Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

I am always intrigued by how one thing leads you down a path to another and how creativity connects things and people and events in your life . . . My daughter got the part of Dorothy in the school play. A pretty big deal to any mom and especially me :) So as soon as we got her costume, I sent out a message to my friends and fam letting them know that I needed a “Toto” to model for a photo session. Because what self respecting animal nut like me would do a portrait of Dorothy without a good Toto as a sidekick ?! One of my good friends, Cindy Scott of Dogs, Etc. has a dog named Bosley and he is always up for attention.
Sophia and Bosley :) He is right at home in my studio and the lap of pretty much anyone :)
Then when I looked at the site of one of my favorite local rescues, FOCHP, I saw a puppy who was practically a dead ringer for Toto! They were calling him Scrappy. I called and asked if I could borrow Scrappy for a couple days. Since Scrappy was small (about 12 lbs) and part Cairn Terrier (which was the breed of the real Toto) I thought he’d be a good fit with Sophia my daughter.
Sophia and Scrappy/Toto in the shot I liked best. I made this into a poster for her.

Scrappy is now called Toto by the folks at FOCHP. Toto/Scrappy is a phenomenal dog. He is a 4-6 month old puppy and he is good with dogs, cats, kids and everyone!! Unbelievably he has been with FOCHP for a little over a week and has not been adopted yet. Anybody want a perfect little dog (red shoes not included) If you are interested in adopting him contact Since Scrappy/Toto is a rescue dog “looking to find his way home” I took some photos of him by himself so that FOCHP could use them to get him adopted.

And then I thought, hey, this image would make a great promotional ad for “Adoptions” and so it is. If you are a magazine or other form of media that would like to use this ad as a PSA to promote pet adoption please contact me at

So what have I learned . . . sometimes it is good to start at the beginning and just follow the yellow brick road.

Free Bookmark

January 18, 2011

Free Valentine’s Day Bookmark to the first 40 friends that respond. The Valentine looks like this and if you bring it to the studio you will get a free 8×10 print when you book a session. No obligation to use it for a print or book a Valentine session though. (we just like sending Valentine’s : ))) If you would like one, go to our Facebook Fan page at and “like” us. Then just e-mail your name, mailing address* and e-mail address to the studio at Valentine Bookmarks buddy*US residents only :)

Last week I packed up the studio in my van, recruited the assistance of a couple talented colleagues and headed west with stars in my eyes and a lint roller  at hand.  I did a photo session with Shorty Rossi and four of his playful pooches, Hercules, Valentino, Bebi & Dominico.  Shorty and his furry sidekicks star in the HUGE show, Pit Boss on Animal Planet.  If you haven’t seen the show you need to check it out (click for show times). It’s always interesting photographing stars. You see them on the big screen and you wonder if they are really like that in person or if it’s all just an act. I was stunned at how totally cool, warm, and down to earth everybody was. Shorty was truly charming and such a great guy. He’s got attitude and a huge heart . . . my kinda guy.  No stranger to Hollywood, he runs his own talent agency called Shortywood, but also runs his own rescue called Shorty’s Rescue and he is committed to spreading the word that pits are really misunderstood “underdogs” who deserve our love and respect. So thanks to Shorty and his team for so much talent, drool (you’ll understand when you scroll down), fur and photographic fun. Here are some of my favorite pix/picks of the litter . . . er, I mean session.


Shorty and his main man Hercules.


Hercules was goofy and adorable and always had some spit for me to sop up with a  towel.




Bebi stole my heart with her “sweet as molasses” nature.


Valentino was just a pup and wasn’t exaclty diggin’ my lighting equipment, but for a seven month old puppy he did a pro job posing.



Dominco well he is just as handsome as he could possibly be and I think he knows it too.


When the work was done, Shorty took some time out to play with Dominico.

srossi-539After the shoot we all wanted a group shot (or at least a partial group shot).  Here I am with Shorty, David Edelstein (top left-the video master), Elizabeth Gonzalez (top-middle -my awesome assistant), Candy Clemente (right- lead dog trainer/handler for Shorty’s rescue) and Hercules, Bebi, Dominico and Valentino.

Special Thanks to Christian Duran for lending a hand on several levels, Candy Clemente who helped so graciously with getting the doggies to pose.  I owe ya a bag of cheese & meaty treats :) And to Shorty for putting up with so many flashes of light.  I might need to buy some of your sweet smelling cigars.

My Furry Valentine Photo Shoot

February 15, 2010

Who’s your favorite Valentine?  Your best friend . . . of course.  The day before Valentine’s Day I did a workshop with Cindy Scott of Dogs Etc. The good folks at Founders Veterinary were kind enough to host our “shindig” for the day.    I photographed a few furry cuties and REALLY, I could hardly edit any of the shots out.   They were all adorable!!!!  Here are my top picks from the sessions.  Doggie moms, I’ll get your full gallery  up in a couple of days with the motherload of “adorableness” (if adorableness is not a word, it is now).


Jake, the cutest little pup!


Bruno in a stunning composition.  He’s such a beauty.



