Bryan is a director base out of Seattle Wa. He has been writing, directing and assistant directing in the corporate and independent film community for more than nine years. His work can be viewed @

If you have a dream, it’s never unattainable. Never forget that your dream is reachable even when it feels really far away. Always keep going and never give up!!

So this is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

I was a “YoYo” kid, I would move in and out of my parents home a bunch of times. I was 17-18  the first time I moved out and that was to live in the dorms on the UW campus. I ended up dropping out of school and moved back home. I then moved out to live with my girlfriend only to move back home after we broke up. I then finally moved out on my own. I started dating another girl and we moved in together and got a bigger place, when that didn’t work out  I of course moved back home LOL. The last time I moved out was when I started going to the Art Institute and l lived in student housing. But when The Art Institute  found out I had a roommate when I wasn’t supposed to they kick me out and once again I moved back home and this time I stayed home for awhile. My parents really did me a HUGE favor by allowing me to stay for a while. After all living at home wasn’t so bad. It gave me the opportunity to focus on my career. I was able to take low or non paying gigs that really helped establish my portfolio and gain experience while not having to worry about how to pay the rent or worry about were my next meal came from.

As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 

I always dreamed about making films. That was always my desire. I always wanted to be a director. However there was a point in my life when being a director felt like a pipe dream. It felt really far away and sort of unattainable. But I also knew I couldn’t work a 9 to 5. I never really never had a passion for anything other then films. There came a point when I realized I needed to get my shit together, go back to school and really chase down this dream. Do everything I could do to make this a reality. So I went at it 100% and  I wasn’t going to quit! That is the attitude I needed to have in order to make this a reality.

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

They were very much about do what you want to do. Follow the path you want to follow and we will support you in what ever you choose. They took a very hands off approach, they never pushed us do anything we didn’t want to do, as long as we were excessing and staying healthy. I mean they didn’t let us just do nothing but they made it more about us making the choices for ourselves. Its kind of weird living a life were you are not forced to do stuff. The motivation had to come from within side myself and it made it so I really had to want it to make things a reality. In some ways I think maybe I would  have gone into directing sooner if  I was pushed early in life to finish. If I had someone say no you are not going to drop out of school, you are going to follow through with what you have started. But  on the other hand I don’t think I would have the same kind of drive or desire to do what it I am doing today. My parents allowed me to do it in my own way and on my own terms. I am truly thankful to have had the time to develop this way, it was really good for me. I was around 25 years old when things really started to clicked for me. But a lot of  my success is about my parents being supportive and allowing me to find my own way!

At this point in your life are you happy were you are at? 

I am very happy with what is going on in my life right now.  I was fortunate enough to start directing projects right out of school but I knew I wasn’t the director I wanted to be yet. So I stepped back and took a break from directing. I knew I needed to learn more so I started Assisting Directing. I gave myself 3-4 years of being an assistant director so  I can get real life experience on set. I wanted to see how things are done, see how other directors worked with their actors and their crews. I had the chance to work with some truly talented and amazing people and for that  I feel truly blessed.  I gained a ton of experience in the 4 year time period of being an AD. Then about a year and a half ago I hit a cross roads while working as AD on the set of Portlandia season 3. I knew If I kept working exclusively as an AD, I would end up joined the union as an AD and thats what everyone in the business would see me as. I feel that perception in industry is really important. If everyone thinks that you are this thing you are never going to break out of it. I released that I learned all I was going to learn over the last 4 years as an AD and I needed to get back to directing. I needed to take all this knowledge I have gained and shift it into a project. I needed to change peoples perception of me. Of who I am and what I am capable of doing. After all my dream was not to be a career AD it was to be a Director.

If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change what would it be? 

Yes. I still AD a little and  I want to get to point in my life were I don’t have to do that anymore.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

I am really proud of The Bond. The Bond  was the project  I did when I decide to stop being an AD and get back to being a Director. I was able to raised 40K with $15,000 coming from kickstarter. I saw a fairly large scale short film from inception to completion in a calendar year. It won best narrative short @ Seattle True Independent Film Festival this year. Which is super cool. I have a lot pride in what I was able to do with the amazing team I assembled. I have short called Big Boy coming out soon. It was shot in April so it will be coming out in the next month or two. I am going to submit it to Sundance. I  just shot a music video for Seattle Raper Sadistik for the song Orange off of the Ultraviolet CD.

