Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dogs of Italy

I had an AMAZING trip to Italy and some excellent photo shoots along the way (as well as pasta, pizza, gelato, wine). Here are a few highlights!
Livin' large in the Castle

Luciano - nice hair!

Pope Pug Paul the III

Yorkie Bambino

Shopping in Positano

Mediterranean Magic! Lightning storm off the Amalfi Coast

Biscotti of Capri

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Second Chance Photos - Featured on and RedEye Chicago

Press for Second Chance Photos!

Billion & Expo - Chicago Dog Photography

I've been to dozens of dog parks around the country and this morning I found the gold medal winner - PRAIRIE WOLF DOG PARK in Lake Forest, IL. This 44-acre dog park is entire fenced and features nature at its best!  Open fields, ponds, trails, flowers, trees, leaves! You name it! My new little friends, Billion and Expo, helped me explore all that it has to offer. Thanks for playing in the rain with me today! And no worries about jumping up on me with muddy paws. Mud = fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Hayyy Ray - let's go to Santa Monica and spend the day and play!

Digging for ?

Welcome to the Santa Monica Pier. To the right we have ocean. To the left we have more ocean.

100 meter dash - 1st place: RAY
"Ray-Watch" - Saving babes down at the beach


Just kidding. Just Milo! Otis has been hogging the spotlight, so Milo decided it was time to branch out and do his own VIP photo shoot.

Milo and Otis. Poor Milo was dressed up as a cat for this particular film. What a good sport.
Milo - Not afraid to be in the spotlight on his own.

Not afraid to get into a box.

Picking flowers for a hot date.



Volunteer photographers needed to help save local pets’ lives

Second Chance Photos has put out a call to volunteers to help save the lives of pets through the use of photography. The non-profit organization calls people of all skill levels to take personalized pictures of shelter pets to help find them forever homes.

When a dog or cat arrives at an animal shelter, it often is scared, dirty and disoriented. As part of the intake process, the animal has their photo taken, and this untimely photo is the face that people see when looking to potentially adopt a pet. An inaccurate headshot can hurt its chances of adoption, but an uplifting, hopeful portrait can save its life.

Founder Seth Casteel, a lifestyle pet photographer ( and volunteer at shelters across the country, is inspired by the pets he helps. “Shelter pets are often in a grim situation, abandoned and alone, not knowing how much time they have left. But despite these circumstances, their outlook on life is so positive. This is why we as human beings are drawn to help.”

Casteel, whose efforts have helped hundreds of pets find a second chance through photography, hopes to guide others to partake in this effort. "There are thousands of passionate animal lovers with a creative eye. I'm hoping to connect with them and offer photography tips which can be used to directly impact adoption rates.” You need not be a professional photographer to get involved. Casteel says anyone with a passion for animals, a dedication to help, and a desire to learn the basics of photography can create life-saving portraits.

"The marketing element of pet adoption is extremely important. Without awareness and interest in the shelters and shelter pets, adoption rates will struggle. Better pictures are not only helping specific pets, but are generating increased traffic to shelters which result in even further adoptions."

With limited budgets, animal shelters don’t have much room for marketing. They spend their money on the absolute essentials—food, shelter and medical bills, and generally cannot afford expensive camera gear and photo editing software. Second Chance Photos aims to help with this, too. Their website suggests various ideas for shelters and rescues to obtain a new camera through fundraisers and donations. “The resources are out there, you just have to ask,” says Casteel. “I’ve seen camera shops and photography enthusiasts donate digital SLR cameras. The community wants to help—they just have to know how.”

Second Chance Photos believe every homeless pet should be represented with a positive, professional photograph, offering a glimpse into their unique personality in hopes to make a connection with potential adopters. Their mission is to provide shelter staff and volunteers with the resources to successfully photograph shelter pets, aiding in giving them the second chance they deserve.

