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Pet Photography - Moments To Treasure

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This is a story about love in all it’s many forms; the binding connections between people and their pets and how children learn about life through their relationships with them.

The first chapter is of a self-effacing mother and grandmother offering her pet photography gift voucher to her daughter and her family to be photographed with their variety of pets. I decided to extend the voucher to include everyone and every pet, including Val’s cat Leo.

Pet Shots Photography,Labradoodle

Val thought that because of her advancing age Bella, the smaller and feistier of her daughter’s two dogs, may be the first beloved pet to cross the Rainbow Bridge so her desire was for me to capture some great images to honour her.

Pet Shots Photography, Boys with Dog

Bella, a cream-coloured Labradoodle, came into Amanda and Matt’s lives fourteen years ago when Amanda was expecting their first child. As a young pup she would snuggle up to Amanda’s pregnant tummy and it seemed that right from those early moments she and Spencer formed an inseparable bond. Even now she is always by his side.

Pet Shots Photography,Labrador Boxer Cross

Betty, the black Labrador-Boxer cross, joined the family 6 years later. She immediately became attached to Bella, followed her faithfully and was very protective of her. Bella liked being the top dog and was not averse to leading her playmate astray.

These two dogs are able to roam off-lead on their Queensland hinterland property, but not with each other. If both were untethered at the same time or found the door ajar at night they would embark on adventures to explore the undergrowth of the surrounding bushland. With all the enticing new scents to follow it was surely great fun when they set off from their rural sanctuary but alarming for them and their human companions when they became lost for several days on end and were unable to find their way back to the safety of their home. 

Pet Shots Photography,Cat

Spooky and Molly are the two cats in the family.

Pet Shots Photography,Cat,Boy

Impressively Olley, the younger son, bought Molly with his pocket money from the RSPCA 2 years ago. Aware that she was an old cat and probably wouldn’t live much longer he decided he could give her a loving home for the remainder of her life. She doesn’t often venture outside but loves his company and sleeps curled up on his bed with him every night.

Pet Shots Photography,Boy with Chicken

Spencer is more drawn to his nine chickens and is pictured here with Jet. Not only are they his pets but also an income earner as he sells their free range eggs to the teachers at his school. Pets with benefits you might say.

Pet Shots Photography,Family with Dogs

Unexpectedly Betty recently became ill and passed away. Bella is a little lost without her canine companion and, as you might expect, searches every nook and cranny trying to find her. I am so glad I was able to photograph this dearly loved dog with her family snuggling into her and showering her with their love.


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Fantasy and a Puppy Dog Friend

Lesley O'Donnell - Monday, April 27, 2015


Playful imagination is a delightful thing to be around. It makes you laugh and applaud spur-of-the-moment ideas.

And, so it was when I photographed five year old Teagan in her fantasy princess bedroom setting with her puppy dog Bree. 



Not content to sit perfectly still in her colourful fairy dress, this energetic young girl decided it would be more fun to jump and roll around on her bed with her little companion. Surely, way more fun than just sitting there. Luckily this petite Westie Cavalier cross has an amenable disposition and followed along with Teagan’s active games.


Teagan’s Mum was perhaps after more demure photos of the two together but I think in the end the portraits captured the very nature of this little fun loving spirit and her best friend.

Pet-Shots-Photography-Lesley O'Donnell


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Pet Photography Melbourne - Rescued in Japan

Lesley O'Donnell - Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Dog ownership is not as common in Japan as it is here and until recently dogs were kept for more utilitarian purposes rather than as valued members of a family. 

But, when Miyako first set eyes on Hannah she fell very much in love with her and decided at that moment to rescue her, again not something commonly done in Japan. She took the responsibility of bringing a puppy into her life seriously; so seriously that she gave up work to care for her. Luckily she had the full support of her husband Jim in doing this.

With an independent and confident personality Hannah is a mix of two Japanese breeds, a Kai and a Shiba, not dogs that I have come across before. She is not a cuddly type but does enjoy being chased around in the yard by 11 year old Joey. Loyal and obedient, she also loves to venture out into nearby parks for extended walks.

She is so adored by her family that they brought her with them when they immigrated to Australia. A true love story for one very lucky dog.


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Melbourne Pet Photography - Family Fun

Lesley O'Donnell - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maxie surrounded by her loving family

Here’s a portrait brief many photographers might find challenging. A family with an active 14 month old toddler, a newborn baby and their first family addition, Maxie the chocolate Labrador. 

Individually all these subjects require different methods of attracting attention and with no assistant to help I feel very proud of the photos that were achieved. Anyone who has ever attempted this kind of family group would know that to get everyone looking at the camera in a happy way is quite a feat.

Because Maxie is a big dog I found it easier to bring everyone down to her level and work on the floor and around her. Luckily Maxie was a co-operative dog as Janelle and John had their hands full cuddling their children Milla and Christian.

Maxie keeping an adoring eye on Milla

Maxie was wonderful with the children and with great patience was affectionate and protective towards them.

Anne commented on 30-May-2012 07:37 AM
Wow that is great so am sure they will purchase lots as when will they ever get another one like this. I think having them all down on the ground was a great idea and much easier for the parents to manage tham all. Very well done. Sue says so too as she is here at the moment and saw it too. Also the one with the Milla on the chair is great too, great expressions on the eyes of both the dog and Milla.

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