Sarah first contacted me sometime in October ’08, when I was just starting out my pet photography business and was looking for some canine volunteers to fill my scant portfolio. She and her fiance live in Providence, and had just gotten Simone, a Lab mix rescue puppy who was then almost 5 months old. But due to a very bad case of email accounts mismanagement, I didn’t end up seeing Sarah’s email until February. Gah!

But we emailed back and forth during the ensuing months, and worked out a deal. It was a really good deal. Because Sarah had something I wanted, something I needed really, really badly. She has a custom stationery business. She has paper, lots of pretty, pretty paper. And she has a letterpress. Maybe you’re not aware of this, but paper + letterpress = the perfect couple.

So I asked her if we could do a crafty swap – I photograph her Simone in exchange for some letterpressed Thank You cards for my business. This past weekend we finally met to exchange our goods. First, I’ll show you what I gave Sarah. Then tomorrow I’ll show you what Sarah gave me. I totally think I got the better end of the deal!

Here now is Simone, at 11 months, technically an adult now but still bursting with puppy energy and personality.

I’d just like the viewers to know that while the photos below are displayed in the order they were taken, they do not follow any linear sort of order whatsoever, in that you begin with a dog who is full of energy, uses the energy, and as time passes, eventually spends that energy so that the dog has to stop to replenish that energy. Simone did not work that way. She had internal buzzers that told her to lounge…then bzzz! get crazy and roll over…then bzzz! fall asleep…bzzz!!! look out the window…bzzz! run around in circles…you get the idea.

“Now I’m calm…”


Simone has the head of a Lab, the body of a whippet, and the legs of a supermodel.

“I know. I am part dog, part Gisele Bundchen.”

After the world’s quickest open-eyed nap, Simone headed outside to show off her amazing athletic abilities.

“Now I’m in the air! Now I’m on the ground!”

I have so many photos of her in this pose.

Here is when Simone decided that chasing sticks all afternoon long was not going to save the world; however, digging a hole would.

After a quick break and some finishing touches, Simone gives her handiwork a full inspection before she calls it a day.

“Yup. Yup. Mmhmm yup.”

“TADA I has dugs you a hole and eaten summuvit!!”

Now we come to the more posed shots of the session. I would say a photoshoot with me generally comprises 80% candids: me following the dog around and capturing whatever it is she decides to do. The remaining 20% are posed shots: me telling the owner to tell the dog to do something in front, on top, behind, or next to something else, and major bonus points if the dog smiles in the right direction.

I do these kinds of shots to give some variety in the shoot. And also to test my or the owner’s or the dog’s patience, I think! Sometimes the more you want it, the more likely you won’t get it, the more you want it…begin vicious cycle. In this case, it was Simone’s patience that was being tried. I think she was like, Dude! Enough of all the sitting. The yard has but just ONE HOLE.

But she did so good while we roamed around College Hill and the waterfront.

BYE BYE now! Thanks for visiting!
xoxo, Simone

Next up: The FOCStudio letterpress notecards from Sarah’s Things Are Better with a Parrott design studio. Her stuff is exquisite. Y’aller gonna be so jealous.