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July 13, 2019
This week was Maggie’s gotcha day, the anniversary of the day we brought her home. Maggie is an AKC registered poodle. I am often asked, sometimes accusingly, why I chose to buy a dog when there are so many dogs in need of rescue. So I thought I would put my reasons here and throw in my two cents to the rescue versus buy debate. I have owned several rescued dogs. My previous dog Oliver came from a kill shelter in South Texas. He was an absolutely wonderful dog, and I miss him terribly. I believe strongly in rescue and support rescue efforts. I am looking to get another dog and that one will be a rescue, most likely a schnauzer or poodle or mix with those breeds. So if I believe so strongly in rescue, why did I buy Maggie? When Oliver passed, I felt forlorn without a dog. Coming home to an empty home was terrible, and that just made me miss him more. Let’s just say a lot of crying was involved. I knew I wanted another dog as soon as possible. I also knew I needed a more hypoallergenic dog because I had grandsons with allergies that were born well after Oliver became part of my life. They are frequent visitors in my home, so I needed to find a dog that was better suited for them. My grandson Jake Playing with Maggie. I started seeing a big silver and white poodle along my commute, and I thought he was adorable. This dog was a parti- poodle, or partially colored poodle. I had thought poodles always looked a bit prissy, but this dog didn’t have the fancy cut, and I loved the two different colors on him. I knew poodles were hypoallergenic, so I started reading and asking around about poodles. I discovered that they are really clowns and quite smart. I was sold. My next step was to start scouring every rescue site I could find to locate a young poodle. I believe in senior rescues, but my heart had just been broken by Oliver’s death, and I wanted another dog that would hopefully be a part of my family as long as Oliver or longer (he was almost 15 when he passed). And then the problems began. Almost all the rescues demanded that the potential owners of a rescue not have children around. That was not going to work. Others only let people with large yards or no job adopt. That wasn’t going to work. I quickly saw that I was not going to find what I needed quickly through rescue. And I NEEDED a dog. After that I started asking around about poodle puppies. I talked to a lot of people, but then one day I found a breeder on Facebook who had parti-poodles. I checked her out, and she had a great reputation and she followed the best practices, not over breeding dogs and she kept their dogs until they died, not selling them off when they were too old to breed. This is a screen shot of the first photo I saw of Maggie on the Bireley Poodles Facebook page. And then there on their Facebook page was this little face looking at me, and I had to have THAT dog. I called them and found out Maggie had been reserved, but the people who had wanted her decided they wanted a male, not a female, and that they would wait for another litter. I said yes to Maggie right then and there and put down a deposit. I felt like she was meant for us from the start, and my husband fell hard for her. We brought her home when she was almost 10 weeks old and have loved her ever since. Maggie after her first groom. Those bows lasted only as long as the puppy ice cream in that dish. Good Reasons for both So that is why we bought instead of rescued. We want to add another dog to our pack, but since the urgency is not there, we can take our time to find a rescue that will fit our family. I believe responsible breeders who love their dogs and consider them family are not a problem and are good for people who want or need a purebred dog for whatever reason. I also believe rescues can be the best dogs ever, who are forever grateful for the rescue and full of love. I think there is room for both. What there is not room for is puppy mills and backyard breeders who use up dogs by forcing them to have puppies every time they are In heat and then dump them in shelters when they can’t breed any longer. If you are purchasing a dog, please be very careful to find out where that dog is coming from and to go visit. Those breeders that abuse dogs will go out of business if we do not support them. All dogs, all pets, no matter where they come from, deserve love and care, kindness and a future with people who love them. It is up to us to encourage practices that will allow that to happen. Curious about my my rescue Oliver and want to know more? https://stephaniesabourinphotography.com/2019/05/14/creating-memories-before-it-is-too-late/
July 6, 2019
Some of you all know we have a place in West Virginia, in Hampshire County, about 2.5 hours away from our Columbia home. My husband had the property before we married, and we built a small home on it three years ago. It is our escape from the craziness of life in the Baltimore- Washington corridor. A view of out WV home after an early November snowfall in 2018 There are many things I love about living in Columbia: the trails, the rivers and lakes, the variety of restaurants, good schools, and the abundance of easily accessible shops. I love that there is good medical care near by, as well as museums and other cultural events. In short, I think it is a great place to live. A fall scene along the Middle Patuxent River about a mile from my Columbia Home. On the other hand, while traffic in Columbia isn’t bad as long as I avoid 29 at peak traffic hour, getting anywhere else to take advantage of the great things that are offered in the surrounding cities, including our jobs, means battling traffic, occasionally for hours, with the rude drivers that accompany it. After a week