Cleo the Dachsund Cardiff State Beach

by | Photo Sessions

Sunset Photo Session Cardiff State Beach, San Diego, California

Cleo’s mom, Brittany, reached out about a dog photography session to create artwork to hang in her home of sweet Cleo. Cleo is an almost 15-year-old dachshund who has been Brittany’s pride and joy for her whole life. Brittany said she was not sure how much longer she has left since she has mammary tumors, so she wanted to capture her so that she has photos to remember her by.

girl kissing her dog sitting in her lap

We chose Cardiff State Beach for our photo session since it’s dog friendly but all dogs have to be on a leash and its generally less crowded than dog beach. Brittny said they liked to go there to walk and hang out so it was perfect.

It’s a short walk from the parking lot to where I normally photograph and I was a little worried about Cleo being able to get there without being carried, but she kept up just fine!

Once Cleo knew I had good treats, she was my best friend and followed me everywhere. It was perfect!

We stared with some portraits up on the rock/cliffside and Cleo posed perfectly with a big old smile on her face. Even though she can’t hear very well, as long as I held the treat right above my camera, she would look at the lens perfectly. 

girl kissing her dog's head

Brittany let me know a few shots she was hoping to get beforehand, so I made sure to capture her and Cleo walking the beach together as well as a super special photo of her holding Cleo’s head in her hands and giving her a kiss. The sweetest!

Cleo walked up and down the beach for me to capture her next to the water and just kept going no matter what. As long as I had a treat in my hand, she kept following the camera! Her mom said this is the happiest she has ever looked in photos!

Brittany had told me that Cleo was going to turn 15 in January (our shoot was at the end of October), so I decided to bring number balloons and get a few photos of Cleo with them! Brittany had sent me a photo of Cleo in a crown on her last birthday before our shoot, so I told her to bring it. Look how darn cute she is with it!

dachsund dog standing in front of a sunset

As the sun started to set, I could tell the sunset was going to be beautiful because there were a few clouds in the sky. We waited for the sun to go down and I got out my Westcott Ice Light to capture some lit up photos of Cleo in front of the sunset. She nailed it!

In typical photographer fashion, I kept saying “just one more shot!” I couldn’t pass up the amazing sunset we had. I had already put all my camera gear away, but got it back out to capture a beautiful silhouette photo of Cleo looking right at her mama.

Cleo’s mama decided to display her photos in a beautiful signature album and a metal print to hang in her room. So happy she will have these photos to treasure forever!