Author: Abby

The Emotional Benefits Of Having Family Photos Displayed In Your Home:

There are many surprising ways in which family photos hold importance. Not only to capture and save priceless memories but also to help develop your children’s sense of self and strengthen your family bond. 

Moments Worth Treasuring Endlessly

A photograph speaks a thousand words. From first birthdays to academic accomplishments, and so much more– photographs are how we capture these moments in time and all of the emotions they bring. There are few things that mean more than the ability to look back on memories that helped enormously in shaping your family, for years to come. We may not have time machines, but photography gives us a tool pretty darn close. Life can get a little hairy, pun intended if you have pets, and looking back on these happy moments means a great deal when you are in the midst of its craziness. 

Encourage Better Child Development

Family portraits showcase everyone within it as a whole, a united front without a divide. Looking back upon these moments helps your child see themselves like a puzzle piece within your family, completing those around them and how perfectly they fit in their own unique way. A child’s sense of self is a delicate part of their development, and solidifying their place within your family goes a long way in helping them view themselves positively in the future. Children who grow up in homes full of family portraits, on average, feel more connected to those around them. 

Family Bond

There are so many moments we replay in our minds endlessly and wish we could live in forever. Be it large milestones or simply capturing the smaller things such as your family together, your pets, etc. gives you and your loved ones undoubtedly joyful memories to look back on in the future.  Nothing means more than the ability to reflect on these times for years to comesaving precious moments long passed in a way you can not only feel in your heart but also see and touch. Your family will always have one another and the wackiest,  most memorable, and sweetest moments you all shared.  

   

For most resources on the importance of family photographs within the home, check out the links below:

3 Reason Family Portrait Photography Is Important

The Surprising Benefits Of Displaying Professional Family Portraits On Your Walls.

 

If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— schedule a portrait session with us!

5 Things To Keep You & Your Pets Busy At Home:

With so many people working from home and staying home, we understand that while work may keep you pretty darn busy most of the time, boredom will probably hit at some point. Here are 5 relateable (and maybe a tad hysterical) things to do with your pets when you’re stuck at home.

Abigail Brown

1. Movie Nights!

Image result for cuddling pet on couch pictures

Image Via: Countryliving.com

Once you have gotten all of your work for the day done, there is nothing quite like sitting back and cuddling your pet while watching a great movie. While we may not recommend letting your pup pick what you watch… if you’re into 3-hour loops of squirrels running around, go for it!

 

2. The classic “Butt Nudge”

Image result for cat on keyboard
Image Via: Makeuseof.com

This is a particularly fun one! For those who work from home, most necessary items should be at your immediate disposal.

Here’s what you need…

Step 1.

Get to work on your computer. Type your heart out and get into your work groove.

Step 2.

You will need a feline in the house. The sound of you working diligently will beckon your cat closer, and closer until they are eventually sitting right near your face–nudging you for attention.

Step 3.

For the next stage, you simply refuse to give them the total attention they desire. Then soon enough “PLOP” there will be a big furry friend walking across your keyboard, or sitting upon it!

Step 4.

Last but certainly not least… To fully execute the butt nudge, you then push their rear off of your electronic device in horror as you realize how many buttons they managed to push. Bonus Points if it starts a chase around the house, exercise!

3. Playing fetch

Image result for playing fetch pictures
Image Via: Holidaybarn.com

Although this may seem fairly simple, it can be extremely beneficial for a pup who normally goes for frequent walks or may be feeling a little cooped up. If you have a backyard suitable for doing so, consider giving them extra playtime. Animals can go a bit stir crazy like us, so giving them ways to get their energy out goes a long way in keeping them happy and healthy.

 

4. In-depth talks

Get to know your pets a little better. There are so many questions to ask!

Such as:

“Do you like your new food?”

“What do you think of the bows I bought you?”

“Have you ever had a breakup that left a lasting impression on you, Queen FluffyKins?”

“What is your least favorite color?”

You may be surprised by how much you never knew about your furry friend!

(Talking pets not guaranteed) 

 

5.Self-care days

Take some time for you and your pet. It is normal to feel stressed or worried. Giving yourself, and they too, some extra tender love and care– can help ease the weight on your shoulders. Bath them and groom their hair, they’ll be feeling like their best self. In turn, do things that make you happy! Be it watching movies, reading a book, calling a friend or so many other things– take some time to care for yourself. We’re sure your furry friends will be there every step of the way with their love and support ready to be shared.