This is were I first worked with Brian, I shot the BS stills for the video. You can check out all of Bryan’s work @

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?

I can be so stubborn, so locked into one idea that it takes a lot to change my mind. The only reason I am here doing what I am doing today is that I hit rock bottom and it made me change they way I did things. I couldn’t take anyones advice, I had to learn it for myself. So Maybe not be so stubborn and always remember.
“If you have a dream, it’s never unattainable. Never forget that your dream is reachable even when it feels really far away. Always keep going and never quit!!!”

Dogs of Valhalla Rescue “Hannah”

Here is the story of Susan and her boyfriend John on how they opened their hearts and their homes to two wonderful dogs. Because of these two caring people and Valhalla Rescue Hannah and Moose will have a chance to have the happy and fulfilling lives they deserve. 

How has adopting Hannah changed or effected your life?  

We get a lot more exercise. Hannah really loves getting out and so we spend more time taking walks together as a family. This ends up being great for everyone as we get exercise and spend more quality time not thinking about work.

Funny Story or Instance with Hannah. 

We went hiking one weekend at cathedral falls and despite having been hiking with us before, Hannah seemed rather startled by every insect she saw that day. At one point she was sniffing around some leaves and a little beetle crawled out. As soon as Hannah noticed the Beetle she leapt backwards a few feet and then tried to scurry up the hill before nearly falling down a hill. All this just to avoid a beetle.

Does Hannah have special needs, what are they? 

While we were fostering Hannah, she had two spay surgeries aborted due to her heart rate dropping under anesthesia.  We decided to adopt her anyways, and have been working with specialists to see what is causing the reaction.   Preliminary results indicate she may have a heart condition called Cardio Myopathy.  She doesn’t have any obvious clinical symptoms yet, and we are just waiting on some more test results to get a definitive diagnosis and to create a management plan.
Why did you want to take on a dog with special needs? 

When adopting Hannah, we initially thought her only special need was going to be that she couldn’t be under anesthesia except for emergencies.  Having previously had a special needs dog, we felt this was a manageable condition for us.
Have you adopted a special needs dog before? 

Not intentionally, but my last dog had ended up having Wobblers and Addison’s disease.  The hardest part of having a special needs dog is dealing with the uncertainty of getting a diagnosis and implementing a successful management plan.  However, most special needs dogs only require minimal changes to their routine and you can barely tell they are different.  In addition, the relationship you have with a special needs dog is often deeper than with other dogs.  You are more in tune with each other, and they really seem to appreciate any extra care you provide them.

What is one of Hannah favorite behavior traits?

When Hannah wants something she will first come over and stare to see if you will pay attention to her. If you’re still not giving her what she wants she then places a single paw on your chest and stares into your eyes. Continuing to ignore her will result in both paws being placed on your chest and her pushing her face close into yours.

Are you glad you decide to adopt? Would you do it again? 

We are very happy that we adopted Hannah, our family wouldn’t feel complete without her.  We would like to keep fostering dogs, and would be open to adopting another one if they were the perfect fit for us.
How did Valhalla help with the adoption experience? 

Our adoption experience was pretty casual since we were already an approved foster for Valhalla.  Being able to foster Hannah before we adopted her really allowed us to get to know her before we decided to adopt.       
Would you recommend Valhalla to others? Yes, Valhalla does really wonderful work helping dogs and their community. 
Lets not forget about Moose. 

Have you fostered before? Why foster? Do you ever get to attached not want to let them go? What is the hardiest and most fulfilling thing about fostering? 

Before fostering Moose, I had only done a short-term foster where I fostered a puppy for the holidays.  My dog Dexter passed away in January, and while I wasn’t ready to get another dog, my home felt really empty. Fostering Moose really helped me with the grieving process.  Letting Moose go to his permanent home will be bittersweet, but I know that Valhalla will find him the perfect home.
What’s one of Mooses favorite traits? 

Moose is one of the funniest and joyful dogs I’ve had the pleasure of being around.  He really loves being around his people, and will follow you just about anywhere, including into the bathroom. 

Here is just an other amazing story that could only happen with help of the Amazing people. I believe Moose is still looking for his forever home. Please stop the Valhalla Rescue FB page and show your appreciation. 