or two of that, we are ready for an escape, and to West Virginia we go. Our place in West Virginia is pretty much in the middle of no where. It isn’t where I would want to live full-time, but it is the perfect place to get away. We have 6.5 acres, so we don’t have any near neighbors. The people who live in our community within a hairpin bend of the Cacapon River value nature like we do and enjoy the quietness and solitude, as well as community events and friends. Here in our West Virginia home we have a large screened-in deck with sunset views and nice panoramas of the river about 8 months of the year, and river peeks the other four. Here I saw the Milky Way for the first time. Here I sit right now, writing this at the base of our property on the river watching my grandson swim. Here is Jake playing in the river while I write my blog. Our dog Maggie absolutely loves our West Virginia place. We got her when we were building this home, and we took her with us every Saturday as we checked on the progress of our build. We had to stop the car frequently because she was just a pup and needed potty stops and fresh air to not get car sick. Somehow all that driving made her an excellent travel dog. She has made two cross country trips to Dallas with us by car. She has also come to love West Virginia and exploring. All I have to say to her is “Do you want to go to West Virginia?” and she gets very excited. Here she can run free around our large fenced yard. Here she can explore off leash, running up and down hills as fast as she can. She can bark at squirrels and we don’t worry about disturbing the neighbors. In short, West Virginia means she can be fully dog. Maggie is enjoying being off leash and getting to play with Jake. Our community here in West Virginia, called The Crossings, has its own fireworks show we look forward to, with no crowds, no traffic, and a great show. We have community picnics and shared common areas. People support each other. One of our neighbors has sculptural art which he has created along the edges of his property, just across the road from us. This is community also has a lot to offer. Some of the fireworks at the July 4, 2019 show at The Crossings. Sometimes I wonder if we can have a genetic connection to a place. My dad was born in West Virginia, in Charleston, and my family were some of the founders of the Greenbrier area back on the 1700s. I grew up in Texas before moving to Maryland in 2003, but as soon as I came to West Virginia I felt at home. There are parts of the history of West Virginia and of my family that I wish I could change, but also stories I love. For example, my great-grandmother fell in love and married when she was only 14 years old. When she married, her fiancé picked her up in a buggy and they went to a church, but she was too shy to go inside, so the preacher came out and married them in the buggy. She loved her husband till the day she died, many years after he did. And she never stopped loving West Virginia. She became a published poet who wrote about her love of West Virginia and family. Old West Virginia Chuch in Hampshire County That love of poetry, West Virginia, and family runs deep in my father’s family and in me. I grew up hearing poetry, loving God, loving art, loving science and valuing education, loving nature, and loving family. This was my heritage, and these all make up who I am. I can see some of these things in my kids and grandkids. And I find myself wondering if the memories and loves of our ancestors are truly imprinted on our DNA. This is the a view of the river at the base of our property in a little evening mist
June 26, 2019
Usually I write a blog every week, but I didn’t get one out last week and I have been struggling getting focused to write one this week. Writing isn’t hard for me; I have taught writing for years, so an informal blog comes naturally. The reason I have been struggling recently is because my mom is visiting. My mom is 88 and has dementia (most likely Alzheimer’s). I spent a lot of time at her place last year as she was having hip problems that decreased her mobility and cataract surgeries. I went for a week at Mother’s Day, then in August to help her recover from hip replacement surgery, and later we spent three weeks at her place around Christmas and New Years. She has full mobility again, so my brother and I decided she should come up here to visit me and my kids (her grandkids) and my daughter’s children (her great grandkids). She loves to travel, so she was happy for a change of scenery. This may be the last time she can make a trip like this, so I have been trying to take advantage of the time together. It is hard to have to mother your mother. That is what I have been doing. I can see she has lost vocabulary since Christmas as well as the ability to logically work through things. Even though I talk to her by phone frequently, it is not the same as living with her 24/7. My mom was quick and determined and independent all her life. She now has a hard time making decisions or thinking about the consequences of choices, such as choosing to sit in the sun too long leads to sunburn. She can’t operate a baby gate that we use to keep our dog from roaming all over. She can’t figure out how to unlock the doors of my car to get out and has trouble with the seat belts. She asks the same things over and over. She seems happiest just sitting outside in nature and listening to the birds and watching the squirrels. My mom and my husband at Las Colinas last January My dog Maggie knows my mom well. She has made several trips to Dallas with us to visit my mom. Maggie seems protective of Mom, spending a lot of time at my mom’s feet. I feel like she senses that my mom needs protection, similar to the way she wants to protect kids. Maggie