Paris Photoshoot at the Louvre with our Dog

As usual, our most recent trip to Paris included a family photoshoot by our favorite Parisian Photographer – Celine Chan. Last time we visited, we had our photoshoot at the Eiffel Tower and Pont Bir Hakeim. This time, we opted for the Louvre and the Tuileries. We arrived at the Louvre Pyramid around 7:45am before the crowds – and rain – arrived. This shoot took place in the middle of February so we were appropriately bundled up. The wind was blowing hard so my skirt did its own thing throughout the entire shoot.

We started the shoot at the Louvre Pyramid. It was wonderfully quiet in the early morning and Samson loved being able to prance around while we took photos. It’s always a priority of ours to get a formal photoshoot when we travel to Paris – with this photoshoot we didn’t worry about family photos for the rest of the trip. Photos in the winter was an interesting spin we had never dealt with before; I would definitely not recommend it. We were COLD and most of the shoot was so windy that we just had to hope that my skirt wouldn’t fly off. Regardless, we tried to enjoy our time together. Samson didn’t mind the cold at all so we took after his lead and didn’t let the frigid air bother us much.

The main courtyard of the Louvre Pyramid is a stunning place – The pyramid stands in the center and acts as the entrance to the world famous Louvre museum (home of the Mona Lisa). The museum extends underground and also around the structures that surround the courtyard. In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, the Louvre is officially the largest museum in the entire world.

Samson loved licking the dirty rainwater off the floor – we spent a decent amount of time telling him to stop licking the sewer but he was just so entranced by all the smells. He didn’t get sick and enjoyed himself so no harm, no foul. The sides of the Louvre courtyard are lined with antique style lamp posts. We didn’t miss the opportunity to get some shots with them.

Samson and I finally got some solo shots together. Throughout the entire trip, he was  so happy to come along for the ride and join us in any activity. He was just as happy running through the Louvre courtyard as he was sitting on my lap getting kisses. Samson has been such a magical addition to our family. He and Calvin couldn’t be more different – He is the calm spirit we never knew we needed amidst our crazy life. Calvin gives us energy when we are feeling low, but Samson reminds us to chill and take a nap when we start moving too fast.

I love how creatively Céline makes all her shots. The silhouette against the smaller pyramid is one of my favorite shots. We were once more reminded of how peaceful the Louvre Courtyard is so early in the morning – when we visited later in the day, we got lost in the swarms of crowds around the museum.

After spending time at the Louvre courtyard, we did a quick outfit change and headed across the street to the Tuileries. The Tuileries Gardens refer to the park across the street from the Louvre. The rain had started so we powered through until we got too wet. The Tuileries is a beautiful place to wander around at any time of day – the garden is the area between the majestic Place de La Concorde and the Louvre Pyramid. The garden originally belonged to Catherine De Medici and officially opened to the public in 1667 after the French Revolution.

As always, our shoot with Céline was lots of fun. The rain eventually started pouring on us but we still were able to capture some wonderful family moments.  We are looking forward to our next trip (and of course, our next photoshoot).

I Louvre You,
Your Pal Cal


Meet Calvin

Meet Calvin…

Our wild Yellow Labrador who wants nothing more than to make us happy. In typical lab fashion, Calvin is full of energy and loves to please. Calvin is the life of the party, he gets his energy from those around him and can get really out of control if he isn’t reminded to settle down. If you want to party, Calvin is your guy. If he were a human, this social butterfly would be the most epic wingman. He loves mommy but is also able to go out and flourish independently at the park or beach. He’s the kind of dog who gets along with everyone and every dog – no fighting, no breaking points, no impatience. We have yet to see Calvin snap at anything. He takes every new situation in stride with a smile and a thumping tail wag.

Birthday: January 17, 2017

Nicknames: Calvie, Calvyman, Calvertron, Crazy Cal, Calverino, Cal, Bad Man, Good Man, Cal Pal

Favorite Food: Everything but greens.

Least Favorite Food: See above.

Strangest fear: Lemons & Oranges. Coffee Mugs. Does not like vacuums but tolerates them.

Favorite Trick: Retrieves a tissue when someone sneezes.

Strengths: Swimming, tugging, off leash walking, traveling, snuggling.

Quirks: Runs away from his own poop, sleeps under the covers as the little spoon, loves human beards…a lot

Play Style: chase, wrestle, tug, repeat.

Favorite Place: Grandma’s house (both grandmas). He starts wailing as soon as he realizes we are almost there.

Biggest challenges: Calvin is a high energy boy.  He does everything with 150% effort and the mania of a lab. The biggest challenge was teaching him how to harness his energy to purposeful commands and focus.

