My Mutt Photographers

Meet the photographers behind the My Mutt posters.

We are very proud to introduce our team of fourteen professional pet photographers, who together are able to cover My Mutt assignments in the areas surrounding all Pet Food Express locations.  Ranging widely in backgrounds, this talented group is composed of fourteen distinctive and unique styles and aesthetic visions.  What has brought them together – besides a shared commitment to quality and professionalism – is a passion for the goals of the My Mutt program, and a love for animals. You may notice that the majority have worked extensively with rescues and shelters, and are dedicated pet owners themselves.

Quite simply, they are all animal people, and we are absolutely delighted that they have joined the My Mutt Photography Team.

 

Brandi Burnsed (Greater Sacramento) Diane Davis (Sonoma & Marin County)
Ellen Shershow Peña (East Bay) GNS Photography (Gil & Sunee M. Leano, East Bay)
Josh Norem (San Francisco, Peninsula) Kira Stackhouse (East Bay)
Lori Fusaro (Los Angeles) Mark Rogers (San Francisco, Peninsula, North Bay)
Michael Huenergardt (Contra Costa County) Pam Harvey-Merrill (Contra Costa County, Napa)
Rachel Shuler (Marin County) Scott Broecker (Carmel)
Sonia Gates (South Bay) Yamin Bilal (East Bay)

 


Brandi Burnsed (Greater Sacramento)

Great Shots Photography by Brandi

I have always had a tremendous love for photography. When I was younger I loved to look at old family photos; it was like looking at my very own history book. I made sure as I was growing up that I was taking lots and lots of pictures to add to that history book.  So when my husband and I started a family we both wanted photos of our kids with our family dog. At that time we didn’t have a “professional” camera so we went to the mall to have a portrait taken. As we were finishing up, something caught my dog’s eye and she bolted out the store. She ran right for the automatic doors that lead to the parking lot.

It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life, but she had her doggie guardian angels with her that day. She made it through the parking lot and straight to our truck without incident. However, from that moment on I swore I would never put our family – two or four-legged - in the position of being in an unsafe setting for a photo session. That’s how I fell into being an animal photographer.

When I finally started out with my first “big” camera, I just fell in love! I live in the most amazing farming community in Pleasant Grove, just outside of Roseville, and with both of my kids being very active in 4-H and FFA I have had a lot of opportunities to not only capture their moments but also those of the animals. My passion for taking pictures grew quickly into editing those photos and manipulating them. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to capture others’ stories and contribute to their history book.

Feel free to contact me at Brandibphotos@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/GreatShotsPhotographyByBrandi.

 



Diane Davis (Sonoma & Marin County)

D Davis Photography

“I feel the weight of my calling as a photographer every day. I understand that the images I capture today will change people’s lives tomorrow. Sometimes it will be because they are having a bad day and seeing the face they love the very most in the world makes it better, by bringing back feelings of connection and meaning. Sometimes it will be because they didn’t feel good in their own skin; they thought that the world saw them as scared and insecure. Their portraits tell a story of someone beautiful and brave. And sometimes it will just be a smile because that face - it is just a great face.

I also feel the weight of my chosen career in animal rescue. Knowing that the little souls count on you to keep them from being a statistic in a shelter, while knowing you can’t save them all is heartbreaking. Saving some is healing, and making them a cherished member of a family is a blessing. Being able to use my camera to tell their story to help them find homes gives it all meaning.”

Diane lives with her husband of over thirty years, with whom she has three successful adult children, and together they host a “house load” of puppies and kitties. She has been a practicing photographer for over 25 years, and has been intensely involved in animal rescue for three years. She is most proud to be a part of LCAS, an all-volunteer group that has homed over 2,500 animals in 11 years.

For more information visit dianedavisphotography.com.

 


Ellen Shershow Peña (East Bay)

I am inspired by the Dog.

The dog has adapted to the human world like no other animal. When primitive man sat around the proverbial campfire, a myriad of beasts lived, breathed, and ate nearby, yet of all of these only the dog emerged as our domesticated

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer - J'adore Le Chien Pet Photography

 companion.  We humans have been creating images of dogs nearly as long as we have been creating images of humans. As far back as 900 B.C., ancient Egyptians paid tribute to their pets by mummifying and painting them along with their human owners. In the 1600’s, artists such as Diego Velazquez and Anthony Van Dyck painted pastoral scenes showcasing regal hunting dogs alongside their owners.

