Puppy Love

I’m not sure where August went but the shutter on the camera seemed like it was under going stress testing.  I’ve had so many fun senior/kids/dog sessions that I thought now is the time to go back and catch up with some of my activities and share them.

What a better topic to start with than puppies!  More specifically, 3 week old Australian Shepherd puppies from Integrity Aussies.  Can’t you just smell that puppy breath and fur??

One, Two, Three, . . .

I had photographed Jennifer Stagg and her dog Folly (not pictured above) about a year earlier when I recently saw a Facebook post that Folly had a big, beautiful litter of puppies.  Off to Jennifer’s house I went when they were just 3 weeks old and had just opened their eyes.  We took them outside for their first time in the grass and watched them sniff around and then cuddle into one big, sleeping puppy ball.

Sweet Faces


What's that?


My Sleep Comfort number is . . .


I'll Take Two!


Needless to say, these little fur balls were all spoken for already so even if I wanted to take one home, I couldn’t.  Oh well, photographing them was the next best thing!

Equipment used:  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens & Nikkor 50mm 1.4mm lens



Puppy Time!

For me, puppies are something special!  From puppy breath to big paws, soft bellies and long ears, young puppies make me feel their youth.  Having raised only one puppy (English Pointer), I welcome the opportunity to work with them EVERY chance I get.  This is a quick look at Dunham, a Viszula puppy.  They are wonderful field dogs for hunting upland game birds and like the other bird dogs breeds, they are wonderful, energetic dogs to welcome into active families!

Cute profile, right?

Cute profile, right?


Dunham made himself comfortable right away and took to playing ‘ham’ right away.  His beautiful, oaky-colored coat was perfect with the surroundings I picked out for him.  Can’t you just feel that soft, supple body?  And how about that pointing tail?


Should I jump?

Should I jump?


One of the things I noticed about him right away was that he was fascinated with my Five Fingers shoes I was wearing.  In spite of any noise I could produce, he kept looking at my feet.  Here’s one of those moments.   Don’t you just love that furrowed forehead he has to grow into?

Are we going on vacation?

Are we going on vacation?

I was hoping that Dunham would curl up into the suitcase and take a little puppy nap, but instead, he decided that playing with the little, fluffy blanket was a lot more fun!  So heck, capture that fun!  Take a look at those elephant ears as he reacts to his mom’s distress that he’s ruining my prop.

Is this OK to do?

Is this OK to do?

Finally the activity started to take it’s toll and Dunham nestled into the nest we made for him.  See that ‘getting sleepy’ look in his eyes?  He’s just so cute!

My own nest.

My own nest.

At last, Dunham succumbed to his fatigue and I got a nice sleepy image.  The images from awake to asleep are hilarious but I’ve cut to the chase here.  If you know of anyone that has a puppy under 10 weeks and they’d like to be a MODEL for me.  Let them know and we’ll set up a Complimentary session with a print to take home.  I’m also looking for kittens to photography!

Shhh!  Puppy sleeping.

Shhh! Puppy sleeping.






2013 Dog Calendar Models

At the recent Great Lakes Pet Expo I announced the “call for Dog Models” for the 2013 Dog Calendar.  The sale of the calendar will benefit dog rescues.  Marielle & Ryan stopped by my booth and talked with me about their Long-haired German Sheperd puppy, Kaya.   I took one look at the photo of her on their smartphone and she was gorgeous!  I knew how I could light her to show off that fluffy, long hair around her ears and so Kaya became the first model for the Calendar.


Kaya is a puppy.  She was 9 months old when I photographed her in the studio and she did everything we asked of her!  It showed that Marielle and Ryan had put in the work to train her through her first 9 months.  That long walk she had prior to arriving helped to settle her and I was impressed with the length of her “stay.”  In this photo above, can you see what I mean about that fluffy fur around her ears?  It reminds me of the old, Hollywood images of actresses – like Lauren Becall.


While we were laughing and having fun with Kaya, Marielle asked if I wanted to see her “say her prayers.”  Of course I did!  When she did this, I don’t know how I kept the camera steady because I was laughing out loud.  How sweet she looks here!  I love her little pink tongue!  Praying or begging?  What do you think?


Then it was time to accessorize Kaya so we choose the feminine, pink bandana.  We taught her how to perch over the back of the couch, which took a few tries.   When I saw the pink tongue/bandana combo, I knew we had the image.


Even though it was February, we headed outside for a few clicks and you can still appreciate those furry ears and the gleam in her eye!  Once the “green up” happens, we’ll head outside and get some more images to pick for the 2013 Dog Calendar.  

If you’d like to find out how your dog can be part of the 2013 Calendar, please contact me at:  pmorsch@att.net

Equipment used:  Profoto mono-lights, Larson Softboxes, Nikon D3s body, 24-70mm f2.8 lens, 70-200mm f2.8 lens

Life Cycles As Dog Owners Know Them

This past weekend I met and photographed three different women and their dogs.  In all their lives there was a thread of emotion – the loss or eventual loss of their beloved dog.  They’d all raised dogs from puppies and enjoyed the life shared with 4 paws, a wet nose, and dog hair strewn about.

There’s a real kinship I feel when photographing dogs and their people, so when the time of sharing your life with your dog becomes shorter and the reality of their eventual passing becomes more imminent, the daily walks, feedings, and rides in the car become highlighted, more careful, more watchful.  Every moment becomes more special and pronounced because we’re aware of the fragility of time.

After the grieving comes the decision whether or not to extend yourself and open up your heart to another life that needs a loving home.  So do, some don’t or can’t.  I recall the 82 year old woman that I met in a dog training class a number of years ago, with my now 13 year old coonhound/lab mix.  Yes, at 82, after living with schnauzers her whole life, she invited another schnoodle puppy into her life.  She loved that dog and when it came time to move into a nursing home, trying to find a suitable home and then turning the dog over to a schnauzer rescue was the hardest thing I had to do.  I knew the void it would bring to her heart.

Puppies have a way of crawling into our hearts and opening them up again.  We laugh, talk baby-talk and enjoy all the antics that a puppy can deliver.  We also loose some sleep and who doesn’t remember the sharpness of puppy teeth and breath?

So in this spirit of cycles of the lives we share with our dogs, I offer you a glimpse of life as dog owners know it.  A new puppy, a older lab and a 6 month old that knows it’s African heritage.

Maya the Golden Retriever at 12 weeks.

I'll be with you through it all - Booker (Yellow Lab)

Laila Ali - 6 month old Besenji mix - Congo dog

If you lost a dog, how long do you think you’d wait to open your heart up to another?  Or would you not adopt again?  What would it depend upon?  Would you become a ‘foster mom/dad’?  Let’s see what you have to say.