Fetching Images bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    I have had a camera of one type or another in my hands since I was 8. I have had pets in my life since I was born. I've decided that photography and pets are a match made in Heaven, and it is my desire to produce images that will make every proud pet owner or animal lover drool, run around in circles, howl at the moon, or purr at ear-shattering decibel levels. I enjoy photographing just about everything, but I love working with animals, creating works of art that preserve their unique personalities for years to come.

    I currently live and work in Greenville, SC with my husband and our dogs. We just recently moved back to this area after 3 years in Houston, TX and 4 years in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I have the extreme pleasure of working a job I love by day and fighting at night for a corner of a king size bed which is somehow dominated by two Shih Tzu. My travels have led me to amazing parts of the world and, likewise, to some pretty amazing people. This good fortune of meeting and working with great people...and their pets...has continued with each move. You can see more of my work in Life + Dog Magazine and on Facebook. For you tweeters, follow along on Twitter. Thank you for stopping by. Mel Hammonds

    Photo courtesy of Renee Carolla Photography, Greenville, SC

Dogs Of 2013

 

 

2013 was a great year full of transitions and challenges, and it did not disappoint when it came to photographic opportunities.  This post is all about highlighting some of the top experiences of the year. More detailed posts of several of the shoots will follow in the weeks to come. And you may notice a new logo….pretty excited about that, and it was long overdue!

The year started off with a dog and a baby! Grizzly became protective of her little sister from the get go and watched over her in all possible ways…..

2013 brought the addition of a new service. I was hired by a client to teach her how to take better photos of her own pets using her equipment in her home.  Of course, I had to snap a few photos while I was at it, and this was one of my favorites:

A major highlight of the year was having one of my images of Bob Harper from NBC’s The Biggest Loser and his dog, Karl, appear on the cover of Life + Dog Magazine. It was such a great experience working with the L+D team on this shoot, and Mr. Harper and Karl could not have been easier to work with.

Speaking of the Life + Dog team, I was able to capture a rare shot of the Publisher, Brett Chisholm, and Editor-In-Chief, Ryan Rice, with all 5 of their dogs for an updated partial family photo. They have recently added several rescue horses and have a few cats running around, as well.

After feeling a little more settled following our relocation to Greenville, SC from Houston, TX in October of 2012, I began volunteering in the spring for Carolina Basset Hound Rescue and Phoenix Rising Border Collie Rescue in the fall.

Bryn, the Border Collie is currently available for adoption, so visit the website (click the link above) if you are interested in finding out more.

 

I made several trips back to Houston for client shoots, meeting new clients as well as working with several previous clients who had added pups to the family or just wanted updated photos.

Jacques, the French Bulldog puppy, was an absolute delight….

Buddy and Sissy went from frolicking on a playground to their mom’s garden and are as thick as thieves….

Tank, the Pug, got a little brother named Griffin in 2013. Griffin has since surpassed Tank in size, but what a cute pair they are:

Handsome Brutus seemed to love the camera….And this shoot was a gift from his mom’s friends for her birthday, so he made sure to strike a cute pose…

And we were able to capture a bit of the Houston skyline ( ahhhh, Houston, I do miss thee)…..

Kaiser demonstrated the proper way to stay cool during Houston’s sizzling heat….

Then there was this really cool couple with their German Shepherds, Pullo and Daxter:

Contradictory to popular belief, not all dogs hate getting a bath. Kylie shows us she has no fear of the bathtub.  Of course, being a Lab probably helps…..

Meanwhile, back in the Carolinas, Bree burst onto the scene!

Jessie demonstrated the grace and composure that comes with being a senior dog….

While her puppy brother Rigby did what puppies do: chew on sticks….

Roscoe melted my heart with his charm and winning personality….

A trip across Tennessee brought me to my childhood bestie’s home and her new pup, Chicken….

I had the opportunity to experiment with studio pet photography….and fell in love with this guy, Nash….

The Fall is generally a busy time, and this year was no exception. There were shoots in both Houston and Greenville, several of which were Christmas presents for loved ones.

Clare, the Westie, was a natural….

Darby was extremely curious about the noises that I make…

 

Regal Jack showed us an acceptable type of profiling….

Molly posed for her dad’s Christmas shoot and competed with the surrounding scenery of Lake Keowee for beauty….

Puma showed us the importance of having a good bodyguard….his big brother, Souljah, has his back for sure….

Winston started his New Year’s resolutions early before anyone else was ready, willing, and able….

And Harry showed his readiness to cruise into 2014 and meet his new little brother who arrives in a couple of weeks.

Which means I’ll be cruising to Houston soon for a Brotherly Love shoot.