 

 If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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6 Helpful Tips For When You’re Having Trouble Bonding With A Pet:

Building relationships can take a bit of effort, with humans and animals alike. If you just can’t seem to connect to your or someone else’s pet, don’t worry! Personalities vary greatly and some can take more time than others to “click” with one another. Here are helpful tips to help you bond with a new pet, a pet you’ve never seemed to see eye to eye with, or the pet of a loved one.

Abigail Brown

Understanding Possible Trauma

Humans and animals both hold onto memories and the impressions those memories have made on their psyche, for long amounts of time. No trauma looks the same, and it is not uncommon for some animals to take a long amount of time to trust humans. Abuse towards animals can be both emotional and physical. Below are resources to help you better understand how to offer support to an animal who has been abused in the past, and how to identify signs that your pet may have experienced trauma in the past.

7 Red Flags That Your Dog May Have Been Abused

Adopting a Pet with a History of Abuse: What You Should Know 

Positive Reinforcement

One great way to show an animal that you notice them behaving positively, and to show that you care for them, is positive reinforcement. This can be achieved by giving your pet a treat when they listen to a command, playing with them/offering physical affection to keep them engaged, and by verbally praising them.

Set Up A “Safe Space” For Your Pet

This is a fun way to help an animal become more comfortable within your home and with those around them. Set up a pet bed for them in a quiet part of the house, make sure it is large enough for their body to lay on comfortably. This safe area should be set up with access to food, water, litter box, etc. It can be helpful to wash a new pet bed with detergents used in your household, so it smells more familiar to them. Additionally, think about adding toys and a blanket to help it become even cozier. To solidify the fact that it is their space, consider giving your pet treats and affection when they are first introduced to their new space– to let them know they are safe and cared for when there. You giving them access to an area of safety helps them not only feel comfortable in the house they are in… but also with you, the human, who gave that sense of security to them.

More tips on setting up a safe place for your pet:

How to Set Up a Safe Space for Your Dog

How to Create a Safe Room for Your Cat

Training Classes

Many pet-related businesses offer training classes that work with dogs and their owners. Going through training classes with your pup has similar results to that of team-building exercises for humans. It aids a sense of teamwork to strengthen and evolve between owner and pet, as well as helping your pup become more familiar with listening to your commands.

One-On-One Time

Never underestimate the power of a little bonding time. Even if you and the pet you are wishing to bond with are not directly interacting, going about your daily routine with them near you can help greatly. It both makes them feel a part of your everyday life, and you a part of theirs.  This establishes a routine for the owners and pets involved and is a large step towards coexisting with ease.

Loving Them Anyway

Not to sound similar to the final stage of grief, but a level of acceptance is important in some cases. Not every animal is the same, and sometimes, pets will only bond to one human–if any. Unfortunately, that one human isn’t always you. It could be a spouse, family member, or friend that they finally connect to. In this case, it is very important to accept this fact and love them anyway. Just because they are not bonded to you, does not mean they don’t care for you in their own special way. Show them love, and take care of them. You never know, that bridge could be built in the future when you least expect it.

 If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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4 Great Dog-Friendly Trails/Parks For Winter Walks:

Outside time isn’t just for when it’s warm out. Here are 4 locations that have beautiful scenery and fun so plentiful, it makes freezing your tail feathers off more than worth it!

By Abigail Brown

Gorgeous day!

Grandview Nature Preserve

A beautiful 2.5-mile trail to the beach. This gem is located in Hampton VA and the surrounding beach makes for a gorgeous morning walk with your pups. Bring hot cocoa to keep warm, and enjoy!

Via bringfido.com

Elizabeth River Trail

An adorable 10.5-mile trail to walk/run, that gives you an amazing view of the Norfolk Waterfront! Bike, run, walk, or be tugged along in a wagon if that’s your style– either way this area is endlessly pretty and worth visiting at least once.

Via traillink.com

 

Shirlington Dog Park Shirlington Dog Park

Located in Arlington VA, Shirlington dog park is quite a bit of fun for pets and pet owners. Inside the dog park is gates that lead to an adorable stream and this fenced area allows your dog free space to run around to their heart’s content.

Via T.Worden, bringfido.com

Mount Trashmore Park A photo of dog-friendly Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach.

