ABJ Photography Blog » Atlanta Dog Photographer Pet and Family Photography

Atlanta Joy Session | Wilson

If you love Yorkies you are going to fall in love with Wilson!  I sure did…I had the best time this past week over at his home capturing true to life images in his favorite spots around the house.  Wilson’s mom contacted me about a Joy Session because Wilson has been battling cancer and already has been through four rounds of chemo.  He has tremendous strength and so much personality!  I loved getting to know he and his mom, and I can tell that they have a very special bond.  This afternoon was all about them, and I know that you will feel the connection, personality, spunk, and love spilling from these images.

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The image below is one of my all time favorites, I just LOVE how he holds that little ball in his mouth!  He is the BEST yorkie retriever that I have met!  You will notice that tennis ball in a few more images, it is one of his favorite toys.

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One of Wilson’s favorite places in his home is the office.  From there he can keep an eye on all the chipmunks, and watch to see when his family comes home.

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After some indoor play time we headed outside for more fetch and a few more photos.  Wilson showed me around the yard and even started to bring the ball to me for a toss…I always consider that a high honor!

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Dog Images - Looking great

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Withers Family (take two)

One of my favorite parts of being an adult is watching some of my dear friends start families.  I am especially blessed to have a dear high school friend in town, and photographing her growing family has been a gift.  It is so fun to look back on their journey, and celebrate their new little boy too!  It has been so cold in Atlanta we did not venture out for photos, we stayed inside and captured a taste of life in the Withers home.  I think the photos came out sweet, and I hope that they enjoy them for years to come.  I think one thing I have grown to appreciate about photography is how photos tell stories, and you do not even realize it until a few years later…the simplest image can bring back so much emotion.  I was honored to spend the morning with these guys, thank you Sus for being such a sweet friend of mine all these years.

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Yay! Love you guys!  So excited to meet Mr. Jack, and thank you again for having me over to photograph your beautiful family!!

Atlanta Family and Dog Portraits | The Coyle Family

The second half of 2013 was such a great experience I am looking forward to ALL the 2014 has in store!  I wanted to kick off the new year with a fun family portrait session from last week in Mableton, GA. I got to spend the afternoon with an awesome couple and their two dogs: Cooper, a sweet and lovable lab, and his sister Buttercup who may be short in stature because she is a lab/beagle mix, but she certainly makes up for it with spunk and personality!  I enjoyed meeting them both!

The goal of the session was to capture some great family portraits and a few head shots for Jamie.  I think we had a great time, and I was able to capture some in-between moments for them as well!  They are certainly a beautiful family!

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I think you can see we certainly have a momma’s boy in the photo above!  Cooper was so sweet, and his coat was so soft, he won my heart really fast during our session!  I always love meeting the dogs during our sessions, each have such unique personalities!  Thank you Coyle family for having me to your home, it was a true pleasure to capture these images for you all!

Happy New Year everyone!

Southern Family Tradition | Thanksgiving in Fairhope, AL | Southern Family Portrait Photographer

We had ourselves a self-proclaimed Garden and Gun Thanksgiving and I wanted to share the photos with you now that our Christmas card is out there.  I am very thankful for our family, their generosity, humility, and hospitality.  Our thanksgiving took us from GA to AL, FL, back to AL, and finally home in GA.  We fried our turkey, designed the sleeping arrangements around the dogs, sat outside a lot, shot guns, laughed, and told family stories…it was the holiday break dreams are made of!  I was thankful to hand off my camera to family members, and to be included in the photos and memories.  Here is a small taste of our Happy Thanksgiving, and southern traditions:

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The Joyners

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Our babies: Magnolia and Mason

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Cousin photo!  I had to include the dog photo bomb version, it was the most true to life.

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I planned outfits, packed extra jewelry, and in the end our card photo was as it should be, real.  By one of my favorite trees on the property, in exactly what we were wearing that day, and I think the genuine nature of this image is the most meaningful part.  What I year it has been, and alongside these guys life is good and true.  I am so thankful for my man and my fur babies, they make me smile every.single.day.

