• Lesly Salazar

Riley the Doggo's 10th Birthday | Arlington, Virginia Portrait Session



10 years had gone by since Sam chose Riley to be her new best bud. During those 10 years, Sam had graduated from college, earned her Master's, traveled, and moved to D.C. from Tampa. Riley, Sam's pupperoni, was there to witness it all. She helped Sam get through some tough times and made life's sweetest moments even sweeter. Anyone who knows Sam knows Riley is the most important thing in her life, so opting to have a portrait session for Riley's 10th birthday was an easy choice.


Not so easy? Not going overboard with props and treats! Sam spared no expense. She wanted to spoil Riley and make sure this photo session was memorable, and I have to say, she NAILED it! Riley is a total princess and knows it, so it was only fitting for her to have a crown and boa. And is it even your best bud's birthday without matching party hats? Sam also found a cute treat bakery a couple of miles away and bought two super cute cupcakes for Riley! By the way, she walked to the bakery in the hot Virginia summer heat, so if that isn't love, I don't know what is.


Witnessing Riley love on Sam's boyfriend Matt was probably my favorite part of the entire session. She couldn't get enough of him! Anytime his face was close to hers, Riley would smother Matt in kisses. There's just something so special about a doggo loving on a significant other, and it had me all in my feels.


That being said, I also loved seeing Sam interact with Riley. The way she looked at her reminded me of how I looked at my dog Rex before he passed last summer. I didn't think to have a photoshoot with Rex before he passed, and I really wish I had more than just cell phone photos of him. So when I saw Sam's Facebook post asking for ideas on how to celebrate Riley's 10th birthday, I immediately suggested a portrait session. I knew these photos would someday be precious memories she had of Riley, so I was honored when she asked me to capture them. Moments like this are exactly why I'm building a business - to serve others and give an heirloom that will last a lifetime.


Dear Sam,

I'm lucky enough to call a hardworking and dedicated soul like you my coworker, but I'm even more blessed you gave me the opportunity to be your photographer. Riley is so lucky to have you as a dog mom! You're caring, loving, extra (in the best way), and all-around an amazing person. Keep making more memories with Riley and enjoy every moment you have with her. Every cuddle, lick, and bark is so special!



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