My camera loves you

Posts from the ‘pets’ category

Master the squinch

Why squinching is cool or how to look awesome in your headshot

Do you know why squinching is cool? Here is one of the secrets to looking awesome in your headshot.

Don’t look in the dictionary, “Squinch” is a word made up by famous New York and Los Angeles headshot photographer Peter Hurley, squinching is cool! Judge yourself, which photo looks better? Even this dog looks cooler when he squinches! Of course if you are trying to project an innocent look, or look adoringly at your baby, then this is not something to do. For headshots though, it generally makes for a more confident look, more sophisticated expression, and make you look more intriguing to the viewer. Doesn’t Serena look way more interesting and more photogenic in the photo where she squinches?

How do you squinch? Look in the mirror, and try to squint by pinching your lower eyelid a tiny bit. We don’t want to look too contorted, a little goes a long way! Peter Hurley has a video on Youtube, if you want more instructions, check it out It’s got more than 1.5 million views!

dog squinting

Portrait with your cats as part of your family

Portraits with your Cats?

If cats are in your life, then you probably have taken many photos of your cats. But how about a photo with your cat? I do a lot of pet photography, most them are of dogs, but there are some cats and even other unique pets people have, like rabbits, chicken and even a rat.

It is definitely not an easy thing to do to take portraits of you and your cats in the studio. Most cats hate to ride in cars, the first step is to transport the cats to the studio, then we have to make sure the cats are not freaked out, which they are sometimes when they get to the studio.

The latest session with a cat named Happy who was definitely not too happy to be crated and taken to the studio, both me and the owner got scratched by the cat! but the kitten Maze was amazing, with a coat like a leopard!

photo of kitten

Cats don’t really follow directions unless your cat is an exception! I don’t use the tricks I did for the SPCA in this video  for cats in the studio, because the owner can usually hold the cats without too much problem. Most owners want to hold their cats in the portraits with their cats.

There is a story for every cat in these photos. One of them did not get along with the other 2, so we had to do some tricks to make them appear in the same photo. Another got along fabulously with the 4 dogs in the household. One was even fine with the chickens! There is more than one animal in these photos who are no longer with us. As much as we love them, and most cats live a long life, they will eventually leave us behind. Wouldn’t it be great to have a portrait with your cats (or dogs!) when it is still possible?

Portraits with cats

It’s also possible to have the portrait taken at home, where the cats are more at ease, like this one.


Santa Cruz pet photography

Santa Cruz pet photographer takes pet photos at the SPCA

Pet photography, especially at the Santa Cruz SPCA is not always easy, some of the animals have pretty bad history of being abused and are extremely shy or nervous, but sometimes we get surprised, a dog may pose perfectly! It’s a good thing that I am very patient and calm and get along with animals. Here are the latest photos from this week’s Santa Cruz pet photo shoot at the SPCA.

It’s always amazing to see how the SPCA in its tiny facility is able to help and save so many animals. Of course all the volunteers help make this possible. I have been volunteering as a photographer since 2008 and have photographed more than 1500 pets. The wall in the SPCA store in Capitola Mall has a small collection of them. It is a low budget photo wall, but it has some twists and surprises. Have you seen this video of how it was installed?


Each of the animals in the mosaic is a dog at the SPCA who have been adopted! This is a close-up of the wall at the SPCA store in Capitola Mall. Is your pet one of them?

mosaic dog head photo

The dog head is composed of a mosaic of photos!

dog doing yoga

Santa Cruz pet photographer at the SPCA

Santa Cruz pet photographer at the SPCA

When this dog is not doing yogaI try to go about once a month to the Santa Cruz SPCA to photograph the animals. Pet photography can be very rewarding and fun. The dogs (and cats) who have a good photo are more likely to attract people to come visit them and to adopt them. Here are some fun photos from today’s photo shoot.

There were 5 in this litter, named after tropical islands, we only managed to get 4 in the group shot. The leftmost one was the smallest of the litter, her name is “Maui”, she is super cute, and did a lot of singing! When I talked to her, she tilted her head for the last photo here. I am sure she will get a home real soon.

See more pet photographs at the gallery.

littermates littermates puppy singing puppy tilting her head

Photographing horses

A day of equine photography

Photo of a horse

A white Arabian horse named Mouse

Today I went to visit and photograph horses owned by my friend Cyndi. This is her Arabian horse, with a unlikely name Mouse! He is 25 years old and is enjoying his late years in the hills of Corralitos. I took some photos of him and also his friends at the ranch. Here is a video I made of the photos, let me know if you enjoy them!


black dog headshot

How to take a better pet portrait – pet photography

Do you wonder how to take a better pet portrait? Here are 5 simple tips to a better pet portrait.

I take a lot of pet portraits, mostly dogs, some cats, a few chickens, some rabbits and even a rat. Sometimes dogs and cats together!

While volunteering at the Santa Cruz SPCA, I get to see some poor animals who at first glance don’t look like they would make a great photo, but I try my best, and luckily for everyone, I usually get a few good photos which would show them off in a better light, and attract people to come in and adopt them.

Here is a video showing an actual photo shoot at the SPCA, created by Adobe, the company which gave us Photoshop and many other wonderful products.


Read more