Biggest surprises: Calvin goes from Crazy Boy to Good Boy with the drop of a hat given his situation. Calvin also requires direction and commands.  He looks to me to get his next command and will get into trouble if he is not told what he should be doing.

Occupation: CGC, CGCU, CGCA, TKA, PAT, AAT. Calvin is no longer a working service dog but in his free time, he volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort to patients as part of an Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

Meet the Humans

Welcome to a glimpse into our lives as a young married couple just trying to navigate this crazy thing called life. I grew up in New York City and lived within a 5 block radius of my childhood home for 23 years of my life. Grew up next to Columbia University, went there for college and vowed to never leave the Big Apple. Jokes on me, because *love* makes us do crazy things. Enter Eric: nerdy Harvard boy from Fresno, California. When Eric got a great gig in San Francisco which would offer both of us a better lifestyle (not spending 16 hours of everyday in the office), we packed our bags and left. Life in California was SO much better – we finally had some free time, unlimited outdoors adventures, and no more freezing winters.

Eric was not a dog lover, but as mentioned earlier….*love* makes us do crazy things. He decided to follow along with “happy wife, happy life” and thus Calvin joined our family in 2017. Turns out, Eric became a dog lover the moment we brought Calvin home. He fell in love with the loyalty and companionship that dogs add to our lives. He fell in love with the happiness and help that Calvin was able to offer during challenging times. Calvin fit into our active lifestyle perfectly – he’s always ready to go on adventure and does not know how to take anything slow. Even though we had our hands full with Cal,

We decided to buy a house so we could get a second dog (that statement is partially true)

Samson joined our family in 2019 and we continued to go on our adventures but Samson’s demeanor offered a sense of calmness to our family. His perspective is very different from our busy lifestyle. Samson inspires us to take a deep breath and relax – we don’t always have to be on the move. Our family was not quite complete yet so in 2020 we added a kitten named Cleo to our family.

Photos: The Look by Devon & Brooke





Meet Samson

Meet Samson…

Our mellow & gentle cream Golden Retriever who is just looking to be a good boy. Samson is a working medical response service dog and he takes his job very seriously. Samson and Calvin couldn’t be more different but we have loved the diversity they bring to our house Samson is the kind of dog who just wants to calmly sit by your side through all of life’s ups and downs.  He is the kind of dog who will follow you around everywhere and will even rest his head on your knees while you use the bathroom. He leans in for hugs and presses his head into your chest while waiting for ear scratches. Samson is a momma’s boy through and through: at the park, at the beach, on the street, at home….there is no where he wants to be but right at my feet. Don’t let his gentleness fool you, this dog is confident and SASSY.  He won’t take no shyt from anyone and will quickly remove himself from a situation that he no longer wants to be a part of. Don’t mess with Sammy because he will *gently* tell you when he’s had enough.

Birthday: January 7, 2019.

Nicknames: Sam, Sammy Boy, Sammy Man, Sambino, Sambie, Shambles, Sambly, Shammy, Lazy Man, THE Good Man

Favorite Food: Everything. Including tennis ball fluff & kale.

Least Favorite Food: See above.

Fears: Nothing. He’s fearless….his biggest fear is Mommy going away and not coming back.

Favorite Trick: Falling asleep. Stay…he’s not moving anywhere.

Quirks: Sock hoarder. Samson likes to find a sock, and proudly present it. After he approaches and is sure that you have seen his treasure, he walks away and brings it to his bed.

Favorite Place: Mom’s lap. Anywhere Mom is.

Biggest surprises: Samson was the easiest puppy. He didn’t chew, nibble, bark, mouth, teeth, or do anything wrong. He was quickly potty trained. We never thought puppy raising could be so easy. Samson makes us want to do it 10 times over.

Occupation: Photo model. Star puppy. Poster child for good boys. Task Trained Service Dog. A man of many hats, in his free time, Samson also volunteers at healthcare facilities as a therapy dog.






Eiffel Tower Photoshoot With Our Dog

Three years ago, Eric proposed in Paris on a beautiful bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower. This year, we went back to Paris with Calvin and had a wonderful photoshoot with Céline Chan. The photos turned out amazing and we love working with Céline every time we visit Paris!

We met Céline at the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower around 7am to get photos before the crowds. We barely got any sleep the night before, and didn’t have any coffee in our system…It was rough. On top of all that, Calvin was NOT having it that morning. He did not want to listen, he did not want his photo taken, and he was being very difficult. Luckily Calvin eventually woke up and became a good sport. We posed for some photos on the Trocadero and began having fun. Somehow, Céline was able to make it seem like everything was fine and dandy.