Us dog lovers know our dogs are so much more than companions.

The dog is slobbery and kooky and soulful and precious. Next to Steve Martin and Jennifer Coolidge, they are the funniest creatures in the world. We are enthralled by them: the gentle gaze, the unconditional love, the stories of dog as hero. When I was a teenager, our Springer spaniel was my coolest and nicest friend. When I failed algebra, she licked my face. When I was lonely, she curled up in bed with me until I wasn’t lonely anymore.
You might think I photograph dogs, but I don’t. Not really.
Here is what I do: I work with dogs and their humans. Small dogs, big dogs, diva dogs, shy dogs, funny dogs, happy dogs, unusual dogs. The dogs and the humans and I get together, and together we make pictures.

I invite you to see some of our creations at www.jadorelechien.com. Lets create some art! ellen@jadorelechien.com or 415.690.0278

 


GNS Photography (Gil & Sunee M. Leano, East Bay)

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer - GNS PhotographyOur earliest childhood memories are full of the funny and affectionate antics of the dogs and cats (and so much more) that were a constant in our households. We were "those" people - the ones that our friends and family reached out to for advice. They always knew that if an animal needed a little extra help, whether it was medical care to guide them down the road to recovery or just a little extra TLC to find trust in humans again, we were the first ones to call. The bonds that we created with these precious animals enriched our lives and gave us the desire to combine our two biggest passions - the love of animals and photography.

What could be more fun than photographing animals?  At GNS Photography, we love capturing animals in their natural, playful form.  If you wait long enough, animals will always provide the perfect picture. We have been partnering with Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation for more than 6 years. It has been such a privilege to be able to photograph so many of their signature events and photograph so many dogs and cats that have been given another chance to find a home of their own. We are also foster parents for ARF, so we get to care for and nurture puppies and dogs and help send them on their way to their wonderful new lives. We reside in the East Bay with our 3 dogs (1 of which we fostered from ARF) and 2 cats.

Many thanks to Pet Food Express - we love being a part of the My Mutt Program. It is an honor and there is nothing like meeting new people and the dogs or cats they either rescued or brought into their lives.

To see examples of our work, please follow us on Facebook or visit us at www.gnsfotos.com.  We can be contacted by email at info@gnsfotos.com.

 


Jack Von Voast (Alameda County)Jack Van Voast

I originally grew up on Maui, but moved to the Bay Area way back in the early sixties. Back when I was just a boy my grandmother gave me a camera…and the fascination has never waned; I have been professionally training dogs for almost 40 years and photographing them for even longer. Mark Twain once said “make your vocation your vacation" and, even after all these years, I still look forward to going to “work.”

Nothing is more rewarding than getting a doggie to solve a problem as they are learning something new, or having them display their true selves to the camera. My “My Mutt” experience has been a wonderful mix of meeting great people and photographing their lovable pets.

My involvement with animals is also multi-faceted, because I work not just as a trainer and a photographer, but also as a foster – I have been fostering dogs for nearly as long as I’ve been training them.  Animal rescue is very important to me; almost all of the dogs in the “My Mutt” photos that I’ve done have been rescues, and I have had the real pleasure of being personally involved with their rescue experiences. Click here to view my gallery of photos

If you would like to have  a special photo of your special friend/friends, please call (510) 414-7751. Have doggie van, will travel.
 

 


Josh Norem (San Francisco, Peninsula)

The Furrtographer Josh NoremI've been involved in pet rescue for over a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area - as a foster parent, adoption coordinator, cat socializer, dog walker… and also as a photographer. I have two blind cats of my own and have always had a fondness for "special" animals as well as animals in need. In 2014 I was named “Best Dog Photographer” by the readers of Bay Woof magazine, and was also named “Best Pet Photographer” for 2013 and 2014 by the voters in the Bay Area A-List. Plus, kittens and puppies seem to like me.

