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Pet Photographer Photographs Daylesford Dogs

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pet Shots Photography, Whippet, Jack Russell, Autumn

This is a story about two country-town dogs I photographed a season ago when Victoria was painted in splendid autumnal colour. 

They live in the beautiful historical town of Daylesford, a couple of hours drive from Melbourne. It was a joy to photograph these two rescue dogs both at home and in the magnificent Wombat Hill Gardens making the most of the picturesque scenery afforded in both. The late autumn conditions were cold but calm and it was not hard to find stunning locations to use as the backgrounds for the photos. Apparently just one week later all the trees were bare and winter had arrived so we were so lucky with the timing.

Pet Shots Photography, Whippet, Jack Russell, People

I had photographed Bert, the Jack Russell cross, along with four other small dogs with whom he shared his home at the time in my photography studio when he was a younger pup. Sadly the others have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge and although Bert has lost some of his teeth and has had a chunk bitten out of his ear he still has a spring in his step and is keen for an outing where he can sniff out new smells and, with the odd bark, draw the attention of strangers walking by.

Pet Shots Photography, Whippet, Autumn

This time though the focus was on the new canine addition to the family. She is a Whippet/Kelpie cross who loves chasing feathered creatures and consequently was named Tippi in reference to Tippi Hedron who starred in the movie “The Birds”.

Pet Shots Photography, Whippet, Autumn, Close Up Dog

Her brindle markings and bright pink collar were beautifully complimented by the yellow, orange and pink hues of the autumn leaves. They seemed to be the perfect backdrop to enhance this feminine dog’s features.

Apparently Bert is not fond of being touched so it was a most happy conclusion to my day when he snuggled right into me as we sat on the couch with his human family while they selected the images to adorn the walls in their home.

Pet Shots Photography, Jack Russell, Autumn

To have this darling wee dog choose my company and seek my affection topped off my perfect day out in the country!


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Photography of A Shy Brindle Dog

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Nervous and unsure are the best words to describe this sizeable dog. She is nervous of people but people are equally, or even more so, as unsure of her. 

This six year old is a large, powerful dog of mixed origin, all of which are considered as dangerous breeds - American Bulldog, Mastiff and Pitbull. As a result people are very wary around her and no-one quite trusts her. Because of her appearance, which she would be completely unaware of, she is not the kind of dog that people rush up to pat and cuddle. I think it makes her a little sad as all the other dogs in her extended family are greeted in a much more enthusiastic way by visitors and strangers alike.


In reality Ella is very shy and a bit of a scaredy-cat and laps up any affection afforded her. She was nicknamed Bubbaloo by her family which was quickly shortened to Bubba. She studies you intensively with her inquisitive stare but fortunately has never made an aggressive move towards anyone. 


She makes an excellent guard dog because one glimpse of her over the fence and no attempt would ever be made to trespass. Her favourite places to observe her world are elevated ones - on top of the outdoor table and stretched out along the back of the couch looking out the window.

She also has excellent hunting skills which mean that mice and rats don’t dare to set up home on her property.

Although spayed, Bubba’s mothering skills were brought to the fore recently when another brindle puppy of a different breed joined the family. Peculiarly she seemed to think that Eddie was her puppy and let him suckle her. They have formed a strong bond and now curl up together to sleep on the same dog bed or couch if they can score it. It is a heartwarming sight to see the softer side of this perhaps misunderstood dog.

Read stories about other pets I have photographed.


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Photographing Milly the Chinese Crested Powderpuff

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Until I photographed Milly, I had never heard of a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. 

Unlike the more typical Chinese Crested (who have hairless bodies and humourously sport long scruffy tufts on their heads, feet and tails) the bodies of Powderpuffs are completely covered with long flowing coats. 


If they remain unclipped they tend to resemble miniature versions of Afghans (which you can clearly see in profile). However, keeping this elegant look takes hours of devoted brushing so Margaret decided it was easier to keep Milly tangle free if she had regular haircuts.

This decision seems better suited to this highly spirited, athletic and inquisitive dog who rather enjoys leaping over the high fence to explore outside, of what others would view as, a secure backyard. 

Pet-Shots-Photography-Two Dogs-Two Women

I suspect Milly sees this activity as a sport because she is certainly not out to separate herself from the close affection bestowed on her by Margaret and her daughter Marita.

Pet-Shots-Photography-Two Dogs-Garden

Usually reserved with strangers, I was flattered to find Milly a friendly and willing photographic subject. Surprisingly it was Trixie, her canine companion, who needed a little more coaxing to stay interested. 

Margaret is a talented painter of folk art and I loved being able to incorporate her artwork into the photos to give them just that little bit more of personal meaning. 


Many of the terracotta pots she has decorated over the years have been generously donated as fund raisers for her gardening club. I found a lovely example of one that unfortunately had no plants growing in it. To enhance our little setting I promptly filled it with dirt and stuck a piece of flowering geranium in it. 

