Tag Archives: whidbey island dog photography

Cowbelly 6-year anniversary pawty- Whidbey Island Sun. 7/19

It’s that time of year. Time to celebrate the fact that this very pet photography business has survived and thrived for one more year. (Whoopee!).

The date of the Pawty will be Sunday July 19th, 2009.

Like last year, this year’s celebration will be on the super dog friendly Whidbey Island, one of Fergie and my favorite places. Pinching myself that we get to go back again so soon. I’m still relaxed from the last time we were there! :-)

First we’ll take a ferry to get over there. Fergie will stand on the front of the boat with the wind going up her nose, which she loves to do.

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Once on the island, we’ll start off at the fabulous Marguerite Brons off-leash park, and run through the miles of fully fenced wooded trails and romp in their grassy meadow.

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After some rest in the shady grass and a big bowl of water, we’ll head to Langley to the much-lauded Useless Bay Coffee Company and dine on their delectable paninis and partake of their yummy caffeinated beverages.

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Once we’ve had our fill there, we’ll head down to the stupendous Double Bluff beach and play in the surf, tan on the shore and just generally have a laugh-filled, happy-making, memory-creating awesome time.

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I will bring my camera of course and take pictures of the pups as they go on these adventures. Any past or present or future client or friend/fan of Cowbelly is welcome to come! Just don’t make me talk about business, as much as I love Cowbelly, this day is supposed to be a little vacation for us all, and will be all about the dogs! And before you ask, yes, Fergie will be available to sign pawtographs, hee hee. ;-)

Please send Christina and I an email to info@cowbelly.com titled ‘Whidbey Party’ if you’d like to come and we’ll give you the whole low-down in terms of timing and where to meet and directions, etc.

So super psyched that I made it 6 years and am looking forward to the next 6 even more. I’m so loving my job right now it’s ridiculous. Life rocks! :-)

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Fergie and Jamie go to Whidbey

Bet ya didn’t know that I took off for a few days this week with my pooch, didja? Well, ok, if you follow me on twitter, you knew of my little escape, but I never mentioned it on the blog. I had plans to go the previous week but they fell through (very sad story) and I didn’t want to jinx this trip by talking about it. But it happened this time, yay!

So the Fergermeister and I took off and stayed at the most lovely cabin on a bay near Freeland, and I brought my camera, and we did as close to nothing as possible. I took lots and lots of pictures, so I am posting lots and lots of pictures, because I found it impossible to narrow them down. Hopefully this will enable all of you to enjoy our trip with us vicariously!

This is what was awaiting us when we arrived on Thursday evening. Ahhh heaven.

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I love these shots because even though they are both imperfect, they give me the feeling as if I was back there in that moment.

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There was a dedicated doggy area at the cabin (the owner is a multiple dog owner), and Fergie couldn’t believe her luck when she spotted the balls and toys. I have never ever seen her so happy. It nearly made me cry.

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The adorable neighbor pooch Cooper. He was a doll.

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I wish I had taken more shots of the inside of the cabin, but honestly we were outside almost the whole time. But the cabin was positively darling, very clean and comfortable and furnished exactly as I would furnish a summer cabin.

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The cabin had a fully stocked kitchen, washer and dryer, very comfy queen sized bed (and also a loft and pullout bed in the tv room, not pictured here), and sleeps up to 4 people. I can’t wait to go back and bring my mom and sister, who I know will love the place. I’ll leave details at the end of this post on how to rent the cabin for yourself. It is dog friendly, and even has a separately fenced side yard that you can contain your pooch in, and, get this, a new doggie bathing area outside with both cold AND hot water (awesome). The property is huge, and the most fun place I can imagine a dog being able to explore and sniff around while being completely contained by the fence around the property.

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Late that first night I could not get Fergie to come inside. She was having so much fun throwing her new toys around the yard that she didn’t want to go to sleep. So I brought my camera outside and decided to try and take some nighttime shots. That’s moon flare you see below.

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And that my friends, is the moon! Woohoo!! It took a long time for me to get this shot, but I finally got it, and it was worth it.

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Our view the next day.

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There are gorgeous flowers in bloom all around the property, and I was even greeted by sweet-smelling fresh cut flowers inside the cabin. It was awesome.

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The Cabin owner’s beloved passed german shepherd pooch is buried on the property, and Fergie and I spent some time laying on a blanket near her grave keeping her company. I only wish I have a spot as beautiful for Fergie once she is gone. Dogs live such short lives.