is also very gentle with my mom. Those who have met my Maggie know she is a rambunctious bouncy poodle, so this behavior is very different from her normal. The funny thing is my mom can’t remember that my dog is female, and it bugs my husband and I, which is silly because the dog doesn’t care. The two of them have spent lots of time together and that makes me happy. I don’t know what the next year will bring or how long my mom has or how long she will even remember me. I am one who always deals with what I need to deal with in a very practical way. In fact, I am the person you want with you in an emergency. However, I didn’t realize how much it was all getting to me until the last few nights when I have been have anxiety nightmares featuring trying to survive in a dystopian world. I have been trying to eat the stress away too, which is not good. My mom and Maggie last weekend in West Virginia So I write all is this to remind you to make the most of today. Make memories with your loved ones, including your pets. Hug your loved ones, go on walks, get pictures to cherish, and give lots of love. Tomorrow holds no guarantees. Carpe Diem!
I do not live in Annapolis, but I travel around Maryland a lot. Still, when a client suggested we meet on Annapolis for pictures of her two adorable dogs, I wasn’t sure where the best place would be. I love the Naval Academy, but I didn’t know if we could take dogs in there and photograph on the grounds.. I like the water front in old Annapolis, with the picturesque buildings from the 18th century and sails in the harbor, but it is also a bustling place, and I did not want to be editing hundreds of people out of photos. I decided a park might be a good choice, but which one? Google maps to the rescue. I zoomed in on various parks, looking at features, but I was still undecided. My next step was to contact a friend who lives in Annapolis and ask her for recommendations. She suggested two parks after listening to my criteria: Downs Park and Quiet Waters Park. I did some more googling and thought Quiet Waters would be perfect for what I was looking for. It was spring, and I was hoping to get some blooming trees in the photos, so my friend volunteered to check it out the next day as the weather was supposed to be perfect and she and her son could have a fun outing. After her visit, she gave me the thumbs up, and I made the decision. My first time visiting Quiet Waters I found it was everything I had hoped for when it comes to dog photography. There were cherry trees and forsythia in bloom, plus daffodils and other spring bulbs. These flowers provided lovely back drops for the dogs who seemed to enjoy the outing as much as I did. There was a gorgeous set of brick stairs, a bridge, a gazebo, formal gardens, walkways, large rocks for posing— everything I needed to show off this pair of dog sisters. Even though it was a misty evening, I was still able to capture some lovely photos. Here are a few examples: Ella is looking lovely as she walks through the forsythia at Quiet waters Park. Gracie is giving us her signature head tilt at Quiet waters Park Recently another client who lives in Annapolis booked me, so we decided to give Quiet Waters another try for her dog’s photography session. The seasons have changed, and it is summer now, so I wondered if I would love it as much as I had before. I have to say I found it even more enchanting this time. I feared being overwhelmed by green everything, a common problem this time of year, but to my delight, there were purple plum trees and various flowers and foliage of different shades to add variety to the background. The large pool that had been empty in the spring now sported a beautiful fountain. Sunlight danced on the water. I was thrilled and used these backgrounds as well as all the other architectural features I noted before to get some great photos. Take a look. Bruce, a pit bull, at Quiet Waters Park, looking quite handsome. Bruce, a pit bull, looks lovely beside the fountain at Quiet Waters When we had finished in this area, I asked my client if she wanted to try driving down to a parking lot closer to the South River and making a 1/3 mile walk out to the water. She loved the idea, so we hopped in our cars and moved further southeast in the park. We made the walk, which seemed shorter than a third of a mile to us, and found ourselves overlooking the point where the South River joins the Chesapeake Bay. What a gorgeous view! I photographed her pit bull on some benches at the top and then we walked down the steps to explore. Around the corner to the left we discovered a dog beach! That was an unexpected find. On the other side of a semi circular inlet was an old, falling apart dock which was quite scenic. The beautiful blue of the sky and the water added more glorious backgrounds for photography. Bruce, a pit bull, looking stunning capturing the evening sun at a bay and dog beach at Quiet Waters Park. After taking photos at the dog beach, we walked back around in the directions of the steps we had come down. The sun was now setting and the sky was turning orange. I was able to capture some silhouette shots and then some other shots in the wild flowers with the orange sky behind. Quiet Waters has not disappointed in any way. I am now looking forward to booking a client in the fall to take pictures there. I can only imagine just how gorgeous it will be with fall colors. And I found out the reflecting pool is turned into an ice rink in the winter. This is the park that just keeps giving. Here is a link to some information about the park if you are interested: https://www.aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks/quiet-waters/index.html If you would like photos of your dog taken at this park, just left me know when you contact me!
