10,000 Carrots Rabbit Rescue - Pet Photography

Did you know that February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month?

And did you know that you can do just that, here in Halifax and HRM? We have a wonderful rabbit rescue called 10,000 Carrots and they take such good care of the sweet bunnies who need their help. They have foster homes who take care of bunnies while they wait to be adopted, and there are also a number of adoption events coming up in March if you want to get out and meet some of the organizers and rabbits!

I met up with 6 rabbits who were rescues (3 are adopted by this family and 3 are fosters) and it was so much fun to meet these unique pets and learn more about them. It was a great opportunity to flex my pet photography skills and see what it's like to photograph other animals beyond the dogs I'm typically working with.

Here are some of my very favourite bunny photos from that day!


Nibbler the Hedgehog

I'm usually known as Halifax's Dog Photographer... but I may have to adjust that to Halifax's Pet Photographer because I've been meeting some wonderful pets lately who aren't dogs!

This past weekend I got to meet a hedgehog for the first time! His name is Nibbler. He was a sweet but nervous little dude, but I wanted him to know that I was there to be his friend. No sudden movements or loud noises - he's not fond of those. He seemed pretty comfy in my hands and stuck his little nose out to sniff around, and he was brave enough to show me around his home!

Since he didn't know about the photoshoot ahead of time (must have forgotten to put it in his hedgie agenda), he forgot to use the bathroom before he left his cage. So we did have a little incident on the table cloth during the session! Hopefully he's not too embarrassed about that. Sorry for bringing that up again, Nib.

Here are my favourite images from his session!

Print What You Want to Preserve

How lucky are you to have found that perfect furry soulmate?

It feels like fate or destiny or something must have brought you two together at the right time in your life! You're a perfect little duo, and each of you is just what the other needs. You're both learning and growing together on this journey, and you can't imagine your life any other way.


In one of my recent blogs called "My Kind of People", I talked about the fact that almost everyone has a camera on them at all times - our cell phones all have cameras so we're never without something to document a cute moment. Which is fantastic! And also different from even just 15-20 years ago. Now that technology makes this so easy for us and everything is digital, we have hard drives and USBs and Facebook albums full of memories. But those all remain hidden until we choose to go open them. We can't actually see those photos unless we turn on a computer or phone and go looking. Even crazier is the fact that a) we need power to see our photos, and b) technology changes so quickly that some of these devices are becoming outdated already. New laptops don't even have USB drives or CD drives anymore. If you've got your memories saved on those devices, it's now harder to access them. Not to mention if you've got family videos on VHS!

Now, don't get me wrong - I absolutely LOVE technology. I just upgraded to the iPhone 8 Plus, and the wireless charging is blowing my mind, haha. I feel like I'm living in the future! So cool.

But we're now quite distanced from printed images, which used to be the standard way we viewed our memories. Boxes of photos, or carefully put-together albums that documented our childhood or our grandparents' lives. We rarely get to hold photographs in our hands anymore, or flip through a real photo album (no, not a Facebook album).


At Wet Nose Images, I prioritize printed photographs over digitals because it's SO special to have your images in print, to see them every day in your home, and to fully enjoy your investment. It's fun to have hard drives full of our own candid snapshots, but for your professional photos, you want to have them printed big, on the wall! Or compiled in a luxurious album on the coffee table. You want to show them off to every guest who comes over! That is your sweet pup's face and who doesn't want another excuse to start a conversation about them, right?


Our dogs are our LIVES. Many of us decide whether to accept an invitation or take a trip based on whether our dog can come with us. "Is that beer garden dog friendly?" "Can my dog come with me while I run errands at Canadian Tire, Chapters, and Michaels?" "Does that trail allow dogs, and can they run off-leash?"

Deciding to book a Wet Nose session for your pup is a way for you to document how perfect they are at this moment in time. Each year you'll see them change and grow, but these photographs will bring you right back to the moment they were taken. They're like magic that way!

"When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude."

-Bruce Cameron

I want you to remember all the amazing moments in your dog's life, the mischievous twinkle in their eye, the tongue-hanging-out smile on a warm summer day, the adorable spots on their nose that faded as they grew up, and that look in their eyes when they're with you - their favourite person in the entire world.


