Studio Work at Cindy’s Grooming Styles – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

This week I was delighted to be asked by a middle school student if she could job shadow me. The specific day was Friday, my plan was to edit and work on taxes – a realistic view of my workday, but not something I thought would be too exciting for a 13 year old! The weather did not allow for outdoor shooting, but Miss S’s mom happens to own Cindy’s Grooming Styles, which has a large area for doggie daycare (and some beautiful wall art by Four Foot Photography)! We have talked about doing some limited edition sessions in the shop for Cindy’s clientele, so this was a great opportunity to do a dry run. Without much time to put out a model call, I decided to work with my own four foots – unfortunately, my wingnut Bichon was still several weeks from his next grooming appointment, and I really haven’t worked with our rescue pug that much. To that end, Cindy agreed to work Fabio in to get him camera ready, and I thought I would set up my mobile backdrop and bring Gladys along for a realistic study on how it can be to work with an animal who doesn’t have much experience at posing or isn’t particularly trained (Gladys is quite deaf). We had a lovely day – Ms. S is a bright, eager learner, Cindy did a beautiful job on Fabio, and Gladys was a pleasant surprise. Over the past several years I have been looking for the words to explain how the process of having your pet (or family) photographed can be very validating to the strong connection people have with their pets (and each other) – and also it is so FUN! The shared experience brings an emotional element to the images that is reinforced every time you look at those photographs. This was first called to my attention by the fabulous Stephanie Wright, whose rats I photographed my first year in business (Click here to see the images). She told me later that the evening after the photoshoot she just couldn’t put her girls down, seeing them through the camera’s eye she fell completely in love and just sat and cuddled them. This was the best compliment, and after photographing Gladys Friday, I got a taste of my own medicine. We loved her right away, stinkiness and quirks and all, but I am now SO IN LOVE with her adorable little head tilt! Here are my babies!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I genuinely prefer to shoot in more of a lifestyle format and natural light, but this really got my studio juices flowing! Miss S had an opportunity to photograph as well, I will add some of her shots in the next few days (I REALLY have to get my taxes done!).












Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Pet Photographer, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Dog Photos, Cindy’s Grooming Styles, Port Orchard Photographer, Pets and People, Portrait Studio, Bichon, Pug

FFP Tribute to Sneaky the Wonder Cat – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

You love your animals. All of them. Their quirks, their paws, their cold noses, their slobber, their smell, their attitude, the way they walk. Every pet you have ever had (and some of you have had a lot!) lives in your heart, I know that. You always wish you had more time with them, but there’s one who was special. Your heart dog, your soul mate. They might have been gone for years, or it is the rescue you brought home last week, your puppy or your 8 year old cat, but they just get you, there is a connection, a deeper understanding. This post is a tribute to Sneaky, Dr Monica Wlodarchak’s best friend, her love, her confidante, advisor, keeper of secrets. She had to say goodbye to 19 year old Sneaky last week, and while she has other pets and has cared for so many others through Tender Touch Animal Hospital , Poulsbo Animal Clinic, and as an emergency vet, my heart breaks for her. Is it inevitable? Yes. Does that make it any easier? Not at all. I covet your prayers and positive ju-ju for her to get through the next few weeks.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you click on the Tender Touch Animal Hospital link above, you can read Sneaky’s biography, and get a glimpse into his life with Dr Monica, from a tiny, abandoned kitten, to big cat on campus, to vet companion. 19 years of devotion. I first met Sneaky in the summer of 2011, while photographing the staff for their employee portraits – he lived up to his name! Dr Monica does have some beautiful artwork from that session to validate her years of memories, and I hope that is a small comfort. Many people tell me they are afraid they will forget the details of their furry companions, but I can tell you from experience I still remember each of my pets’ smell, their fur, their favorite things, although I last said goodbye in 2006. I saw Sneaky most recently at the Tender Touch Open House in September (the images with the blue sweater!), and watched in amazement as Dr Monica flipped him over and nonchalantly did a blood draw from his jugular mid sentence. He was really just there for her, hanging on to provide the love and companionship she needed. Sneaky was a one of a kind wonder cat, and to say he will be missed, well, it just isn’t enough. Love you little guy, rest well.

