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Joey, Amanda, Jemma & Hugo: Family Portraits

June 28, 2015

_MG_7088Ok everyone Im going to try and not let this get to sappy or sad. As I posted the other day in the sneak peek recently I was blessed to take my brother and sister-in-law’s family portraits. Their dog Jemma had been diagnosed with cancer the week prior and they had just found out she didn’t have much time left. Jemma and Hugo are Italian Greyhounds and of course Joey and Amanda’s babies. So we set a date to take the pictures at the end of the week. I got a phone call from Joey on Tuesday saying we probably should do it as soon as we could, so we did. We took the pictures the very next day. I don’t know what else to say about the shoot except for it went great all things considered. I think even for a few moments we forgot she was sick, she was doing quite well. After the shoot I sat with Jemma for a little while. And anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk, sometimes I even just talk I don’t care who is around. And I always talk to animals especially pets. I know they understand me and may even want to discuss their day. So afterwards Jemma and I sat and talked about our day, we reminisced, I pet her and got to give her a few kisses and say goodnight as I left. Jemma passed away the next afternoon. And she will always be missed.

Every time I think of her I will think about the super excited puppy that I would call “Jemma! Jemma! Jemma! Jemma!” to as fast and in the most excited voice I could make and clap my hands and she would jump and prance and be so super excited to
see me. There is nothing in the world like it. The excitement a dog has when you call their name like that. I will never forget the run/walks I took her on when ever she was over at my parents house, and how she never quite mastered “jogging”. And the look she would have on her face when she would look back at me as I was panting like a crazy person trying to find a way to get more oxygen in my lungs after a short sprint we had just taken together. And I will never forget the many times my parents dog-sat Jemma and Hugo and they took over the couch and nestled themselves into the blanket on the couch where my dad always sat, and when he would ask them to make some room, they would just lick his face and then burry/ tuck themselves back in.

Ok so now Im going to take you back a bit here. Jemma was Joey and Amanda’s first pet together. And just incase you don’t know this my brother is a math nerd, always has been. Amanda found some way to bring out his not so nerdy side and make him cool, I still have no clue how she did that one. So when Joey proposed to Amanda he got her the dog she always wanted and put the engagement ring on her collar. I was beyond impressed, really in complete shock, I am even at a loss for words to explain it now. I mean that was smooth. Who says no to a cute little puppy with some bling around her collar. No one… So as you can assume she said yes, and a few years later Hugo was born and their family grew from 3 to 4.

So a few years back when I got my first studio set up Jemma, Hugo, Rocky, and Micky (Rocky and Micky are our 2 siamese cats) volunteered to be my practice models. They always were so willing to help out. It was a pretty fun shoot. Rocky kept
poking out from behind the backdrop and scaring the poop (not literally, but the possibility was definitely out there) out of Jemma and Hugo, especially Jemma. Then at one point he walked up to her and I got one of my favorite shots of the two of them, the shot where it looks like Rocky is telling Jemma a secret. I assumed a modeling secret considering how Rocky is a high end fashion model and all. Or at least he thinks he is.

The Secret

The Secret

So now that I am done reminiscing I will conclude with  the only way I know how. I will share the comforting advice my three and a half year old son blessed us with last week when he was trying to comfort his Aunt Amanda. “Aunt Amanda if you ever want to see Jemma again all you have to do is reach up to Heaven and pull her out by her tail.”

Jemma you will be missed forever. And may you never have your tail pulled by another toddler again, no matter how cute he is. But if by some weird chance I ever see a cute white tail randomly hanging from the clouds, I can not promise I won’t give it a little tug and try and bring you back. Maybe I’ll just try Yelling “Jemma! Jemma! Jemma! Jemma!” anytime I find myself alone outside.


_MG_7139 _MG_7155 _MG_7175 _MG_7191 _MG_7193 _MG_7201-Layers _MG_7211 _MG_7230 _MG_7233 _MG_7240 _MG_7276 _MG_7287 Stumbaugh_J&h_02 Stumbaugh_J&h_03 Stumbaugh_J&h_04 Stumbaugh_J&h_05 Stumbaugh_J&h_07 Stumbaugh_J&h_08 Stumbaugh_J&h_10 Stumbaugh_J&h_11 Stumbaugh_J&h_12 throwback (disclaimer: I don’t think Wyatt really pulled on her tail much, if at all. Just to clear that up.)

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