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CUTENESS ALERT-Protective mamma and her overly cute litter- Part 4

CUTENESS ALERT-Protective mamma and her overly cute litter 

Bella’s FIFA Team with an Extra is here…

Continuing where we left…

The pups were here and all happy and healthy and Bella doing a GREAT job nursing them. I became what is called as the nipple police. 

Through the next 4 weeks my job was watch, which pup isn’t eating and which one is over eating and hogging the nipple. There were 3 pups bigger than the rest who insisted they need to eat first and keep eating until they can’t eat no more..and then eat again.

And there were these two who couldn’t keep themselves awake and would sleep off after a few minutes. In the wild these little ones wouldn’t survive after all its survival of the fittest.

Here with the nipple police interrupting all puppies had no option but to thrive. I had to make sure once the bigger hoggers were done, smaller ones got their share of milk and sometimes even wake them up so they eat again.

The first three weeks of their life, these little ones can’t see or hear. They find their way to mom by smell. It’s amazing how quickly u fall in love with these beautiful hapless creatures. I think I was hormonal like Bella.. overwhelmed by how amazing this experience was. People say don’t emotionalize but I disagree. When you see what I witnessed, it’s hard to put the emotion away. 

The pups all looked alike so there wasn’t an easy way to tell them apart but after a week or so I was able to tell a few apart. Some started getting bigger than the rest. Some had some sort of striations on the coat and some were showing their personalities.

My other job was to do laundry. When u have 12 puppies who eat, sleep, poop and then repeat, and a mom dog who is still recovering from her delivery and is bleeding,  blankets and towels get used faster than you realize. Soon I was doing three loads of laundry every single day besides the other life i was trying to keep up with. It was exhausting and i think i can say to some extent i was more cranky than my dog.

While this was going on Bella wasn’t in her best behavior. She refused to eat…Unless the food had chicken in it. She was extremely gassy, breaking out like crazy all over her body, tired and at her worse behavior. She was a protective mama ready to snarl at anyone who came close to the vicinity of her home. The first 4 weeks that left me with no option to get help from volunteers and do it all by myself. But there was someone who was helping me during this ordeal with Bella. Liz and my amazing friend Mo. Mo used to train guide dogs and she came to my rescue helping me with Bella’s behavior. With all my heart I can’t thank her enough for how she helped me get my Bella back.

But this journey was indeed an emotional ordeal a lot of times. That did make me a very tired and cranky lady. 

It was around 4 weeks when Bella started weaning off the pups. The pups had sharp teeth and toenails, making it impossible for her to not yelp in pain every time 12 hungry pups pounced on her. She had scratches and bite marks all over her underbelly. In all honesty, it is very hard to see your dog in that state.

Meanwhile the little pups were getting naughtier by the day. By the end of 4 weeks we had to upgrade their pen to a bigger enclosed space and moved them to the garage. They slept together snuggled in a huge crate and during the day they played, ate , pooped all over their space and had a great time growing strong. 

My biggest job that time was to keep Bella out of the situation. She was still the protective mom and her barks were scary. No one wants to get snapped by a new mom dog.  Volunteers were pouring in and out and helping us with pups.

I can’t be more thankful to all the volunteers who came in multiple times during those last two weeks and helped cleanup the space, played with the pups, helped with the laundry, removed the garbage and helped in so many ways possible. Liz, April, Sarah, Stacy, Betsy, Mo, Laura, Charlene, Elizabeth, Alison, Jack, Nancy all teamed up and did so much for Bella and us that we are blessed to have their support. Along the way I made some friendships that will stay with me for a lifetime. Bella not only gave 12 new owners new members for their family, she also gave me some amazing friendships to cherish.

I still remember the day when I had to say goodbye to all the pups. I had a heavy heart, eyes full of tears and a rough night thinking about them.

I visited them a few times later at their new foster home and each visit reminding myself that i need to learn to let go. The day my beautiful pups found their new forever homes and parents I knew I had done something right. I can only wish and hope they are loved and in turn love their family. A relationship and love we share with Bella is precious and I wish the same for my sweet pups out there.

