You know how some people just have uncanny connections with animals? Like they seem to be able to communicate with them on an entirely different level than the rest of us – I’m talking way beyond “sit, stay, good boy” and all the usual training commands. I think those people are few and far between, and when you see one of them interacting with an animal, you can just tell there’s more going on there than meets the eye. Like a deep mutual understanding. Chrissy is one of those people. I swear she has little birds that help her get dressed in the morning (like Snow White – or was that Cinderella?)! She’s a horse whisperer, dog whisperer, and most certainly the alpha mare of both her pack and her herd! She’s also had a bird land on her (or fly into her) multiple times – weird, right? I was so excited to do these portraits of her with her adorable family – her dogs Buttons, Lola, Clyde, and Max. Buttons is 15 years old and perfect in every way – and I really wanted to make some special portraits of Chrissy with Buttons so she’d have these photos of them together. We decided to shoot in Chrissy’s backyard, which just so happens to be the Delaware River – we herded the dogs out to the dock and then attempted to manage the chaos. Have you ever attempted to wrangle five dogs (yes, five – her boyfriend’s dog Ella joined us for the shoot) in an uncontrolled outdoor location?! Her babies are incredibly well-behaved, but getting everyone to sit and look at the camera at the same time (without blocking each other’s faces or deciding it was the perfect time for a scratch) was almost impossible. So we went with the flow – and I think the portraits we made together really do capture Chrissy’s personality, which is fun, relaxed, easy-going, and joyful. So enjoy a few highlights from our shoot – and thank you Chrissy for making these beautiful portraits with me.