Posts Tagged ‘family portraits’

To Hercules with Love

May 2, 2013

My good friend Hercules, the pit bull, has about 2-10 weeks to live.  Cancer is getting the best of him and his time with us running out.  Many of you know him, have met him at events or know him through the portraits of him that I have taken in the last few years. He has marched in several Luv-a-Bully marches, first with 4 legs and then with 3 legs and served as an “ambassadog” at many rescue events around Orange County.

I met Hercules in 2009 at a Luv-a-Bully march in Brea.  The march was a gathering of about 200+ pit bulls and their owners to dispel the public opinions that pit bulls were mean fighting dogs and protest BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). Dr. Paula Terifaj (now the owner of DogSpa) asked me to photograph the event and that is how I met Hercules and his family, Kylie (now 5) and mom Leslie.  I snapped some photos of Herc and Kylie at the event and a few months later Leslie contacted me, in a panic, to do portraits of Kylie with Hercules because Hercules had cancer and she did not know how long he would live. Kylie was two then and Leslie was afraid that without photos Kylie would not be able to remember Hercules when she grew up.    Since that time, the bond that Hercules shares with his girl Kylie has become a personal photographic project for me.  The images of Kylie and Hercules together have touched many people and helped to change the negative perception some people have of the pit bull breed.  The portrait work has served as a medium to communicate the true nature of pit bulls as protectors and kid-loving, furry balls of love.

I know a lot of pit bulls!!!   Of all of them, Hercules is the most loving, the most patient, and the best ambassador for the breed I’ve ever met.  His work here on earth is just about done.  I’ve captured some memories with the photography we’ve done, but it’s still so difficult for Kylie and Leslie to deal with the loss they will grieve someday very soon.    I have been trying to think of something to do to help them and then today it hit me . . . I know we are all busy people, but I would like to make a simple but heartfelt request . . . send Hercules and/or his girl Kylie (who is now 5) a card or a note before he goes.  Wish Hercules the best, send hugs, send notes of gratitude for allowing us to see what dedication and love is all about. Tell Hercules how brave he is to have fought cancer for 5 years.  Tell Kylie and Leslie how you admire that they have cared for him so well these five years while Hercules had numerous treatments to keep his cancer at bay.

I have tried to remember all of the people that Hercules has touched in his life, but I’m sure there are so many more.  Feel free to share this message with anyone you know, that might know Hercules or be interested in his story.  Tell everyone about him and spread his story far and wide.  He’s a good dog and good pit bull and he’s leaving a big ‘ole pawprint on my heart and the hearts of many.

I have also posted this on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lspetportraits

Please send cards and love to:

Hercules c/o FOCHP
26423 Scott Rd.
Menifee CA 92584

Thank you so very much for caring about the breed we love.

Lisa

P.S.   If you haven’t already read it, Roni Raczkowski wrote a wonderful article about Hercules and it was published on the Best Friends site and went viral a couple of years ago.  http://bestfriends.org/News-And-Features/News/Are-You-There,-God–It-s-Me,-Hercules/

P.S.S.  For those of you who do not know, a portrait from 2012 of Kylie and Hercules are featured as the month of July in the Unexpected Pit Bull calendar http://theunexpectedpitbull.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

 

 

One of the first portraits of Hercules and his girl Kylie (Summer of 2010). This image is up on display in several Orange County location, has traveled all over the internet, and has been seen by thousands of people.

Here are some shots from the session we did last summer. Some of these images are featured in the Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar 2013.

This portrait was shot on April 24th. Hercules still seemed to be feeling OK but he was a bit slower and got tired a bit quicker. He still enjoyed being with his girl and I got more than a few kisses from him.

When I was done shooting I handed Leslie the camera and asked her to take a photo of me and Herc. I am so glad I did. Thanks Leslie for everything.

Pet Portrait Video

April 17, 2013

 

I just realized that I did not post my newest pet portrait video!!!  How remiss of me.  Enjoy the furry cuteness :)

Portraits of Love

June 3, 2012

So lately I’ve been tinkering with a new style for my portraits. I’m not sure what to call it but they somehow seem to tap into the connection we have each other , whether it be people with their families or people with their pets. This connection is something that has always interested me. As far back as I can remember (even before I was interested in photography) I have been in love with love. In love with the way people connect with other hearts and how you can see the connections. Here are some portraits I did recently where the connection is so strong you can feel it. This is Minnie and her person. They’ve been together for a long time and soon Minnie will be leaving this world because she has cancer. (you can see there is some fur missing from her right leg) Hopefully she will be able to stick around a little longer because I know her mom will miss her so. dempsey-106
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Here is what happens when you come to the studio for portraits. This is pretty typical. Doggies have fun, people have fun and of course we get some really nice images . . .