We are still in touch with few parents of the new pups and to be able to see them grow, thrive and enjoy their new families is so gratifying.

June 15th 2018 Bella got spayed and she will remain our loving dog . She will enjoy being our puppy , our family member for the rest of our life.

People asked me why we didn’t return Bella once we found out she was pregnant as she was so new to us. But again I believe these puppies were meant to happen. Bella had seen enough bad in her life and this time her family she loved wasn’t going to give up on her. Her bond to us is strong and we were going to stay beside her as she would if ever anything happened to us.

Here is what sums up our journey with Bella.. 4 months consolidated in 2 minutes:).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ZEM_4nsBc

Pet Photography,Dog, Photographing dogs, A Dog’s journey, Adopt don’t shop, Rescue Dog

A journey with a dozen plus one…- Part 3

Bella’s Own Cricket Team …And an EXTRA.

Bella has her way with us… She has kept on toes ever since she came into our life. 

I don’t remember sitting down calmly for more than a week. There is always a sense of adventure with her around. Two trips to the vet in the first two weeks of having Bella and then the breaking news happens.

So when I found out at Vets office that Bella was close to her delivery date, it all started to make sense. Her docile behavior even though she is a pup, her lethargy, her out of control eating and her peeing so often that every single night she woke me up to take her outside.

I quickly called my husband and shared the news and then emailed Liz (Bella’s Rep at GGLRR) . It took only a few minutes for me to hear back from her , a news equally shocking to her as well. In all honesty.. I think we all had panicked.

It’s funny how situations change your perspective. I was moaning and getting upset about how I feel cruel to be spaying my dog, like i am taking away her body parts when she gets spayed and next I know I was feeling ..OMG, once this is over spaying is the way to go.

Amidst all that was happening I just knew one thing. Bella was going to have her puppies here at home cos nothing is worth risking her life and that she isn’t going anywhere. A lot of people asked me why we did what we did. Well you don’t turn away a family member just because they are sick and whatever happens, I was going to make sure Bella is safe with us.

I have to give a LOT of credit to GGLRR folks. When I spoke to Liz and after we all understood the impact of this news she offered to find a foster to take care of Bella and the pups for the next three months. She asked me to talk to my husband and decide what we wished to do. Talking to Vishy made our decision even simpler and easy. He is an awesome person esp when it comes to supporting me. He told me to go ahead and do what I thought was best for Bella and so we took the BIG decision to do whatever it takes to make sure Bella and her pups have a family behind them. 

That decision made it easy for us to proceed. Few things had to be taken care of first. Her diet had to change. We switched to puppy food. We went from diet control to her bowl being never empty. Exercise was limited to slow placed walks and honestly I was worried if I will need to call someone from the roadside if she starts delivering there…(yeah shows how little experience we had for the undertaking we were going for.)

While the rescue started putting things together at their end we were able to rekindle a friendship from school days. Vishy’s friend from school and his wife were big contributors to rescuing labs in Houston. So we were able to reach out to them and talk. Anu has had a ton of experience doing something she is amazing at – rescue dogs. She spent a good amount of time guiding us and sharing her experience that she has gathered rescuing dogs. She was such an immense positive assurance that helped us take this big step forward.

In a few days Liz and her husband Jim put together a whelping setup for Bella. Idea was to make Bella comfortable there so the puppies are born in the safety of the home and are contained in a smaller area. We cleaned out our dining area and setup the whelping stuff there. That way the pups stay warm inside the home and we can keep an eye on them. 

Bella meanwhile had other plans…she started nesting in all weird places in the backyard. She was digging and making herself comfy in a dark spot under the backyard steps where its cold and wet. We literally had to drag her out so we don’t have to worry about how to keep the pups safe from predators and cold and rain. 

She then started finding a comfy spot in my closet.. OMG..Imagine what would have happened to my clothes if the pups decided to play there..:).

Then the wait began. 

I was in constant touch with Stacy while all this was going on. I have a ton of respect for Bella’s foster mom and she has been my constant support thru this journey. I also know she enjoys hearing updates about Bella and she makes time to help me out in all ways possible..

