Brides & Dogs Inspiration Shoot

At the beginning of this year, I wrote down my goals. Putting together my first styled shoot was top on the list. I wanted to create imagery that shows what my work is all about, and what makes me so excited to do what I do – showing the joy and friendship between a girl and her dog – and how this can be brought to life in a wedding. I think many couples think including their pets in the big moments would be too difficult, and I want to spread the word, that in the right hands, it’s always possible! My specialty and unique talent is my ability to make friends with dogs. My favorites are the dogs who are a bit tentative or “difficult,” the ones many people write off, because once I do gain their trust, it’s so incredibly rewarding!

Keep reading for more details about the shoot, but I hope the takeaway from this collection is how beautiful it can be to bring your fuzziest bestest friend along to any shoot, especially your wedding day.

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A special shout out to my fiancé and my parents on the weekend-of. They inadvertently became my crew and my grips, helping transport furniture, props, refreshments and gear, as well as entertaining the talent and dog-handlers while they awaited their close-ups. I literally would have ended up sleeping in my set that night if not for them.

I’m so proud of the photos we created here, but even more proud of the beautiful group of ladies and dogs, vendors and my family, who volunteered their time and supported my vision. Dog people really are the best. 🙂

Photos & Styling: Veils & Tails Photography www.veilsandtailsphoto.com | Models: Taylor Sim, Anna Luo, Emily Erftenbeck, Allie Wellnitz, Bianca Williams | Flowers & Flower Collar: Alexis Ireland Florals www.alexisirelandflorals.com/ | Hair: Yolanda with Spa Escape http://spaescapesb.com/ | Macrame leashes: Woven in Wild www.etsy.com/shop/woveninwild | Other leashes: Made by Tawny http://facebook.com/madebytawny | Dog cookies: Pet House www.pethouse.org Dresses: Magnolia Boutique https://www.indiefashionboutique.com and Free People www.freepeople.com | Dogs: Tank Korsan, Peyton Stalnecker, Leta Stoutenborough, Marbles Albuquerque, Athena Sawyer, Aurora Miramontes

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Mia & Elliot

Three dogs and one no-drama couple. Thank you for finding me, lovely clients!

This couple contacted me only a couple of months before their wedding, so there wasn’t that much time to get to know them. But I always recommend an Engagement Session for just that reason. It makes the wedding day so much more seamless – we’re already buds, and the couple has learned how I work and gets comfy in front of the camera. But this couple had another idea of how to use that time, and got their wedding portraits out of the way ahead of time! Brill.

The motivation behind this was, happily, so they could include their two bulldogs, who were not invited to the wedding day (handsome handfuls!) So the 5 of us (they also brought their maltipoo who was invited to the wedding) took an afternoon stroll through the beautiful Douglas Preserve in Santa Barbara, and took some lovely portraits, in ALL THREE of the bride’s wedding day outfits. This was amazing, as when the wedding day came around, there was NO rush to get those photos. We got some wedding day b&g portraits too of course, but only when there was time, so they didn’t have to feel torn between getting their dream photos, and hanging out with their amazing friends and family.

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Little maltipoo brother, and outfit #2:MiaElliot_060-copyMiaElliot_074-copyMiaElliot_079-copy

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Elizabeth & Alex

I recently got to photograph the wedding of one of my oldest friends! Liz and I met in French class in 7th grade. We had a lot of classes together but that’s the one I remember most, with Monsieur Martin. I won’t go into how much time has passed since then, but it’s a lot! I’m so grateful to have called her a friend for all these years, and I’m ecstatic for her that she found her great love in Alex. Here is a little preview of their beautiful, emotional and joyful day.

P.S. Check out how buff she is. Ooh la la!

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Remembering Buster

Last week, the world lost a beautiful soul, and all too soon. Buster was more than just a pet dog that we all got to know. He was truly part of the community. At Dioji Goleta he was literally the first one to meet hundreds of dogs. I trusted him more than most people, to tell me if a new dog was ready to join the group. He celebrated his 10th anniversary of membership at Dioji this January.