Fun for kiddos, pups, and parents! Mount Trashmore Park has something for everyone. Not to mention the 60- foot tall, 800- foot wide mountain made of solid waste–being quite the eyecatcher, to say the least. This park is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Off-leash areas are limited for pups, but the walking areas make it quite the experience for your pup.

Via bringfido.com

If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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A 14 Dog Photo-shoot: The Laughs, The Process, And The Fun!

Bonilla Pet Studio has done many portrait sessions and as of recently, one of our most remarkable showcases the personalities of 14 whippets…at the same time! Dr. Ken Latimer brought his fur babies in, and it was an experience everyone who got to witness it will remember fondly. 

By Abigail Brown

Getting To Know Dr. Latimer And His Whippets

It was a pleasure getting to meet Dr. Latimer, his quick wit was a joy and his happiness was infectious. We had the opportunity to talk to him about all of his pups, whom he loves dearly, and everything he wanted to see within his artwork. As his relationship with each dog is something he prioritizes, he decided that he would like his portrait to show real-life moments they share– and that is where his vision of a portrait in which he is reading his pups their favorite book, began the process of coming to life. Dedicated to getting into our studio and making this portrait session possible, Dr. Latimer brought his whippets in with 2 separate trips and 7 dogs at a time. All the way from the Toano area of Virginia, to Chesapeake Virginia! In my conversations with Dr. Latimer, he said he had anticipated a good amount of chaos would take place during any photoshoot that involves all his whippets but was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly and quickly this process went. 

The Execution

To ease the process of this shoot Erin Bonilla planned from start to finish, to ensure it went off without a hitch. Starting with her initial sketch, Erin planned exactly where each dog would be before bringing them in for their session. Erin and Meghan brought the dogs in one by one and spent some time getting to know them. They posed the pups and took a perfect photograph of each pup in their strategically placed spot. Their dad had his photo taken separately as well, and with expert skill– all 15 portraits were beautifully placed into one awe-inspiring composite.

See Erin’s Initial Sketch Below

Handling The Anticipated “Chaos”

  One of our photographers spent time playing with all the dogs not currently being photographed, in another room; they were loved up to no end and given treats galore. This kept them all happy as can be and helped whichever pup was currently being photographed, stay focused and calm. Major props go out to Dr. Latimer’s doggos, as they are retired show dogs with stupendous listening skills. Many laughs were shared and eventually, the photoshoot came to an end. From there Erin moved onto the production process–and this masterpiece was perfected!

Watch This Beautiful Composite Come To Life!

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How To Ease A New Pet Into Your Home:

   Adding a new pet into the mix is undeniably exciting and fun. However, like any transition, it can be a learning process at the same time. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when integrating a new furry family member into your home. 

By Abigail Brown

Be patient and calm

  A new pet is bound to be at least a little nervous when brought into a new environment, more so when there are other pets in the home that they are meeting for the first time. Take it slow and don’t rush them to interact with one another. A great way to help ease this is to have a separate location for your new pet to stay, so they can have some alone time to get used to the house– and slowly interact over time. 

Build a routine

  If your new pet will be the only animal in your home, get a routine set up for their feeding, walking, playtime, etc. to help them get familiar and feel comfortable within your home. If there are other animals in the home and your new friend is separated from them initially, utilize the same schedule for them that you normally use with your other pets. This will ease their transition into sharing feeding time, walks, and attention with another animal.

Example:

-Feed at 8 am

-Walk

-Playtime at 12 pm

-Treats 

-Walk 2 pm

-Dinner 3 pm

-Walk before bedtime

Celebrate the good behavior of any pets within the home

A good way to help your new friend adjust to your household rules is to reward both them and any other pets in the home for things they do well–or for listening particularly well. Even small moments such as coming when told being positively enforced can help greatly. This is especially helpful if you already have an animal integrated within your home who follows directions, as it will encourage your new pet to follow their example. Rewarding all animals in the home whenever possible, rather than only your new animal, helps keep their forming bond in the best shape possible while not causing competition to arise. 

Quality time 

  Get to know your new pet, try your best to bring a new animal friend into your home when your schedule will allow you the time to get to know them. Spend as much time with your new fur baby as possible, and their adjustment into your home will go a lot smoother. This quality time will also help build the bond between pet and pet parent.  

If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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Contact Us

Pet Photography in Norfolk, Virginia

757.912.5862

300 Monticello Ave,
Norfolk, VA. 23510
Suite 144B.

Tues-Sat:
12pm-7pm
10am-noon by appt.
Monday by appt.

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