Meanwhile Liz(The rockstar woman of GGLRR) introduced me to the “Doggy Doula” as Elizabeth likes to call herself :). The process of making Bella comfortable with Elizabeth began as we need to be prepared with everything to help Bella out and honestly I had no clue what I was doing except that my maternal instincts kicked in overtime.

Meanwhile everyone had started betting on when Bella would deliver. To say the least, I lost the bet big time. :)) 

The night of March 23rd was the hardest. Bella was ready , hiding in dark places, very uncomfortable, not eating and nothing we did…. helped.  

I stayed up almost all night her rubbing her belly and comforting her. I took a short nap during which Bella decided to make a mess on my rugs but on the grand scheme of things, nothing matters when u see tiny puppies that came after that ordeal. 

On the fateful morning on March 24th, exactly one month after Bella came to our home, the fun began. At 11.15 AM with us and Elizabeth at her side, Bella  had her first pup.

We had the notes ready to keep track of puppies. To keep track of unique marking on the pups and to be able to distinguish who came when. Funny thing was all of Bella’s pups are Jet black. Not a single marking on any of them.

What I found out when the first puppy came was that mother dogs eat the sac the pups are in and lick the pups clean including nibbling the umbilical cord away.  That also stimulates the breathing process and helps mom and pup bond.

One after the other the pups started coming out. Sometimes the wait was longer and sometimes shorter.

We were told there would be 7/8 pups and when the 9th one showed… we though Bella was done. From looking like a BIG HOTDOG she was all skinny and boney. 

So we decided to take her to the backyard so she can go do her business now that all pups were here.

Just as we got to the backyard, Bella started going around in circles and I saw another sac showing up. Right before the puppy came out I was there to save the fall and hold the puppy in my bare hands while Elizabeth came running with a towel from inside. That’s the story of the Bella’s 10th pup:). Something I will enjoy telling the generations to come :).

My sister joked if Bella was getting ready to prepare her own cricket team.. And who knew by 5.30 that evening we went from 1 dog to 13 at home. All 12 of Bella’s puppies were alive, healthy and cuddling with their mom. Bella was doing a fabulous job nursing them, and taking care of them.

For me..the work had just started. 🙂

The adventures of these little pups and Bella’s behavior change … in my next blog.

 

For more images from this adventure check here: 

http://www.poojaphotography.com/portfolio/furry-friends/

 

San Ramon Photographer, Portraits, Family Photos, Pet Photos with Family

Bella’s Holds a Secret- Part 2

Bella’s Secret

The day we went to Stacy’s home to meet Bella is so fresh in my mind that it feels like yesterday. I was so anxious and worried about what more examination questions lie ahead for us. After all it was the day Bella meets multiple people to decide where her new home is. I am a firm believer of “You don’t choose your dog but the dog chooses you”.

But there are some people who have that unique quality of making you feel so much at ease. Stacy is just that person. Her warm smile and such a calm demeanor put us at ease so quickly.

Meeting Bella at Stacy’s home only just confirmed how much we wanted Bella to be part of our family. The kids swarmed around her like flies and she was everything we wanted in our dog. Stacy chatted with the kids and us and even though I knew her questions were to evaluate if we were the right fit for Bella, never for even a second it felt like an interview. She shared so much more about Bella that day with us and answered all our questions. She mentioned how Bella had a litter before she was rescued and how she hates anyone touching her rear cos of what she as a pup had gone through. The dogs aren’t ready to be mated until they are two years old and here we had a year old dog which had already had a litter of her own. 

Knowing a little bit more about Stacy was such a humbling experience. I learnt how she fosters and volunteers her time and energy towards these dogs who are waiting to find their forever families. She also runs a doggy day care business and knows her stuff so well. She is an amazing soul who is advocate for the animals who can’t speak for themselves and is such a giving person. I have a whole new level of respect for her and the folks who volunteer so much to help out at the rescues.

After that meeting with Bella is what I call was the worst part.. the WAIT.