Sneaky, Cat Photos, Tender Touch Animal Hospital, Dr Monica Wlodarchak, Four Foot Photography, Tribute Session, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Employee Photos, Mary Eklund, Kingston, Poulsbo, Port Orchard Photographer,

Holman Family Reunion – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

This was one of my all time favorite family sessions, such a fun, vibrant, loving group, about to embark on a family reunion vacation. The session was booked by one of my favorite people,  Claire Kingsbury, and introduced me to her family of origin, EACH OF WHOM, individually, is filled to overflowing with life and love – put them all together in the same backyard, and the hilarity and affection explode in waves of joy. Think I am laying it on thick? Meet them, and you will know this is a great understatement! Three of the children married, two about to embark on their LDS missions, one still at home and two grandchildren. They were so real and connected, it was a dream to photograph them – I felt I could have stood in the middle of the yard and just spun around clicking wildly, and the images would have been amazing (I did put more into it than that, and the results I hope speak for themselves).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 The Holmans had a  “Four Foot Photography Christmas,” so each household has their choice of artwork or photobook memory, we did Christmas cards, accordian books, layflat albums, float wraps, playing cards, prints and canvases.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feedback from the fabulous Mrs. Holman (This message made me so happy!):

“I just wanted to let you know that we got our package with our stuff and oh my goodness, we are over the top thrilled! Thank you so much, especially for the little extras you tucked in there, that was awfully kind of you. I have to say, those accordion books are my absolute favorite, they are so perfect for each of those kids, it is like you grew up with them (she is being overly kind, I am old enough to be their mother). They are going to love them and I can’t wait for the kids to see them. Have a Merry Christmas and we’ll be talking to you again.


This is an excerpt from Connor’s letter home to his sister (with permission), telling how he uses his accordion book in his ministry in Africa. I love this so much, I am changing my name to Megan.

Connor letter


If you are planning a family reunion, I highly recommend planning a reunion photo session, I will be adding it to my session options for sure. Whether you hire a photographer at your destination, or appoint Uncle Bob, not only is it important to document your family, the process is emotive in and of itself (I have talked about this before – I feel strongly that creating the images is as important as having the images, from rats to dogs and their people to weddings to extended families!). The Holmans will always have these images to recollect and validate their relationships and remind them of the fabulous memories they made on the vacation they left for when we wrapped the session.



I have officially applied for weird aunty status, I love these people so much!














Family Reunion Photography, Kitsap County Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kingston, Family Photographer, 2013, Extended Family Photo, Family Portraits, Kingston Photographer, Poulsbo Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Family Love

Confidence given, confidence returned…Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

I attended MeRa Koh and husband Brian Tausend’s Confidence Workshop at the Hotel Murano in 2011, in the midst of the biggest ice storm2014-03-17_0007

 (not my favorite picture, but it had been two very long, emotional days!)

 we’ve had in the PNW in 15 years, and believe wholeheartedly they will achieve whatever they set out to accomplish! MeRa moved seemingly insurmountable airline mountains to get back to Tacoma in time for the workshop, which had women coming from all around the country. She started a fantastically successful wedding photography business, then moved into teaching photography skills to other women (hence the “Confidence” workshops were born!), and was featured on the Nate Berkus show among others. You may have seen MeRa at a photography trade show, on Disney or Nate Berkus, and she is a local Tacoma girl! She and Brian and their children have a dream to create a family travel show (read more about it here) and they have 6 more days to reach their fundraising goal – help out a little or a lot if you can, and watch for their new TV show, and you will see me sporting my headbands this fall (in lieu of a haircut or two, but I’m all about pursuing your dream!)…I still need to work on my confidence in some areas, but not so much in shooting, and I feel this workshop was a huge jumping off point for me. I will forever be grateful for the friendships made, technical skills learned, confidence gained and ideas gathered in this two day period. It was also the beginning of my love of lifestyle photography, which I now emphasize more than strict portrait photography. Here are a few of my favorite images from that Confidence workshop, the ones of my kids are some of my all-time favorites, and are canvases on my own walls:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


MeRa and Brian, thank you for the confidence you have given me, I give you back the same – I know your dreams will come true, and become new, brighter, bigger dreams. Bon voyage!!








