One of my favorite things about being a professional pet photographer is discovering new locations to shoot at. Here in San Diego, we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful city with so many different types of areas that are perfect for taking photos. So, when Hudson & Nickel’s mom, Dorte, suggested we do her San Diego pet family portraits at UCSD, I couldn’t wait to see what the campus had in store for us (it had been about 15 years since I’d visited there). She specifically choose this location because she works there, which I thought was a perfect reason. One might assume she works as a teacher or other administrative position, but to my surprise (and probably yours as well), she’s actually responsible for taking care of the lab rats. Crazy, right?! Crazy cool! Imagine having a job where you get to take care of those little furry friends every day. I wonder if Hudson & Nickel are aware of their mom’s unique profession, and what they think about her playing with rats all day. Haha!
As with any pet photo shoot, I arrived about an hour early so that I could scope out all the best spots to photograph. I quickly realized how beautiful the UCSD campus truly is. The students and faculty must love spending days there. We started the session in a quiet little nook that was adorned with bamboo. It was a must for Dorte, and not a bad backdrop if you ask me. It was also a great spot for the dogs to get acclimated to the situation. From there, we moved on to what ended up being my favorite spot…a cozy courtyard that had recently received a fresh fall of leaves. The colors of the trees was spectacular! I seriously could have photographed in that area all day.
Because it was Sunday, the campus was virtually vacant. This really helped keep the distractions to a minimum and allowed Hudson & Nickel to focus on mom and me. They were so well behaved…sitting nicely, looking at the camera when instructed, listening carefully to mom, and just taking it all in. Dorte had cautioned me that Nickel can sometimes be weary of strangers, but she did a fantastic job and honestly never stopped smiling 😀 Hudson isn’t much of a smiler, as he portrays himself more to be the strong silent type. Typical behavior for a male surrounded by ladies. But don’t let that fool you…this guy is all about giving big, giant, slobbery kisses.
The next spot we ventured to during our San Diego pet family portrait session at UCSD was a 2 story wall that was completely covered from top to bottom with luscious green ivy. I truly get amazed when I see nature interact with buildings in a way like this. Simply gorgeous!
To wrap up the session, we decided to take a short stroll through the Eucalyptus woods. I was in love with the way the sun peered through the trees, while the dogs were in love with all the various smells. They were getting tired by this point, so we stopped to rest for a bit. I watched and photographed as this surreal family moment unfolded in front of me. Seeing those dogs show their appreciation for each other and for their mom was absolutely heart-warming. It’s these moments that make me love my job and the clients I get to work with.
I had such a great time with these three! When Hudson & Nickel saw me again at their Show-n-Shop appointment, they were all about giving me kisses. They made me feel so special, like I truly bonded with them. Dorte loved all the photos and ended up getting a framed 3-image series for herself, along with some framed gift prints for her mom and sisters. What a great gift for the holidays!
(product photo here)
Based in San Diego, Gaucho Goods creates handmade dog collars and leashes with premium quality soft leather. Each accessory is uniquely designed and hand stitched with colorful wax threads, resulting in a beautiful look inspired by the southwest. To showcase their amazing products, I partnered up with the Gaucho Goods team along with a few of my VIPP models on a beautiful day at Kate Sessions Park for a commercial pet photography shoot.
Gaucho Goods recently added Extra Small collars to their product line-up, so we needed some extra small models to show them off. Toby was perfect! Although his long, fluffy hair often got in the way, he still did a fabulous job showing off the Pacific collar with its matching leash. He was so cute! Full of smiles like his day had finally come…it was his time to shine!
Toby’s sister, Sandy, had the honor of modeling the Small Yosemite collar and matching leash. From the very beginning of the photo shoot, she had that model attitude. She strut her stuff around that park like she was a celebrity. And rightfully so because she did an excellent job taking direction and showing off that collar like it was the latest fashion trend.