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The hardest part of the trip was trying to decide where to lie down outside. This was one of my spots under a giant cherry tree in the side yard, and this was my view.

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Warning: there are A LOT of Fergie images coming up. My lenses were focused on her nearly the entire time, so I ended up with like 450 shots of just her. Hopefully you will think she is just as cute as I do. Man I love this dog. :-)

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I’m thinking this one needs to go big on a canvas.

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I LOVE this shot. Totally imperfect, and I love it for it’s imperfection.

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This is the look she gives me whenever I ask a question. “Fuurrgee? do you wanna….?”, then this. She is sooo cute!

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If you need just one reason why I love this dog so much, it’s looking at you below. I would do anything for her.

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Sarah left a comment on one of Fergie’s Facebook images saying she had a little black olive nose. So the whole trip I referred to her as ‘little black olive’. Here is a shot of that little nose.

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Stick induced happy coma below.

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The sky changed colors throughout the sunset, and then I couldn’t believe my eyes when it turned purple. I tried everything to get the color right in the shots in-camera, and even went so far as to change the custom white balance (K) in 10 degree increments over about 100 degrees both up and down, and never got the color right in camera. That is one of the most frustrating things about digital photography- so often what you see with your eyes is nearly impossible to duplicate with your camera. I suppose seasoned landscape photographers would have told me I needed a special filter to get the shot. Oh well, in this case Lightroom did the job.

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I don’t have words to express how much I love this shot below. Fergie is such a good model, and held still while I craned my neck to try and get her in focus and the sunset perfectly exposed.

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Then we were off to Double Bluff beach, where it was hot and very dry.

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Look at her face in that shot on the left below. LOL.

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A commenter had asked how I made the ‘flash’ file on Bella’s post. It’s actually really easy. It’s an animated GIF file, made in Photoshop. You just drag all of your images as layers onto one image, so you end up with a multilayered file, then go to ‘window’, ‘animation’, create new frames, and select the layer for each frame, set the duration of each frame in seconds, and then save for web as a gif. Here is a more in depth tut: animated gif tutorial.

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And that my friends, was my trip to Whidbey Island with my doggie daughter! Hope you enjoyed the images and my cute little girl. :-)

If you are interested at staying at the same lovely cabin we did, check out the listing on VRBO, and when you contact the owner Julia, be sure to tell her Jamie at Cowbelly sent you! Can’t wait for my next stay there.

For more Whidbey vacation options, check out http://whidbeyvacation.webs.com/, where you can also get a list of dog-friendly activities on Whidbey island.

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Whidbey Island Cowbelly party sneak peek

Yesterday was the big 5-year Cowbelly anniversary party on Whidbey Island. Dogs and humans alike had so much fun and my guess is that everyone is exhausted today. I know Fergie and I are! I am working from home today- flat out on the couch with my laptop on my lap. Fergie is right next to me, snoring away. I may need a little nap too after posting this. :-)

A huge thank you to everyone that came! Also a huge thanks to JS for baking all of the awesome homemade doggy treats that were such a special gift for attendees. Fergie snacked on hers in the car on the ferry. I plan to post all of the images on my proofs site once I have time to go through them- so far I have them narrowed to 522, ha! I will send the link to everyone when they are ready to view. Here are a few sneak-peeks that I feel best exemplify both the happy, relaxed mood of the day and the gorgeous surroundings of Whidbey Island. I swear there isn’t a prettier place in the Pacific Northwest for dog photography. Enjoy! 

Fergie was very sleepy that morning until we got on the ferry. Then I think she remembered the smells from last year and started getting excited. 

The lovely Puget Sound. Whidbey is one of the San Juan Islands, which are accessible by ferry from the mainland. There were lots of low-lying clouds that morning but they burned off by midday making for a gorgeous, sunny afternoon with beautiful blue skies.

At the first OLA- Marguerite Brons. Which, apparently, is the island’s best-kept secret. Seymour (l) and Bella (r).

Fergie and Sasha.

Kate and Spice.

The off-leash trails at the park. A dense, green, woodsy, mossy, ferny paradise for dogs. Fully fenced (no joke!). That’s Fergie and Dozer there on the left (with D’ogi next to them). F & D went NUTS running through the woods. Nearly took us all out several times. 

Kyah exploring her new surroundings. D’ogi sitting nicely for a treat.

Seymour (l) Fatsa (r). Posing on the same picnic table I shot Fergie one one year ago.