  Julian is a visual artist and a student currently in the progress of attaining his Bachelors of Fine Arts. He has been constantly creating and pushing the boundaries of what we considered art since the age of 13.    His work can be viewed @ Julian Peña Studios

Take risk because  you cant grow with out taking risk, but at the same time be smart about it. In other words think before you jump but you must jump!

So this is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

I was in a hurry to grow up, I first moved out as soon as I gradated from high school.  I lived in Seattle for a year  that didn’t work out so I moved back in with my parents. I then started dating someone and moved out again. That also lasted a year and when that didn’t work I moved back to my parents home one more time. Lol and that was the last time I lived here.

As a kid what did you dream about being when you grew up? 

Originally it was a game & fashion designer. I actually went to school for both and it ended up they just weren’t for me so I dropped out. I do have interest in both still but you know there is math involved so time to move on. Currently I am pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts with major in painting & drawing.

What’s a memorable moment from living in your parents home?

I was a trouble maker when I was younger and I butted heads with my stepfather. I would sneak out and in efforts to catch me he installed a camera, a motion detector and flood lights. They were set to go out when I tried to sneak out (which only made my sneakier lol). He also made me get a job when I was 16 which is fine and normal.  But I look back at it and wow I worked at Dairy Queen and saved up enough cash to only buy discounted designer items and markers.

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

They did encourage creativity because they always supported my art habit. I have always drawn and painted, mostly drawn. It was a lot of animation as that was my inspiration at the time. However at the same time my mom would say “why don’t you go to school to be a doctor or lawyer, you know something more stable”. But wasn’t really a battle with them. They totally excepted that I am into art and that art is my life and they support me a 100%.

At this point in your life are you happy were you are at? 

I am very happy actually. I have some success with art and I am still in school. I feel I have worked hard in that area and I have a high passion for art & art education. I have particular goals, I do want to be an Art teacher some day but most importantly I want to be a relevant artist…not just any artist I want to be in art history books before I die.

If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change what would it be? 

Not sure that I would change anything. The good and the bad that is what shaped me into the person I am today. There are something things I wish I didn’t live through but those moments made me a stronger and more resilient person. I more driven driven due to the things I have lived through.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Winning the best artist of South Sound Magazine two years in a row, pulling off successful art shows while still in school and most importantly still being alive!

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?

Don’t rush to move out & grow up, maybe enjoy the support. Take risk because I feel you cant grow in life with out taking risk. But at the same time be smart about it. I tend to jump in with both feet and that has lead to a few mistakes.

Be on the look out for Julian’s new series The Black Period a series of photographic portraits of subjects that work in the sex industry coming the winter of 2104. “Sometimes I look at the surface to see not only my reflection but what’s underneath…” 


When thinking of our childhood it often brings back thoughts of happiness, having the ability to enjoy without guard and being able to dream without worry of failure. FYI you can still live that way!!!!! 
“Don’t be afraid, everyone dies in the end. Also do more stuff!!!” 

How old were you when you moved from your childhood home?  I left when I was 19/20. My parents sold the house and I got my first apartment on Capital Hill.

What did you dream about being when you grew up?  I wanted to be famous but didn’t really know how.

Any fun or vivid memories from this house?  When I was 3 or 4 years old, my bedroom window was adjacent to the neighbors Jim and Lois driveway. They were a retired couple and in the early mornings, around 5am Jim would back out the driveway to go golfing. He did this everyday without fail and every day I would hop out of bed and run outside to the end of the driveway to wave goodbye and he would give me a piece of candy each time. I loved it. 

Did you parents encourage you to be creative?  My Mom encouraged creativity, she drove me nearly every night to ballet classes and rehearsals, then she encouraged me to pursue a molding career which eventually led to my current career….

When/how did you start your career of being a photo stylist? 2009 I was living in LA teaching yoga when a producer friend asked me to help style a music video with Joel Schumacher. I said yes (of course having no idea what to beyond the basics) and the rest is history. In 2010 I really came into my own, career-wise. By then I had a portfolio of a few different types of styling/costuming for movies, music videos, tv shows etc… and decide that was my niche and ran with it.

Are you happy were you are in life? I am happy yes, i’m not satisfied however, i feel there is so much more to achieve and i feel very capable of doing more, but yeah, I am very happy.

If there is one thing you could change right now what would it be? To move back to LA full time, I am just so much happier there.

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would tell your younger self?  Don’t be afraid, everyone dies in the end and do more things!!!!!


