Tale of Tails | 52 Weeks

About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN |  52 Weeks is a blog circle with a theme for every week (which means we all link to each other, links are found at the end of the post).


The tail of tails. Those appendages on the backside of dogs that display mood and comfort – from wagging in happiness, tucked from nervous or raise in alertness because the squirrels are in the yard again.

Within breeds, tails are consistent minus coloration. Within mutts, the variable is increased to favor one or the other parent, a blend of both or none of the parents, with coloration also added as a variable.

Tail length is another variable. There are breeds have been bred to be without tails or short nubs (australian cattle dogs, boston terriers, french bulldogs, brittany spaniels, english bulldogs and pembroke welsh corgis), some are bred with bobtails, others are docked (boxers, rottweilers, dobermans, pointers, cocker spaniels, airedale terriers and schnauzers to name a few), while others sport full tails in different lengths, feathering and carrying position of the tail (when at rest).

[Between my two, Bender has a sword style tail with a white tip that hangs to about ankles when relaxed, while Axle has a sabre style tail that has a curve in the end when at rest – when he’s in go mode his tail arches over his back.]

The backend of Trey the beagle. He’s sporting the classic white “paintbrush” tip (did you know it was to help the hunting party see where their dogs were in the grasses of a field?).

The tails belong to: Lucy the boxer, Gunner the brittany spaniel, Watson the am staff, Xhosa the rottweiler, Shanook the husky & Poe the mutt.


Next visit Terri Jankelow: Toronto professional dog photographer specializing in lifestyle pet photography in the Greater Toronto Area and South Florida to see her tails!


Red | 52 Weeks

About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN |  52 Weeks is a blog circle with a theme for every week (which means we all link to each other, links are found at the end of the post).


So far, we haven’t frozen to death. You didn’t hear? Minnesota has entered into a competition with Antartica to see who held the “hell froze over” award. And…. Minnesota took the prize.

The polar vortex rippled through, sending dipping temps and winds that bit and froze boogers. Wednesday lacked in wind, though made up in temps of -20s, reaching deeper into -30s when the sun ran out. (I’m writing this Wednesday evening). Due note, this is actual temps and does not account for windchill. Which means -20 is more like -30 pending severity of wind.

Per the weather ap: Thursday starts brisk with -30s pre sunrise and trends upwards to a balmy -5 degrees. Friday is suggesting mid teens, while Saturday and Sunday will be a heat wave of 30-40 degrees. (A massively extreme flux of 60 degrees…).

— What better days to set up and photograph the 52 Weeks theme of Red? The strobes were led up to the living room, aimed towards the space between the couch and bookshelf with Bender the obligatory, but never excited, model. All the red things were found.

First, Bender lounged clad in his red jacket (he’s got two others – one blue, one tan), his excitement for pictures displayed in a snooze on his bed.

Jacket removed, the cozy buffalo plaid blanket converted the dog bed (it reads: Every good dog deserves belly rubs) into a cozy hipster nest. More snoozes.

Let’s try something that doesn’t make you want to just snooze… blanket and dog bed were tucked away, red scarf was the “in” look.

Swap scarves to the quintessential buffalo plaid (Minnesota has adopted this as THE pattern + color for everything).

Hmm…. let’s see if we can do a “beg” (if you hear me actually pronounce beg it sounds like bag, with the word bag holding an elongated a sound, fyi). And… long range beg doesn’t work. Swap lenses and scootch closer. Presto the best beggar ever!

We have more red things such as… red Converse & a red cashmere!

Shoes aside, let’s try to do another beg. It wasn’t happening. Tonality and volume went up, up, upwards, to a screaming pitch that made Bender head tilt and become very concerned about what I was doing.

A blob of kisses later, we reset, swapped lenses and aimed for another beg. Success!

Lastly, the buffalo plaid blanket was put back into action, only this time draped interior decorating style on the couch. Time to snuggle in and have more snoozes until the weather decides to go above zero.


Next up visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex to see the red in her life!

This One is Me | 52 Weeks

About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN |  52 Weeks is a blog circle with a theme for every week (which means we all link to each other, links are found at the end of the post).


This one is me. The personality, face and human behind About A Dog Photography. Fitting for a theme that is “About the Photographer”.

For those who haven’t met me yet, here’s what some of my clients will say about me:

I would say that Cahlean is amazing with dogs and I would highly recommend her for your pup photography needs. She has a way of getting their attention and has photo ideas to keep things moving along. She’s also great to work with as a human! She has a great personality and is always quick to respond when communicating.
— Chirpa, Somoa & Puck / Tanya


Cahlean is fantastic to work with, professional, fun, and talented.
— Surly / Kimberly


My favorite part [of the session] was walking through the park and chatting. Even though we had just met you were very nice and easy to talk to!
— Bubba, Cali & Oliver / Ally


Oh, about the photographer. What would I say about me?

The trickiest thing to write about as any creative. We delve into the depths, bringing forth the ancient film camera from the youngest days (my mom was my film supplier, there were rolls taken), and transcend into the middle youth and evolution, with of course a notation of schooling (in my case a tech college in graphic design program where I paid less than full attention to the one quarter photography class, 12 years ago – oh dear…).  From there the merits to the current result.

Which if you’re a fellow photographer you are inspired to care just enough, the rest of the world sees the camera momentum as upgraded computers or vehicles, it makes no difference to them the means to capture the outcome. (For those who want to know: body progression – Canon Rebel XT -> Nikon D300s -> Nikon D750 -> Nikon D5).

Instead an about ought to be more aligned with a conversation of grand bantering. On points that make the personality and human element.

