img_5663retouchedsmall

I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
celebrate-survival-email-21

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
il_570xn268930151

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
img_2092retsmall

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
img_7445retouchedsmall

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

Bootyfull. Yep, That’s Me.

While I visited home a few weeks ago, Bebop got to play with my niece, Adelynn for the first time. Well, actually, they met initially at Christmas, But Addie was too surrounded by sugar and presents to care about the chihuahua nipping at her heels. And not that I can blame her–I mean, PRESENTS! And COOKIES! And CANDY CANES! It still doesn’t get any better than candy canes and hot chocolate in my book.

But on this trip, the two really took to each other. Bebop liked having another creature to run and play with and Adelynn liked having an “Addie sized dog” as she liked to call Bebop.

Las week, apparently Adelynn and Bridget were looking at my blog and Bridget was showing Addie her the photos from her photo session. Adelynn saw Bebop’s picture first and yelled, “It’s Bebowp!” Then she saw her own photos (which were obviously much more exciting) to which she exclaimed, “And dere’s Addie! And Auwnt Colleen! We look alike…aren’t we bootyfull, mommy?”

God, I love that kid. I mean, I love anyone who calls me beautiful…but when said by a three year old? The cuteness is heart-melting.

There were cuter photos of Addie smiling with Bebop….but this one is my favorite. I especially love that she’s picking her nose.

Bootyfull. Yep, Thats Me.

A Bucket, A Puppy and Barnwood Flooring

Bebop is officially my test dummy for all new set pieces and props. She’s just so easy to pose! If only all my models would sit patiently while I stuffed them into a bucket–and all for the cost of a small milkbone.

This new set piece is the Barnwood Flooring from The Savvy Photographer and I LOVE it! This bucket is also a prop that I found on Etsy which I thought would be cute for babies to either sit in or on top of or simply play with during shoots.

A Bucket, A Puppy and Barnwood Flooring

A Bucket, A Puppy and Barnwood Flooring

A Bucket, A Puppy and Barnwood Flooring

A Bucket, A Puppy and Barnwood Flooring

A New Family Member

Maddie looked up at me with wet, almond eyes. “Please, Aunt Colleen.”

She didn’t even need to say another word. She could have been asking me to peel the skin off my own ass with a cheese grater and I would have said yes. I nodded and hugged her, kissing the top of her head. She smelled sweet. Like cookies and grass.

Breaking free from my grasp, she ran to her room returning soon with a piece of notebook paper and crayons. In a child-like handwriting, she scripted these words:

I, Colleen Katna, promise to care for Annie the Crayfish to the best of my abilitees. I promise not to let Red or Bebop eat her and to feed her everyday. I will also change her water once a week.

Below these words (where yes, my name was spelled wrong), I signed my John Hancock. Maddie had another crayfish (named Tom) before she bought Annie. Annie and Tom did not get along…hence the reason she had to reluctantly give Annie away. To me. The house otherwise known as “the zoo.”

You might remember Red’s obsession with fish from several months ago. He is obsessed with fish. And so when we walked in the door with Annie, he just about knocked me over trying to get his nose pressed up to the glass. In the morning, I ask Red, “What’s the fish doing?” and he charges the tank, just to get a glimpse at Annie. I even put his bed over next to the tank (which I’ve now placed eye level, just for Red) so that he can lie down next to her.

At first, I thought Maddie was overreacting with her concern about Red eating the crayfish…but now, seeing his obsession with her, Maddie might have had a point. Besides crayfish are tasty, tasty little buggers.

A New Family Member

A New Family Member

A New Family Member

This is What Happens to Bored Photographers on Snow Days

…they start photographing their dogs on really classy backdrops from Drop It Modern.

Bebop had absolutely no idea WHAT was going on. Eventually she calmed down, but those first few minutes involved me catching her mid-leap off of the box.

Red on the other hand was a natural. He just plopped down and I couldn’t get him to stand up even after the shoot was over.

This is What Happens to Bored Photographers on Snow Days

This is What Happens to Bored Photographers on Snow Days

This is What Happens to Bored Photographers on Snow Days

Bad Habits

Bad Habits

Bebop has this really bad habit. She likes to wake up early. I know what you’re thinking–maybe it’s not a “habit” as much as it is mother nature calling. But even if I take her out REALLY late. Like 2am or later, she still wakes up at 7am…buzzing with the volume and energy of my loud ass alarm.