One thing I really loved about Gaucho Goods is the southwest design inspiration and how well certain colors look on certain dogs. Our Large dog model, Luna, looked absolutely stunning in the brown/green Palm Desert collar and matching leash. I seriously couldn’t get enough of her. The color of her fur, her striking eyes, and the collar/leash combo would have any other dog drooling! She also looked great in the Yosemite collar, which is a more colorful ensemble that had brighter colors like blue, red, and yellow. This added some personality and really popped out against her fur color in a fun and appealing way.
Luna’s sister, Weela, helped model the Extra large collar and leash. Her white fur was a perfect backdrop for ALL the color combos, making it somewhat difficult to choose. So, she got to model a couple different versions as well. The red/white/blue Patriot collar made for a patriotic look, while the magenta/pink Cali Girl option showed off her feminine side. Both looked absolutely gorgeous!
I absolutely LOVE working with fellow pet businesses, especially small local ones. Knowing that the images we create together will help take their business to the next level is one of my favorite parts of my job. If I can help other small pet businesses succeed, then I’ve served my purpose. Gaucho Goods not only creates beautiful handmade accessories for your dogs, but they’re also great people to work with. Which is why I’ve chosen to partner with them on an upcoming service I’ll be launching in 2018 (more details on that to come later…). For now, head on over to their website or visit their Etsy shop to browse their products. They also make accessories for humans 🙂
If you own a pet business and are looking to freshen up your marketing and take it to the next level, visit alipeterson.com for details. then, contact me to get started with our collaboration. I’d love to help your business succeed!
Come celebrate Small Business Saturday at the Hops and Shop Holiday Market on Saturday, Nov 25th at 32 North Brewing Co!
Help support and fundraise for local San Diego non-profit Cammies and Canines this holiday season. Come out and enjoy local shopping, food, beer, raffles and more at the WWII Canteen themed event. All are welcomed (dogs included). Support Cammies and Canines with your $3 entry donation and get a Small Business Saturday tote bag courtesy of American Express (while supplies last) and a raffle ticket.
Shop local San Diego vendors and check off your gift list while shopping small this holiday season. Bring your four legged friend to our K-9 Canteen area for dog beer and more. Enjoy beer specials courtesy of 32 North Brewing Co., coffee, hot chocolate, treats and sweets from Marcel Waffles San Diego and BBQ from Smoke n Aces BBQ who will be donating 15% of all sales to Cammies and Canines.
Sign a Christmas card for our San Diego veterans and let your kiddos draw them a picture with help from Tomorrow’s Heroes Today. Donate a pair of new socks for our homeless veterans and receive a free raffle ticket! Purchase $1 tickets for our WWII themed raffle filled with wonderful and coveted products and services. There will also be a gently used clothing, shoe and coat drive to benefit our local veterans and family shelters this holiday season. Bring your gently used clothing items to donate and receive a free raffle ticket.
There’ll be multiple vendors with all kinds of great holiday gifts like Christmas decor and ornaments, perfumes + colognes, art, accessories, coffee, clothing, home decor, jewelry, soap, candles, plants and more. Visit my booth to score a fun, unique gift for that pet lover in your life. I’ll be offering Gift Card Boxes, beautifully wrapped with gift card, Getting Started Guide, dental dog treat, and Ali Peterson Photography chapstick. Offer valid while supplies last so come early.
Made in California
Dickinson Farm & Garden
Three22Eight Sewing Studio
A.R. Infinite Creations
North Park Soap Co.
Lucky Kat Lotion
Purple Hippo Studio
Craft and Copper
Edgy Chola Designs
Bee Love Jewelry
Festive Wreaths By Lisa Nicholas
In Succulent Love
Are you worried about your pet’s condition? Are they getting old and showing signs of discomfort? Do they suffer from anxiety or have a hard time trusting people? Are they just not acting like themselves anymore and you’re clueless as to what is wrong? You’re not alone. And there is hope for your pet. Back in the day, my dogs would easily run 15-20 miles a week with me. In fact, I found it hard to keep up at times. Today, my dogs are seniors (ages 9 and 11), so it goes without saying they’ve slowed down a bit. Not only that, but they’re beginning to show signs of wear and tear, specifically in their bones and joints. My youngest also suffers from anxiety…shaking and hiding whenever she hears a loud noise like fireworks or some one yelling.
