peyton, Kylie and Maura.

Enjoy the beach scenes and if you live up north, feel the warmth I send!

My Mom at 83

Ryan after exciting the pool

Warm-up time

George playing football (He's a Brit!)

Peyton - a natural runner

Mia Familia

Kylie - "I own this beach!"

Ryan - dodging the waves

Peyton - the water bearer

Maura - modeling her 'beach tutu'

Kylie and her charming smile

George - waiting for a wave

Maura - beautiful eyes that don't like the wind

All images made with Nikon D3s and Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens.

Blizzard 2011 on Summit Ave!

No need for words here folks.  The video will tell the story of a winter block party on Summit Ave. the morning after the Blizzard of 2011!  Your comments are welcomed!

 

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 42 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 106 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 20th with 75 views. The most popular post that day was Trashing the Dress.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, peggymorsch.com, mail.yahoo.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, and slashingtongue.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for trash the dress, “trash the dress”, http://www.peggymorschlifephotography.wordprocess.com, digital photography classes racine wisconsin, and mad hot ballroom in mps.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Trashing the Dress September 2010
2 comments

2

Pointing the Way April 2010

3

How Do You Say FALL? October 2010

4

The Chocolatier April 2010

5

Dogs and Their Houses June 2010
2 comments

Clothing Makes the Girl

Last week my new camera (Nikon D3s) arrived and I put it to work this past weekend when little Sophia, a lovely one year old came for her portrait.  Just a year ago she was a newborn and now there she was, all bright eyed and full of smiles.  Brothers Jake and Cole came along to get the right expressions from her and you could see just how much they loved their little sister.  Mom brought along a number of very cute outfits and each one was cuter than the previous one!  Editing this session was hard because of the many expressions Sophia had.  Decide I must, however.  So here are a few favs from the session!  Happy Birthday Sophia!!

It's ALL Fun!

Even Cat Woman Likes Christmas!

The 'Kitty' crawls

So What If It’s Cold and Snowy Outside!

Wow!  The weather recently turned quickly here in the Upper Midwest.  We went from 40’s to teens, he skies dropped some snow and then those cold, winds from the northwest blew in.  As a dog owner, however, I’m like the Postal Service.  We walk no matter what the weather.  I consider it good training and discipline for those times when I have to be out in the elements.  This past week is but one example.

On our first day of measurable snow, I had the pleasure to photograph a young, yellow lab named Charlie Jack and his owner Shannon.  The snow came in waves of light to heavy and the north winds plastered the snow against the north side of the trees.  It was beautiful weather to be outdoors and make some great images of the two of them!

Shannon & Charlie Jack

Running Free in the Snow

Charlie's Line in the Sand

Best Buddies!

TIP #1:  For those of you interested in photographing in the falling snow, either purchase a special cover for your lens/DSLR or rubber-band a plastic bag around your gear to keep it dry.  If the wind’s blowing hard like it was this day, be sure to have your subject facing into it vs. your uncovered lens.  If not, it will be the first and last time you make that mistake!

 

Then, 2 days later, the temperatures plummeted and we had our coldest day of the year since last winter.  I believe it was about 20 degrees, with a single digit wind chill when I headed out to Lake Park to photograph the Lenardson Family.  We had hoped for snow, which we got, but hadn’t anticipated that bone chilling wind.  After some time in an sunny, but windy, open area, we headed for the protection of one of Lake Park’s noted ravines.  One year old Travis was bundled up on his snow suit and 4 year old Travis enjoyed a mock snowball fight with me.  Everyone came prepared for the cold and we came away with some wonderful images to remember a family’s cold day in the park!

Bundled Up

How can you move in a snow suit?

Locked and Loaded!

TIP #2:  So take your camera outside this winter and see what you can come up with.  When you come back inside, cover up your camera with a towel or coat until the camera comes back to room temperature.  Some people put it in a larger, plastic bag.  Why?  For those of you who wear glasses, you’ll understand right away.  The warm air of your home will hit the cold body of your camera and condense on it in the form of moisture.  Moisture and digital electronics don’t play well together!

TIP #3:  If you want to see your images as soon as possible, get a zip lock bag and put your camera’s flash card into the zip lock bag.  Seal it shut and wait until your card has come back to room temperature.  Then you can download your images without worrying about ruining the flash card due to moisture.  Keep this zip lock bag with your camera gear during the winter.  The same phenomenon holds true for bringing a cold camera into a warm car, do don’t forget to put it into your camera bag or cover it with a towel.

 

With some forethought, you too can venture out into the snow & cold to make some memorable images of your family.  If you’re interested in learning more about your camera (especially if you’re getting a new one this Holiday!) and how you can make better images of your family, contact me at 414.550.5340 because I’m setting up an “So You Got A New Camera” class, for February 2011.  Limited to 6 people.