Meeting Marley was so special. She is s 15 yr almost 16yr old American Staffordshire Terrier. Mom was seeking both studio and beach portraits of Ms. Marley so we decided to do a studio session and also head down to Coronado Beach for sunset. Let me tell you, Coronado Beach for sunset portraits rarely disappoints! A little (ok a lot) sad, but Marley is sick. We designed the session with Marley's comfort in mind. When the flooring on the cream background was too slippery for her little legs, we switched to a black vinyl with more grip. Before we made the switch Marley struck this pose with mom and it was an absolute favorite of mine! She is SO happy with her mama!
When we arrived at Coronado Dog Beach we considered putting her in a wagon, but Marley was happy to walk. Marley and mom both took a little dip in the ocean (sorry about that mom) and we were able to capture some amazing shots. When we were leaving Mom told me this was probably Marley's last visit to the beach. I hope she is wrong, but in case she wasn't I'm so glad that Marley had an amazing last visit to the beach. Much love to Marley and her mom!
UPDATE: Grab your tissues.
Marley's mom reached out to me on 2/24 about a possible portrait session. I don't know what made me do it, but during our initial chat I went ahead and wrote Marley down on my calendar for 3/8.
Marley's mom checked with a couple other photographers and got back to me on 3/3 and told me that 3/8 was the only day she had available. I thought PERFECT because my weird self has already scheduled you for that day anyway (but she didn't know that.)
During the entire session I was laser focused because I wanted Marley's mom to have the most beautiful portraits of her baby. During the Portrait Reveal Session after the photoshoot Marley's mom chose some beautiful art of MarMar and also ordered the heirloom keepsake book of her most favorite images.
On 3/20 I opened Instagram and saw the news I didn't want to see. Just 12 days after Marley's portrait session she went to the rainbow bridge. Now, these photos and memories are all Marley's mom has left.
The majority of the art order had already arrived at the studio, so I took it over to her house on Sunday. Marley's mom told me sweet stories of Marley and we laughed and we cried together. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I don't want memories and moments to pass you by. I want you to have beautiful and treasured artwork of your pets and people to have not just today, but for the rest of your life.
Whether you have a young pupper or a faithful companion who has been by your side for over a decade, it's always a great time to book a session and create these lasting memories. If you're curious about a session reach out to me! I'd love to hear from you! 901-848-0668 https://www.instagram.com/gretchenoterophotography/www.GretchenOtero.com
Although I'm bringing them up last, this certainly doesn't mean the Photographic Print should be counted out as an amazing finish for your portrait. Within the category of Photographic Print there are a variety of sub-finishes that was can choose from to enhance the beauty of your wall portrait. Metallic, Luster, Glossy, Matte and Watercolor are all amazing options depending on the print you are displaying. All of my Photographic Prints come mounted for ease of handling and durability. I offer these as both a traditional frameable art print and also as a standout print that hangs without a frame 3/4" off your wall.
The photographic art print is what photographers have been offering to clients for years. It it time tested and beautiful. In a frame you can display it with or without glass over the print. I offer framing from my lab, or you're welcome take your print to the shop of your choice. I also know the best spot in San Diego to score amazing vintage frames, so if that's your jam (it's also mine, by the way) let me know and I'll give you all the details on my secret spots!
Seeing is believing, so if you'd like to swing by the studio to see a traditional photographic print, let me know!
Canvas Gallery Wraps are a classic favorite of mine. Coming from a strong background in studio work and creating classic images, canvas gallery wraps give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. I love them for a polished classic appeal. If you are decorating a formal living room or not wanting an edgy modern look, the canvas gallery wrap will perfectly suit that need. We have edge options, but the most popular is having your image wrap all the way around our 1.5" stretcher bars.
Similar to the metal and acrylic prints, if you'd like a frame, the float frame provides an updated look to a classic finish!
If you prefer to keep it classic we can always opt for a traditional frame! There are so many options with the canvas gallery wrap. Keep in mind, though, this is not a cleanable print and touching should be kept to a minimum. That's the way photographic prints have been for years, so it's rarely an issue, but I like to remind people since I do offer so many touchable and cleanable finishes!
Seeing is believing, so if you'd like to swing by the studio see a canvas gallery wrap, let me know!
Closely rivaling the metal prints for the "cool factor" is the acrylic print. Acrylic prints are about 1/8" thick and come ready to hang and float about 3/4 inch away from your wall. You can clean the surface of an acrylic print with any non-ammonia based cleaner so this is another great option for' high traffic" areas where little hands might be tempted to touch. This is NOT a waterproof option so I don't recommend this hanging in a steamy bathroom or humid location. The acrylic print has a high score for durability which I love. During your Portrait Reveal Session we'll discuss where you'd like to hang your images and I'll help guide you to the best finish for that location and particular image! You don't need to know the ins and outs of each finish. That's what you have me for! =)
The acrylic has a museum display quality to it and handles itself well in both dark and bright rooms. Since the acrylic layer is on top of the print, you actually look through the acrylic at you image and it adds so much depth and dimension to the experience. Acrylic prints are ready to be hung with no frame but if you prefer, the same style float frame that I can add to your metal image could also be added to your acrylic image!
Seeing is believing, so if you'd like to swing by the studio to touch and feel an acrylic print, let me know! We can even spray it down with water and wipe it down so you can see it's astonishing durability!