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I don’t know if this concept is easily grasped. But Buster was perfect at this job. Each new dog there is evaluated to ensure they can hang out in the yard with other dogs and people. Buster was amazingly polite with any dog, and amazingly calm. He was cautious, so he wouldn’t come off as overconfident – this was great for dogs who might be nervous, because they wouldn’t get defensive. He would be curious and polite enough to smell them, but never over-eager, so this let them go at their own pace. If he looked uncomfortable, it was definitely not his fault, we knew this much. But he would not engage, he wouldn’t react. He would just look at me with a “This guy is weird” kind of look.

This is not a skill that can really be taught, in my opinion. I’ve known a ton of good dogs. Of patient and nice dogs. But no one like Buster. If I was doing an evaluation and Buster hadn’t arrived yet, I was always at a bit of a loss as to who the intro-dog should be. Others sufficed, but I never trusted them quite as much. He was basically my most trusted coworker.

In the first few years, Buster took a while to trust US. He was just careful. I think it was a year or more before he would approach me, or not sulk away when I approached him. But in the last couple of years, he would greet me with some serious head rubs on my legs. Such an honor! He eventually softened and didn’t give the newbies such a hard time, but those of us that had to work for it, knew the difference.

It’s an understatement to say that he was an ambassador for his breed. Many times, a dog’s owner would say “oh, she doesn’t like pitbulls,” and all I could say was, well she’s going to meet one, and I trust him more than any dog out there. And I believe everyone who saw Buster interact had their opinion softened.

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Everyone’s favorite Buster moments, were when anyone mentioned, or brought out, the BUBBLES. Or the hose! In his prime, he would leap so high, you wouldn’t believe! He loved to try to catch the bubbles or running water in his mouth. As if it were his goal to keep them from escaping, or hitting the ground. His enthusiasm was so much fun, so unexpected compared to his usual calm and collected self.

Buster was a gift to us. I feel so lucky that he was my friend. I know he is chasing bubbles again, and I hope still watching over his little community. To quote one of his favorite people, we know Buster is only letting the good ones in, so I hope I go where he is. ❤

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Kate + Jack’s Wedding

The wedding of Kate & Jack, and Joy, has been on my mind for over a year. After photographing Jack & Kate’s engagement session, and Kate & Joy’s Veils & Tails Session, I couldn’t wait for the main event, and I knew it would be gorgeous! From the gardens, to the redwoods, to the joyful reception, (not to mention the ever present puppy!) this was an incredible day. I’m just elated to have been a part of it all, and to have gotten to know these three so much better over the past year!

Congratulations to the happy family!

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Bridal bouquet & dog flower crown hand-made by the bride!

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Photo by Jessany Hope
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Photo by Jessany Hope

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Photo by Jessany Hope

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Photos by Jessany Hope

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All paper flowers hand-made by the bride!

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Photography: Veils & Tails Photography
Venues: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, The Narrative Loft
Dress: The Dress – Jayna Jones
Ring: Tuan Truong
Bracelet: Lori Hofferber, Fine Art & Jewelry

Hair/Makeup: Carlyle Salon
Men’s Hair: The Standard Men’s Shop
Transport: Santa Barbara Trolley
Music: DJ Darla Bea
Event Rentals: SPARK Creative Events, All Hearts Rentals

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah + Stephen: A Santa Barbara Wedding

May I just say, I love the couples that find me. This couple is just as sweet as pie, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them since we first met to discuss photography. Our journey began with an adventurous engagement session, spanning from the mountains to the beach, and brought us to this beautiful wedding day (and we stopped at the beach again). Learning about this couple, I can just tell their every action is genuine, and so I have all the faith in the world that their marriage will be a great one.

My favorite part though, was the dancing! This bride and her friends can tear it apart, ballroom style! But even when the dancing was less difficult, my gosh was it joyful! Just take a look, it’s all smiles!

Congratulations to the bride and groom!

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Sarah & Sean

If you couldn’t tell this couple was meant to be together by the bright light that is Sarah’s smile, you could certainly do so by watching and listening to their friends in their presence. This wedding was brimming with emotion, honesty, and the fruits of an epic voyage to get here. I am so grateful I got to be a part of it. This was definitely one of those weddings where I got lost in the speeches and forgot that I had only met them a couple of months ago.

These photos just tell a piece of the story, but that story will be for Sarah and Sean to tell. For now, enjoy this snippet, as I send well wishes to these two and their beautiful future!

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