She’s so friggin cute when she wakes up, too. She’s afraid to jump off the bed so she’ll walk to the edge…dance around it, consider jumping off. Then she’ll come to me and touch her nose to my cheek. Usually I can ignore this and in a sleepy fog pull her into a laying position. A few minutes later, she gets up again and like superman takes a flying leap off the bed. It’s the thud of her hitting the floor that makes me realize that I have .5 seconds to wake up, get my coat and shoes on and get out the door with her before she pees everywhere.

But the most annoying thing about Bebop’s morning ritual is she wakes up long enough to pee, eat and play for about 30 minutes. And after 30 minutes, she conks out again. Lucky for me, it creates picture perfect moments like the photo above with Red. If only I could find a way to push her routine back by a couple of hours…

The Song

The Song

With every dog I’ve owned, I’ve always created songs. The songs become their theme songs. With Luna, it wasn’t necessarily about lyrics–or even a melody. Her song consisted of a high-pitched tone using her name over and over. Imagine a shrill voice going: LUNALUNALUNALUNALUNA

That was her song. Crazy. Annoying. Hyper…just like her. It’s what I imagined going through her head day in and day out. Another family dog we had was a boxer mix. When he was excited, he’d wiggle and walk sideways toward you with his nub of a tail wagging like crazy. We called it The Little Man Dance. It, too, had a song.

So, I noticed that Bebop likes to dance as well. She stands on two feet and literally hops around. And she can stand upright for a creepy long time. And Bebop is amazingly easy to put into other songs. One goes like this (to the tune of Lollipop): Little Bop, Little Bop, oh little, little Bop–Little Bop {RUFF} Ba-Bum-Bum-Bum.

Another song I like to sing with Bebop is to that song…ummm, well, I don’t know the name of the song, but hopefully you’ll be able to tell: Ain’t No Bopper like the Little Bop Cause the Little Bop Don’t Stop.

But all these are songs that already exist. Bebop needed her own song. And then one day, she was dancing around me for literally minutes. I couldn’t believe that nothing could stop her. I’d push her over and she’d just jump right back up on two feet and continue dancing. And further more, I had just adopted her at this point and she hadn’t yet been spayed. So as she danced around, the fact that she…hmmmm how do I word this gently…..was in “heat” was very obvious. And it simply wasn’t proper behavior. So, Bebop’s song goes something like this: (I know you don’t know the tune, but I’m sure you can make one up yourself)

She is the Little Bopper

You know you just can’t stop her

From doing all those little things

That you know just ain’t proper!

BeBop

BeBop

Day 3 of my resolution–not doing too bad. Granted…it’s only day 3. Day 3 is easy. It’s at about Day 33 when I’m sitting on my couch in my bathrobe with nothing to say that this resolution will be difficult.

Anyway–here is BEBOP! The new puppy. Doesn’t she look like a mini coyote?

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a little dog person. I mean–I love all dogs, of course. All animals, even. But for me, it’s always been big dogs all the way. Boxers, labs, newfs, retrievers. Dogs whose faces and can grab and mush. Dogs who I can lean on and sleep in the arch of their belly and drop my face into crying on a bad day. However, I popped into the Sean Casey Animal Rescue because I wanted to offer my photography services in light of Luna’s passing. And while I was there, of course I looked around.

There were a ton of sweetheart dogs. Some big, some medium sized. Mostly pit mixes (which I am NOT a person who is afraid of a pitbull. I think they are the sweetest little mushes ever), but after Luna I really wanted a dog who I could overpower and not the other way around. Just in case something went array again, I wanted a dog that I could handle and control–for me, I feel it’s the responsible thing to do.

And then there in the corner was this tan little frail thing shaking. All the other dogs were barking and playful and also sweet as can be (and anyone in NY who is interested in a dog, please check out Sean’s establishment! They are SO wonderful there!), but she sat there cowering with this pink harness still on her body. The harness looked clean and new. Like someone loved her and cared for her enough to buy an expensive and fashion-based item.

“What’s her story?” I asked holding up my knuckle to the cage and clicking my tongue at her.

“She was just brought in today, surrendered by her owner,” the man had a gruff voice with a strong Brooklyn accent.

Still shivering, she leaned toward my finger, sniffed…licked, then huddled back in her corner.

“Why? She looks like she was a pet store kind of puppy…probably wasn’t a cheap buy for the owner.”

“Oh, he said his other chihuahua was beating up on her too much and he didn’t think it was fair for her.”