Check out the Wet Nose Images product line to see everything we have to offer, and start picturing them in your own home!

Leashes Be Gone!

I know what you're thinking.

You've been following Wet Nose Images for a while, enjoying the cute pups, but all the while thinking, "Those dogs aren't on leashes and they're standing perfectly still. They must be professional models! My dog could never do that.. so I won't be able to get professional photos."

But I'm here to (gleefully) tell you that you're wrong!

Yep. In fact, 90% of the dogs I photograph are actually on leash during the session. This can be for a variety of reasons:

  1. The dog doesn't have reliable recall so the leash is for their safety
  2. The location we've chosen requires it by law
  3. The dog is so excited to be there that we just need the leash to keep them close by and focused on us instead of all the other dogs, all the smells, all the water they could jump into, etc.

So for those main reasons (and any others that may come up) I encourage most clients to keep their dogs on leash during their session. This is the most common scenario, so you're not in the minority if your dog needs to be leashed!

But in the final images, that leash can be distracting. Our eye wants to follow it instinctively and see where it leads (which is away from the pup's face). So I remove the leash during editing to keep the image strong and focused on your dog.

I did a little time-lapse video of me doing a fairly simple leash removal in Photoshop, and I've included the Before and After images below!

Speedy quick!





You can see how much nicer the edited image looks, once we take away the distracting leash. Norah looks freer, and we can now concentrate on her beautiful eyes and golden, sunlit fur!

Here is another example with London and Cooper from Madison's 2 Paws Up Dog Treats:





That one was trickier, due to all the poles and boats in the background. But I really wanted to get a sweet photo of these two on the bridge, so we made it happen!

So if your pup has lots of energy or still has lots of work to do on their recall... please don't worry one bit. Your dog can absolutely have a magical session just like the ones you've been seeing here.

Send me a message and we'll start planning your spring or summer session (which gives you something wonderful to look forward to, during the chilly Nova Scotian winter)!

You are my kind of people

We are living in an amazing time.

There are more gadgets and apps than ever before, and it's not slowing down anytime soon. Nearly everyone has a camera in their pocket - it's attached to their phone! (How crazy is that sentence?) So almost everyone has the ability to take photos of their dogs whenever they want. First thing in the morning, out for a hike, at the pet store, etc. And judging by the amount of dog Instagram accounts I shamelessly follow... dog owners definitely make the most of this technology! I love it.

So why would anyone bother hiring a professional photographer?

Why pay someone else when you can take pictures yourself, right? The beautiful thing is that it's completely your choice. You don't have to hire anyone if you don't want to. You have a camera of some kind (camera phone, film camera, even a disposable camera) and you can save the moments that matter to you on a daily basis. I love that! I am so happy that nobody has to feel like they missed a special moment because they either don't own a camera, or didn't bring it with them. Our smartphones are always with us!

So no, my work isn't for everyone. Photography is not a need like groceries. Photography is a want.


Wet Nose Images was created for those who want it (but it feels more like gotta have it). My work is for those pup parents who don't feel their iPhone snapshots are enough. Those pictures just don't do their incredible dog justice and they want something more. Something to put on the wall and gush over every day. Something to hold in their hands instead of just sitting in an album on Facebook (where you'll see it come up once a year in your Memories).


It's for those people who spend as many waking moments with their dog as humanly possible (and miss their pup like crazy while they're at work). The dog owners whose idea of a perfect weekend is hiking and camping with the dogs, or attending an agility trial together, or even learning how to Stand-Up Paddleboard with their dog. The people who would love nothing more than to sit on a blissfully warm, quiet beach and watch a golden sunset with their sweet pup right beside them.


If you've ever gotten a tattoo to celebrate to your dogs, or skipped a party to hang out with your puppy, or changed the name of your Instagram account to your dog's name (because, honestly, there hadn't been a picture posted of you in months)... you're my kind of people.


You are the people that Wet Nose Images is all about. Booking a session with me means you're planning yet another incredible evening with your dog. A new adventure together and new memories made. But this time... you don't have to worry about having your phone out, trying to catch the moments yourself. I've got it covered.

All you have to do is show up, relax, and have a blast with your best bud.


