Welcome to Liz Dranow Photography! If you are here, you likely have an interest in pets, photography or both. I live in Park City, Utah, with my husband and two Goldendoodles (who have gotten used to being 'demo dogs' for new backgrounds, techniques and formats - liver treats work miracles). Take a look around, and feel free to comment or ask questions! Blog posts cover a wide spectrum of topics from pet health, activities to do with your pets in Park City, pet photography tips, ways to display your pet art and just about anything else that might strike my fancy.
We all know how quickly puppies grow up - it seems like one day they are these little bundles of fur that fit in the crook of your elbow, and all of sudden you notice they look like real dogs. The puppy teeth are gone (thankfully!) and puppy breath is just a memory. It's so hard to see the changes when you are with your puppy every day. But with photographs, you can travel back to the early puppy days and revisit your little bundle of fur (without being attacked by razor-sharp puppy teeth).
I made a very conscious effort to document my own puppy's growth, and in the next post in this series, I'll show you her monthly photos - it's amazing how much she changes from month to month. But here is just a quick trip in the Way Back Machine:
At 3 months old, Daisy wanted to be like her big sister and chase frisbees. She didn't exactly get the concept of catching frisbees, and the frisbee was about as big as she was, but she wanted to be like her big sister.
Seriously! She was TINY!
And then I jump back to today (yes, we had snow in April - welcome to Utah!) - the changes are amazing. And looking at her now, it's so easy to forget how she was as a wee bitty puppy!
I'm so glad I was able to get photos of Daisy's early puppy days, so I'll never forget them.
If you'd like to be able to revisit your puppy's early days whenever you'd like, contact me to book your session now before your puppy gets any older! Don't wait and lose those puppy days forever!
Be sure to check out my package designed to capture the entire first year with your puppy!
Let's be honest. Most people don't think about getting professional photos with their pets until something drastic happens: a diagnosis of cancer, a sudden hospitalization, or when your vet suggests "palliative care" for a senior or ailing pet. Personally, I don't like thinking about my pets getting older (I was a bit in shock the first time I saw "senior" on my almost-9-year-old Goldendoodle's chart - how could she be a senior when she's bouncing around like a puppy?), but the reality is that our time with our pets is always too short.
Scheduling a photo session with your pet when they are bouncy and happy is optimal, but sometimes you just don't think about it - or life keeps you so busy that it's hard to find an hour or two to have me come to you to photograph you and your pet.
Tank was such a case. His family had always thought about getting family photos with him, but they were busy. Then one day, he threw up a couple of times and his family took him to the vet. The vet took some x-rays and found a large mass in his abdomen. Tank was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic in Salt Lake City, where he underwent surgery. Tank's Mom reached out to me during the surgery, honestly concerned that he wasn't ever going to be coming home to them; Tank was 8 and a half years old, and he was undergoing major surgery.
We set up a time for a photo session at the emergency clinic, but a few hours before we were going to do the session, Tank had to go back in for another surgery. Extremely nervous about his prognosis at this point, we re-scheduled for the next day, and along with his family, I was hoping desperately that Tank would survive his second surgery.
Thankfully, Tank survived his second surgery in 4 days, and we decided to go ahead with the photo session. We knew Tank was going to be a bit groggy from surgery, and there would likely have to be some cropping and Photoshop work to remove IV's and sutures and things, but there was the very real concern that it was now or never.
Tank rallied for his photo shoot, and while we kept it short so as to not wear him out, we were able to find a space in the BluePearl vet clinic to set up a backdrop and make things look a little less like a vet clinic.
Tank's love for "his girl" and his family in general was very clear - he REALLY wanted to be with his family. While it wasn't a perfect situation, we were able to get photographs of Tank with his family, at a time when his future was very uncertain.
I am very happy to say that Tank made a full recovery from his surgeries, the mass was benign, and he is home with his family. In a couple of weeks, we'll get more photos of Tank at his house, where he is comfortable, relaxed, and most importantly, completely recovered! But Tank is a prime example that the only time that is too late for photographs is once you've said goodbye.
If you have a senior pet or a pet who has recently been diagnosed with a chronic or acute health condition, contact me about my Infinity Sessions at 801-712-3200, email me at email@example.com or tell me a little more about your pet and we'll work together to create memorable photographs of your pet. Having lost one of my dogs at a young age to cancer in September 2016, I assure you that a photo session with your pet is an experience you will treasure for the rest of your life.