Every passing day we were ready to find closure. If Bella was coming to our family or should we continue looking for our next fur baby. Every single time I picked up the kids from school, it was the first question they asked…Did Liz call? Do we know if we are getting Bella? I knew if it wasn’t Bella, it will be hard for me to get them ready to open their heart to another dog. I kept them busy meanwhile and asked them to prepare a list of things we will need for our dog.

A few days later, which did feel, like a long time came the call we were waiting for. Another round of questions , a home check if we were ready to take the responsibility of a big dog and then a final call to confirm that Bella is ours.

I remember my daughter standing next to me and waiting to see my reaction on the phone. Her face, her expression and her joy … that was pure happiness. Bella was ours and so the preparation began to finally get that list out and go shopping. We decided to pick Bella that weekend and it will be a long wait until we get her home.

Liz meanwhile sent us lot of information. I started drinking those books and instructions on how to set the pack order when a new dog comes home.

That Friday we all went and shopped. Kids picked up a new collar and tag for Bella. We pickup the food and the supplies needed and then we all tossed on our bed that night anticipating the arrival of our furbaby.

Next day soon after a pre-planned scout hike we went to pick up our Bella. We had early on decided if we get Bella, we would stick to that name. The name was a perfect fit for our dog. She is black, beautiful and a total love bug.

Before we left with Bella I needed to photograph with her foster family. Stacy and her family were such a big part of her journey and I needed to honor that. I will ever be grateful for the love thay gave Bella.

So on Feb 24th 2018, Bella came home. Her home and she fit right in.

Did I say she is a love bug? That week we had close friends come over and meet her. She would let kids cuddle with her, give her belly rubs .. a dog who trusted and loved us unconditionally so fast.

She was just the most mellow custom made dog or us. We are still eternally grateful.

Little did we know Bella had a secret of her own she wasn’t sharing with anyone.

She was a dog with a luxurious coat.. and she was a little overweight. So we started giving her a lot of exercise, watching her diet and yet she always seemed t have an upset tummy. No matter what we did to help, she was always tired and always hungry. I was told labs are always hungry anyways.. so we dismissed it and continued watching her diet.

Rainy season + furry friend= Stinky dog. A week later Bella got her first bath.

Even the most perfect of beings have issues.. Bella’s is that she hates baths. She would squeeze into a corner and to give her that first shower was definitely a scene from a comic book.

Few days later I saw some red rashes on Bella’s tummy and I was concerned. I was told to take her to the Vet and see if it was the shampoo rash or soap that didn’t get washed away. The Vet said it was probably a heat rash(hmm..heat rash during winters… but okie..i am not the expert here).

We started treating her with meds. Something still wasn’t right. One thing being a mom has taught me is to trust your instincts.

We had Bella’s spaying date scheduled and it was coming up.  Something about her seemed off. She seemed to be getting bigger each day even with us feeding her little and talking her for long walks. I had to get her in before her spaying appointment just to be sure.

A couple of days before her spaying appointment I took her to the Vet office. The doctor confirmed she looked bloated and had gained more weight. He suggested we do an x-ray to find out what’s going on. Bella was so bonded with us by then that it was heart breaking for both Bella and me to leave her alone and step away for the doctor to check her.

Few minutes felt like hours and when the doctor came to update me, my heart was throbbing so hard that I thought everyone could hear it.

He disclosed Bella was pregnant and what appeared to be around 7/8 puppies. She was around 45 days pregnant as they were able to see the skeletons of the pups inside her. That meant she would be ready to deliver around day 60.

My feet never felt this wobbly that I had to sit down to get the impact of this news!!

I had no idea what I was going to do!!

Pet Love-Finding Bella- Part 1

Pet Love is Unique…

It’s selfless, it’s un-demanding and it’s very unique.

I have always been a dog lover…actually I take it back. I have always been a Pet lover. Be it a cat, a dog, a turtle, a hamster or even a chicken. I have always loved pets but dogs hold that extra special place in my heart. I had two dogs at some point of my life while I was growing up but it was a long break before we got Bella in our life.

This blog is about her story and how our journey with her has been since she came into our lives. It’s been only three months but it feels like we have known her for years already…thats the bond we share with her. This is how it all started.

