Brady the Rescue Pup

Picture this – Christmas 2013. My boyfriend John wanted to give his kids the ultimate of gifts – a puppy for Christmas. Scratch that – what I really meant to say was – SANTA wanted to give the kids a puppy. John was struggling to find a mixed breed bulldog so close to Christmas. So I jumped on the dreaded Facebook to see if we could find exactly, or come close, to what he was looking for. Luck would have it that I found a rescue group in Johnston – saving puppies and dogs from kill shelters in the south. The owner sent me numerous photos, but alas, no bulldog pups. In a last-ditch effort, she sent a photo of this guy:

Handsome pit bull puppy photo session with Brady in Narragansett, RI.

Not a bulldog, but damn cute. I mean ridiculously, insanely, outrageously cute. John immediately went up to meet the puppy, we now refer to as Brady. As a puppy his ears were too big for his body, he was at my heels every second and had the most amazingly beautiful eyes. Breathtaking. Still does. Brady has never fully lost his puppy ways and try with consistency to be a giant lap dog. He lumbers awkwardly (he is still all gangly and leggy) onto the couch and looks me square in the face with those striking and sparkly green eyes.

Photographing animals, especial dogs, is a very big treat for me. Honestly, sometimes animals are more relatable to me than people. Sometimes. Chasing after puppies, dogs, and sometimes horses, can be parallel to chasing after a two or three-year old. Their attention span is minimal and a lot of distractions take away from the camera. I love the challenge and the licks. If the toddlers licked me that would be weird. When the dogs do – well, not so weird.

Seems as if Brady is a perfect mix of Pittbull and Vizsla. When he was a pup and I would walk him, some people would shy away because of his Pittbull resemblance. It is such a shame that the breed gets such a bad rap – it’s not the dog, it is the training. Brady is the sweetest, kindest, most gentle, loving, silly, handsome, awkward and snuggly dog I know. I’ve always been more partial to the smaller breeds, 20 lbs and under and hypoallergenic. But Brady – dear sweet Brady – I would steal in a heartbeat.

And if John would just not notice I definitely would.

 

A photo session with handsome dog, Brady taken in Narragansett, RI.

A puppy portrait session with Brady in Narragansett, RI.

Brady the handsome dog getting a good stretch during a photo session in Narragansett, RI.

 

My Girl Tessie, Circa Age 3

For those of you who do not know – this is my beautiful, smart, funny, energetic daughter Tess. This photo was taken at my old home studio in Wakefield, RI when Tess was around three years old (two and a half years ago to be exact). I remember this day like it was yesterday, I had planned a photo shoot with Tess and her buddy Owen, my friend Kristin’s older son. The day before Tess acquired a massive scratch above her right eye and all I could think about was “Oh jeez! Now I have to edit that out of EVERY PHOTO. Oh the joys of being a perfectionist!

Tess and Owen were a riot. The lights in the studio were somewhat of a distraction at first, but then Kristin stepped in and got them to sit somewhat still. I was able to capture some cute interactions and funny expressions from both. My absolute favorite look to catch my daughter making is the “serious face”. She is such a happy kid, smiling all the time – it is rare to see her look so pensive. As much as I like the happy side – I LIVE for the serious side. It is crazy entertaining for me.

I think back to these times and smile – getting her to sit still was an impossible task. Sometimes still is. But now at the age of five, she can take direction and somewhat listens, so the posing comes a little easier. And with that being said I think it is time for a new session with my favorite model!

A family photo session with Tessie, taken in Wakefield, RI. A photo session with Owen riding a rocking horse taken in Wakefield, RI. Tessie, a young toddler, posing in a box for a family photograph captured by Heather Webster in Wakefield, RI. A family photo session with Tessie riding a rocking horse taken in Wakefield, RI. A family photo session with little girl Tessie, riding a rocking horse with a very serious look on her face taken in Wakefield, RI.

The Larneds

I met Neal late last year through our local networking chapter of BNI. Although we had both learned a lot through the group, in 2015 we moved on to other opportunities. Just recently, Neal reached out and asked for a family photo shoot with his sister and their kids, Raelyn (Neal’s daughter) and Gia (Jenna’s daughter) both three and only three months apart in age.

It’s a mystery to me at times how kids, especially close cousins, interact. These two girls were more like sisters than cousins, quickly explained by the closeness in age. The fine line of interaction was laced with continuous motion – in and out of each other’s little space, smiling and laughing. At first Gia was a no-go. Dead set on looking in any other direction, besides at me. Now this is where my photographer super patience sets in. Kids, when they are adamantly determined, it is best to just leave them be. I see my clients struggle to get their children to “Watch the birdie!” (No I don’t have a birdie! Can you honestly picture me with that???) or cave to bribery “If you look at the camera, mommy will give you a treat” – believe me, we have all been there, myself included. Youngsters, especially toddlers, have their own agenda and 99% of the time it have absolutely nothing to do with their parents.

The group shots – not perfectly posed. But honestly, that is not my style anyways. I look for candid moments, those times that years down the road you will re-visit and remember how unruly they were, but look at those smiles! Life is not perfect, filled with bumps, bruises and loads of fun! So what if they didn’t sit still? Maybe next year they will!

Before this shoot, I had really debated on throwing in the photography towel. There we go everyone! Heather Webster Photography flapping in the breeze. Oh crap! And to my ever budding dismay, everyone suggests being a wedding photographer (“There is REAL money there!”) but that is vehemently not ME. I have so many colleagues that thrive in that environment and blow me away in terms of the result and I am proud of them and what they have accomplished. I would prefer to stand tall and say “I am an editorial photographer!” “I am a portrait and fashion photographer!” “I am a commercial photographer!” and sorry not a wedding photographer! Trying to wade across the current is more difficult, but worth it. So thanks to Neal, Jenna, their mom Lynn, Raelyn and Gia – I am back and staying. Go me :).

Raelyn Larned's sweet resting place in the grass on location in Narragansett, RI. Raelyn and Gia Larned playing peek-a-boo at family photo session. The Lards fun fall family photo session captured at John Chafee Reserve in Narragansett RI. Gia's moment of pure joy on location photo shoot in Narragansett, RI. Smiling big Gia at family photo session in Narragansett, RI. Raelyn and Gia Larned growing up so fast in Narragansett, RI. Gia and her momma snuggling close on location at family photo session in Narragansett, RI.