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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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Labrador Love

Lesley O'Donnell - Sunday, November 16, 2014


Tully likes to investigate new situations, places and found things, especially when out exploring her favourite haunts such as the beach and local parks. Her curious nature has earned her the affectionate nickname “Nosey Nelly”


Described as a spunk by Angela and Rodi, this young Labrador is defined by her pale wheaten coat, a face artfully framed by ears of a darker shade, rose-coloured lips and nose and sparkling hazel eyes. They were the features that drew them to her when they first laid eyes on her as a puppy.


Now, after having Tully as part of their family for a few months, they have fallen in love with her personality and affectionate nature. It seems that it doesn't take long for a pup to plant themselves deeply within your heart.


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Pet Photography Melbourne - Bucket List

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keith the resident canine receptionist at Swan Street Vet clinic has bravely undergone surgery to have his spleen removed after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Currently he is undergoing chemotherapy. The prognosis is not good but fingers crossed he will pull through and surprise us all. His mum is also his vet so we know he will get the best care he could possibly hope for.

I just love how Dr Mel, her friends, staff and concerned patients have come up with a bucket list to make his life as happy as it possibly can be.

So far he has become an artist (check out his paintings on the timeline of Swan Street Vet FB page), got to sleep on the bed, had a cheese burger, a beer and a macaroon. I wonder what else he will get to do to make his life complete.


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Pet Photography Melbourne - Food Focused

Lesley O'Donnell - Friday, September 28, 2012

Kai determined to get that tiny, tiny piece of food

Kai is the Maori word for food and it seems such an appropriate name to give a Labrador as they are such a food focused breed.

A very sweet natured and loving boy, Kai was rewarded with lots of treats during his photo session in the city with Sarah and Ngahi and as you can see he was determined to reach every last one that he spied with his little eye. Nothing was going to come between him and that tiny tasty snack. And yes, incase you are wondering, he did manage to extend his tongue just far enough to scoop it up. Yum!


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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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Pet Photography - Working Dog

Lesley O'Donnell - Thursday, January 05, 2012

Keith taking his working role seriously

Named after his human grandfather, Keith has a very important working life in a vet clinic. His responsibility is to greet all visitors to the Swan Street Vet Clinic and Wellness Centre and to make them feel welcome and at ease. He excels at this in his state-of-the-art, purpose built clinic and he loves to hang out there with his veterinarian mum Melanie, the rest of the staff and the visiting animals.

Although he loves to go to work, he also enjoys his free time just hanging out with Melanie and Brett at home. An affectionate and happy Lab he loves playing fetch with his frisbee and ball and embracing every opportunity to be close to his mum and dad. I am sure this handsome boy is well indulged with cuddles.

Annie commented on 06-Jan-2012 01:24 PM
Lucky dog but bet he doesn't have to work too hard! Not like most of us!!

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Lesley O'Donnell - Friday, August 19, 2011

Echo retrieves again and again and yet again

It is such a delight to watch the endless joy certain dogs experience from fetching, especially when in the water. I am sure we could learn something from them about how to surrender ourselves to the pure pleasure of having fun. They have it nailed.

From the moment we arrived at the beach Echo was excited and ready to play with her ball and retrieve sticks from the long stretches of sand and the water. She found it very hard to wait while we took other family photos and showed great excitement when she was finally freed from her lead.

Echo, a Labrador Kelpie cross was adopted as a puppy from Animal Aid and has brought much love and laughter to Natalie and Evan. She now has the important role of teaching her new sibling Betty the ropes (see the blog written on August 12th). Betty is attached to her like a shadow but Echo doesn’t seem to mind in the least.

Annie commented on 22-Aug-2011 01:09 PM
What white teeth he has too. Who gets tired first, bet it is the person throwing the stick! Great photo too. Keep it up your standard is high.

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Holidaying With Dogs

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Minti having fun as all labs love to do

I am excited as the publication "Holidaying with Dogs" just selected this photo of mine to grace the back cover of it's 11th issue. It's at the printers now and is due for release on 19th November.

I took these photos while staying at the Cape Otway Cottages in Victoria. You can stay there with or without your dogs in private cottages scattered amongst the bush and farmland. They are gorgeous and I loved every minute I spent there. So peaceful and a world away from the busy-ness of my inner city life. Minti and Aster are lucky enough to live there full time although they are soon moving to Robe where they have a new holiday house called Windsong. This photo of them together was featured in the Windsong ad in "Holidaying with Dogs".

Minti and Aster enjoying games on the beach
Patricia commented on 10-Nov-2010 09:27 AM
Lovely dogs but what great photography! Am glad that you were able to have the chance to get these great shots, not easy with animals as they keep moving all the time. I know you have a great camera but you still have to be able to get the photo at the right moment. Lucky them.

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Chocolate Lab

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Murphy lapping up the love bestowed by Connor and Lily.

Sadly another of the dogs I have photographed has grown wings and departed for an existence elsewhere.

13 year old Murphy was a gentle, loyal, playful and loving chocolate coloured Labrador who brought his family much happiness. Labs have occupied a special place in the hearts of his family for the past 22 years and when Murphy was a puppy he shared his family with both a yellow and a black lab. 

Murphy loved his holidays at the beach and especially staying at the dog friendly accommodation his family operate for other dog lovers to enjoy in St Leonards, Victoria. He loved long runs on the beach with Amanda, fishing expeditions in the boat with Peter, playing with Connor and Lily and settling down in the winter in front of the log burning fire. You can see more photos of Murphy on their website www.seascapestleonards.com.au

Peter Murphys Dad commented on 15-Sep-2010 03:59 PM
Thank you , yes our Murf was a very special member of our family, a great tribute to a great friend, he is with his mates now in a peaceful place. He will always remain in our hearts.
Patricia commented on 03-Oct-2010 08:34 AM
Yes a lovely looking dog and one can imagine him being very friendly, as labs usually are. Have never had a dog but always cats by choice.

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