Love the little paw lift on this one.


This is Max.  He was a pro model.  His mom has him photographed all the time.


My fave shot of Max.  He looked like a stuffed animal.  You just wanted to cuddle him.


A little walk on the wild side with Mr. Bosley.  Note the dyed red “do”.


Jake again with a different lens and wider aperture.  Just look at that face . . . if that doesn’t melt your heart . . . nothing will.

I Woof U, Camp Bow Wow

February 1, 2010

This past weekend, I did a day of shooting on location at Camp Bow-Wow in Anaheim .   (which, BTW, is chock full-o-fun for all doggies and a great place for owners to take their dogs)  For some of the staff members, who, have not just ONE dog, but a pack of their own, I did sessions with multiple dogs.  What posers!!!    I’m still editing tons of images ‘cuz we got many, many great shots. Here are my quick picks of the day (cuz I know you Campers are dying to see ’em).   Thanks Camp Bow Wow staff for telling all your clients about me and bringing in your doggies for me to photograph!!  OK, get ready to ooh and ahhh . . .


This is Kris’ main man, Pierre, who is just impossibly lovable.


Here is Kris’ full crew: Patches (the big one), Pierre, Mac, Ginger, Sophie, Chief


This dapper older gentleman is aptly named Romeo.  I just fell in love with him.


Maui poses for us by pointing out the “kisses and hugs” toy.


Guinness is a newer addition to Erin’s crew.  He’s just a pup but he was so  good in front of the camera.


A family portrait Romeo, Guinness and and Maui.   Can you believe we got this shot in about 3 minutes?


However, these guys made us work for it . . . Kona (left) and Matix (an 8 month old  rescue puppy) just did not want to pose together.  We did manage to get a  few good shots of them together.  I love this one because you can see two of Kona’s lower teeth if you look really close.  How CUTE is that!!???


Matix and Kona again.  This one is one of those shots where I just love the composition.


And for the drumroll . . .  you gotta give this girl the award for most cooperative . . . Layla.

Yes, she winks on command (OK, not really, I was just fast with the shutter button).


Sit, Stay, & Say Cheese!

January 5, 2010

Pet Portrait Workshop

You know your dog is a beauty to behold, so why not get kissable portraits just in time for Valentines Day!!!  I have teamed up with Cindy Scott, dog trainer extraordinaire, of Dogs, Etc. to offer this completely cool training and portrait workshop!!  Yep, Cindy trains you and your dog to get ready to model, and then I work with your furry supermodel to help them strike a stunning pose.  (come on, you knew your dog was born a star . . . all you just need some good headshots to get that career going) 

The training portion of the workshop will be held from 12-1pm on February 6th at Founders Veterinary, 330 N. Brea Blvd., CA.   The pet portrait mini-sessions will be scheduled in 20 minute increments on the following Saturday, February 13th.  Each workshop attendee will learn posing techniques, get some training (for owner and pet), receive 2 digital files from their very own furry photoshoot with professional pet (and person) photographer, Lisa Scarsi.  Cost $105 per dog. 

The last Pet Portrait Workshop we did at Camp Bow Wow in Anaheim and we got some extremely cute portraits for all doggies that participated.  

Maximus looking adorable against the fetching damask patterned backdrop.

Maximus looking adorable against the fetching damask patterned backdrop.


Bella the bella dog posing for me and her mom.

Bella, the bella dog, posing for me and her mom.

Cindy tells Max and his mom how to execute "a good stay".


Cindy tells Max and his mom how to execute “a good stay” at a past workshop.

Maximus worked hard at his pre-training and his portrait session turned out grrrrrreat!!


I had noticed a trend:  I do a session.  I post the images on a gallery. The client loves them.  They tell me, “There are so many I want, I don’t think I can choose. Which ones do I order, what shapes and what sizes?”  They fret.  Will this print look good with that one?   They think. We talk.  They try to visualize what certain images will look like in their home or in their office, but it’s tough to have that kind of vision without a little help.   So, after much research, chatting with collegues, and a LOT of coffee consumption,  I have added a whole new service to my “menu” of cool photo stuff.   I call it an “in-home deciding session”.   It’s optional, it’s free* and best of all, it makes ordering prints so easy.   (*I might ask for coffee though.)  

How does this work you say?  Well, you do a session and you have a bunch of images you like, but you don’t know what to get or where to put them.  We set up an appointment to get together.   We cull through your picks and determine which ones are “must haves”.  We then figure out where to put them and what sizes and then . . . best of all . . . I put together “to scale” layouts of your picks (with this magical software I have), right there on the spot.   This way you can see what your prints will look like together before you order them.   So far everyone who has done an “in-home deciding session” has raved about it.  It takes the work (and worry) out of the picture -picking process (say that three times fast).    

Here are the results of one  “in-home deciding session”.    All these image were shot in one very furry session. The client’s home decor has a contemporary feel, so we went with all gallery wrap canvas prints with black borders on the sides.    I even arranged for an art installer to come to the client’s home to do the installation, making the whole process easy-peasy.    


ten wall cluster 1

ten wall cluster 2