Durable. Washable. Magical
If I had to pick three words to sum up a metal prints, those are the three I would choose. Maybe you have little fingers in your house that like to touch everything. Maybe you want to hang your image in your kitchen but are worried about gunk build up from cooking. Metal is the solution. It's completely waterproof and cleanable with any non-ammonia based cleaner. You could even hang it in your shower if you wanted! It's amazing. They are also scratch resistant which adds another level of durability on top of everything else and they are resistant to sun fading. It's an all in one package that checks so many boxes!
The magical part comes from the iridescence of the metal which shines through your image. It elevates outdoor portraits and sunsets to a level never seen before in a regular photographic print. Colors pop and the image itself seems to glow.
Metal prints are only a few millimeter thick and come with a stand out backing which allows them to float away from the wall. They are delivered to you (by me) ready to be hung directly on your wall. You don't need a frame! If you'd like to explore framing options, I recommend a float frame, pictured below, to finish off the look of your image! They are not overly heavy and are easy to hang.
Seeing is believing, so if you'd like to swing by the studio to touch and feel a metal print, let me know! We can even spray it down with water and wipe it down so you can see it's astonishing durability!
Coronado Dog Beach is nothing shy of magical! Recently I headed out to scout the location and see what they had to offer. It's a short 12 minute drive from downtown San Diego and totally worth it if you're looking for the best beach dog portraits in San Diego.
There is ample space for everyone to spread out and plenty of room for dogs to run! I was able to capture some amazing action shots, rainbow sunset portraits and lots of close ups and cuddles. By far this was one of my most favorite scouting adventures ever!
Gone are the days of only displaying your images on photographic paper. Advances in technology and printing processes allow photographers and clients to choose from a range of mediums to display their finished arts. Over the next week or so, I'll be diving deeper into classic finishes and also newer finishes that will elevate your artwork and show it at its best!
Don't feel overwhelmed! I have your back and I'm here to help! There are a lot of options available, but during your Portrait Reveal Session I'm going to help you deicide what will work best for your home and suit your images the best.
I want to take a minute and bare my soul for you guys and let you know a little more about me. I feel like the contrived answer that a lot of photogs give to the question of “Why are you a photographer” is “It’s my passion” or “I love doing it.”
Ok, that’s great and I’m all for people following their passion and I think everyone should, but how does that serve you, the client?
I am a photographer because I want to help you decorate your home with the people and pets you love the most. Most photographers focus on making you smile the day you have your portraits made. My focus is on making you smile every day for the next 20 years when walk in your house and see that wall art featuring your family hanging over your sofa.
I am the perfect solution for anyone who loves their family and pets and have always dreamed of having that quintessential family portrait, but aren’t sure how to make it happen. I will make this happen for you! All you have to do is say the word.
Portraits are one of the rare things in life that we get to invest in with our hearts. In a world of practical decisions, making a decision with your heart is so comforting and I invite you to take this journey with me. After your portrait session I’m going to show you exactly how your portraits will look on your own walls. We’ll explore different portrait finishes and sizes and you’ll know exactly how your finished portraits will look when I deliver them to your home. I’m going to listen to what you want and also provide advice based on what I’ve seen over the past 15 years. I am going to help you through the entire process to ensure the best possible outcomes.
I invite you to reach out to me if you’re ready! We will discuss what type of session is right for you. Maybe it’s a location session in one of San Diego’s beautiful parks, an adventure session in a San Diego canyon or a quiet session in my studio. I’ll tailor a custom session to exceed your portrait goals and create custom artwork for you to enjoy for decades to come. Gretchen@GretchenOtero.com 901-848-0668
This couple is leaving San Diego in the spring and they are both SD natives (a rarity). All I could imagine was photographing them together with a quintessential San Diego sunset so they could have a magnificent memory and perhaps a grand metal print made and take a piece of San Diego off to Idaho with them. We arrived at Mission Bay Park and y'all, the sunset was flat - pitifully flat. We captured what we could and the images are nice, but it wasn't the amazing San Diego sunset I had in my mind.
As a photographer, it's my job to provide people with not only what they know they want, but also anticipate what will meaningful to them later. So fast-forward to me laying in bed awake thinking about how I can get them this quintessential photo I wanted them to have so badly, and then Gasp! I remember that I have the most gorgeous sunset photos taken from the exact.same.spot. and I am a photoshop genius! Seriously- I even have my own YouTube channel teaching the latest and greatest photoshop techniques! Anways, the finished image turned out amazing! I hope they love it as much as I do! Heck, maybe it wasn't important to them to have a quintessential SD sunset, but I know I feel better knowing this portrait exists!
It was a sunny San Diego January day in the Serra Mesa neighborhood; Murray Ridge Park to be exact. I met Skywalker and his mom so Skywalker could have his "Glamour Shots' made in hopes to help raise money for Happy Hearts German Shepard Rescue in La Mesa, CA so they can pay for his upcoming leg surgery.
If you guys didn't already know this, giving back through rescue animal photography brings me the greatest joy! Having the chance to meet so many happy and thankful puppers is a blessing to me and I love that it helps the dogs put their "best paw forward" and show their adorable faces to the world through the internet!
Skywalker posed perfectly for his portraits. Although he didn't want to sit, that was totally fine with me. I always meet dogs at their level of comfort! No one is ever expected to sit and stay! Skywalker did sit for a brief moment and showed us his bum paw. Hopefully his amputation will be soon and he will heal comfortably and successfully.
If you'd like to donate to Happy Hearts German Shepard Rescue, just Click Here and you'll be taken to their site.
If you need photography for your rescue group, please drop me a line! In addition to offering photography to rescues, I also give bay by offering a limited number of fundraising opportunities for a variety of charitable organizations. Here's my blog post about that or if you are ready you can apply for a fundraising opportunity!