To often in life we make the easy decision, the only everyone expects us to make. Growing up in a lower-middle class household on the North side of Chicago, the encouragement to follow your dreams was never there. The conversation of happiness never came up. When the thoughts of future would be discussed it would often led to what job can you get to pay your bills. Take what you can get or don’t worry you will figure it. So art or even creativeness didn’t really exist to me.  So not sure were it came from. Well from what I have learn over the years is that it is in all us and all it needs nurturing. Pick up a camera, a paint brush, a pencil, or a microphone. Don’t doubt yourself until you try it. Not sure how to start? Just do it!!! Phones have cameras, mics, and most have internet connects. Goggle the things that interest you, inspiration is all arounds and is now easier then ever to share with the world. Because that old cliche applies to everything, “If there is no one in the woods and a tree falls does it make any noise?”.  If no one sees our creation did we really create anything? So get up, get out, create and share!! You will be amazed on how it will change you life.

 This was our neighborhood hangout. A 4 way intersection that had a manhole cover at each corner that we converted into our imaginary Wrigley field. Each manhole represented a base and there was even a home run fence in deep center field. This is were we all dreamed of being Big Leaguers, but  what boy didn’t right. However those dreams fade quickly as we all watch our parents struggle to get by. The only discussion about the future were always to find a job preferably a trade, work as much as possible or at least enough to get by. The phrase “Do what you have to do to get by” is something I truly Hate and refuse to say myself. If you are living your life to merely to get by then you are missing the point!!  We are not all going to do something that will change the world but we can all do something to change our part of the world.  When ever  I  would feel stagnate I would ask myself a hypothetical question. If I died today “was I happy with the way I was living the moment I died?” If  I answered NO then it was time for change. It’s not a easy question to ask and a even harder one to answer. Happiness it not just a feeling it is a way of life and it is often a life long journey. As your needs for happiness changes often. So be strong enough to ask that question and even stronger to answer it honestly. People often say things happen for a reason and do nothing to to make those things happen. Things do happen for a reason and that reason is YOU. It will be hard, but it will life changing and I am here to tell you it’s never to late! To live like we did when we were kids. Dream big and do what ever it takes to achieve those dreams. Surround yourself with people that feed those dreams, that encourage you every day to that special thing that you do. What ever it may be. Honestly just think back to what you dreamed about on that street corner and remember how happy that made you feel. Just the action of dreaming made you happy just imagine how following through on those dreams will effect you and the others in your life. I didn’t find my special thing until I picked up a digital camera in 2005. Honestly it changed they way a look at everything. But honestly it wasn’t myself that gave me the courage to search for happiness. It was my dear friend of Toby. He lived his life with no rules, he challenged everything, everyone and constantly challenged me. For that I will for ever be grateful. I just wish he was here to be apart of the journey he pushed my to take. We lost an amazing human being and the best friend anyone could ever have in Oct 2008. He changed and influenced some many lives and never will be forgotten.

 This project is in dedication to him and a reminder not only to myself but hopefully to us all. NEVER QUIT DREAMING!!!!

This a portrait series of adults in front of their childhood homes and is an effort to remind us all to LIVE for more then just this fact of getting by.

 This is the home of my late Grandmother Lorraine Kinney. This is were not only myself but a majority of my cousins built so many good memories.

1. How old was I lived here? Not really sure of the age because he constantly moved to and from here. But I spent a large part of my childhood here.

2. What did I dream about being when I grew up? I was never encouraged to dream about that stuff. It wasn’t until we moved to the suburbs for junior high and I met Toby. He always pushed me to dream for more. We always talked about and dreamed about living on the west coast. The movie Point break really influenced us and made to want to live in CA.

3. When did I discover photography? I always had an interest, just never know you could make a life from being a photographer. I used to take rollls of photos with my point and shoot camera and develop them months later to relive the event and memories I captured. But it wasn’t until 2005 in my late 30’s and I haven’t been able to put it down since. Thing  I love most about photography is that its a constant learning experience. It never gets old and is always presents a new challenge.

4. If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing what would it be? Take more chances, don’t be afraid of failure and always chase downs those dreams despite how crazy they may seem.

Being a Seattle Portrait Photographer and overcoming Gear LUST!!!!