June 5, 2019
Some of you may be surprised to know that summer is not my favorite time for pet photography. For one thing, I am not a big fan of heat. I don’t like becoming a sweaty mess, but I feel like that is often unavoidable in summer. More importantly, though, is the fact that here in the mid-Atlantic region one color strongly dominates the summer color scheme everywhere but the shore: green. When I first moved to Maryland, I found amazed at how many shades of green there are. And though I think our lush landscape is beautiful, it isn’t easy to get the same kind of variety in the backgrounds of images that I can in other seasons. Spring and Fall These are my favorite seasons for dog, cat and horse photography. I like the mild temperatures and colorful landscapes. In spring so many trees and bushes are blooming that color can be found every where. The beautiful pastels of spring look lovely as backgrounds for pet photos, but there are also vibrant yellows and strong pinks in the spring. Here are a couple examples from a spring shoot. German Shorthair Pointer, Annapolis, MD Standard poodle puppy, Annapolis, MD Autumn offer beautiful reds, oranges, and golds. A bonus is the temperatures are often very pleasant, making the whole experience of the photo shoot pleasant from beginning to end. I think autumn is my favorite time for pet photography. I am always excited by the color and the cooling temperatures, which sparks my creativity and energizes me. Here is an example photographed in the fall. Our standard poodle Maggie enjoying a fall river scene Summer Since summer doesn’t offer as many colors, I try to find gardens or flower beds if possible. When that isn’t possible, I work around this issue is to do some color transformations in some of your photos with the magic of Photoshop. Through the use of layers, masks, and adjustments, I can turn an all green background into one that has the colors of fall. Here is an example from a recent shoot. I have included the before picture and the transformed one. This is a beautiful way to add more color to photos in summer. This is Einstein, a cute poodle Shih Tzu mix. I changed the season from summer to fall to better match his bandana. Winter In winter,even though I also enjoy pictures in the snow, we don’t always have it and of course getting places to take photos can be a challenge. However, I can bring out the reds, oranges and yellows that are hidden in the brown leaves to get interesting colors and textures. The colors are there, just hidden by a brown veneer. Again the magic of Photoshop comes to the rescue, and what seemed brown and dull comes to life. Here is an example of a photo taken in winter with the colors hidden by brown brought out in post-processing. Sheltie dogs on the Matthew Henson Trail, Silver Spring, MD So if you don’t like all the green of summer, or all the brown of winter, don’t let that stop your from booking a photography session! Which is your favorite season? Which types of colors do you prefer for the images of your loving pets for your home?
