I'll start by saying this...

Tess is an old friend of mine. One of those close friends that are most like sisters. The ones you might not get to talk to or see as often, but know has your back no matter what at the end of the day. When Tess reached out to me about doing portraits, I was over the moon. First, a little selfishly, I knew we would be super goofy and have a blast (I was 100% correct). Second, I know how much her animals mean to her, and I couldn't wait to get something amazing in her hands that will forever be a memory of her "fur family." We all need to do more of the things that bring us joy, and I know there's nothing that brings Tess more joy than her three four-legged friends.

Black Backgrounds...

Tess and I went all out for black backgrounds and captured all three of her babies! Okay, so technically the cat was not planned. But when your good friend gets a new adorable kitten, you take advantage and use it as your "cat black backgrounds" guinea pig.

Great Dane dog black background fine art photography portrait

"Jethro" ; 2 year old Great Dane

kitten black background fine art photography portrait

"Shitten" ; Mystery flavored kitten

American Quarter Horse liver chestnut leather halter fine art photography black background portrait

Freckled Pep San "Nimbus" ; 8 year old QH gelding

Horse and rider portrait summer golden hour sunset

Tess started riding at 9 years old, and never outgrew her love for horses. She now lives and rides at the beautiful Avalon Meadows Equestrian Center in Otisfield, Maine. Funny enough, this is where I rode (and basically lived) as a teenager when Tess was living in Rhode Island! It was pure coincidence that she ended up at the same place.

"You’re my favorite reason to become a better me."

Nimbus is a bit of a princess, he only eats his expensive German Horse treats and loves his chiropractic appointments. He adores cows, baby horse, and especially his momma.

Tess and Nimbus have been a team for a few years now. She purchased him from an auction she was working at, and he was her rock in the transition to living in Maine. These days, with a busy life, Tess doesn't have quite as much time to spend with Nimbus, but each moment they spend together is precious.

"We spend a lot of late nights in the pasture with a brush and sometimes a random ride bareback with a halter and lead. He enjoys the attention and love as much as I do. "

Tess has goals to just spend more time riding Nimbus, and maybe even enter the hunter ring some day!

Horse and Rider portrait equestrian lifestyle western

"My life begins and ends with you each and every day."

Just 5 days after Tess suddenly lost her heart dog "Mikey," Jethro was born. Nobody else even inquired on him, and he was clearly meant to be with Tess.

Jethro is a total goofball of a dog who loves everything and everyone. His favorite toy is a roundbale wrap (can you say barn dog?). This 120 pound leaner has absolutely zero clue of his size!

"He’s my partner in crime. He’s with me always. The only time he isn’t by my side is when I go to work. He’s my greatest and best friend."

Great Dane dog photoshoot

In loving memory...

As much as we would have loved to have had her other horse "Skip" at the shoot, he recently passed. Tess brought him into the session with a beautiful keychain made from his tail, which we clipped to Nim's bridle. He was with us in spirit, and even left a little rainbow on this portrait.

sunset horse and rider bond connection western memorial photoshoot