I originally started photographing animals because I've always been an animal lover, and when it comes to photography the motto is to "shoot what you love." So I started shooting my own cats, and then eventually rescue cats and dogs because it gave me a chance to help animals while simultaneously meeting a lot of cool pet lovers. I still volunteer my time for many Bay Area rescue organizations, including Wonder Cat Rescue, Toni's Kitty Rescue, Saving Grace Rescue, and I'm part of the photography team at Animal Care & Control in San Francisco in addition to my work for Pet Food Express. I love taking My Mutt portraits because I get to meet a lot of awesome people and their pets, and it gives me a chance to give back to the Bay Area pet community that I love so much. It's always a challenge to try to capture the animal's spirit and personality in every shoot, but it's a challenge that makes every shoot exciting for me, the owners, and the always adorable animal that ends up in front of my lens.

If you'd like to check out my work head on over to TheFurrtographer.com, oro you can see all of my past My Mutt galleries right here. You can also follow me on Facebook or send me an email at josh@thefurrtographer.com.

 


Kira Stackhouse (East Bay)

Neuna Photography Kira StackhouseNearly a decade ago, I moved to California with the hope of doing something different. As a native of Pennsylvania and a post-college resident of NYC, San Francisco paved a new creative path for me. I started Nuena Photography in 2007 and have been living the dream ever since.

Though I’d been photographing my pets throughout my life (including but not limited to a frog, hermit crabs, cats, hamsters, birds, and a turtle), it was not until 2009, when I got my first dog - a Boston Terrier named Harley - that my life changed forever. Having Harley inspired me to start Project DOG, a social media campaign-turned-coffee table book project, focused on promoting responsible dog ownership. I was able to find and photograph more than 300 dogs representing 170 dog breeds (all from the SF Bay Area), fundraise $24k via Kickstarter, and publish a 352-page book within six months of the project’s inception. (Read more about Project DOG here.)

Since then my work has appeared in many publications including BARK, Life+Dog, Modern DOG, The World's Ugliest Dog Contest, Cute Overload, Golden Gate Fields, and Barron's series of dog breed bibles. In addition to Pet Food Express, other regular clients include Molly Mutt, 7x7 and Restoration Hardware. And I'm thrilled to have been named the Bay Area A-List’s Best Pet Photographer for 2011 and 2012.

You can often find me shooting pet-related events in the Bay Area, and photographing adoptable dogs for local dog rescue organizations. I love helping out as much as I can and the San Francisco Bay Area is an amazing place to be a “dog person!”

You can find out more about me and view my work at www.nuena.com and kirastackhouse.com, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I love my pets, and I’m absolutely in love with creating fun, memorable images that people will love and cherish forever!

 


Lori Fusaro (Los Angeles)

Lori Fusaro has worked as a photographer since 1996. Her boutique studio, Fusaro Photography, is based in Los Angeles, CA, where she is well known for her lifestyle portraiture of pets. She was honored as the top portrait photographer in the L.A. area for five consecutive years and her work has been featured on NBC Nightly News (in a  segment which won a Genesis Award), as well as on The Today Show Pets and in the book So You Want To Be A Pet Photographer.  Lori is also the staff photographer for Best Friends Animal Society.

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer Lori Fusaro

Many of her photographs have received critical acclaim, and have graced the pages and covers of magazines and calendars, in addition to being showcased in art shows.  She has worked successfully with a number of animal organizations:• BAD RAPIdaho Humane SocietyBorn Again Pit Bull Rescue • Wings Of RescueAngel City Pit BullsK9 ConnectionGuide Dogs For The BlindPin Ups For PupsHeARTs  SpeakThe Unexpected Pit Bull


Best Pet Photographer LA HOTLIST 2013
FUSARO photography - www.FusaroPhotography.com
Direct Tel: (310) 422-4490
Email: info@FusaroPhotography.com

 


 Mark Rogers (San Francisco, Peninsula, North Bay)

 Mark Rogers Photography

I've been photographing animals since I could hold a camera. In fact, the very first picture I ever printed was a shot I took when I was 11 of my black cat sitting in a patch of hot pink azalea bushes. What began as a lifelong hobby turned into a full-time career as a professional pet photographer 5 years ago when I decided I much preferred spending my work day playing on the ground with cats, dogs and bunnies than sitting in an office in front of a computer. Since then I've worked with numerous private and commercial clients, appeared in many magazines and books and have been named Best Bay Area Pet Photographer every year in SFGate since 2008.