I have just returned from a much needed vacation. We went to Canada to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks and to visit my husband’s sister. Like all my trips, I loved the beautiful scenery and spending time outdoors in nature, but I also love returning home to my family and my dog and my pillow and my bed 🙂 Our first day of vacation was a bit of a disaster. Our flight left BWI on time, but when we got to San Jose where we had a connecting flight, we found out there had been a problem with our plane and we had to wait hours for another plane to be brought in. We were heading towards Spokane, Washington, where we were spending the night before starting our road trip. Since we were going to be arriving so late in Spokane, I decided to call the hotel where we had reservations to make sure they did not give away our room. When I called, I found out the hotel had to close for the night because of plumbing issues. That started my scramble to find another hotel. I was still making calls as we boarded the plane. It was graduation weekend at area colleges and everything was booked. When we were seated on the plane, I asked the young woman next to me if she knew the Spokane area, and she gave me some ideas of where to call. Just before taking off I was able to make a reservation at a hotel in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, about 40 minutes away. This wasn’t too terrible because we planning on heading that way the next day, but it was already well after midnight (and after 3 am east coast time) and we still had to get the car and drive there. By the time we got there, checked in , and got our room, we had been up 23 hours straight and were dead tired. Mountain and lake in Banff, Alberta, Canada We didn’t sleep great, but after about 5 hours of sleep we headed out for the drive to Banff. Our route was full of beautiful scenery, and we made a few stops along the way. In Banff I had my first black bear sighting (seen below). Our hotel there was perfect, with a kitchenette, lovely upscale room and bathroom, and a balcony with a fantastic view. We spent the next couple days enjoying the scenery, hiking, viewing waterfalls, and wildlife spotting. I wish I had a photo of the beautiful fox we saw in Johnston Canyon, but my camera settings were for landscape photos and he ran away before I could get them switched. We also took a gondola to the top of the mountain that overlooks Banff and had dinner at the restaurant with the large glass windows so that we could enjoy the view while eating. The ground was still snow covered up at the top and we even had a few flurries while we were there. After Banff, we headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper. If you have not done this drive, add it to your bucket list! Every turn in the road just provides more gorgeous mountain views, or turquoise blue lake views, or waterfalls’ or wildlife. I photographed another black bear and elk along this drive. We stopped and hiked out to a massive glacier, which was one of the highlights of our trip. It is part of the Columbia Icefields, and there I saw some blue ice and crystal clear glacier melt lakes as well. Columbia Icefields Glacier We spent the night at the Patricia Lakes Bungalows in Jasper. We had our own bungalow with fireplace and kitchenette and a turquoise mountain lake just steps from our door. It didn’t get dark till almost 11 at night, so I watched the sunset after 10:00, a very strange experience, and I had trouble sleeping because my body kept saying “it is still light!” If you go north in Canada in the summer, I would suggest bringing an eye mask for sleeping, something I did not think of before hand. Elk We next headed back into British Columbia to my sister-in-law’s place in Enderby. Again the drive was quite lovely and we stopped many times for short hikes and photos. Enderby is a long way from everywhere, but it is a beautiful small town in an area that really reminds me of the Canaan Valley area of West Virginia. We spent a few days sightseeing and catching up with her before heading back to Spokane. The drive back was almost all backroads through the mountains. I would like to give a word of appreciation to Canada for the abundance of rest stops they have even among these backroads, and the rest stops are very often in scenic areas. Enderby Riverwalk at Sunset Finally we flew back home, arriving late last night to storms and heat we were not used to after the previous week. It was fantastic to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow (is it just me or does everyone think hotel pillows suck?). This morning we went and picked up our dog from the wonderful woman who watches her for us when we go on trips. Now that Maggie is back with us, I truly feel like I am home. Vacation was great, but it is good to be home and back to doing the things I love, which includes running this photography business. if you have any questions for me or want to know names of some places we stayed, comment below. I would also love to know what your favorite vacation was.
May 14, 2019