I wanted to have a pet dog since a very long time but sometimes the journey of being ready emotionally to being responsible for a new being takes time.

We have an amazing family in our neighborhood – parents to a beautiful golden retriever. They and their dog Ginger are the reason we all had practice rounds on poop picking, playing and knowing when we were ready to take that next step to dog ownership. 

My sister adopted a dog from a rescue and I think I was very inspired by her open heart that for me getting a dog from a breeder was never really an option. It had to be done right , which meant saving a life of a dog in need. There is nothing wrong in getting a dog from a breeder but personally for me, I knew I had to adopt one, no matter what “baggage” they come with.

Kids and me had visited our local shelter multiple times and almost adopted a dog but something told me they weren’t the right one. Sometimes you trust your gut.. just because you know.

So we started watching a few rescue organizations and one that I realized was amazingly active was the GGLRR. I saw how they were rescuing their dogs. They came from different locations, different scenarios and the GGLRR folks took their time to foster their rescues and find them great homes. They shared a great amount of details about their dogs, which made picking the right one for your family situation easier.

Then one day it happened.. I thought I found a great dog and asked one of the reps if I could meet the dog. As fate had it, that dog was already being adopted by another family but knowing my criteria, GGLRR rep Sarah told me there is another one matching my needs coming up.

What my needs were you wonder?! Well I knew I wanted a year or two-year-old female dog which doesn’t need to be potty trained but has the age on her side share years of love with our family. We wished for a dog who would be a constant companion for kids as they grow knowing how much joy and love a pet can bring into your life.

Soon after on the GGLRR website (www.labrescue.org) we saw the post that made us fall in love with our Bella. Thanks to Daisy and Evelyn Photography I have photos of Bella from the start of our journey together. 

GGLRR folks had rescued Bella when her previous owner was selling her for free on Facebook. There were lots of people interested in taking her so she would be used as a puppy mill. The rescue had intervened and there was Bella on the posting sharing her life story through her eyes. I know for me it was an instant connection.

I knew we had to meet her.

So soon after seeing Bella’s post and sharing that with my family, we reached out to Liz, Bella’s rep asking her if we can meet Bella. Liz shared that Bella would be at a fair at San Jose and that meeting her in person would be the way to go. So that weekend with a lot of excitement we drove over an hour to meet her. Kids were excited beyond words and I had to keep reminding them and myself that we need to keep our hearts open to any dog if we don’t get Bella in our family.

 

Once we got to the fair, we met a few other dogs and let me tell u, they all were adorable and had such unique personalities. There was this one Labrador that went howling just like the volunteer who was playing with him. It was just adorable.

Anyways we met Bella, walked her and spent some time, which felt so little and flew by fast. I would see a lot of folks showing interest in adopting her. People were filling up forms to take it to the next step. She was Ms. Popular there. After all a young female dog that is unusually calm isn’t someone u see so frequently.

 

Once we got home we sat down as a family and chatted about Bella. We all agreed that we loved her and that we were ready to move to the next level. It was finally happening. So I emailed Liz soon after and confirmed that we want to move ahead with her application.

 

The next two days were a painful wait and honestly seemed like a long wait. Liz called us once she had all the interested people’s applications and asked us a ton of questions. It felt like an intense interview which I thought was so weird for a dog adoption form a rescue.

It took me a while to understand why the rescue is so intense in their screening process. This is their way to reduce return rates of dogs and ensures folks understand the commitment needed when you adopt a dog.

 

For someone like Liz who has been volunteering for this job I know it can’t be easy. To ask the right questions, to read between the lines and to know what people actually mean when they say things. It was a start of a journey from “whoa- too much interviewing process” to “wow that’s the right way to do it”.

 

A couple of days later we were told to go visit Bella again but this time visit her in her foster home. I took it as a positive sign and that we will get a chance to find answers to questions we have been thinking about. We were so ready.

Meanwhile we had been learning so much from Cesar Milan who opens up your mind to get into what is needed when you own a dog and what changes it would bring to your life. God bless that man because I learned so much from his show.