2017 Wrap-up

Oh my goodness. 2017 has been fabulous! This was my 3rd year in business, and honestly, my best/most exciting one yet! But look out, because I have big plans to make 2018 even better...


In February I took this photo, which turned out to be one of my absolute favourites so far! Saskia was such a sweet and goofy pup, but I caught her looking majestic in a beam of sunlight and I just love it. I have this image printed as a 20"x30" sample and I bring it with me to shows like the Doggie Expo. It stops people in their tracks when they see her beautiful face. I'm so happy with this image!


In April I volunteered some time to take photos for the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada website and loved the sweet greyhounds (and galgos and podencos) I met. I would love to book sessions for more pups like this! They're so gorgeous.


In May I went on an absolutely incredible trip to Hawaii with my family and was just blown away. Even now, when people ask me what Hawaii was like, I just don't have any words. It was just the most beautiful, the most wonderful, the most perfect place. I was in awe of everything. Every landscape was stunning, the palm trees were everywhere, the sun was so warm, the people were so kind. I took a surfing lesson, I zip lined down a mountain, I looked over the edge of Waimea Canyon, I swam beside turtles in the ocean (don't worry - I gave them plenty of space), and I ate in restaurants that were fully open on one side so the ocean breeze could waft in.

It was just so perfect, guys. I don't know what else to say. I feel so lucky to have experienced that. And I really, really, hope I can do it again one day.


In June I recruited a new group of Ambassadogs who have been just as wonderful as my first group of pups, and helped spread the word about Wet Nose Images to the pup parents of Halifax and beyond!


In September I got to photograph a horse for the first time, which was a really neat experience! I couldn't share the photos earlier because they were a surprise gift for someone for Christmas! But you can expect some more photos on Facebook and Instagram now that the gifts have been given!


Later that month I did an afternoon of photos for the pups attending the Cobequid Animal Hospital open house! I met and photographed more than 45 dogs (and 3 cats!) outside that day, and the rain miraculously held off until the very end. We got so lucky!


This year I also started offering indoor "lifestyle" sessions for cats, and I'm very excited about it! Most cats tend to stay indoors and aren't as willing to pose as dogs are (not as easily bribed) so these sessions flow differently than my typical outdoor dog sessions. If you or someone you know loves their sweet kitty to bits and is looking for someone to capture natural photos of their little friend in their happy spots around the house, send them my way - I would love to chat! I've done a few of these sessions already, and I used to live with 5 sweet, social kitties in the past, so I'm very happy to be in the company of cats and spend time with them. I'm certainly not a person who chooses dogs OR cats. I love 'em all!


In October I volunteered a morning to photograph the Elderdog walk in Bedford. This organization does amazing things for people and their dogs. If an owner is unable to do certain things for their pet, Elderdog will arrange for one of their volunteers to assist. For example, if someone is in a wheelchair and their dog needs more exercise than they are able to provide, someone will come to take the dog on regular hikes. Or if someone doesn't have access to a vehicle to take their dog to vet appointments, Elderdog will arrange transportation. They do everything in their power to keep people and their dogs together. And if an owner moves into an assisted living facility where dogs aren't allowed, or sadly passes away, Elderdog will take the dog into foster care and find them a new home where they'll be happy.


In October I also taught Ruby a new trick to put her head down. I'm so excited about this trick and the different ways I can use it in photos! This is a sweet example that I used for a Christmassy photo. She's such a good girl.


And in December I've been having fun with creating more festive photos with Ruby. We've done some of her in cute bandanas, in front of the tree lights, writing a letter to Santa, and leaving cookies out for him.


I have had such a fantastic year! I photographed over 100 dogs since January, from private sessions and larger events like the one at Cobequid Animal Hospital. Here are some of the sweet faces I met this year!


5 Fun Photo Ideas to Try With Your Dog This Holiday Season

I'm feeling verrrry Christmassy these days and I just love the ambiance and overall feeling at this time of year. Everything feels cozy and magical. And I get so excited to create images that evoke that feeling as well.

I want you to get the most out of your holiday celebrations and have images that you cherish as well, so I've compiled a list of 5 fun photo ideas to try during the holidays, as well as tips on how to make the magic happen.