As pet parents, we want only the best for our dogs. We want to ensure they’re living a happy, healthy life. So, the first thing I did in an effort to remedy my dogs’ symptoms, was visit my friend Karen over at Carlsbad Pet & Feed because I know how important a dog’s diet is to their health. She suggested Zignature, a dog food specifically designed to help improve the overall health of dogs who need a specialized diet. My girls are loving it and I’ve already seen some improvements. But, even though a dog’s health is strongly dictated by it’s diet, often times it requires more of an effort to treat your dog’s issues. Karen referred me to her friend, Nedra Abramson of Reiki For All Creatures, to show me the ways of Massage, Acupressure, and Reiki for dogs. Nedra is all about empowering pet parents to pursue balance and awareness with their pets. During our session, she explained and demonstrated exactly what it is, how it works, and how it benefits animals, including those without any health issues.
Acupressure and Reiki offer a gentle and noninvasive approach to treating an animal’s issues. Animals respond intuitively to its power to heal emotional, behavioral, and physical illness and injury. Regardless if your pet is already receiving a different type of treatment (i.e., Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, etc), Acupressure and Reiki are wonderful supportive methods that are safe to do alongside other types of treatments. In fact, it’s important to note that Acupressure and Reiki for dogs is NOT an alternative to seeking professional help from your trusted veterinarian.
Regular massage on its own is a great modality to use with your pet, as it helps increase blood flow and lymph circulation, and enhances muscle tone and flexibility. Many animals who suffer from emotional issues (depression, anxiety, shyness, distrust) respond well to the relaxation and positive touch of massage.
- reduce the side effects of chemotherapy
- support an acupuncture or acupressure treatment
- enhance the effects of modality
Acupressure supports animals who:
- suffer from acute conditions
- are rehabilitating from surgery or injury
- compete athletically
- have behavioral issues
- show signs and symptoms of aging
- have arthritis
Massage benefits include:
- relaxation and stress reduction
- increased flexibility of soft tissue
- reduction of edema (swelling)
- enhancement of waste and toxin elimination
- maintenance of good posture and body balance
- prevention of atrophy in inactive muscles
- improve athletic performance
- loosening and softening scar tissue
- releasing endorphins which are naturally occurring steroids in the body which act to assuage pain
- enhance muscle tone and range of motion
- advances healing though increased flow of nutrients to injured muscles
- lengthens connective tissue and reduces the formation of adhesions leading to fibrosis
- helps with emotional wellbeing
- reduces anxiety
- helps to increase trust and the emotional bond
The interesting thing about Reiki is that it’s performed without even touching the pet. As explained on Reiki.org, “It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” Acupressure and massage, however, are performed by applying a certain amount of pressure to specific points on the body that correspond with other areas of the body (i.e., massaging the point behind the knee helps relieve pain in the hips and knees). My main concerns with Skyy are mainly due to her old age, specifically her joints and immune health. With that in mind, Nedra focused on points of her body that would help reduce inflammation, relieve stiffness, support immune function, strengthen tendons, and lessen the pain. As with all her customers, Nedra supplies a comprehensive chart that visually shows the points and the areas they affect. Check out Skyy’s chart below:
Rain’s biggest issue isn’t so much the old age, but the anxiety. She’ll quiver with her eyes practically bulging out of her head in fear of any loud noise. Rain also has a sensitive immune system and falls victim to several environmental allergies. For her, Nedra focused on points that would help calm stress and support immune function. Check out Rain’s chart below:
My dogs have never had any issues getting comfortable with strangers, but they were in HEAVEN during their time with Nedra. Seeing them so at ease and comfortable filled my heart with joy. Towards the end of the session, Skyy was passed out snoring and Rain was just way too relaxed to even try to hold the toots in (not that dogs ever hold in their farts, but you get the idea). It was true bliss for them…and me!
As mentioned, Nedra is all about empowering pet parents to pursue balance and awareness with their pets. It’s crucial to be mindful of your pet’s health. Even when they try their best to communicate with us when something is wrong, we can’t read their minds. And you certainly don’t want to wait until it’s “too late” to fix the problem. Take preventative action now to ensure your pet a long, happy life.