Early in my career of being a Portrait Photographer I found myself having gear lust. Often I would catch myself saying only if I had this light, this lens or this camera…. I could do so much more. So one day I decided to stop limiting myself by thinking if I had this piece of equipment I could be more creative and learn to truly use all the gear I already have. So instead acquiring mounds of debt which often accompanies gear lust I excepted a self imposed challenge to find new and creative ways if using my equipment.

Here are four examples of what I learned from experimenting and challenging myself.

My first quest was to be able to shoot with shallow depth of field in studio while using strobes. My studio space was limited in size (12′ wide x 17′ deep with a 10′ ceiling) and my studio strobe kit only having 5 stops of adjustment levels. So I had to come up with a creative way I could control my depth of field. I decided to try using a 2-8 stop adjustable Genus Eclipse ND Circular Filter  in studio. The ND filter is what I usually useed outdoors to help balance the sunlight with my portable strobes. By using the ND filter in studio it allowed me to capture my subject @ f-1.8,  1/125 and ISO 50.  Prior to using the filter my typical settings for my 3 light studio set-up with out the ND filter would be f-3.5, 1/125 and ISO 50.  The ND filter allowed my to open up to f-1.8 which gave me the shallow depth of field that I desired as illustrated below. 

The next challenge I gave myself was to use my the light modifiers in different ways. 

Quality of light is influenced by two factors: the size of the the light source in relation to your subject and the distance from the light source and your subject. 

In the image above I wanted to light multiple subjects with one light source. The key light (6′ octa) was on camera right and slightly overhead. A strobe head with grid to camera left and behind the subjects was used for a rim light, which helped to add depth and separation from the back background as seen by highlighting their hair. Typically this is how the Elinchrome 6′ Octa bank is used, as a key or main light.

To changes things up a little I placed the 6′ Octa directly behind the subject which wrapped her in light (light is a little harsher due to the subject’s closeness to the light source) and complimented her fair skin color. Then I added a 4′ softbox on camera left  just below the subject to soften any shadows created by using the one light source.  

The 3rd and final set up was inspired by my recent move into a studio with 15′ ceilings. This allowed me to use the the 6′ Octa as a overhead light sourceIn this image I sandwiched my camera with the 6′ Octa overhead and a 4′ softbox just below the lens of the camera. The overhead large light source gave it a soft even light and due to its closeness to the subject it add a little pop (harshness). The 4′ softbox below the lens softened any shadows created by to the angle of the over head light. 

So there you have it 3 light set-ups using the same light source which allowed me to created 3 different feeling of images. Just by being a little creative and moving your light sources around along with adding a ND filter you can give yourself endless possibilities without having a endless supply of gear. 

The and most important thing I learned from this experiment.  Is that you don’t have to have plies of gear to be creative.  Now I can take that money that I saved on gear and spend were it is truly needed MARKETING!!!!!  As we all know you can be the worlds greatest photographer but no one will ever know about it into you get out there and tell them. 

Bored with your New Years fitness resolution yet? Well time to reBoot!!!!

Bored with your New Years fitness resolution yet?  Well time to reBoot!!!!

Let me introduce to my first ever guest blogger Natalie Joffe Nutrition Coach, AADP a fitness/nutrition superstar. “Looking to make your workout more effective and save time? Now is the time to change things up before you lose interest!!! Try these 3 simple but effective compound exercises for total body fitness.” 

Introduce Compound Exercises for a More Effective Workout
Planks, push ups, squats, lunges and rows are all staple movements in a good workout.  By combining these motions into compound exercises, you not only save time and increase fat burning, but you also train your body to more effectively respond to real life situations. 
Here are four compound movements to try adding into your workout routine. To start, do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each of the exercises. 

Renegade Row:
[Works the core, chest and back]
1) Assume the standard pushup position with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in a straight line. 
2) Maintaining level hips, row one dumbbell to the side of your chest, keeping your elbow close to your body.
3) Pause for a moment and then return the dumbbell to its original position and repeat on the other side. 
4) This completes one repetition. 
Assume the standard pushup position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line
 Maintaining level hips, row one dumbbell to the side of your chest, keeping your elbow close to your body.

Pause for a moment and then return the dumbbell to its original position and repeat on the other side.
Spider Man Push Up: 
[Works the chest, shoulders and core]
1) Assume the standard pushup position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line. 
2) As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the ground and swing your leg out sideways, trying to touch your knee to your elbow. 
3) Reverse the movement, then push your body back to the starting position. 
4) Repeat on the left leg.
5) This completes one repetition. 