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#livewell, enough said.  If you know her, you know that she is joy abounding, and sweet as Magnolia.

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Charlie brown dog is not sure what to think off us, but he does a good job of tolerating us anyway.  He is our token spokesman, we are counting on him to always put forth a good first impression so that our other dogs can come along with us on our family vacations. 🙂

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Mason is my main man.  We coined the statement “Mason puts his own stamp on things” on this trip.  He rode the whole way to Pensacola with his head resting on the top of mine.  And yes, I let him.  He carries within his spirit the manners of my sweet Tess, and I love him for it.

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I love the above image.  They were in their element.

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I shot David’s gun for the first time on this trip!  The first time I shot it I said, @(#*%&  because of the kick, and later had a nice bruise.  But, I had fun and got my still targets…no flying clays for me! haha!

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As the sun went down things got a little chilly, but it was seasonably chilly, just enough to feel like fall.

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Sasha helped wrangle up the other dogs, and enjoyed some charred wood from the fire- the best kind.  I am pretty sure she also kept the squirrels at bay. 🙂

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Our fabulous host family in Fairhope, AL.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Annie was born next door, do not let those pound puppy eyes fool you.  She is the sweetest thing, and spunky too!  She was the fastest K9 at the party.  I love the action shot below, she and Mason had a great time romping and playing together!

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Joyner/Sowell 2013 Fairhope, AL

Our motley crew.

Traveling with Pets for the Holidays | GUEST POST | Fetch Petsitting NW Atlanta

There are several ways for pet owners to handle their pets and travel for the holidays.  They can take the pets with them.


Unless you have a small pet, this is better for people who are driving to their destination.  You don’t want to fly with a pet that won’t fit in its cage under the seat.  More and more places are allowing guests to bring pets with them.  If you want to travel with your pet, for not only the holidays, but for vacation, the site www.bringfido.com has an extensive list of pet friendly places to stay.

Vet offices have been a popular place for people to board dogs over holidays.  More specialized boarding facilities have been opened.  These places usually have larger pens for the dogs and specialized services that you can pay extra for.

There is another option available.  And that’s leaving the pets at home, and having someone come into your home to take care of them.


If you’ve never used a pet sitter before, it can be unnerving to let a stranger into your home to take care of your pets.  That’s why it’s important to interview them before hand.  Make sure you ask for and check their references.  Google the company and see what kind of on-line presence they have and make sure they are a legitimate company.  Make sure they are insured and bonded and show you a copy of that.  You can also check their legitimacy by asking to see their business license.  Make sure you meet the sitter who will be in your home.


There are many great reasons to hire a professional pet sitter when you’re gone.   First of all it’s great to have someone come in to your home.  They can turn lights on and off, pick up mail and newspapers and even water plants.  If something’s not right they can fix it or let you know about it so you can get it fixed.  Plus your pet gets to stay in the environment they are comfortable in.  They get to sleep in their bed or their favorite spot on the couch.  They get to eat the food they are used to eating at the time they are used to in the same bowl they are used to.  This reduces the anxiety on your pet.   The sitter will give your pet attention and play time.  Even the most standoffish cats begin to miss the human contact after a few days.  I’ve become best friends with some cats that became lonely when they realized I was not only feeding them, but was happy to scratch their ears or let them play with the toy mouse.  The sitter should update you with texts or emails to let you know what’s going on.  Pictures and even videos are a nice touch as well.

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Traveling during the holidays is very stressful.  There’s traffic on the roads because of the volume of folks out there.  Everyone is in a hurry to get where they’re going.  The weather can be bad and that causes delays on the highways and at airports and this increases anxiety and frustration.  The best thing you can get for your pet over the holidays is good care.  Pet owners can relax and enjoy the time with friends and family, knowing that their pets are being cared for by a responsible professional and are doing fine in a comfortable, familiar environment.

Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can follow regular entries in my blog at www.mikespettales.com.