 

Meanwhile I got in touch with Stacy Bella’s foster mom and we worked out a time to go meet her. What I didn’t know that time was this was a beginning of a new friendship and how I will find an amazing friend on my journey that lies ahead….

 

PetPhotographer,SanRamonPhotographer,BayareaportraitPhotographer

My Muse My Legacy

My Daughter, My Muse, My Legacy

My Daughter, My Muse, My Legacy

Much before I had kids, my camera was still my passion. Only that the passion was buried under the part of “Get Education”, “Get a job”, “Prove yourself “, “Be independent ” and “Get married”. Once all those phases of life were over, I was able to get back into following my passion. My passion always lied with clicking landscapes. Every breathtaking view I saw needed to be captured. Every green mountain called my name. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. I clicked only for myself and believe it ot not, only in the Auto camera mode. 

Slowly as I got back into the groove, I was finding myself into spending more time looking at other people’s work and trying to make sense of what they were doing.  

Another phase of life started soon after called” Kids”. And once again, it got crazy trying to raise twins. But this time, my camera turned to them and every month me and my husband tried to make an effort to click as many pictures of the kids as we could. That was the time when smartphones were just coming into the market.

We realized as part of the routine, we had tons of pictures but a lot of them has so much shake cos I was still new to knowing my camera and understanding it well. We also realized we weren’t really part of the pictures cos it was always about getting them into the photos. So we decided to go to a chain store to get our family pics done.

Long story short, after hours of effort to get the kids ready and dealing with cranky little ones, we made it late. Our slot was gone, we waited some more and got some prints, which I won’t say, were bad. The white backdrop looked like gray. There was no effort to pose us so we stood where we stood and we posed with what we knew. We got 20 minutes in which we had our session. Waited for an hour in the chain store studio, selected our prints and walked out feeling victorious that we survived our session. At least we got prints with kids, our parents and us.

That same victorious feeling was soon replaced by..I need more. I deserve better. I need to learn.

A dear friend of mine told me I sucked at lighting. Ok now I suck at knowing my camera and light control. It was time to either learn better or to stop calling photography my passion. 

My journey where passion met profession started that day. I have never looked back and I am so grateful that I got support and a chance to make my passion into a profession. Not many are blessed that way. I understand not everyone can value custom photography or what I offer for I am so content with people I can help. People who value what I can cerate for them. Something a chain store or a shoot and burn photographer cannot offer. I offer you my time, my talent, my experience, my expertise, my vision and your own custom session, which is uniquely yours. It took my years and lifetime of journey to understand the science of photography… and I am enjoying the journey I have embarked upon.

My little ones gave me the much-needed push and every year we create portraits. Portraits of our family, portraits of our kids and print them and proudly hang them on our walls.

Every year my daughter, my muse, my model lets me learn on her. She’s an artist at heart and understands her mother so well. She puts up with me so patiently with a book in her hand, giving me time to setup the light exactly as I want.  

So every year I create a series of portraits for my kids and honestly it’s mostly with my daughter. She has the patience of an angel and lets me get creative with her. I have learned so much just cos of her and I am able to create my legacy via her. 

In my heart I wish, hope and pray that someday when she grows up, she will value them. Love them and the generations to come will treasure my legacy…her legacy…our legacy.

#Printyourphotos #createthelegacy #createourlegacy

Bayareaphotographer, SanramonPhotographer, Familyphotographer, childrenphotographer, childrenphotos,legacy,printyourphotos, smallbusiness,boutiquephotographer,boutiquestudio,customphotosession

Why do you need Professional Head shots and Branding?

Why do you need Professional Head shots and Branding?

Big question right?

Why do I need professional head shots?

Why can’t I crop and use the beautiful photograph I have from my family photograph from my last get together?

Why do I need branding? What will it do for me as a business?

Why do I need a “Professional” image for LinkedIn or my website.

Why???

Answer to your question are few more questions!! 🙂

Do you want to show how successful you are?

Do you want to be the candidate that gets picked when employers visit your linkedIn profile and your head shot stands out and it conveys trust and confidence?

„

Now that we know why Head shots are important , here is why you need to get it done professionally.