Assume the standard pushup position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line.

As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the ground and swing your leg out sideways, trying to touch your knee to your elbow. 
Reverse Lunge to Bench Step Up
[Works calves, gluts, hamstrings, and quadriceps]
1) Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand roughly half a foot from a bench. 
2) Place your left foot on the bench.

3) Push up until your left leg is straight and your right knee is raised to hip level. 

Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand roughly half a foot from a bench. 

Place your left foot on the bench.
Push up until your left leg is straight and your right knee is raised to hip level. 
There you have it 3 great exercise that you can do just about anywhere and just remember you get out of it what you put into it!

Make sure to check out her facebook page & website to keep up with fitness and nutrition trends. She makes it fun & easy to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Meet Rocky & Rhody

Adoption story #2 Dogs Of Valhalla Rescue 

Sarah & Josh deciding to take on the challenge of adopting two puppies Rocky & Rhody both which are Cooper litter mates. Knowing how full of energy Cooper is I could only image they would have their hands full on a daily basis. 

Why did you decide to adopt? We have asked that very question ourselves at times.  Between the gifts of dog poo on the bathroom rug fresh out of the shower, using my fancy lace bra in a chippy game of tug-of-war and the heaping car-sickness episodes has more than tested our patience once or twice. 

But as we sit here with soft fur, gentle snoring, and puppy dreaming surrounding us we feel content. We feel adored. We feel loved. We feel complete and fulfilled as a family. The endless ball throwing, “sweet spot” belly rubs, and their soulful honey-brown eyes is what makes any frustration worth it. 

Do you feel confident you made the right decision getting two puppies? Sarah laughs as Josh says absolutely!! As much of a hand full as they are at times, they definitely help each other out. 

They give each other constant companionship and help burn off some that puppy energy they have. 

How did Valhalla  help with the adoption experience? It was great for us, they communicated well with us and we got to see the puppies the day after our home evaluation. 

What was one one of the funniest experience with the two? We would have to say  when we took them up to the base Mt Rainer with Josh’s 5 yr old son Matthew and got to see them experience snow for the first time. Watching Matthew and the puppies run around in the snow was so much fun. But on the way home Rocky & Rhody got car sick and vomited on Matthew while he was in his car seat.  Bu the Whole experience was pretty funny. 

How does their personality differ from each other?  Rhody is more of the lover and Rocky is more independent. Both are super Intelligent and they both carry off of each other’s energy. Rocky would be the lover for the moment and Rhody will be distant. As soon as Rocky wants to distant Rhody will come and fill in for him. They are very Yen & Yang. One chews the other one doesn’t and vise versa. They are very complimentative to each other and not competitive at all. 

How has adopting Rocky and Rhody have affected your life’s? It’s as simple as we can’t imagine life without them. But I’m sure our carpet and backyard would disagree.

It’s as simple as we can’t imagine life without them.

So if you are looking for the perfect addition to your family please consider adoption. The dogs give as much back to you as you give to them if not more. 

After seeing how well behaved Rocky & Rhody were I would have to say adopting two is not as crazy as it seems. But sorry Cooper you are flying solo for now. 




Whats his/hers name and breed?

A) Duke, He is English Mastiff

Kiss me

Why did you decide to adopt him?

A) Well we lost our two labs to cancer that we had adopted after 8 years, and began looking. When a friend of mine posted Duke’s picture on FB looking for help with his medical expenses I couldn’t resist his face. So I pledged money to his bills and asked to come meet him after he was all healed up. When we met Duke, we just knew and he just knew. There was an instant connection with him and my daughter. After a couple more visits with Duke I couldn’t imagine someone else owning him, so he is ours!

What were or are his special needs? 
A) All big dogs have special needs, but his previous injuries do not hinder him from playing. Duke is missing one toes on his left front foot and some muscle mass on his right back leg. He eats a special diet due to food allergies and takes in a lot of calories at 200lbs. He has a special bed made for him due to his size that gives him cushion from the ground as well.

I might be large but I love to play catch
Thank you for my special bed I love it!!!

Did it take him long to adjust or be active? 

A) Since we were visiting Duke beforehand there really wasn’t adjustment period. 

Snuggle time 🙂

How as the adoption changed/effected your life? 
A) Duke is the most obedient, loving, and charming dog we have ever owned. With his addition to our family simply made it complete. We hope to adopt another one in the future that fits our family like Duke so he can have a friend.