If you try some of these and post them on Facebook or Instagram, I'd love for you to tag my Wet Nose Images account so that I can see them. I love seeing everyone's photos.


Counting down from 5 to 1, we start with...

#5 - In front of the tree


This is the first one I always want to do every year. I love the lights on the tree, but with a few tips you can make it even more magical! Have your pup sit away from the tree instead of right in front of it. That way when you focus on your dog, the tree goes out of focus. That's where the magic happens! When you make lights go out of focus they turn into beautiful orbs of light!

#4 - Playing in the snow


Depending on where you live and the weather, this opportunity may not present itself as easily. But hopefully you'll get some snow for Christmas! Ruby loves snow zoomies and she leaps through it like a gazelle when it's deep. I love her love for snow - it brightens my days when I'm grumpy about the cold.

On a sunny day the snow will be very bright, so you'll need to keep that in mind. If you have a brown or black dog this type of shot will be even trickier because the dog and the snow are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I recommend making sure your dog is lit by the sun so that he or she isn't too dark to see.

#3 - Enjoying the outdoor lights


Similar to the tree photo, you can make the outside lights turn into beautiful orbs if you position yourself and your pup carefully. Again, you'll want to keep your dog far from the lights so that they are quite out of focus, and then have your dog close to the camera. You can use the lights on houses in your neighbourhood, lights downtown, street lights, or even a big tree downtown!

#2 - Waiting for treats/Waiting for Santa


If you've got a patient pup, this can be a fun one to try! And if your pup isn't very patient just yet, this is something fun you two can work on together. Build up to it, and you'll be so excited when you get there! Check out my blog about teaching tricks if you're not sure where to start.

You could have the treats on the table and take a photo to show your pup waiting on the floor with big eyes, or try a setup on the floor like I did with Ruby.


And finally....

#1 - With their favourite person - you.


The best idea of them all is to make sure YOU get in some photos with your sweet pups. They love you so much, and I know you love them just the same! Having a photo of you together is so precious. You can have someone take more candid photos as well, of your interaction together - giving kisses, hugging, snuggling on the couch, etc. Whatever shows your special bond! Just make sure you get in there with them sometimes. You won't regret it.

My Favourite Christmas Movies

I have mixed feelings about the winter season. I do NOT enjoy being cold, but I love Christmas. I get upset that the sun sets so early, but I enjoy snuggly evenings on the couch with a warm blanket and a book.

I do love the look of a beautiful fresh coat of snow.

And I do love my Christmas movies.

So I decided to dedicate today's blog to my very favourite Christmas movies! I have a longer list of movies that will be watched this month, but these ones are my absolute favourites and MUST be watched every year or else it isn't really Christmas.


The Santa Clause

Alright, so we're going to start with my have-to-watch-every-Christmas-Eve movie. This is the one for sure. When I watch this movie, everything is right in the world, life feels magical, and I know Christmas Eve is finally here. There was only one year where I didn't get to watch it and I was devastated. I had worked very early on Christmas Eve morning, so by the time my family and I sat down to watch this movie that evening, I was so tired that I fell asleep and only woke up after it ended. I was so disappointed! I waited all year to watch that movie and then passed out. Hopefully that never happens again!

The Family Stone

Over the years, people have asked what my favourite movie is (of any genre), and most of the time I replied that it was impossible to choose one. But a few years ago I sat down and really thought about it because I wanted to have an official Favourite Movie, even if it might change in the future. I just wanted to decide on one for that time in my life. At that time I decided on Rushmore, and was happy with that answer for a few years until I discovered The Family Stone. I re-watched this movie a few times and then it was official - my new favourite movie of all time.

To me it is just so perfect. I love all of the characters and the growth they all go through, I love the sign language, I love their family dynamics, I love all the details in that home, I love the music, and I love the dialogue. It's just perfect to me, and I'll watch it even when it's not Christmas. I break the rules sometimes!