Such as:
– being an avid reader and wanderlust in the realm of words (The Vorrh was my last read, yours?)
– the consumption of all the baking shows and translation into creation (first attempt at royal icing was a runny success)
– being a massive creative (from roots in the nether of my youth) in photography, writing, drawing, sculpting, sewing and now baking
– the laughter, giggles and fun wholesomely embraced throughout the dailys of life

Other notable points towards my humanity:
– there is a very specific blue that holds as my favorite
– knowledge questing phases: Pyrex, Fry glass, cake stands, making the perfect frosting, dinosaurs, dog breeds, 1950s styles…
– the enjoyment of whiskey, coffee and the bliss that is a Campfire Mocha from Caribou Coffee
– the vast love of dogs of every shape and personality

The defining words:
– fun / creative / strong / talented / smart / dreamer / eternal optimist

There you have epitome of me in a wee iceberg tip.


Onward to me in action images!

(A giant thank you to my wonderful boyfriend Kris for capturing behind the scenes images and the impromptu portrait session Tuesday night. The grassy pose is care of Cindy of CK Photography, and the action image of me in the slider with Moose @theminnesotamoose is from Holly @midwestcanines.)


Next up visit Lynda Mowat from Heartstrings Photography, based in Hamilton New Zealand to learn more about her!

Before & After | 52 Weeks | SNEAKY PEEK!

About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN |  52 Weeks is a blog circle with a theme for every week (which means we all link to each other, links are found at the end of the post).


Before & after PLUS a bonus sneaky peek? Bonus!

Last weekend the weather trended balmy for January (high 30s), perfect for Xhosa (prounounced Ko-sa), Watson & Gunner’s session.


— Xhosa the rottweiler had been part of the Avaqyn Acres rebrand session this past spring and I was especially tickled (more like giddy) when her mom got a hold of me about a session!

(Isn’t she FREAKING CUTE?!?!? This is from the Avaqyn Acres very early in the morning session.)


Fast forward through a couple seasons, breeze beyond the holidays and land in January. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge had the perfect coating of snow which dressed up the browns of the trees and dormant grasses.

The trio is quite the hoot! Old gentleman Gunner, the brittney spaniel with an affinity for butt scratches, was all about the smells and laying vs sitting. The baby of the trio, the dapper am staff Watson, bounced and pranced through the snow until his tootsies were too cold, while Xhosa tore through the snow like terrorizing banshee and transformed into a majestic lady with her stoic sits.

(Having them leashed is a MUST, especially with two or more dogs! Not just for their safety but to help wrangle them together in a similar area for epic images of all of your dogs together.)

We found the perfect spot on a slight hill, the last touches of fall evident in the trees still bearing rust colored leaves the sunlight twinkling through. With some magic the leashes Watson & Gunner sported disappeared, while Xhosa received a head swap for a touch extra crispness and slightly different expression (she’s pretty stoic so it was more of a head angle than expression!).

And sometimes as the majestic old man, such as Gunner, you strike the perfect pose in the perfect spot after a jog through the snow that just happens to be right next to your mom who is wrangling your brother and sister. Cue the magic and an awesome before and after!



Since these are quite fun with the slider (if you’re curious its a plugin for WordPress called Twenty20) here are a couple more before and afters from last year’s sessions.

Barb & Barry, an iconic duo of basset heights (give them a follow in Instagram @barbandbarry.) Their after included leash edits and some amplification of color of the fall tree. Probably the best tree in all of Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis!


Dapper Spencer rocked his Minneapolis murals session and also rocked his mega awesome bowties (follow the antics of him, his sister River and their new brother Fairbanks on Instagram @spencthedoodle). The after edit includes window removal as well as “repainting” some of the bricks and sidewalk cleanup.


The sassy tripod Pony strutted her stuff this fall downtown St. Cloud. In classic pittie fashion, she tucked her ears for the “bald old man look” on most of her images. When a passing car caught her attention we got an epic lip curl and ears! Mom happened to be just behind Pony. This after included the removal of mom! Pretty EPIC!


If you’ve ever been worried about your dog being too bouncy or having to stay on leash, ease that worry! Here at About A Dog Photography we have epically awesome “magic” skills that will make your dog look like an off leash superstar!

Now onward to the next blog (it is a blog circle you know) to check out some more before and afters. Next up is Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and destinations nationwide.

Loki | Ritter Farm Park, Lakeville MN

February 18th, 2018. The weather was pleasantly perfect for February, the snow a wonderfully thick covering during Loki’s session at the Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville MN. Rocking boots and a new camera, we couldn’t have asked for a better day.

(This golden retriever is a seasoned pro at strutting his stuff in front of the camera – you can find him on Instagram as @lokiofmn. )

We strolled into the park (thank you Nicole for introducing me to this gem!), paused at the bridge, stepped into tall golden grasses set in nearly knee deep snow, moved uphill and through some scraggly pines. Further uphill gave me a low angle vantage point in attempt to capture a flying run over the crest. Loki was happier to prance up the hill. What a goof!


Into knee deep snow, where Loki pounced, pranced and played, happy to entertain his mom and I as he chased his ball.

The light began to draw from the sky, painting it a pastel pink purple. We continued on the loop heading in the direction of the parking lot when the sky transitioned into a vibrant orange that painted everything with perfect golden light! Our trek stopped to capture those last images flush with color.

That wonderful bandanna Loki is sporting is by Banded Pines (or find them on Instagram @bandedpines)


If you were curious about coordinating a winter session, the answer is yes we can! This is a great way to enjoy the season and explore a new area (or see the changes in a familiar one!). Keep in mind if your dog is a freeze baby, a winter session may not be the best option!