The Parisian monuments have an additional sense of magic in the early morning. The air is fresh before millions of tourists start swarming the streets and there is a peaceful feeling of quiet. We made it a priority to head out early each day to experience the feeling of tranquility.

After our shots near the Eiffel Tower, we made our way to Pont Bir Hakeim where Eric proposed. When we arrived, we saw a sweet proposal which brought back memories from our special day. Just like the day we got engaged, the girl was dressed up and looking as if something amazing was about to happen at 8am on a Saturday morning. I chuckled, remembering that I did the exact same thing on our engagement morning. I had worn a white dress and actually did my hair for once – the decision to get married is a big one, so hopefully it’s never truly a surprise when he pops the question.

I remember that Eric had told me we were going out to a fancy dinner so he wanted me to dress nicely (I immediately knew what that was code for but I played along). In case you are wondering, the dinner was overpriced and way too fancy for us. One of the courses was jello infused with vinegar (what?) and I was definitely hungry when we left. We agreed to never do that again but it was still a magical day.

Anyways, it was so nice to go back to the place where we made such a big commitment to each other 3 years ago. We will cherish this album as a wonderful memory of the trip we took to Paris with Calvin.  Hopefully there will be many more to come.

All Photos by Céline Chan Photographie

New Puppy Photoshoot

When we found out we were getting a new puppy, we immediately booked a photoshoot with Devon & Brooke to capture our family in puppy bliss. Samson was 10 weeks old when we took these family photos – He was the star of the show, but truthfully just wanted to sleep.  Calvin was his typical energetic self and decided halfway through the shoot that he would rather run through the park. Since we are generally behind the camera, we make sure to get professional family photos taken of all four of us a few times per year. Our photographers were so great to work with – they were patient and made us feel at ease the entire time. Check them out! Here were some of our favorite shots from our family photoshoot.

Samson was so cute and fluffy that we couldn’t stop ourselves from hugging him so tightly. Those puppy days only last a few weeks and we wanted to cherish every single moment. Samson has always loved being held so he happily obliged, although his face seems to show otherwise.

Enter Calvin; he was ready to party and definitely did not want to sit still for a photoshoot.  The best way to describe our shoot is the photo of Calvin sprinting towards the photographers – he loved them and didn’t want to leave them alone.

Even though Samson had only been part of our family for a week, we were already so in love with him.  He fit into our family immediately, and he and Calvin were best friends from day one (despite what the videos on social media show).  Over time, their relationship has continued to grow and I am sure Calvin doesn’t even remember a life without his little brother. What I find so wonderful about their companionship is that they manage to be best friends even despite their differences.  Anyone who has met these dogs know they couldn’t be more different – yet somehow, the miracle of friendship works its magic.

We will hold onto these photos for a long time as a memory of our first few weeks as a family of four. Even though we wish that Samson could have stayed so small and fluffy forever, we are grateful that he has grown and learned to become a confident….and potty trained….dog.

Engagement Photoshoot

Although Calvin did not get to be part of our wedding day, he got to be the star of the show for our engagement photos with Scott & Dana. They were our wedding photographers and also happen to share a wedding anniversary with us. We love working with them and highly recommend them for photos in the Bay Area and beyond.

As with many things in life, this shoot did not go as planned.  The first time we attempted to shoot, we accidentally drove to the wrong location.  We ended up lost in the woods with no service and little gas in the tank. When we finally made it, the sun was already setting but Scott & Dana were gracious enough to let us try it again a few weeks later.

Turns out, Calvin is terrified of the balloons so he spent the car ride horrified that one was going to pop.  We must have been quite a sight to behold walking out of our little car full of balloons. We tied the end of the balloons to an apple slicer so they wouldn’t fly away The balloons were worth the trouble because they ended up looking so magical in our photos.

The tree shot below has become one of our favorites photos.  We have it hanging as a canvas above our fireplace. I love shots taken during the golden hour and so this photoshoot was full of gems. These shots were taken in Napa, California.

Throughout the shoot, our Scott & Dana would ask us to whisper things into each other’s ears or say something that would make the other laugh.  I don’t even remember what we said to each other but we thought we were soooo funny. To this day, we never cease to make each other laugh.


Calvin looks so young in these photos – he was only 6 months old and still very much a puppy. Calvin grew until he was about 1.5 years old so he was not even close to full grown in these shots. We always wish we had more professional family photos of Calvin with us during his first year, so we will cherish these for a long time.

All photos by Scott & Dana