One of the things I am often asked is why I got into photography. Truthfully there are lots of reasons: I have always been drawn to artistic endeavors, I love nature and capturing it, I so enjoy the process of photographing someone or something that I lose myself in the moment, etc. But one of the key motivations was the loss of my dog Oliver. We adopted him from a shelter in 2001 shortly after 9/11. He was supposed to be my daughter’s dog, but that is not how these things work. He decided that I was his special one, his mommy. He was about four months old and cute as could be. We rescued him from a kill shelter, and he knew it and was grateful every day of his life. That dog knew the meaning of grace. As the years went by, he stayed with me through thick and thin. He was a character: for example, once when my parents were visiting we went shopping and we all bought some clothes. When my dad tried on his new clothes and came out to model for us, Oliver let his opinion be known by either growling or wagging at a particular outfit. He had us in stitches. He moved with us from Texas to Maryland and learned how to negotiate stairs. He discovered the pure joy of barking at squirrels and at the groundhog that lives beneath a neighbor’s deck. He was my comfort when I struggled and cried over problems with my kids. He was he most empathetic dog I have ever had. He felt my mood and gave me just what I needed. He really was my best friend and helped me get through some very difficult years. When I remarried, Oliver grudgingly accepted another man in my life. He was very jealous at first, but came to love my husband and accept him as family. He had another member in his pack, and though he didn’t love sharing me, it was ok. We would all walk together and play together. Life was good. As he got older he slowed down a bit. He slept longer and I didn’t feel safe taking him for the miles long hikes we had done when he was younger. His muzzle turned grey, but I still thought he was the handsomest boy. When my daughter gave me a grandson, that was one more member to add to the pack, and he was loved him too. Oliver was always gentle even if he didn’t like sharing me. One day, when he was about 14.5 years, his aging suddenly became more apparent. He somehow got a scratch on his eye that just didn’t heal the way it should have. Our vet recommended a dog eye doctor and we took him, but we did not like how she treated him at all. He was scared and old and she was too rough. We vowed we would not take him back and his eye slowly healed. He also got kidney disease, and the vet recommended special food. He ate it for a bit, but then would not. Thus started the the search for what he would eat. He refused all dog food, so I started with homemade food. I would cook him dinner with rice and chicken and other things just to get him to eat. Then one day he wouldn’t eat any more. He didn’t really want to play any more, and sometimes he seemed disoriented. As much as I didn’t want to believe it, I knew it was time. I called a vet who would come to our home. We took Oliver for one last walk ( I am crying as I write this) and then the vet came and gave him a shot, and he gently fell asleep and died in my arms. We took it hard, very hard. We took him to West Virginia and buried him on our property there and laid dog wood blossoms on his grave and cried. After that, I tried to gather all the pictures I had of Oliver. There were snapshots, often done on cell phone, taken while we were out together or when he was being silly at home. I even have a video of him going crazy barking and trying to come to me when I came home while he was outside with my husband and I said hi to him from our deck. These are all precious memories, but what I didn’t have were good shots of him with me or great portraits of him. I regret that with all my heart. When I got another dog (because life without a dog was too depressing), I knew I had to take lots of photos. My images of Oliver as a pup had gotten lost in technology changes, so I knew I had to print my photos too. So this girl, my Maggie, has tons of photos of her. What I don’t have yet is good photos of her and me, and I am looking for a local photographer that I would trust to take the pictures. I don’t want to miss the opportunities in front of me now. Because of all this, I joined the Joy Network. It is an association of vets and photographers and groomers, etc. who help families during the final part of a dog’s life. Some people charge for their services, but I offer a free session and a free 8 x 10 if you have been told your pet is near the end. I would encourage you to get good portraits much earlier, when they are full of life, but I want everyone to have a precious memory of their beloved companion. If you find yourself in need of this service, do not wait to call me. I will do my best to try to work you in quickly. Our pets give us so much and they deserve to be remembered forever.
May 8, 2019
My Maryland is filled with so much natural beauty. I love to get out and enjoy it as much as I can. I thought I would spend a little time today sharing some of my favorite places I take my dog. 1) Patuxent Branch Trail– My dog Maggie and I can get to this trail in less than 30 seconds from our front door, so this one is number one on my list. This trail, partially paved and partially dirt, gravel, and mud, runs along side the Little Patuxent river from Lake Elkhorn to Savage Park. Along the way I frequently see deer and squirrels and occasionally a fox or ground hog. Right now the honeysuckle is blooming, and the air smells divine. At many places along the trail I can walk down to the water’s edge and sit and rest on a rock or let my dog get in and enjoy. If I walk over to Savage Park, I can get a drink from the fountains or use the restroom before heading back. I have been on this trail in every season, walking on it through snow storms and thunderstorms and the beauty of it never ceases to bring me peace. 