taking great photos of your pet

Happy Friday and Labor Day weekend to everyone! I’m excited for today’s guest post since it’s about a few of my fave things – dogs (duh) and photography. Check out these amazing tips for taking great photos of your pet from Madison at The Wetherills Say I Do (with assistance from her super cute model Azi). Amazing tips, right? Make sure to check out her lovely blog and have a great holiday weekend – enjoy the last days of summa!

Hello Jade and Oak readers! I’m super excited to get to hang out with you all today! My name is Madison and I blog over at The Wetherills Say I Do, a faith based lifestyle blog where I post everything from recipes to blogging tips!

We’ve had our sweet pup for over a year now. Before we adopted her, I used to joke about how many photos I would take of our kids someday and how they’d probably hate me for it. Well, now that we’ve had Azi for over a year, I can definitely say that was an understatement. In a year’s time, I’ve taken over 1000 photos of our dog. I guess that makes me a crazy dog lady?

I’ve learned a few things, 1000 photos later and I’d love to share some tips on getting great pictures of your pet.

Plan ahead

When you’re trying to take semi-staged photos of your pets, you’ll want to plan ahead. There will always be those funny moments where you just snap a picture on your phone, but for times when you want great photos of your pet, make sure you plan ahead for a time and place. Even if it’s just in your house, setting aside a time will be a great stress reliever.

Have someone help

We are very lucky to have a well behaved dog that likes to listen. But even so, I still have my husband help me when I need to take certain pictures of Azi. If you have someone helping you, even getting them to just call your dogs name will really help keep the focus of your dog. Azi likes to tilt her head and perk her ears up when her name is called, which always make for adorable pictures.


Tire them out 

If you have a puppy, you will most definitely want to get your pup tired out before trying to make him or her sit still! Even an older dog will listen and focus better when they are already tired from playing or walking in the neighborhood. 

Have treats handy!

The best way to reward good behavior is with an incentive! Have a few small treats on hand to reward your pup for listening well. Hugs and kisses are also great forms of rewards ;)

Find the best lighting

Having quality lighting is essential to great photography. If you are outside, try to be under a tree that completely shadows your pup or shooting on a day where the weather is overcast. If you’re inside, stick close to a window where there is the most natural light.

Remove distractions

This is to keep your pup’s attention but also to not have distractions within the photo itself. Just like any other kind of photography, when there is something that looks like it doesn’t belong, that’s where your eye will naturally go. Try to avoid those outliers to get the best photos possible! If your dog is easily distracted outside, trying to take focused pictures outdoors may not be the best option. I’ve found that taking pictures where Azi is most of the time (aka, our bed or her throne) really helps to keep her focused.
Especially in our pup’s first year, it’s been so awesome to get to look back on pictures and really see how much she has grown and how much she has grown into her personality. She’s such a little goofball and I love getting to look back on those photos.
For more Azi goodness, you can check out some of my posts about her or you can check out her hashtag (could she be anymore spoiled?) #aziadventures.
I hope you’ll stop by my blog and say hello! I’m also hosting an awesome giveaway for a Fotostrap camera strap today!

Do you like to take photos of your pets? 


why i’m turning into my mom

My mom is great. She is a tiny little Korean woman (who just turned 64 yesterday!) who has way more energy than I do. She helped me with yardwork/gardening over the summer, is the best cook ever, has been helping me with wedding planning and is probably the most generous person I know. Any time I compliment her on a new piece of clothing, she goes “oh, you like it? You want it?” She literally tries to give me the clothes off of her back.

So yeah, my mom is pretty awesome, but she’s also random and does some weird/funny things too. And I have noticed that I am picking up some of these traits. These is not a bad thing at all, but it’s pretty funny when I realized these things…


Weird fashion.I got these amazing shoes which totally remind me of old Korean lady (ajima) shoes. My mom loves slip on shoes and loves heels that are comfy since she’s a shorty. These reminded me of her and I had to have them. And they are SO comfy. Oh and also these baggy pajama pants. They’re from American Eagle but also remind me of the embarrassing pants my mom used to wear around the house.

Not listening. My mom is notorious for not actually listening to what you’re saying and then asking you a question about the exact thing you were talking about. I will admit that I might do that to Jarrod now and then. Oops.

Food pushing. A lot of moms love to push food on their loved ones. It’s their way to show love. And I have started doing it too! Not necessarily a bad thing but no one needs someone telling them that they need to eat more. As noted above, my mom is the best cook ever and I need to inherit her skills. I have been cooking a tiny bit more but hope to get way better.

Gardening. I’m realllllllly nowhere close to my mom’s gardening skills but I am finally actually trying. I used to kill most of my houseplants but I would say my kill rate is down to maybe 20% now. I’m getting better with doing the gardening in the yard too but for realzzzz it is so much work!

Cleaning. My mom doesn’t own a full-sized broom or a mop. She cleans her kitchen floor with a small handheld brush (mini-broom) and dustpan. She then uses a bucket with cleaning solution and a rag to finish cleaning. And I have been doing that more too instead of getting out the Swiffer. You look kinda crazy crouching on the floor doing this, but it works well!

Shoes in the house. We never wore shoes in the house when I was a kid but we wear shoes in our house now. I hate it and want to institute a no-shoes-in-the-house policy. I will provide guests with slippers.