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of my clients, family, friends, followers, and supporters for helping to make 2013 Fabulous! I am looking forward to all that is ahead in 2014 and wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

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Heaven Has A New Sheriff

 

 

 

It is hard to believe that it has been a month since Lindsay and Scott had to say goodbye to their beloved 19 year old MaryJane (A.K.A. MJ). While their hearts are broken, and she will be forever missed, they have nearly two decades of memories and stories of her antics upon which to adore and reflect.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to have known MJ are pretty certain that she is keeping everyone entertained and in line up above.

I first met MJ and her family at a birthday party for a friend’s dog about 2 years ago, and photo shoots and friendship ensued. MJ had two Sheltie siblings, but there was no doubt that she was the boss and matriarch of the household!

MJ had a rough start in life but was rescued from a dumpster by a dad who treated her like a queen. When he started up his business, she was a constant at his side, and she went on to lead a wonderful life and have everything a dog could ever want.

But in more recent years, she became a regular at her mom’s store where she might even be found assisting with the modeling of products:

We spent some time together last spring working on a Day In the Life shoot, documenting the above images of MJ at work as well as following her engaging in some of her favorite activities…..

Including satisfying her penchant for McDonald’s french fries….

She may  have liked my salmon treats as much as the fries….she’s the only dog I have ever worked with who nearly ripped the treat bag from my belt, and I have worked with some pretty large and treat crazy dogs!

And it’s hard to forget one of her greatest passions:  Car Rides! We captured this fun series of her riding through her neighborhood during our first session together:

I will be forever grateful to MJ for connecting me with her parents and for having had the privilege of documenting that spunky personality that seemed to endear her to everyone she encountered. Sometimes there are just no words to express our sorrow for others at difficult times, but I am hopeful that images will help. Ride on, MJ, and may Heaven rejoice at your presence and welcome their new sheriff with open paws.

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“It’s Alive!”

 

 

“It’s Alive!”

My blog, that is. Neglected…..but alive.

It has been awhile, and the silence has not been due to being idol. In fact, much has happened and is happening, so this post will be heavier with words than images just this once.

Much like the puppy pictured above, this year will be full of  new adventures and moving forward with great purpose. Many of you may not yet know that I have relocated from Houston, TX to Greenville, SC which is like coming home as I lived here previously for 10 years. But my pet photography business was launched in Houston, and I have many wonderful friends and clients as well as family there. I will be returning several times a year for shoots and visits, so if you are interested in getting on that list of shoots, please make sure to email at fetchmel@aol.com or leave a comment below. Spaces will be limited for obvious reasons. I look forward to building a new clientele here in the Carolinas, and I cannot wait to make use of this beautiful mountainous scenery!

My work as a contributor for Life + Dog Magazine  will continue. In fact, travel has already occurred  to Los Angeles and Atlanta in the last several months for some exciting photo shoots for upcoming issues.  I am pretty psyched to continue to work with this team of amazing people and dog lovers as well as to expand my role with an additional blog on the Life + Dog website (coming soon).  This will complement a “photo tip” style column in each issue.  As always, images from client shoots will be submitted for inclusion in the magazine, so your pup could be among the pages for all to see!  The magazine is now available nationwide at the majority of Barnes & Nobel stores.

My husband and I will be building “The Dream House” this year, so I have to be honest with myself and know that this will limit the number of photo shoots and projects that I’ll be able to schedule. That being said, I hope to pursue a couple of new ideas and artistic endeavors while continuing to volunteer for animal rescue groups and provide high quality artistic imagery for my clients.

I always love to hear from followers, so if you have thoughts or suggestions or if you are interested in having me travel to a city near you for photo shoots, please let me know!

Oh, yeah…..let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! After 4 years in the Middle East and 3 years in Houston, I am ready for some snowy pet photos!

More to come soon!

 

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Berkley: A Survivor

 

 

I was hired to photograph Berkley as a surprise gift for his mom’s 5oth birthday. I literally showed up an hour or so before the party after she was dressed and ready to go. Unfortunately, she had to reapply some makeup afterwards because she so loved her husband’s gift of a photo shoot that she started crying. These are the types of experiences that reinforce my love for my job.

And because it was a party, it was necessary to don the appropriate attire. Even though it was a party for his mom, Berkley seemed to know that he would be the true center of attention.

Probably one of the reasons Berkley’s mom had such an emotional reaction is that she almost lost this little man several years ago.  Remember the tainted food tragedy in 2007 ….the food contaminated with melamine?  Berkley was a victim and nearly died.  Sadly he lost 2 of his dog siblings because all 3 of them became gravely ill; and against the odds, Berkley pulled through. He is their survivor, and that is truly a reason to celebrate.

Below are a few more images from Berkley’s shoot:

Berkley’s story serves as a great reminder to us all to be mindful of what we feed our pets.  It’s important to read labels and to stay up to date regarding food and treat recalls. Currently there is a huge suspicion that chicken jerky treats from a variety of manufacturers (primarily in China or that have these treats made in China) are causing illness and in some cases, death.  You can find out more about pet food safety at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary.

 

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