You can find more information about Massage, Acupressure, and Reiki for dogs by visiting Nedra’s website at reikiforallcreatures.com. Act now to take advantage of her holiday promotion – $75 session includes: Consultation, Assessment, Personalized Point Chart and Diagram (that’s an $85 value)! Contact her today…
Reiki For All Creatures
Have you ever walked into a pet supply store and immediately feel like you’re their #1 customer? Like you’ve known the owner for years and they’d do anything to ensure you and your pets are happy, healthy, and treated with care? Unfortunately, many customers don’t get that feeling. Sure, the staff might greet you when you walk in, then oh and awe over your pet who’s happy to be out on an adventure with you. But do they ask you what your specific needs are? Do they actually listen to what you’re saying and give meaningful advice as to how to solve your problem? Do they genuinely care about your pet’s well-being? If not, then you should pay a visit to the lovely folks over at Carlsbad Pet & Feed.
Having purchased what used to be Carlsbad Feed Store in September 2016, owner and pet lover, Karen Moore, sought out to build a pet supply company that is centered around her customers. By listening to customers’ needs, educating them on products, and offering the most fair prices possible, Carlsbad Pet & Feed has grown to be (and continuously strives to maintain their reputation as) your friendly neighborhood store. With the help of her fiancé, Greg, and son, Steven, they’ve got customer satisfaction down to a science (although, I feel it comes naturally to them as well because they’re just really nice people).
The current line-up of products is a compilation of the highest quality food, treats, toys, and other necessities that were purposely sought out because of customer needs. If a customer comes in asking for a specific type of food, you can bet they will do their best to add it their inventory. Or, in the case where you might be looking for something they don’t carry, and they know of something better suited for you, they’ll educate you on why you should make the switch. With products for all kinds of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, ducks, guinea pigs, and more, you’re sure to find exactly what you need for your entire furry family (and the wildlife you so happily support).
When you become a customer of Carlsbad Pet & Feed, you won’t need to go anywhere else for your pet needs. They’re always looking for ways to ensure their customers are 100% satisfied, whether it’s adding a specific item to their inventory, matching a price you found elsewhere, or through their loyalty program. If you’re like most pet parents and you find yourself consistently buying the same kind of food, they offer a way for you to score an entire bag for FREE! All you have to do is collect the UPC codes from the bags, and once you have 12, turn them in and receive your free bag. So easy and so awesome!
In celebration of their 1 year anniversary, Carlsbad Pet & Feed is hosting a HUGE Anniversary Sale on September 15, 2017. Customers will be able to take advantage of substantial savings on nearly ALL of their products. Bags of high quality dog food, like Taste of the Wild, Natural Balance, and Honest Kitchen, will be marked down by up to $15! If your dog prefers wet food, you can save $1 off a can or $12 of a case of Merrick in any flavor. Now, that’s something that’ll have your dog licking their chops! All collars, leashes, crates, and shampoos will be 20% off. And, if you buy a bag of Primal freeze-dried dog food, you get a 16oz goat’s milk for FREE!
As if the savings weren’t enough of a reason to visit, there will also be a variety of vendors to chat with and score free samples from. Mastiff food truck will be on site serving up some delicious sausages…mmm, perfect for a September afternoon. They’ll also be having an hourly raffle to win awesome prizes, like gift baskets with hug savings from the vendors, gift certificates to Carlsbad Pet & Feed, and so much more! In order to score a raffle ticket, all you have to do is spend $25 in the store. And for every $25 you spend, you get another ticket. How great is that?! Lastly, to ensure no customer leaves empty-handed, they’re sending you home with a free goodie bag (while supplies last, of course).
If you can’t make it to the anniversary sale, I’m sorry, because you’ll really be missing out. But, I highly recommend popping in to say hello, meet the family, and buy some great stuff for you pets. Once you’ve been to Carlsbad Pet & Feed, you won’t want to shop anywhere else.
Carlsbad, CA 92011