Useless Bay Coffee Company where we had lunch. LOVE THEM. There isn’t a single thing they serve- from their paninis to their cookies to their espresso drinks- that isn’t downright delicious. I think we have some new converts on our hands. :-)

Fatsa fell in love with Charlie, hee hee. That’s Double Bluff Beach. The #1 paradise for dogs on Whidbey Island. I could have stayed there for weeks.

A personal fave below.

Michelle was popular with both the big dogs and little dogs. 

Bella with her mom.

Kate on the left enjoying a game of ball in the (very warm!!) surf. Poor Kyah was still exhausted from our big photo shoot just the day before. 

The water was very shallow quite a ways out, which enabled it to be warmed by the sun. It was like bathwater- incredible. Even non-swimming dogs couldn’t stay out of it. I wanted to lay down in it but alas was fully clothed.

The dogs were exhausted before we even left the beach. Here Bella tries to keep her eyes open while she gets toweled off.

Fatsa taking a little nap in the sun.

After a 20-minute rest Fergie found her second wind. At that point I honestly couldn’t believe she was still moving. ‘Indefatigable’ as my dad says.

In the car in line for the ferry home. I have never seen her so tired ever. Although after running and swimming for hours non-stop it was no surprise! Notice the eyes rolling back into the head, hee hee?

For those Seattleites who are interested in a getaway to Whidbey Island, here is a link to the island’s off-leash dog parks, courtesy of JS, courtesy of a very nice lady on the beach. Not only do they love dogs there but all of the people are SO friendly! I love Whidbey!

www.fetchparks.org 

I agree with James in that we should do it more often! Anyone up for a trip before the summer ends?

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Whidbey Island ROCKS!

Have you ever been to a place- on vacation, on a weekend away, on a day trip, that for the rest of your life you can remember with all senses- sight, smell, sound, feel, just by closing your eyes? Just thinking about the place transports you back there in the most wonderful and satisfying way?

Well, Fergie’s 2nd birthday on Friday on Whidbey Island was just that for me and my sister (and hopefully Fergie too).

The people we met everywhere we went were so incredibly friendly and wonderful- everyone seemed to be in a good mood and welcomed us to their island. And talk about dog Friendly! There were dogs everywhere! Many people stopped to talk to Fergie, including a super sweet couple in Langley who also own a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and thought Fergie was great. They and all of the folks we ran into at the dog parks confirmed what I already guessed- Whidbey residents love their dogs.

We spent ample time at two of their best off-leash dog parks. The first was Margeurite Brons Memorial park, which is a beautiful park inland in the woods. As if the large grassy field wasn’t enough, there are 13 acres of off-leash trails through the woods, FULLY FENCED. Fergie had the time of her life blazing through the trails with her two new buddies. And their owner was just one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

After playing in the woods for a couple of hours we headed into Langley, where we ate lunch at the Useless Bay Coffee company and had one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. It was a beef and blue cheese and red onion and spinach panini, with gooey cheese and a buttery crisp crust. Thomas Kemper cream soda and mediterranean olives rounded out the meal. Yumm! They have a huge dog friendly patio area in front surrounded by stunning flowers and gorgeous landscaping. It is the prettiest of places to have a delectable and relaxing lunch.

After we ate to our hearts content, and Fergie had her fill of lunch treats and h20, we headed over to Double Bluff beach, on the southwest side of the island.

Double Bluff beach has miles of off-leash beach, with acres of sand from the bluff out to the water. Fergie chased her tennis ball out into the crashing surf (waves from passing cruiseships), until she was shaking and panting. As an urban dog owner, it was really incredible to watch my dog run free as nature intended. And not in the few acres of off-leash park like you find in and near Seattle, but in MILES of park, with so much land your dog can’t possible cover it all. So much to sniff, so many things to explore. It was heaven for all of us.

And words can’t describe the beauty of the scenery on the island. From mossy woods and rolling green fields to wide open blue sky and sandy beaches, the island is just gorgeous. As a photographer I was in heaven being there and photographing my pooch. It makes me VERY excited about the photography event I have planned for the exact same itinerary on August 18th. If you read my blog and haven’t had your dogs shot yet I strongly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. Please contact me at 206-335-8096 for details.

Here are some of my favorite shots from Friday:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I truly believe this was the best day’s of Fergie’s young life so far, and without a doubt I will take her back there again.

It was truly one of the best days I have had in a long time, and in fact my sister loved it so much she even sent me an email thanking me later that night and telling me what an incredible time she had.

As for Fergie, well she has been pretty much horizontal for the past two days, dreaming the best of doggy dreams she could possibly have. :-)

Whidbey Island we will be back!

Jamie Cowbelly

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