2)Savage Mill Trail– This trail begins near the Bollman Truss Bridge by Savage Mill and continues along the Little Patuxent River where you will find rapids and spall waterfalls. The trail is a wide dirt trail with many side trails down to the river. The trail is mostly shady and there are ruins of some old structures, one of which seems to be a lock from a canal, perhaps part of Savage Mill when it was operational. You can find some pictures I have taken along this trail on my Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/StephanieSabourinPhotography/videos/2045955739030101/?modal=admin_todo_tour 3) Patapsco State Park, Avalon area, Cascade Trail– We love this trail. There is a climb so it is some work going up, but oh is it worth it! This trail follows a series of waterfalls as a stream runs down the hillside to the Patapsco River. There are beautiful boulders to sit and rest on and places to get your feet wet and cool off. I always take my camera along this trail, and the photo included in this post was taken here. During the warmer parts of the year this spot is better week days or mornings to avoid a crowd. Maggie loves a trail and a chance to get her feet wet! 4) Patapsco State Park, McKeldin area, McKeldin Rapids– Another wonderful part of Patapsco State Park, the McKeldin area features some rapids along the river, which actually make a nice waterfall after rain (which seems to be on the time for the last year, right?), a beach, and some nice streams. There is a picnic area and grassy areas as well. It is a great place to relax and have fun with your dog. 5) Centennial Lake– There are many reasons to recommend this spot. There are large grassy areas, picnic tables, and a trail that encircles the entire lake. The trail is mostly shaded in the warmer months and is paved, so it can be a great choice when other places are too muddy to get out with your dog. This is a popular park and can be crowded. My favorite time is right before sunset. 6) Matapeake Beach State Park, Kent Island– This beach has a dog beach attached to it, so you can let your dog run free off leash enjoying the sand and water! The beach has views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a nice sandy beach, and some shady spots under the trees. It really is a lovely place to spend a few hours with your dog, and as a bonus, I am told that a restaurant not too far from here called The Jetty that is dog friendly if you eat outdoors. We tried to go on a Saturday, but it was packed. I have heard weeknights are better. 7) Ferry Point Park, Kent Island– This is a great park near Matapeake but on the other side of 50. This park has a green grassy area for picnicking and they have doggy cleanup bags and trashcans in several places. A short walk down a paved path takes you through the marshes to the beach part of the park where the ferries landed before the Bay Bridge was built. There is a nice sandy cove and some jetties. You can follow some trails to other parts of the park where you can get away from the crowds. This is a beautiful peaceful spot to get away with your dog. That is all for today. I will be adding more places in the future. What are your favorite places to take your dog? Please comment and let me know! Waterfall along the Cascade Trail at Patapsco State Park
April 30, 2019
Sunday evening I had the pleasure of meeting Johnny Cash. “What?” you say, “Cash has passed on to that big concert hall in the sky!” Well, that may be true for the singer, but the Johnny Cash I met has four legs, a cute little tail, and a snout. He is the pig in black. I had the pleasure of having a photography session with the cutest pig and learning more about pigs in the process. This particular pig lives with Caylynn and a Shiba rescue named Milo. I first met all three at Pet Barn, a wonderful pet store in Maple Lawn (I highly recommend it: http://petbarn.net/). When I first saw Cash I knew I wanted to photography him and so I gave Caylynn a card and she gave me a chance 🙂 Cash is quite friendly, greeting me immediately when he saw me. He ate some peanut butter treats right out of my fingers. It was my first time having pig lips on my fingers, and I have to say I liked it. He was sometimes a little pushy and definitely a bit nosey, or maybe I should say snouty. He kept getting into my bags looking for treats. I was surprised to learn he knew a few commands, including sit and jump (I did not even know pigs could jump). I found out he is litter box trained for the house as well. He was also a bit sassy, grunting when he was told to stop digging or to move when he did not want to. He was definitely full of personality, and as much fun to photograph as a dog. I am always ready to learn more about another type of animal, and getting to photograph and interact with them this way is a wonderful way to do that. Who knows what the future may hold? If you would like photos of your pet, give me a call or use the contact form!
April 23, 2019
Recently I traveled to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland, to have a photoshoot with two beautiful dogs, Ella, a four month old standard poodle pup, and Gracie, a German Shorthaired Pointer. I had not been to this park before and it is quite lovely. It has forested areas and lawn areas, a pond, a formal garden, sculptures, flowers, you name it. There is even a long path through the forest to the bay front and a beach. Oh, and I forgot, they have an outdoor ice rink in winter that is a reflecting pool in warmer temperatures! This park really has it all! The cost to enter is $6, but if you live near enough to go often you can get an annual pass for around $30. The photograph of Ella is in the formal garden I loved this spot for photography at this time of year especially because the cherry trees, tulip magnolias trees, and the forsythia were all in full bloom. The colors were gorgeous! They also had daffodils planted in many areas and they too were in bloom. Even though the sky was completely overcast and we were enduring drizzle and some sprinkles, the overall beauty of this place, as well as of the two dogs I was photographing, meant I had a very enjoyable Friday evening doing what I love. I will be returning to this park to discover the beauty of other seasons there.