Much to our surprise this little cutting took root and I now have a memorial pot plant in what Margaret and Marita refer to as Lesley’s Corner. What a lovely honour!

Read about Margaret and her previous dog Xisca who I had the privilege of photographing five years ago.


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Family Photographed with Their Whippet in Malvern East Park

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Isn't this dog a little darling!  Just one look at her and you can see why it didn’t take long for the newest member of this family to win over the hearts of her four human guardians.






Testimony to that is when I recently photographed Mark, Karen, Katie and Rachel in Hedgeley Dene Gardens, East Malvern. All were happy to be photographed together but they also each wanted their own individual photo with Lily.  


This dear little Whippet is gentle and cuddly and doesn’t seem to mind which one of them is sharing their affection with her. She realises she is on to a good thing and will happily embrace the attention from any one of them.

Lily definitely distributes much love to those in her new home. She makes everyone in it feel just that little bit happier.

Read stories about other pets I have photographed.


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Two Border Terriers and a Tortoiseshell

Lesley O'Donnell - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recently I photographed these two Border Terriers in the comfort of their own stylish backyard. They might be the same breed, share the same home and sport similar rough-textured coats but the similarities seem to stop there. Their personalities, interests and needs couldn’t be more different.


Josie, is the older of the two dogs I had the pleasure of photographing. Although a little reserved, she has the more exuberant nature of the two. She particularly enjoys playing with her collection of “fluffy babies”. 

She is a bit of a character and rather humorously sneezes to attract the attention of her human companions. Josie is self-reliant and prefers to sleep alone on her dog bed on the floor. Very fond of her fellow terrier Leon, she likes to keep his appearance up by personally grooming his ears and face.


Although a successful show dog, Leon is a little anxious about life. His owner described him as being autistic so he can be a little obsessive and not sure about new situations or people. Fortunately he wasn’t bothered by my presence or by having his photo taken. A friend of mine refers to me as a dog whisperer so maybe Leon has proven this to be true. 

His favourite toy is a pink ball but he does also like to search for possums in the tall trees that stand in the rear of his yard. He must see himself as a hunter as he once stalked and caught an unsuspecting pigeon.


Nina, a Tortoiseshell Domestic Shorthair, is the third pet in this family but like many cats lives an independent life. She was not expected to stay around during my visit so I was delighted to sneak a few images of her as she checked out what we were up to in the garden.

I love how the hues of these two canines and the feline of the house blend so beautifully. You couldn’t design a more perfect colour match so I know these images are going to look great together displayed on the wall in their home.


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Cavalier Cuties

Lesley O'Donnell - Saturday, January 03, 2015


Photographing in a public park can be a challenging assignment, especially when there are many other dogs being walked at the same time. The constant passersby provided plenty of interest and distraction for these canine subjects. The curious pooches who roamed the park off lead liked to bound over to check out my models, often just as I was about to take their “perfect” portrait. 


Despite such diversions Kita and Niko were delightful little dogs to photograph. They are great friends and often sneak little kisses with each other.

With pizzaz and a confident personality, Kita is the larger of Helen’s two dogs. Her muddy paws are a tell tale sign of how she enjoyed exploring the freshly watered undergrowth in the park.


More timid and shy, Niko is a Blenheim (chestnut and white) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is an affectionate, cuddly little boy who also delights in chasing birds. Much to our amusement he demonstrated his love of this sport several times while being photographed.


I admire how perfectly Helen nailed her outfit for her photography session with her two little darlings. Her floral patterned dress coordinates beautifully with the colours in the dog’s coats and as a result these images are going to look wonderful decorating the walls in her home.


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Marley Mums Adore Their Pugalier

Lesley O'Donnell - Monday, June 02, 2014


You know a dog called Marley is truly, deeply, madly loved when two women refer to themselves as “The Marley Mums.”

This is one lucky (and perhaps just a teeny, weeny bit spoilt) little pooch. 


Christine and her daughter Katie devote themselves to Marley and her wellbeing.  They would do anything for her and you can imagine their distress and tears when Marley recently had to endure an operation. Fortunately she came through okay and is now well and truly on the mend.

I photographed Marley at home last spring when Christine’s garden was a showcase of pink and purple splendour. It was the perfect setting to show off this Pugalier’s shiny black coat.


Loving and affectionate and fond of planting kisses, this little dog enjoys the company of her two human companions as much as they enjoy hers. Whether curled up together watching TV, playing fetch with her rope toy or out walking in their neighbourhood, these three just love being together. Her best canine friends are both German Sheperds. Although I wasn’t to see it, one of them holds Marley’s lead in her mouth when out walking together.  Adorable!

Christine chose a storybook album with a collection of photos that celebrate many of her favourite things - her daughter, her pooch, her home and her spectacular garden. Lovely, meaningful memories for her to cherish forever.


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