meet emmet.

I’ve always loved dogs. I grew up with a black lab as my “little brother,” but when I met a couple of Great Danes at an event when I was about 11 years old, I was certain that I would someday bring one home. It wasn’t in the cards during my childhood (mom wasn’t having it, no matter how much I begged!), but I brought a sweet and ornery Dane puppy home to my first solo apartment right before my senior year of college. 

photo by sarenae photography

Emmet was everything I never knew I needed in a first dog. He was smart as a whip, incredibly stubborn, and had such a huge personality. 

He was also fearful. 

He was also reactive. 

He was also difficult in about a thousand different ways.

He loved me endlessly and protected me fiercely. He was my best friend. He taught me so much I now know about being a dog mom. I was so lucky to be loved by this difficult boy.

I had started my journey in the photography world a couple of years before bringing E home, so his life was always well-documented (more in quantity than quality in those early days). I visited his breeder’s home with my intro-level DSLR and dreaded pop-up flash, capturing images that I still adore to this day, even though my knowledge was so limited (read: I had no idea what I was doing, but puppies are cute!). 

Despite taking tons of photos of my own (in varying levels of quality), I made it a point to work with professional photographers on a regular basis (mostly my amazingly talented friend, Sarah!).

Fast forward 9+ amazing and challenging years of being Emmet’s momma. When faced with saying goodbye to my heart dog and my very best friend, I knew with certainty that I had so intentionally captured our lives together. Working with Sarah nearly every year to create beautiful images of my boy, and specifically my relationship with him. Despite not having a “family” of my own yet, Emmet was everything to me throughout our years together, and our dynamic and the bond that we shared is something I will always treasure. 

photo by nicole begley photography

Emmet was by my side through the entirety of my twenties. From college graduation to starting a business. From sharing a twin sized bed with me to sleeping at my feet through thousands of hours at my desk. From our first big trip to the beach to his last birthday vacation nightmare in a tiny house that was not such a great idea, after all. Every camping trip he loved (and terrorized), every anxiety attack he calmed (and all the ones he caused). For every meal he sang through, every innocent stranger outside of our car he growled at, every elf photo he posed for, and every storm we rode out together in the bathroom. Through it all, this boy has been the largest and truest source of my happiness for nearly a decade, and I’m so grateful to have been his person. 

photo by sarenae photography

I will forever be so incredibly grateful for the professional images I had taken over the years of Emmet’s life. From photos during his puppyhood that were taken in our first days together, to his very last professional session when his old legs struggled to hold his weight, and everything in between – Emmet will live on for the rest of my days in beautiful artwork that is still (and will always be) displayed in my home. 

photo by sarenae photography

Our time together was truly life-changing, as he set me up to be a better dog momma to every pup that will cross my path in the future. He taught me so much that I would’ve never otherwise learned about being a pet parent; having a difficult dog does that! 

It’s one of my life’s truest pleasures to capture forever memories for people with their furry companions. There’s simply no love like the love of a dog (cats are a close second ;)), and I want to document as many of those relationships as I possibly can. Bearing witness to these bonds between you and your pup gives me back a little slice of what life was like with my first boy, my Emmet. 

photo by sarenae photography

Just three weeks after saying goodbye to E came Grey Augustus, the sweet and fiery boy I brought home to heal my heart. Named after my first gray boy (but spelled with an E for Emmet, of course!), Grey was quite a challenge in those early days. I have always said that Grey was exactly what the universe owed me: I had a very easy puppy in Emmet, who became a very difficult dog. It was time for the opposite. 

He has since grown into the perfect gentleman, an incredible volunteer therapy dog, and the absolute perfect new best friend for this stage of my life. 

I will document even more of Grey’s life than I did Emmet’s, because looking back I know the importance of this all the more. Now that my first boy is gone from my life, he’s memorialized with every session we did together. Images I didn’t choose to print when he was still here have become my favorites. I know the same will be true for Grey, so I’m sure to go above and beyond when it comes to documenting our lives together. 

photo by sarenae photography

We are so incredibly fortunate to know the love of our dogs. I am more fortunate still, to document your family and be the one who creates those memories you’ll treasure for the rest of your days. Thank you for trusting me to be that person.