Our family is now complete. Thank you Valhalla!!!!!

How did Valhalla make the decision to adoption easier?

A) Valhalla made it easier due to having his records available during the surrender, and knowing one of the fosters mom made the transition easier and you can tell they truly care about their dogs. 

We have always found dogs through recuses because we believe they need a second chance. It’s been the best decision we have ever made. 

The Dogs Of Valhalla Rescue

As a Seattle Portrait Photographer I am always looking to add a little personal meaning into my photos. 

Thus the idea of my new series “The Dogs Of Valhalla” was born.  It all started when my beloved 12yr old Labrador Maverick passed away August 6th a day after my 41st birthday, he was a truly amazing dog and my girlfriend Renea quickly fell in love with him. She experienced the amazing bond between human and dog for the first time as she never had a dog growing up. 

We miss you Maverick 
A few months passed and we started discussing the idea of getting another dog. I thought it would be awesome to be part of her first puppy experience. Renea started looking around on the internet which quickly sparked my interest. Our first experience with a so called “shelter/rescue” turned out bad and we weren’t sure that was the route to go to find a dog. But shortly after that Renea came across Poe which we now called Cooper we instantly fell in love! How could you not with that cute little puppy face and his black & white markings? He is a border collie mix that was being adopted out by Valhalla Rescue
Cooper on his home visit/inspection  
Valhalla made the experience so amazing I would recommend them to anyone. They actually came to our house for a home inspection to make sure we were the right fit for the dog.  The adoption came complete with his first rounds of shoots, a microchip and his neutering operation. Based on the interaction we had with Valhalla and their volunteers we could tell they cared more about the dogs then anything else. So in my gratitude for matching Renea and I with the most amazing dog ever we are here to help tell their story.

When did you officially start Valhalla?
A) Valhalla Rescue was named in 1999 and became a 501c3 in 2011. I originally started rescuing dogs in 1988
Why did you decide to start a rescue? 
A)I had been volunteering with other rescues and animal welfare organizations since the early 80’s. I started helping with fostering and working at the spay/neuter clinics at the shelters in our area. Back then we were helping mostly Dobermans and wolf hybrids and a lot of mixed breeds. Once it got out that I was helping dogs, people would come to me for help placing their dogs.
Why did you decide to venture into the special needs area? 
A) In 1999 after getting laid off from Boeing, I was retrained as a vet tech and started working at a vet clinic. The vet I worked with had  a fund to help pay the vet costs for people who couldn’t afford their companions bills, but there were times when the owners still where unable to care for their medical needs dog and often asked our vet for alternatives. That is when a light bulb went off and we started to focus on helping dogs with medical needs. 
How many dogs & families have you united to date?
A) I have been doing this for so long, I can’t say for sure, but the rescue itself helps an average of 270 dogs per year so I would have to say that we have helped over 2000 dogs since the rescue started officially in 1999
If there is one reason to adopt what would it be?
A) It’s hard to decide on just 1 reason. I guess I would have to say because it saves lives and the love you get back is so special for bot the animals AND the humans. People often don’t realize how much an animal can bring to their lives until they have one that loves them unconditionally or one that helps them over a hard time in their life.
Is there anything else you want to say about the rescue or why people should adopt? 

A) I can talk about the rescue all day, Some day I hope to have a complete center that can provide medical, training and rehab services for the dogs and the people in our community. That is why in 2011 we acquired the Lewis County Animal Food Bank and started to supply food and medical care to the homeless and veterans in our community. If we can help people who love dogs then we can help to ensure that forever homes that love and care for their pets can continue to do so, even when times are rough. And people SHOULD adopt because sadly there is still way more pets being euthanized each year. The numbers are staggering for the companion animals that are still put to sleep in our local shelters and that die on the streets homeless and alone. Until the day that shelters no longer have to euthanize for space there is always going to be a serious need to adopt animals. Until the day we can shut down every kill room in every shelter, until the day that we stop heart sticking dogs or gassing them in archaic inhumane devises, then I will continue to advocate for adoption. When all puppy mills and breeding factories are shut down, then we have done our job to educate the world that life is precious and even though we love dogs and bred them for our pleasure, we have a responsibility to care for them as much as they care for us.

So please consider adopting if you are looking for a new addition to your family you wont regret it!!!

Thank you again Valhalla for united us with Cooper