Bill and Scruffle

Recently I had the pleasure of photographing the gorgeous Bill and Scruffle. Chatting to their human Mum ( Tracey ) about their journey both broke my heart into a million pieces and then made it absolutely sing. Bill especially had a very tough start to life but is now with the most loving and dedicated family he could ever hope for.

I actually met Bill when he was surrendered to HUHA back in 2013. I remember him quite clearly ........ because he was SO terrified.

He was 80% blind and he'd been working in cattle yards for the first couple of years of his life. Obviously being mostly blind he couldn't follow commands well. I can only imagine how frightening it would be to be around large livestock (much larger than yourself) when you can't see them clearly and you’re struggling to understand what's wanted of you.

I remember my heart breaking for him when we took his adoption photo. Working with HUHA I meet a lot of dogs who have had a hard start to life and you need to be a bit quieter, a bit gentler around them. But Bill didn't just look a little timid. He looked haunted.

Tracey said " I was volunteering at HUHA at the time. As Scruffle has hip dysplasia, we never thought of getting another dog, but on one of my shifts Bill was due to go to the vet for a check on his eyes and to be neutered. He was terrified. The only way to get him in the car was if I sat with him. At that point I knew he had imprinted on my heart.

He had his operation and it was determined that his eye sight was going to be totally gone in around 6 to 12 months. I talked to my family and I brought my husband and my youngest son to meet him. Bill loved Dave my husband, and it was agreed as long as Scruffle got on well with him, he had a new home with us. Having been a special needs teacher aide for some years and at that time recently looked after a blind / deaf child I was hoping I would have the skills to know how to adapt and enrich him and keep him safe."

On top of failing eye sight poor Bill also suffered skin allergies and a heart murmur.

In March this year the family made the decision to have Bill's eyes replaced with intra ocular prosthetics (artificial eyes). He had glaucoma and was suffering from cataracts which were uncomfortable for him and would cause him significant pain in the long term.

Tracey explained the tough recovery from this operation and again my heart was shattered on the floor. She was by Bill's side 24/7 for over 3 weeks, reassuring him and caring for him.

It's one of the things I find particularly hard when your pet is ill. You can't explain to them that it will get better, that the pain wont last……. that they are not dying. You just have to be the reassuring, gentle presence so they know they are not alone.

Now back to present day and I got to see Bill and Scruffle hooning around their garden and the beach, pure joy on both their faces. Bill is a different dog. So much more confident and enjoying his life. Tracey watches him like a hawk of course. If he is about to walk into something she calmly calls out to him, he pauses, and proceeds more carefully. You can see when he walks and runs he picks his feet up a little higher than normal so small objects wont trip him up - but you'd think he could see clearly the way he runs along the beach.

At the end of the shoot as we sat in the grass basking in the last of the sun, Bill made his way over to me and sat ( slightly awkwardly) in my lap. Such a stark contrast from when I first met him. From whispers and no sudden movements to snuggles in the sun - seeing shelter animals find their furever home is simply pure joy.


Recently wee Cookie won my “birthday shout” competition on Instagram for a free pet photography sitting and canvas.

This wee pup was suuuuuuper excited on the day. She was at one of her favourite parks, lots of new doggo friends walking by and her Mum was throwing her so many sticks! How could she not be super pumped!

The only problem was that she didn’t want to sit still for more than 5 seconds!

I often have pet parents tell me they would love to have a pet photography session with me but their cat or dog will not sit still.

Do you know what - that doesn’t matter!! I’m there to photograph your pet - as themselves. It’s not a commercial shoot for a pet product company - they don’t have to perform specific tasks or be in an exact spot. I’m there to capture their personality.

So if your cat likes to walk around all over the garden and refuses to sit in the spot I think is awesome - it doesn’t matter. I’ll move to make sure they look great where they do want to sit.

If your dog just wants to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun and play - you’ll get loads of images of them having an amazing time. For me to get a nice “portrait” they only need to stay still for mere seconds. I’m pretty speedy on the camera buttons and I also have a few tricks up my sleeve.

The biggest thing with pet photography is patience. I have oodles of it when photographing pets because I love hanging out with them. So don’t feel stressed that your cat or dog isn’t doing exactly what I asked - it’s all good! We’ll just move onto a different spot or activity, or even give them a bit of a break to smell the world around them.

So if you have been wanting a photo shoot for your pet, but you’ve been worried that they will not sit and stay when told - do not stress! Send me an email and we can chat through all the different ways to get gorgeous images of your beautiful companion animals.