MeRa Koh, Confidence Workshop, Kitsap County Photographer, Lifestyle Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kids and Families, Kickstarter Campaign, Nate Berkus, Disney Channel

Candle light

This week’s lighting challenge was not as technically difficult as some, just meant to get us thinking outside the box. Candle light photos of course would be great for WEDDINGS, ENGAGEMENTS, BIRTHDAY PARTIES…since none of those was on my radar for March, I thought I would do a project with my boy, who got a new set of Legos from his Auntie Jessi this week. They are Avengers – Captain America on the motorcycle, Ironman in midair, Loki launching missives from the boat, Redface in the vehicle, and some other ugly dudes (I thought I was doing well to have paid that much attention). We had some fun!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.









Kitsap County Photographer, Lifestyle Family Photographer, Mary Eklund, Four Foot Photography, Kids and Families, Photography Awesomesauce Winter Lighting Challenge, Candle light, Kitsap Wedding Photographer, Pet Photographer, Real Estate Photos, 2014

SKWLL Vandals – Port Orchard Child and Family Photographer

I feel like my son won the coach lottery this year – his basketball team just finished up their season, and it was a great one!

The lighting challenge this week was dragging the shutter – using a slow shutter speed and second curtain sync on the flash to show motion. This is often used at a wedding reception, but since I didn’t have one of those handy, I thought it would be fun to try at a basketball game.











Kitsap County Photographer, Sports Photography, Child and Family Photographer, Port Orchard Photographer, Photography Awesomesauce Winter Lighting Challenge

McNeill’s Brogan Boy – Kitsap County Pet Photographer Four Foot Photography

I never know what will come of an inquiry – sometimes nothing, and sometimes I meet someone I feel like I have known, or want to know, forever. I had a call in October that led to me meeting the fabulous Alicia Harck (I rarely use last names on my blog, but you really need to know that this angel woman is among us). Alicia is co-founder of The Big Dog Rescue Project, and coordinates for Seattle dogs coming in from high kill Texas shelters. She screens applications, picks up, fosters, places and delivers the dogs to their new families. It is an amazing, intensive constant, in addition to caring for her own sweet husband, dogs and horses. Alicia has since done some fostering for Pony Up Equine Rescue (in her spare time?). As much as I would go on and on about this fantastic giver of a woman, this post is not about her, but about sweet Brogan, her 11 year old yellow lab.  Alicia had seen my work at the annual Kitsap Humane Society Animal Krackers Auction, and was calling to set up a pet photography session. 2013 was a hard year for the Harcks, as they lost multiple four footed family members, horses, dogs and the cat. Darling Brogan had been treated at WSU College of Veterinary Medicine for a rare nasal cancer. Brogan fought hard and went into remission, but Alicia was calling me as the cancer was back. She wanted his session to be a surprise for her husband for Christmas, and we planned a lifestyle session featuring this darling boy on his (gorgeous!) home turf, being Brogan, while he was feeling healthy and happy. He certainly lived up to his billing as Chief Heartthrob, although Alicia’s friend Michelle tells me Brogan is HER boyfriend, so I had to take a number. The Harcks are making sure Brogan enjoys every day, and while cancer and treatment have taken their toll, you can clearly see his sweet, beautiful spirit, and the absolute love and devotion he has for his people.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We made some beautiful custom Christmas cards, a gorgeous canvas, wood print, photographic prints and metal prints, in addition to their custom layflat session album. It is my fervent wish that their vibrant, personal artwork makes them happy every single time they look at it. I love these people and everything they stand for, I am truly blessed to meet such amazing people and animals through my business.












Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Four Foot Photography, Mary Eklund, Port Orchard Pet Photographer, Gig Harbor Pet Photographer, Yellow Lab, Pet Photographer, Kitsap County Photographer, Professional Photographers of America