  • Head shots and branding are are ALWAYS about the PEOPLE…
  • „Most important aspect of a headshot is ….CONNECTION CONNECTION CONNECTION

„ALMOST everyone finds facing camera overwhelming and scary. a professional can help ease your fear and pose and light you beautifully. It brings out the confidence in your body and eyes.

„Believe it or not, professionals make sure your headshot matches your brand.

If you are not convinced yet, call me :). Here are some examples of head shots and branding and you can check out more here:

Personal Branding(Headshots)

 

Biker, leather , portraits, men Doctor head shot

A Date With The Canyons

My date with the canyons

A few months after I came to the the US , my husband took me to the beautiful Grand canyon. I’ll be honest here it was too hot during the month of June / July whenever it was for me to enjoy anything at all. I hated being there.. I hated being outside at all.

I was a mountain lover (still am) and loved the lush and the greens of Seattle and Portland. My heart and soul was mesmerized by the colors of the tulips, the mesmerizing beauty of the wild flowers and the most beautiful Mount Rainier.

I had absolutely no interest in the beauty these orange or Red rocks offered.

The beauty of experience and age is that you start looking at things with a different perspective. My amazing camera and the knowledge to use it helps I have to confess:).

2014 was a year of canyons for me. Not only I was able to witness and respect the beautiful creations of nature but also to fulfill my bucket list.

Last year I was blessed to witness, photograph and understand the history behind Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Antelope National Park and Grand National Park – the most amazing majestic Canyons..

We love family vacations, to hike and to teach kids to enjoy nature. Being out of the network helps you take your mind of the cellphone , the ongoing social and political issues.

Before we left for Bryce i told my friends that it was my wish to see the lovely Reds of Bryce canyon against the white snow. The temperatures forecasted were in 60ies and i remember checking that right when I was packing( a night before the trip). I knew I wasn’t going to see what i wished for but a woman and pray and hope :).

We stopped at Vegas, rented our car and along with two little ones started our on our trip.

Not too long into the drive I was out of network and it forced me to enjoy the sights outside without worrying about what my work emails were about.(Hail Sprint 😉 )

No long drive comes without kids asking you 200 times.. “Are we there yet?” :)).

It was late evening by the time we made it to Bryce.. Well almost made it. As we entered the area, the visibility went down. Car had to be slowed down as it was extremely cold and we saw dusty air… well took us a minute to realize it was snowing.

One can image how excited someone would feel about a wish coming true. I was dreaming about the reds and the whites already when i was gently reminded that the snow might not stick until morning if the temperatures went up.

Again.. hopeful, excited and praying hard I would not let that dampen my enthusiasm. We reached the hotel finally after extremely caution driving in our Sedan. We had no idea about the snow else we would have been wiser to rent an SUV.

The next morning made me the happiest person alive. The snow had not melted and i knew someone up there loved me so much. It was a wish come true. The hike to the Inspiration point was so worth it . Bryce NPS remains as my most favorite and the best places to visit among the canyons.

Here are some beautiful images I was able to capture on my trip. White on Red.

#BryceNationalPark

Next stop was Zion National Park. Not too far from the amazing Bryce but a drastic change in the rock formations. The trails are more accessible . The water from the mesmerizing “Narrows” was ice cold. We tried our best to cross… but it was freeezzziinng…

We were in the water jeans rolled up with a child in one side and my big camera bag in another. Which photographer would go to a National Park without a suitcase load of lens, filters and all the fun gadgets.

The sights Zion had to offer were beyond reality. I wish we had more days to hike and explore this fine park..but all good things come to an end.

My memories from Zion…

#ZionNationalPark

This one as clicked right outside the Visitor Center at Zion . Sun was at the peak but clouds gave me soft light and this image remains as one of my favorite.

The trip was over but my heart was still not content. So of course when the time came to meet our cousins during the Christmas holidays..off we went again to see the Grand “Grand Canyon” and my other wishlist..The HorseShoe Bend.

I knew how much i missed on my first trip to the Grand Canyon and i wanted to make sure i don’t repeat that mistake again. The day was perfect and we were ready.