I stuck my knuckle back up to the cage and again she came over for the company. “Hey girl–were you being bullied, baby?” And as I stood there staring at her, so afraid, I started crying. I don’t know if I was crying for my Luna. Or for this new puppy. Or for all the barking, caged dogs surrounding me–none of whom deserved to be discarded like garbage. But I stood there crying for a few minutes.

“It’s alright, sweetheart,” he did his best to comfort me, “She’s a beauty. She’ll find a home in no time.”

“Can I meet her?”

And the second I said the words, he and I both knew the deal was done. He let her come home with me for a couple of nights to foster her–almost like a test trial.

I named her Bebop–a type of improvisational jazz–because my ownership was quite improvisational, too. And, well, after the Cowboy Bebop cartoon too. But mostly the jazz thing–yeah.

So, I’m happy to introduce the newest member of my family–Bebop Java Katana.

The middle name story will be up soon…

An Open Wound

An Open Wound

It’s been a rough month. I’m not exactly sure where to begin–my little Luna has passed away. Also, a week after, my computer crashed and I lost all of my most recent photographs of her. They were the only thing I DIDN’T back up on my external. This Christmas Card is the last image I have of her.

The details of her passing, I still do not want to delve into.  The story itself maybe I’ll be able to talk about at a later date, but for now I just want to remember. Remember my sweet puppy who used to curl up under the covers because she would get cold at night. My dog who would lick the air compulsively if you ate something in front of her. My dog whose aim was always perfect and would always knock people in their most sensitive areas (men particularly). My dog who loved to lay out on my balcony and who when I’d sit out there with her, liked to sit in my lap to have a better view of the streets. The way she would charge the door whenever I came home and jump on me with such enthusiasm that you thought she hadn’t seen me in months.

The day she passed away, I had gotten a bad cut (um, from Luna’s teeth) on my finger. It was so deep that I was (later) told it should have had a couple of stitches. If you peeled the skin apart, you could see my bone beneath. And that first day, I just kept looking at the open wound on my finger, crying. It hurt so badly. It was bleeding, oozing. The pain was so intense that my whole finger throbbed with each beat of my heart. But each day, that finger of mine would heal just a little more. And each day, I cried just a little less. And then a couple of days ago, I looked down at my finger and noticed that it had healed. While I was out living my life–the wound had healed. There’s still a scar, of course. A mark. And there will probably always be a scar–just like there’s still that lump in my throat as I write this.

And every now and then I’ll find one of her old toys hidden somewhere (she liked to hide and bury her toys). I found her collar the other day (which she also liked to hide) and I sat down on my couch clutching it to my chest and let myself mourn her all over again.

I hate that dogs do this to me. I hate that I give my heart to every single one, just to have it crushed over and over. They give so much back in return as well, of course. And I just have to keep telling myself that Luna and I had a great, though short-lived, life. I loved her and I believe that she loved me, too. You know…in the way that a dog CAN love, that is.

And I’m sure that up there in Heaven, Luna is doing all her favorite things. Chewing a bully stick, hiding all her toys, digging enormous holes, rolling around in mud puddles and chasing (ehem, attacking) squirrels.

Patience

I’m attempting to teach Luna about patience. And what better way to do that than with sunflower seeds…her most FAVORITE SNACK IN THE WORLD. By placing the seeds one by one her nose, I made her wait to eat the rest–only, I think this was better in theory than in execution. In actuality, I don’t think she or Red even realized they had sunflower seeds on their snouts. At least not until Luna jerked her head around, not only sending seeds flying in every direction…but also knocking the bag of seeds out of my hands. Sean tackled Red to the ground and I managed to get Luna in a headlock.

Sean: (breathless from holding the Red down) Maybe we should just let them eat the seeds when they fall?

Me: No. They…(gasp)…must…(cough)…learn…(wheeze)…PATIENCE!

Just then, Luna managed to headbutt me and I had no choice but to release her from the headlock. The dogs feasted on dozens of sunflower seeds and Sean and I were lost in a sea of slobber, tongues and sniffing. So much for patience.

I imagine this is what it must feel like to have children…that is, if your children are hairy, slobbery, hyperactive messes who don’t listen to a word you say. I suddenly feel the need to call my mom and apologize…

Patience

Patience

Patience

Dogsitting

Dogsitting

Sean watches Luna for me when I go out of town. She’s a pain in the ass 90% of the time–but the other 10%, she loves to cuddle as shown.

For the record, two seconds after this photo was snapped, Luna jumped up, her head colliding with Sean’s cheek. If he wasn’t doing me such a huge favor, I probably would have laughed. But I held it in…cause I’m nice like that.