Recently a very lovely group of friends arranged a pet photoshoot for their friend whose cat Zoey had just been diagnosed with Osteoinvasive squamous cell carcinoma (cancer of the mouth that has invaded the bone)

They wanted her to have a beautiful image of Zoey as sadly she would not be with her much longer.

I loved photographing Zoey. She’s a whole heap of sass in a tiny package. She is sweet and smoochy but isn’t afraid to demand her share of treats and put her dog sister Kaisa firmly in her place.

I hope her remaining time with her family is filled with sunshine, cosy naps in warm beds, all the best treats and a thousand scratches just in the right spot xx


A couple of months a go I got to spend time with the gorgeous wee Nala at the beach. Nala won the Wellington Region “Pet Connect Next Top Model Shoot for Petlife Magazine” at the Omega Plus Big Dog Walk.

I saw the judging for the competition on the day and Nala nailed her tricks and won the judges hearts.

She was the perfect little model during our session too!

An afternoon at the beach

Recently I got to spend an afternoon at the beach with four special pups. Zoey the foxy, staffy x showed off her supreme stick chasing abilities while Jack Russell Williams demonstrated his model posing skills interspersed with zoomies on the sand.

Not to be shown up by the young’uns, Bella the foxy matriarch bounded around the sand - always flashing her foxy smile my way ( to check I had her best side) and Pipi ….. mostly did what Pipi wanted to do.

I love how each pup has their own personality but they all love a day at the beach x

Harvee the Handsome.

I loooooooove photographing puppies and I was so excited to be asked to photograph the gorgeous wee Harvee recently. He turned out to be the perfect model! His sit and stay was ah-maz-ing! Even his Mum was blown away and he was only about 4 months old at the time of the shoot.

If you are adopting a wee puppy or kitten into your family - those first few months are a fantastic time to have a photo shoot. They only stay that little for a really short period and it so lovely when they are seniors to be able to look back at them in their youth.

The Nelson Fires, February 2019.

This time last week I was in Nelson, at the Richmond Park Showgrounds, photographing the animal emergency centre managed by HUHA during the Nelson fires.

I have to admit, waiting at the airport for my flight I realized that I was starting to feel apprehensive.

The Nelson Pigeon Valley fire had already been burning for several days forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate with what they could load into their vehicles.

They needed to get themselves and their animals to safety. Unfortunately finding somewhere to stay if you have animals with you is not always the easiest.

As a fiercely protective cat mum, it fills me with absolute dread that I may have to hand my cats over to strangers in an emergency situation.

Sitting here writing this I feel slightly nauseous at the idea.

I was expecting to walk into the centre and be overwhelmed with feelings of stress, anxiety and fear.

I’m always being told that I am a sensitive person - I hate to see people upset. I especially get emotional when animals are in distress.

I began to worry that maybe I wasn’t the best person to be photographing the centre.

BUT - then I arrived at Richmond Park and it was like walking into a giant hug from your best friend.

People bringing animals in to be housed and cared for during the evacuation, were greeted with huge smiles and an amazing openness from the HUHA team and volunteers.

The centre was so well organised it was more like dropping your pet off to boarding kennels rather than a evacuation centre.

The dog section had a sleeping area for the night, and during the day, several large enclosed play areas had been set up for the dogs - fully stocked with toys, paddling pools and shade sails.

There were even dog walkers!

The team were constantly upgrading and evolving the centre - if there was an opportunity to make things less stressful or more comfortable for the animals then it was done.

People were encouraged to come and visit their animals during the stay with some pet parents taking their dogs out for walks to the beach, rabbit and cat owners coming in to have a cuddle and even a wonderful gentleman came in to milk his small herd of goats.

There was just this amazing feeling of community and kindness.

There was a wonderful team of volunteers that showed up each day to help with everything from cleaning out cages and building enclosures to checking every animal had shade and water.

When the cry went out for help in the centre it was all hands on deck. Even I put down my camera several times and mucked in.

There was also a huge response from the residents of Nelson with a steady stream of people arriving with trailers full of hay, willow branches, petfood, bedding and loads of baking for the humans.

And it was brilliant to see so many different organisations working together - HUHA, SPCA National Rescue Unit, MPI and Animal Evac NZ - all deserve a standing ovation.

To Carolyn and her HUHA team - you created a special haven for people and their animals during an event that would have been stressful and traumatizing for so many. Your knowledge in animal care and management, your patience, ingenuity and empathy truly shone through.

And you all give awesome hugs x.


Just before Christmas I got to spend some time with the beautiful Loki and his family.

One of the things I really love about my pet portrait sittings is getting a window into people’s relationships with their companion animal - and this wee pupper is LOOOOOOVED.

Makes my heart sing.