When I was about 23 I gathered my brothers and went to a pro photographer to get a portrait done of the three of us. I can’t tell you how much she loved it. She cried (the ultimate test of a good “mom” present). Now I’m a bit older (uh-hem, friends and fam, no need to give away how much older) and one of these portraits hangs in my home today. It was a perfect gift for mom but more than that it is now a gift for the whole family. I treasure it. I only regret that I didn’t do it more often. So this might seem like a no-brainer “gift idea” but we all need reminding. Whether mom’s kids (or your kids :) are tiny little babies or pretty much all grown up, she loves photos of them. So whether you book a session with me for Mother’s Day or any day, do it. You will always be glad you did. And Moms reading this, we do offer gift cards and we are used to dealing with husbands/dads who are clueless as to what to get you for Mother’s Day. Just send them our way and we will handle the rest.

Here are some images of “kid” portraits for mom . . . forever.

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OK, so we know what you’re thinking. Mother’s Day!! That’s in May. That is so far away. Well, not really. It’s March 1st and in about two months you’ll be pulling your hair out trying to think of the perfect and meaningful gift for your mom (or the mother of your children or furry children). Can we make a little suggestion? Make it easy on yourself and call us now to schedule an appointment. We will do portraits of whoever “Mom” loves and then you’ll have the most amazing and thoughtful gift to wrap and present to her ON Mother’s Day. Not only can we help you select beautiful custom prints but we also have a very nice selection of custom photo products like photo jewelry, bags, canvas art. Stuff that is sure to bring a tear to Mom’s eye. So for the next few weeks we will post a photo and an idea of what would make a great gift for Mother’s Day.

Without further ado . . . Mother’s Day Gift Idea #1
A tote bag for all her stuff with your photo on it!!! Or her pooches photo on it! Bags take about 3 weeks so that is why you will want to book your session soon to get your mom’s session done and then order the custom photo bag. sophia8bday-482

Love Times Three

February 22, 2012

Here is a slide show with images captured at a recent photo session. Yes, this is the absolute cuteness that you get when you book a private studio session at Lisa Scarsi Photography studio (adorable pups not included, you must bring your own :) What would that be BYOAP hee, hee!

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.
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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.
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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 FOCHP.org. 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.
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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 info@lisascarsi.com.
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So what have I learned . . . sometimes it is good to start at the beginning and just follow the yellow brick road.

Little Cherub

August 26, 2011

Here is a sweet little angel I photographed while I was visiting family in upstate New York. We had great light outside so we took this little cutie out in the grass and used all natural light. She was the happiest little girl during the whole session and she had us all completely wrapped around her fingers (when she wasn’t chewing on them) :) Thanks for spending time with me & my camera little Corina. You are absolutely beautiful!

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I often say dogs lead me to the nicest people and so often this is true. Hercules is one of those dogs. Herc has a very interesting story to tell. I’m not a great storyteller, but I will try. In June of last year I got a call from his mom Leslie. She called me to set up a portrait session for Hercules, her 5 year old pit bull and his best buddy Kylie, her 2 year old daughter. Herc had cancer and probably didn’t have long to live. Leslie wanted photos of the two of them together so that Kylie would have some way of remembering their special bond. I was so saddened to hear about Herc’s condition and sadder to think that he would soon leave a little girl heartbroken. Herc had already lost a leg to cancer so we scheduled the session right away. We did the session and the images got some media attention. My favorite is an article that was published on the Best Friends site, written by Roni Raczkowski. You can read all about how Herc came to his home with Leslie and Kylie. It is an interesting tale about the power of love.

Our meeting spawned a little arrangement whereby I photograph pets for FOCHP pro bono and the images help the pets to get adopted quicker. The FOCHP folks are wonderful and I love being able to help in some small “photographical” way. You could say Hercules led me to FOCHP and led me to do more work for rescues. Well, to the surprise and extreme delight of us all, Hercules is still with us!!! He is doing very well and the cancer is in remission. At least for now, he gets to enjoy his family and the wonderful life that Leslie has given him. I get to see Herc sometimes at adoption events and/or photo sessions for FOCHP fosters and I have vowed to photograph him and Kylie every year that he is with us. It’s the least I can do for a dog, a breed, and a family who has inspired me so.

From the session one year ago
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Hercules and Kylie Today
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