My older dog, Fiona (known as Fi - pronounced 'Fee' for those of you who are tempted to rhyme it with 'thigh') turns 8 years old today, and yes, we celebrate her birthday. Don't worry, it's not exclusive - we celebrate both dog's birthdays. The girls (my dogs) probably think I'm crazy, but I have fun - and I definitely get more excited in the week leading up to their birthdays than I do for my own. I'm not anti-birthdays; I am just at a point in my life where the idea of fun birthday for me means a quiet day at home with the husband and the girls, maybe a hike, and not having to cook dinner. But the girls? I spend all week getting excited about their birthdays (and I'm sure they both look at me like I have lost my mind...)
My favorite part of the birthday celebration is the trip to "The Magic Cheeseburger Window." Also known as the McDonald's drive-thru. Because really, think about a McDonald's drive-thru from a dog's perspective: you get to go for a ride in the car, and then you make a stop some place that has really amazing smells, and you get to put your snooter into over-drive sniffing all the cool smells. Then, when you are drooling from all the amazing smells, some person hands a plain cheeseburger to your Mom through a window. How cool is that? Awesome smells, and then a cheeseburger is magically passed from a cheeseburger-dispensing window right into your car, and you get to smell it all the way home, and then you get to EAT this cheeseburger that magically appeared from nowhere!
I love watching Fi take in all the smells - she just loves it!
Honestly, from a dog's perspective, that has got to be one of the coolest things ever!
I'm not a big fan of McDonald's (although in moments of weakness their fries can hit the spot) - I'm not a snob, but I just don't eat hamburgers very often, so when I do, I like to get all creative and experiment with gourmet burgers at home. But I get such a kick out of watching my dog (Abby doesn't stick her head out the window to take in the smells, but Fi is ALL OVER IT). You can tell she is having a grand time. And we only go a few times a year - usually for each girl's birthday, my birthday (because the girls should totally be able to celebrate my birthday, too) and my husband's birthday - so it's a real treat for Fi, and I never tire of watching her nose trying to suck in every possible smell.
And besides, I feel much less guilty when I put birthday hats on them, because they know the Magic Cheeseburger Window is in their immediate future!
Hi. My name is Liz, and I'm a history geek. There, I've said it! I feel much better now! (I'm also really wordy; I know "they" say blog posts should be short and just show pictures. Eh, that's not for me. I'm wordy. Always have been, always will be. Besides, if you want to really get to know me, these posts are ME. No artificial writing for search engines, or saying what I think people want me to say. This is me. But if you just want to look at the photos and skip my wordiness, feel free to scroll down - I'm good with that, too!)
I grew up in Saudi Arabia with my parents and my two brothers, and one of my parents' favorite recreational activities was to take us to historical sites around the world.
Which sounds really cool, right? In hindsight, yes, it was totally cool. However, in addition to standing on what is left of the steps of the Roman Senate proclaiming, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears", and walking up to the Acropolis in Athens, I have very distinct memories of tramping through some farmer's field in England, in the rain and fog (of course) to look at some grass-covered mound, with another, bigger grass-covered mound and my Mom standing in her London Fog trench coat, pointing at a paragraph in a guidebook with leather-gloved hands, assuring us that the mounds were a part of Hadrian's Wall, and a related watchtower. (To date myself, this was long before there was a concerted effort to excavate Hadrian's Wall and before the National Trail along Hadrian's Wall existed - although if you want to see what I imagined we were looking at through the rain and the growing darkness, check out Hadrian's Wall Country). As an 8 year-old kid, it was not as interesting as it could have been. But I'd love to go back now!
One of the cooler trips we ever took was in Saudi Arabia, where we traveled along the Hijaz Railroad. If you've ever seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia, the trains they were blowing up were on the Hijaz Railroad, and that all really happened. (And if you haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia, go watch it. Seriously. One of the great epic movies of all time, and had everyone who was everyone in it, including Alec Guinness (aka Obi Wan Kenobi) and Omar Sherif, not to mention Peter O'Toole, of course!) Having seen the movie and then climbing around the trains rusting in the desert, and through the old Turkish forts, it was very easy to imagine the Bedouin attacking the Turks just over the next sand dune. Even at 9 years old, I knew I was stepping back in time! (Yes, this is me, as a young child, climbing around one of the old engines. Seriously, it does not get cooler than this!)