My style is very contemporary and candid with a focus on capturing animals’ individuality and uniqueness, with a few dashes of humor and action thrown in for good measure. I prefer working on location in settings such as beaches, parks and homes, where pets feel comfortable and can act like themselves.

Working with pets on a daily basis also allows me to indulge my other passion: helping animal welfare and rescue groups. In addition to photographing My Mutt posters for Pet Food Express, which supports such groups all over Northern California, I also serve on the board of Give A Dog A Bone and the advisory board of VETSOS .

If you'd like to see more of my work or are interested in having your pet photographed please stop by Mark Rogers Photography or give me a call at (415) 378-8602.

 


 Michael Huenergardt (Contra Costa County)

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer - Michael Huenergardt

For well over 30 years I’ve enjoyed meeting and photographing a variety of people and animals.  In that time I’ve navigated two completely different careers, sailed around the world, worked with rescue organizations and trained my own dogs.  All of these opportunities have offered me a lifetime full of amazing sights and subjects.  Sometimes I was lucky enough to have my camera and catch them on film.  When I did I discovered a couple of things.  One is that it’s not the amount of good stuff

 you put in the picture, it’s more about eliminating the bad.  The other thing I found is that the experience at the time the photograph is taken can be just as important as the image.  Each time you view it you visit a memory not only of what you see but of the time surrounding it. For me there is no greater reward than seeing someone view my work and witness that spark of emotion or hearing about a memory that has been rekindled.

With this in mind I try to make every photo session as relaxing and enjoyable as possible for both the owners and the pets.  Each session has its own challenges, whether it’s in a park with numerous distractions or at someone’s home photographing a pet hiding behind furniture or crawling under a bed.  Working to overcome these challenges and capturing the animal’s personality in the photo is part of the fun. It takes a little time, understanding, and sometimes a lot of patience.  In the end we come away with an image that sparks a memory of our brief time together.

 


Pam Harvey-Merrill (Contra Costa County, Napa)

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer Pam Harvey-Merrill

Photography has always been my passion. From the time I was a youngster, I always had a camera in my pocket.

For over 35 years, I was fortunate enough to work on the waterfront for an ocean carrier (unfortunately - it was in an office). During that time, I was given free rein to take photos anytime, anywhere, as long as I was on my lunch hour or coffee break. With permission from the captain of the vessels, I was even permitted to go aboard whenever they were in port. One time, I talked my way onto one of the tug boats that was assigned to assist a vessel preparing to depart. The other tug was backing up, "posed" under the humongous bow of the vessel, the sun was setting and the sky line of San Francisco was in the back ground. What a shot!!!

New security measures following 9/11 put an end to my shipyard photography, and a short time later, I "graduated" (some people would say "retired") from my job with the ocean carrier. As I was now looking for a new focus for my lens, when someone mentioned to me that Pet Food Express just happened to be looking for another photographer, I jumped at the opportunity. It has been about 5+ years now of getting to do what I love to do and I could not be happier.

And I've yet to meet a dog or cat that has complained that one of my photos has made them look fat.

 


Rachel Shuler (Marin County)

Mountain Tree Studios - Rachel ShulerAnimals have always been one of my biggest soft-spots. I'm one of those people who should never visit a shelter un-chaperoned, or I'd leave with a whole car-full of cats and dogs!

Photography became a passion much later, but these two loves truly began to come together after adopting and rehabilitating a rescue kitty. Her case highlighted for me the plight of the many other unwanted animals and, since the aforementioned car-full of critters was somewhat impractical, I wanted to find some other way to help.

After discovering an article about how appealing-looking photographs tended to drastically increase adoption rates, a little spark went off for me — this, at least, I could do! At a time when I was really searching for my niche, photographing shelter pets helped me find my direction, and now a large aspect of my work is photographing animals.

I love studying and learning about animal behavior; how to interact with them and what makes them tick. In my photography, I focus on their personality and expressions and just capturing them being themselves — after all, it's what delights us about them!