Second Chance Photos is a nation-wide non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of shelter pets through photography. Volunteers of all ages and skill level are encouraged to participate. Find out more about Second Chance Photos at

Monday, September 5, 2011


Introducing the talented Nevada, a Border Collie with a passion for the water. One of the most unique dogs I've ever met.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aly, Trey & Willow - Rescued with Love

Aly, Trey & Willow are three special dogs rescued by two very special people. I want to tell you their stories, even though it may be dififcult to hear. It was an honor to photograph them and so beautiful to see how happy they are in their new forever home!

Aly  (tan greyound) - (Racing Name:  Tyville Sing It) Aly was a grade A racer and won many of her races.  Unfortunately, Aly was one of a few survivors in an abuse case:

Washington County, Florida, is home to a greyhound racing track, Ebro Greyhound Park. 

When trainer Ronald Williams surrendered 8 severely underweight dogs to the Emerald Coast chapter of Greyhound Pets of America, GPAEC notified officials from Florida Department of Pari-Mutuel Waging.  An inspection by officials on October 29, 2010 found 32 dead greyhounds at the track [other news sources say 37 dogs], and 5 live dogs in horrific condition with duct tape around their throats.  The decomposed bodies of 8 additional greyhounds were found November 1, 2010, dumped below a bridge along Highway 20 in Walton County, just west of Ebro and only yards from Williams' residence.

Aly was one of the 5 live dogs found with duct tape.  She was completely emaciated.  On her way from Florida to Alabama to Michigan, the truck broke down and Aly had to live in the truck.  When she finally came to Michigan, she was very scared.  We went to adopt Trey and when we saw her (she had only arrived a few days before), scared with big bright eyes, we knew we had to take her.  She is now a happy, healthy dog who continuously wags her tail and smiles.

Trey (Black and White Greyhound) - (Racing Name: Ale Trey's Choice) Upon Trey's "Retirement," i.e. she was not fast enough on the track, Trey was placed into the "Second Chance At Life" Prison Obedience Program and lived for 8 weeks with prisoners who trained her.  This program let Trey develop more socialization skills and helped the prisoners learn love and care.

Willow (Afghan Hound) - She was found as a stray and turned into a high-kill shelter.  Right before she was put down, she was adopted by the Indiana Rescue group Homeward Bound.  The rescue group hesitated about adopting her out since she was emaciated at 25 lbs (and should be about 55 lbs) with hook worms and ear infections.  Though, we adopted her and now she is 55 lbs, healthy and happy.

Aly - Happy, Grateful, Beautiful, Inspirational

Willow enjoying the breeze at the beach

Aly's tremendous athletic ability

Trey the explorer

Trey and I playing hide-and-seek

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chloe and Comet - Chicago Dog Photography

I was hired to photograph Chloe and Comet underwater. Here's the conversation:
Client: I'd like to hire you to photograph my dogs Chloe and Comet underwater.
Seth: Ooh! That sounds good.Will they actually go underwater?
Client: I'm not sure.
Seth: Hmm. Have they ever been in a swimming pool before?
Client: No.
Seth: This should be interesting!

Photos of dogs in the water and underwater are special, but to capture these moments, the dogs have to be part of the team. Not all dogs enjoy the water and it's even more rare for a dog to go UNDER the water. Going into the Chloe & Comet shoot, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was told they enjoyed the lake, but have never been in a pool. To play it safe, we spent some time shooting photos out of the pool, and then it was splash-time. To my surprise, both Chloe and Comet had an outstanding level of confidence. They were unsure about the stairs leading into the pool, but after several minutes of explaining the concept, they got the hang of it!
I am a pretty flower, too!
"Oh, haayy"

Conquering the steps!


Two hams


What's not to love about labs! They are some of the sweetest, goofiest, hug-able dogs out there and Maggie of the Windy City is no exception!

Alfred Hitchcock

Off-leash down at the on-leash beach

My kind of town
Best Friends
Hi! Welcome to Chicago!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Abe is a shelter dog with a new home. My good friend, Fredi, adopted him not long ago and it's clear that Abe is already livin' the good life in Los Angeles. He was a little timid about my camera at first, but then we both ate some peanut butter and became buddies. Thanks for putting up with me, Abe-meister!

Loungin' Abe

Grinnin' Abe

Radio Flyin' Abe

Mysterious Abe