Korean dramas. I haven’t watched any in awhile but they are awesome. Trust me.

Yelling things when other people are on the phone. Every time I’m on the phone with my dad, my mom is saying/yelling something random to him in the background. I might do this to Jarrod.

Have you noticed that you are starting to to in your mom/parents or picking up weird old lady habits? Do share!

cleveland weekend

Thanks for commiserating with me after yesterday’s post. Sucks but I’ve moved on – back to blogging about pugs and wedding and food and other lovely fun nonsense. In a good way of course. So this past weekend was one of the best I’ve had in awhile. Things have been crazy lately, with me switching jobs, going to other weddings, planning our wedding, crappy weather, etc. So Jarrod and I wanted to do a little getaway for just us to have a nice time together and it was a kinda late b-day celebration too. So cuuuuuute, right?

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Cleveland is only a little over 2 hours away so we headed up there after work on Friday and came home on Saturday evening.  It was so nice to stay in a pretty hotel and have some alone time for hanging out together. On Friday we went to Lola by Michael Symon and it was fabulous. Great atmosphere, delish food and tasty cocktails. And the hostesses all complimented my dress. Perfect. (The dress had cute poofed shoulders but in the photo above I look a little football player-y. So take my word – it looked cute.) After, we had some fancy cocktails in a speak-easy type bar. The street both of these places were on was a cute little bar/restaurant area only open to pedestrians.

On Saturday we went back to the same area, got some coffee, did some people watching, walked around a bit and got Ohio-themed shirts. Cleveland is a football rival of Pittsburgh but I give very little craps about football. However, I went to THE Ohio State University for college (yeah the “THE” is necessary – hey, I didn’t name it, ok?), so I was happy to get a cute Ohio t-shirt. Which I didn’t photograph. But I almost got the LGBT-friendly “Cleveland is Magical” t-shirt below. Oh and before I forget – we totally indulged in overpriced room service breakfast. Waste of money? Probably. But it was luxurious, so #YOLO I guess. See also, the huge stack of pancakes below.

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Above: Look at us – we’re in a mirror! Me: trying to take a cute photo. Jarrod: annoyed.

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I also got the chance to attempt to be a photographer with my dslr. Possibly to Jarrod’s slight annoyance but whatevs. I do what I want! “It’s for the blog!” He’s so lucky. We also walked through this really cool indoor shopping area thing that was connected to the Hyatt (photo below). So cool, right? Then we headed over to the Great Lakes Brewery in another part of town. Jarrod works in the beer industry and has previously toured the brewery but it was my first time! It was fun to see how the beer is made and do a little day drinking. Yum!

IMG_5969-2 cleveland - jadeoak.comSo that is our little weekend getaway recap! It was fun to get away for about 24 hours but we didn’t need to do anything too involved. Oh and I got an awesome vintage purse for the wedding too. #alwaysweddingplanning Then on Sunday I went to the pool for the FIRST time this summer since the weather has been so random/bad. I’m a little pink now because I was crappy at applying the sunscreen oops. I’m so crazy (in a good way) about sun protection usually but totally slacked this time ugh. Use the SPF, people!

How was your weekend? Or take any recent local weekend/day trips? 

blogging lessons

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So if you follow me on twitter, you might’ve heard a little about this story I have for today. On Friday I had a sponsored guest post up on the blog. During the week I had been emailing with the person about the post and we had agreed on a price and a day for the post. I’ve done this with companies in the past with no issues and I ask just that I receive payment within 24 hours after the post is up.

So on Friday, I emailed when the post was live. No response. I then emailed several more times in the next 24 hours, to verify that the post looked ok and to check on payment. No response. Nothing. Isn’t it funny when someone wants you to do something for them and they email you repeatedly, but then they suddenly disappear when it’s time to pay? Sigh. So on Saturday I removed the post but I feel like the damage is done. They got free advertising and I wasted a day of posting with something I didn’t personally write ugh.

I will be up front here and say that I don’t make much money on my blog but it is nice to make cash sometimes. We all know that blogging takes up a lot of time so getting a little cashola every now and then is nice! I mostly work with legit companies who have a network with bloggers and set payment terms. These arrangements work out well and I get to write the post in my own voice. So even though it’s clearly a sponsored post, it’s a good balance since it’s still “me.” I get a lot of emails from random companies/people asking to write a post for my blog. After telling them I want money they usually just disappear. Nice, huh? However, a few times we’ve negotiated and I do the post and get paid. It’s a win/win. But being trusting can sometimes bite you in the ass and that’s what happened to me this time. Annoying but lesson learned.

I try to balance my sponsored posts since I know that isn’t what people want to read constantly. As I said, getting paid is nice but my blog is really just a hobby and I like connecting with my readers. And if I just have random sponsored posts constantly, you all won’t want to come back as much. Blah. So I’m going to be pickier about my sponsored posts and make sure to work with legit companies. I’ll still have sponsored posts so don’t get mad about that, but I’m going to make sure they still reflect me. Because I like you guys and I want you to like me and my blog and come back here and read and be my best bloggy friends forever and ever. Make sense?

So life is all about lessons and I learned another blogging lesson. What lessons (blogging or otherwise) have you learned lately? Also how was the weekend? We spent a day in Cleveland for a little get away so I’ll share about that soon!