People from California (Bay area) who have no clue how winters can be. During the trip we made Flagstaff as our base. The mornings were cold and the windshield was icy. The ice crystals decorated our car and the crazy photographer in me did a little happy dance.

Meanwhile my husband was trying to figure out how best to clean off the windshield and get to the park:).

We Bay area-ians are pretty bad with dealing with “harsh” winters. Cos were were in a rush to drive out, we threw some water on the windshield expecting it to wash away the crystals. Only to realize it froze into a layer of ice as soon as it hit the glass. We spent the next 10 minutes trying to scrape off the icy layer formed on the glass. As I said.. Bay area folks have no experience with ice.;)

The is the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

#GrandCanyon.

Next stop HorseShoe bend . Its a small little spot so easy to miss near a city called Page. Hidden away a 30 minute hike from the road. The only way we found it was cos we looked it up on google maps.

I had to go there. No way I would miss this place especially when am so close to the canyons.

Here is the memory from the majestic HorseShoe Bend. HorseShoe Bend is one of the place photographers love to go and click. We saw a ton of folks doing Selfies.. makes me wonder how they came out. The place is wide and a small camera won’t do justice esp. when the sun is at its peak.

#HorseShoeBend

One more canyon before we are done with our trip. I would say this was the most anticipated canyon for me but very disappointing too. The Antelope Canyon is extremely beautiful. It’s the sacred lands for Native Indians.

The access to the Lower Antelope canyons is via tours only. You cannot do this by yourself. I think its good that way. The sacred land is thereby protected. So disappointing why u ask??!!

Well the only time slot we had an option for was around 3.30PM. That is the time when sunlight is very very low during winters and the land get very very cold. The inside of the canyons are dark and no flash photography allowed. The human side of me is blessed to have seen that place but the photographer in me very sad. I wasn’t able to click a decent image without cranking up my ISO and even then am not happy with the pictures.

Oh well. Thats another excuse for me to go back some day and fulfill my dream yet again.(Big Grin 🙂 )

#AntelopeCanyon

Last but not the least and i don’t have any pictures to share. I strongly recommend visiting the Lowell Observatory and doing a tour with Jim Cole.

His tours are not just educational but his style to tell you the history behind that observatory is amazing. Its like a story leaving you wanting for more information.

A absolute dream for a person to visit the place where Planet Pluto was discovered years back. In a time where there were no high end telescopes like today or even color and digital photography. Its amazing what astronomers did and how science progressed.

Check out

https://lowell.edu/ for more information.

A our final stop before we got back to reality. Amazing Las Vegas.

***If my blog helped you in anyway please do leave us a note. It would be great to hear some feedback and what else would have helped if included.

Bay area Photographer, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horse shoe bend, travel photography, zion NPS, Bryce national park, Canyons

Newborn Photography Safety First

Newborn Photography –  A specialized skill

I am tempted to write this up as a newborn photographer today.

I have had a lot of new parents enquire about newborn packages with me. So to educate all those new moms and dads, here we go.

Newborn photographers can do their magic best when the little one is between 6-10 days old. That is the best time to get the cuddly , snuggled cute images of your little one. Please know they will not be this little for too long.

Their sleeping patterns, eating habits all change. Baby acne, cradle cap start to show up. They need to feed more often, sleep lesser and need more snuggles from mom. For all those reason I advise my clients to shop around for the newborn photo services much in advance and call your chosen photographer the time you deliver.

Soon new parents will be sleep deprived , tired and calling their photographer will be the last thing on their mind.

By the time they realize it is no longer possible to get back time and the tiny toes and features of your little ones. However having that date on the calendar will help your photographer remind you of the session and will help out with the planning. You will get enough time to choose your preferred colors, bands and props.

The best time to shop for your newborn photographer is while you are pregnant. Book your session and let your photographer know when you deliver so you get your session date in time.

So what is too early?

Any time before day 6 I think is too early. You can still do it but it takes time for mother’s milk to come in and babies starve very quickly. Which means they eat more frequently. So my 2 cents is that your photographer will schedule your session anytime between 6 and 15 days. Ideally around 9-10 days.