Love Actually

This is another film that I will sometimes watch at other times of the year - it isn't only for Christmas watching. I also love all the characters in this movie, how their stories all intertwine in various ways, I love British humour, I love so many of the actors, and I definitely love the soundtrack.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Growing up, this was the other movie that we had to watch on Christmas Eve every year. My dad absolutely love this one (we're talking about the animated movie, narrated by Boris Karlof, just to be clear!) and it was always our tradition to watch it first that evening, followed by The Santa Clause. This movie is short, but it's such a classic. It's so funny and sweet. And who can resist a story with the word "chimbley" in it?

Miracle on 34th Street

For years I'd heard about this movie but never really had an interest in watching it. I think I may have watched it one year, maybe in middle school, but it didn't make an impact on me, so I didn't watch it again for several years. When I did decide to give it another shot, it made a much bigger impression on me that time! Maybe I just had trouble getting into it when I was younger, since it was black and white. Who knows. But after I fell in love with it, I've now watched it every year and it's just so sweet! I love the legal aspect to it, and how this lawyer intends to legally prove that this man is really Santa. Such a cool take on the Santa story. And I always tear up at the very end. "There IS one! There IS one!"

The Polar Express

Finally, this is another unique Christmas movie that I just adore. It feels like you're on a roller coaster the whole time, the animation is so beautiful and vibrant, Tom Hanks is the voice of almost every character (awesome), and the songs are just beautiful, too.

I think I love movies where one character is very skeptical or just flat-out doesn't believe in Santa and then gets won over and the magic of Christmas comes back to them. That seems to be a big theme in three of my five favourite Christmas movies. Even though I'm an adult, I still love the magical feeling of Christmas and pretending, just while these movies are on, that there really is some wonderful magic out there.



What are your favourite Christmas movies or traditions that you look forward to every year?

Confessions: Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever feel like your accomplishments and successes are nothing more than mere luck, rather than accepting the fact that you did something well and should be proud? Do you worry that people will somehow find out the "truth" (it's not the truth) and think you're just a phoney who doesn't know what they're doing?

Guess what! You are not alone, and you're also wrong. And I mean that in the best way.

"Impostor Syndrome is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud"." —Wikipedia


I have a feeling that creative people experience this quite frequently. For me it isn't an ongoing feeling (thankfully) - it just comes in waves every so often. My feelings about my work and my business fluctuate. Some days I'm thrilled with a new accomplishment, or meeting an awesome new client, or delivering finished artwork for their home... everything is going well and I'm excited about the future. But then some days come, and for whatever reason this little part of my brain insists that I don't know what I'm doing at all. The beautiful images I've created are mostly just luck... that any new photographer could do better work than me if they tried... that my clients and followers will think I'm no good, etc.

Why do our brains do this? Rationally I know that this voice isn't telling the truth, but it can be hard to fight it on those days. I know that I've worked hard for years to get to where I am right now. I know that I've built great relationships with my clients and they genuinely do love my work. I know that I do have a skill that not everyone with a camera can replicate. But I think sometimes our brains don't allow us to feel "too much" pride in our accomplishments. I think we subconsciously remember how often our society has shamed people for feeling "too confident" in themselves. So if things are going really well for us and we're feeling really good about our achievements, our brain decides to knock us down a peg, just to keep us in check.

I really wish it wouldn't, though! Most of us already spend so much time feeling bad about ourselves and having low self-esteem. I've finally found something I'm pretty good at and I thoroughly enjoy, so it's nice to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride sometimes. I'm sure the same is true for you as well!


"I have written 11 books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.'" — Maya Angelou

To combat Impostor Syndrome the last time it appeared for me, I decided to write some affirmations to myself. I reminded myself of the things I knew to be true every other day, even though it was hard to truly believe them that day. I reminded myself of my worth, of my skills, of the time spent educating myself in this field and business, of my clients who love their images, and of all the other things that I am usually reminding others of (on their bad days). That day I had to remind myself and give myself the same pep talk that I'm usually giving to friends and colleagues. It helped a lot to write those things down and remind myself that they were true. And after talking with my fiancée about the negative feelings in my head, I was able to refocus myself and get back on track.

Have you experienced Impostor Syndrome before? How does it manifest itself in your life? And what do you do to push it away?


Brain Games for dogs!

Nourishing and exercising our dogs' minds is just as important as nourishing and exercising their bodies. Tiring them out mentally is equally as wonderful for them as tiring them out physically. Just doing one without the other isn't likely to keep them as happy and well-rounded as they deserve.