I still do volunteer photography with local rescue charities, such as Jake's Place Cat Rescue, and am in awe of their dedication to save lives. I am thrilled to be working with Pet Food Express' My Mutt program — they do such a great job in the community and their encouragement to adopt and donate to animal welfare is really outstanding. 

I would encourage anyone to get involved in rescue, and to adopt or foster an animal — you never know, it could shape your career like it did mine!

To see more of Mountain Tree Studios' work, please feel free to visit www.mountaintreestudios.com and 'like' Mountain Tree Studios on Facebook!

 


Scott Broecker (Carmel)

Scott Broecker is a lifelong dog lover who combines his artistic style with a fine technical skill to capture the essence of the dogs he photographs. Originally from Closter, NJ, he moved to San Francisco, Oakland, and then Alameda before finally settling in Pacific Grove with his wife Carie twenty years ago.Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer By The Sea Pet Photos

Together they were motivated by their beloved shepherd mix, Sunshine, to found Coastal Canine magazine, now in its fifth year of publication. In honor of the sixteen years they spent traveling, hiking, dining and going to the beach with Sunshine, they aim to inspire others with articles about people helping dogs and dogs helping people, as well as a wide range of other dog-related topics.

With Carie also cofounding two of the local rescue groups, they have personally done lots of fostering, and all five of their dogs – Marshall, Lucy Brown, Savanna, Buster, and Buddy - plus cat Betty Boop are rescues. Between the fostering, the magazine, the My Mutts, and the rescue work, Scott’s life has totally gone to the dogs - and of course that’s a good thing.

Scott has been taking photos for the Carmel Pet Food Express ever since its June 2009 opening, which translates to over 100 My Mutt photo shoots, and he swears every shoot has been fun. His favorite place to shoot is usually along the coast with the waves breaking in the background and the warm late afternoon lighting helping to bring out both the colors in the dog and the landscape.

Scott's work can be viewed at www.scottbroecker.com, www.bytheseapetphotos.com, and www.coastalcaninemag.com. He can be reached at 831-277-9539.

 


Sonia Gates (South Bay)

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer Sonia Gates Photography

My path to pet photography began with a desire to chronicle the lives of my two Labrador companions, Henry and Annie. I wanted to capture and document their uniqueness, not just with glamour shots but with shots of them being their sandy, slobbery, fun-loving selves. I wanted to own a collection of beautiful images that would make me smile long after they had crossed the rainbow bridge. Some years later, pet photography seemed a natural evolution and a perfect fit. Today, I am in the business of doing what I love for others who share my desire.

I also have a passion for rescue photography. I am a volunteer at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter where I started as a dog walker and now work on a weekly basis, assisted by an incredible team of volunteers, taking photos for the shelter’s web and social media sites. I also volunteer my services to other animal welfare non-profits in the Santa Cruz area. In rescue photography, I especially love photographing animals deemed more difficult to adopt out – seniors, those with health issues or breeds considered less popular among potential adopters. My goal is to capture images that will catch the eyes and win the hearts of potential adopters. It is challenging but extremely rewarding.
I feel privileged to now be a South Bay photographer for the Pet Food Express My Mutt program. Their contribution to animal rescues is impressive and it is an honor to be a part of that effort. It is another perfect fit and I look forward to meeting more wonderful people and their pets through the My Mutt program.
Please visit my website and meet some of the pups I’ve photographed (including my own!): www.soniagates.com

 


Yamin Bilal (East Bay)

Pet Food Express My Mutt Photographer Yamin Bilal with Happy Paws Pet Photography

I have always loved animals and, in some form or another, I've always been into photography. It was only natural that I'd put the two interests together. Three years ago, I decided to do exactly that.

I began my photographic career as a nature and wildlife photographer, and have spent many days studying the habits of wild animals at Mt. Diablo State Park; Coyote Hills Regional Park; and even Vancouver, B.C.'s Stanley Park. Through this I have developed patience and a unique eye for integrating the natural environment into your pet's photographs.

My goal is to present you with photographs of your pet that you would be proud to look at again and again, to share with friends and family, to hang on your wall. I strive to capture the moments that define the essence of what makes our pets special to us.

Yamin's work can be viewed at www.happypawsphoto.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mutt Program
My Mutt Program

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