My parents are very cool people, and in hindsight, I am amazed at all the fantastically cool places we visited, even if I didn't fully appreciate everything I saw at the time. Luckily, my parents took a lot of photos, and I can travel back in time to those trips and revisit those locations and the family adventures that accompanies them whenever I look at the photographs (looking at these photos, I can still remember camping in the desert, sand in our food, and the time the SUV we were using got a flat outside of Medina, one of the holiest sites of Islam - and only open to Muslims - and my Dad and a couple of other Arabic-speaking members of our group gaving the flat tire and a bunch of money to a guard to the city and waited for several hours, hoping he'd bring back a new-ish tire. Luckily the guard returned with a new tire, or we'd probably still be there!). That said, my husband will tell you that I'm a bit of a pain in the neck when we are watching the Tour de France, because when they show historical sites, I'm frequently saying "I've been there!", and then regale him with tales of my travels.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I finally took the time to do a walking tour of historical Park City (well, Main Street). I've lived in Park City for almost years, and in Utah for more than 25 years, but I had never really looked at Main Street as any place more than somewhere to avoid during Sundance, and to take friends and family for dinner when they come to visit. Sort of silly for someone who loves history and lives in a mining town that has all sorts of fascinating stories that surround late 19th-century/early 20th-century mining towns.
Totally cool tour, and I have a much greater appreciation and understanding for things that I took for granted. (Who knew Park City had a China Town? It burned down in the fire of 1898, but it explains why there is a 'China Bridge' section of town - I never really thought about it before, but that's one of those cool little pieces of trivia that I just love.) I also found some really cool locations for pet photos. Because honestly, Park City is a pet town, and I can't think of anything better than exploring historical Park City with your pet. (Mine didn't come with me because the tour was through the Park City History Museum and I couldn't take my dogs with me. But I am more than happy to pass on my new-found knowledge to you, and you can bring your dogs along!)
The Centennial, a one-time boarding house for miners (to ostensibly keep them away from the 'evils' of Main Street)
An old miner's cabin. I'm really glad I don't have to shovel those stairs!
The Egyptian Theater. A Park City landmark!
A very cool monument to mechanical engineers!
A building with a mail-order front facade. (Really!)
Yes, Main Street has a lot of high-end shops, restaurants and modern stores, but just underneath the 21st century veneer of Main Street exists the 19th century mining town with brothels and saloons and a Masonic Lodge, as well as over a century of people and the hopes, dreams, loves and goals. History that you can see and feel is fun, exciting, living history!
If you'd like a tour of Park City, pets included, and photos to memorialize the adventure so you can relive it in years to come, contact me at 801-712-3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to share Park City with you!
All my kids have paws, so Mother's Day is pretty much like any other day for me (other than Skyping with my family who all gather at my parent's house - everyone except me lives fairly close together - which is great fun since my brothers have grown kids and getting most everyone together is a big task!). I shared my Sunday morning breakfast with my kids (fried eggs - they get the yolks, I get the whites), we went on a few walkies in the rain, spent some time chasing frisbees, and some time letting the girls bark at the computer screen while I was Skyping with the family. (I'm sure my parents totally appreciated that! Heehee!) A perfect Mother's Day, in my mind!
Yesterday, I got to spend some time with a friend of mine whose only child also has paws, and I was able to get some "mother and son" photos for her. These two have such an incredible bond, and it is always inspiring to see these two together - they are the personification (dogification?) of unconditional love. It was an impromptu shoot, and her boy was being silly - which was great, because posed photos all the time don't necessarily capture reality!
After being silly, Buddy settled down a bit, and let me get some more "serious" photos of him. I really like that parts of Michelle are in the background, because it illustrates their unbreakable bond even when the focus of the photograph is on Buddy.
Yes, Mother's Day is about me being able to spend time with my mother and the rest of the family (even if it is through the magic of Skype), but it is also about sharing the joy of the love between a mother and her son.
If you'd like photos of your own furry (or feathery, or hairless) kids, contact me at 801-712-3200 or email@example.com or use the built-in contact form and tell me what you love best about your kids!