So how can we exercise their minds? And when should we do it?

The "when" is an easy one... whenever you can! On a rainy day when your pup isn't in the mood for a walk (just gets their business done and zooms back inside), that's a perfect opportunity to work on some brain games. Or instead of watching a half-hour sitcom, practice some mental exercises instead (and then you can both relax on the couch for the rest of the Netflix marathon together). Or if you work from home or are doing some other tasks around the house, you might be able to multitask and keep your dog busy and out from underfoot while you work!

 Check out 2 Paws Up dog treats by Madison  here .

Check out 2 Paws Up dog treats by Madison here.

Now for the fun stuff... how to do it!

There are so many different ways you can help keep your dog's mind working and learning. And they can vary in terms of how active you need to be during the game (some of them will allow you to multitask if necessary).

First off, Ruby's favourite thing is to work for treats - specifically hotdog pieces! She has learned so many tricks and commands because of how badly she wants that hotdog. That's how I taught her to be such a patient model when I photograph her, how to run to me and get in the "heel" position, to back away from me, play dead, spin, sit pretty, weave through my legs, etc. So getting some yummy treats (or you can use toys as a reward if that's more motivational for your pup) and working on tricks is a great way to get them thinking and learning. As always, start small/basic with the tricks and build on them once you've repeated them enough to get reliable results. If your pup is getting confused or frustrated and isn't understanding, try disecting the trick a little and see if you can teach a simpler version of it first. It's no fun for your pup if they can't understand what you want and they can't earn that treat. Set them up for success by ensuring that they can understand what you want.

The moment they do the correct behaviour, you're going to "mark" it. This can be done verbally with a "yes!" or a "good!" or you can use a clicker instead. And then treat them! If you and your dog really love working on tricks together, you can even work up to earning your Trick Dog Certifications (you can check that out here).


Another game Ruby loves to play is Find It, which is basically Hide'n'Seek but with treats. Your pup will need to know the Stay command for this one while you hide the treat. Or I suppose if the room has a door you could close it and leave them outside the room until you're ready to let them in. Our version goes like this: I bring Ruby to the mat by our front door and ask her to sit and wait. I go into the living room (which is out of her eyesight) and hide one piece of hotdog somewhere. Then I shout "Find it!" and she comes charging in and has to search for the treat. As soon as she's found it, I say "good!" and then bring her back to the mat to wait while I hide another. This game helps her practice her nosework and learn to find things by scent and not just look for the treat with her eyes. You could build on this after a while by requiring her to come back to you and sit after she finds the treat, or maybe even go all the way back to the mat! The more you rehearse what you want them to do, the more they'll catch on and probably try to do it on their own before you ask.

Ruby also has a wooden toy that she enjoys, but she's too smart for it already. It's a flat rectangle with 8 sliding covers that conceal hollow compartments beneath. So I can hide treats in some of those compartments and then she has to use her nose or paws to slide the compartments open and find the treats inside. The compartments do have a peg that sticks up to move the cover easier. But when you first introduce this game, the dog doesn't even know that there are compartments, or how to access them, or which direction the covers might move. It looks easy to humans, but it's fun to watch them try out different strategies until they discover the secret!


You can make your own variations of that type of game - you can put treats inside an empty 2L bottle and have your pup roll it around the house until they figure out how to get the treats out. I've seen some people take 3 or 4 of those bottles and cut a hole on either side so that they can slide a wooden dowel through all of them (almost like you stabbed all 4 with one sword!)... then they attach that piece of wood to something more sturdy that holds it in place. Now the bottles can swivel on that dowel and the dog needs to get them upside down in order for the treats to fall out! You can see a picture here. There's also a "snuffle mat" that I've seen people make, where it's a little rug with ruffles all over it, and you can drop treats into it so they're hidden and they have to be sniffed out and retrieved!

I would recommend joining the Facebook group "Brain Games for Dogs" for more great ideas from other pup parents!

What games does your dog love to play? And what treats or toys get them most excited to work with you? These kinds of games are a great way to bond with your dog while also exercising that awesome brain of theirs!