Lifelines project exhibit in Austin's City Hall- Portraits of the Homeless and their beloved pets

Upcoming exhibit of photographic portraits of the homeless and their pets at Austin's City Hall April 15-29th 2013. Opening reception held Friday, April 19th 5:30-8pm.

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Why am I a photographer? {Children and Pet Photographer, Austin, TX and Santa Fe, NM}

Being a photographer isn't much of a choice for me. Photography picked ME. (Kind of like all of my adopted dogs and cats did). I fell in love with photography for the magic of it–for the many possibilities to create and connect through my view finder. While the format of photography has changed dramatically from my days of rolling film onto reels, the magic hasn't changed a bit. Sure, owning a business has its challenges, but I can't really imagine not creating photographs. As a result of my profession I get to play and interact with incredible children and animals and meet amazing people–even make some new friends. Through that process I have the opportunity to create images that allow my clients to linger in the present moment just a little bit longer–as their new baby coos and drools, as they hold on extra tightly to one another and while their pets gaze longingly into their eyes... this is the magic. Time certainly doesn't stand still, but artful photographs can certainly help it pause just a little; help us to spend a moment or two reminiscing and feel warm and fuzzy. (For the record, I'm not ashamed of being a warm and fuzzy photographer.) As I work hard to photograph and produce the final artwork for all of my unique clients this holiday season I am most definitley thankful to be part of this magical art form. The photographs I am sharing today are from a recent portrait session with a dear family in Santa Fe. I loved spending time with them at a park nearby their home as well as capturing images of their beloved pets at their home.

Norah Levine is an Austin based children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

This Cat's Meow {Pet photographer, Austin, TX}

I was recently asked to photograph Molly— a stunningly beautiful white cat, for the 2012 Austin Humane Society Alumni Calendar. Molly was adopted from the Austin Humane Society by her owners who absolutely adore her. This cat is not only exquisite to gaze upon and photograph with her gorgeous white coat and her multi-colored eyes, but also has a very sweet demeanor. I photographed Molly at her home in Austin and upon entering the door I immediately noticed the gorgeous dining room table and luscious green painted walls. The light was soft and subtle and I loved the way the green of the background accentuated her greenish-yellow eye. I've been a professional pet photographer for several years now. The opportunities for commissioned photographs of cats have been fewer than dogs for some reason. I love the different challenges that arise when working with cats, as well as having the chance to bond with these unique animals. I adore cats (I have three!) and appreciated being asked to photograph Molly.

I extend much gratitude to the Austin Humane Society for their tremendous support for the animals and the community here in Austin and beyond. Please support THEM by purchasing 2012 calendars!

Norah Levine is an Austin based children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

Austin Dog Family Portraits

Can you think of anything more fun than photographing a fantastic couple and four dogs with a couch outdoors on a lovely day in Austin? Jill and Mike asked me if I could photograph them and their four dogs (they refer to them as the Quatros Perros). Jill had a maroon colored couch she planned on giving away and asked if we could take it somewhere near her house and use it during our session together. I think it ended up working out really well and I certainly enjoyed the collaboration aspect of this session.

This portrait session gave me the opportunity to capture the essence of four incredible pups–a sweet and elderly greyhound, "Dolly"; a jack russell mix, "Daisy"; a terrier-chihuahua mix, "Lulu" and an Italian greyhound named Tex. Needless to say each dog had his or her distinct characteristics and photographing each of them took a unique approach. I utilized the available light and diffused it with a large diffusion panel (special thanks to my assistant!) to help with the "dappled" light effect.  All in all, it was an adventurous morning in Austin with lots of play!
Norah Levine is an Austin based children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

What truly matters: your loved ones (yes, even gerbils!)

My heart goes out to all those affected by the fires here in Texas–the people and the animals. At the bottom of this post I have included information provided by the local news station for many ways to donate to the victims of the fires. During times like these I think we'd all agree that our focus should be on what's truly important in our lives: our loved ones ....................................

I was recently commissioned by a client to photograph her daughter, Karen and grandson, Eli during a visit to her home in Santa Fe, NM. Karen was quite lovely and definitely a little shy about being photographed. My favorite images were taken when she and her son were side by side; forgetting about the camera and sharing a moment together. The two of them seemed to have an extremely close bond: one a mother and child share that is like no other. I photographed them in an outside area where the light seemed to make their skin glow. In addition to Karen's mom cherishing these images of her daughter and grandson together, I know that Karen and Eli will both be thankful to have these photographs for many reasons.

I also photographed Eli as he played with his grandmother's chocolate lab Nick, underneath this old adobe structure on the property. This boy adores this dog and I just loved this little grouping of images in sequence of the two of them.

As a portrait photographer who specializes in images of children and pets, I have met some amazing and unique children and animals. This was admittedly, my very first experience photographing a pet gerbil. This gerbil (named "Whitey") is probably one of the most well traveled gerbils in the world as he traveled by plane from New Orleans to Santa Fe. He was very sweet and even more special was the way Eli loved him and that he was ecstatic about being photographed with his special friend. I am certainly available to photograph most any pet and I was glad to have the experience of photographing the connection between Eli and his pet gerbil.


May you and your loved ones stay safe and enjoy the time you have with one another each day!

Warmest wishes.

Norah Levine is an Austin children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

The following information is being shared from as it was posted on 9-5-11 

AUSTIN -- As wildfires continue to burn in Central Texas, there are several ways to help out the victims and donate.

  • The Thrift Shop at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection is accepting donations for victims. The shop at 2008 Justin Lane will take donations of clothing, house wares and toiletries, which will be taken to distribution centers.
  • To help the families affected by the Steiner Ranch fire, Austin Christian Fellowship is taking donations of bottled water, sports drinks, non-perishable snacks, toiletries, work gloves, heavy duty trash bags, flashlights, batteries and pet food. Donations can be taken to 6401 River Place Boulevard.
  • Collections are also being taken in the Liberty Hill area. You can call Chuck Licata at 512-466-7751 to help.
  • Anyone in Hays County hoping to volunteer or donate water and food for firefighters or evacuees can contact Volunteer Coordinator Lidia Contreras at 512-393-7302.
  • The OASIS on Lake Travis has announced it will be a drop off point for the Austin/Bastrop fire victims. The restaurant is accepting donations as well as water, work gloves, toiletries, non-perishable food items, clothing, trash bags, and flashlights with batteries. Boxes and donation jars will be in the lobby area starting Monday afternoon.
  • The Austin Disaster Relief Network is currently assisting victims of the fires. Organizers say donations of food and clothing can be taken to any local food bank or charity.
  • Cash donations should be made directly to the Red Cross of Central Texas.
  • Catholic Charities of Central Texas will accept donations for wildfire victims on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Donations can be brought to the Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center at 6225 Highway 290 East from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donations will also be accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Catholic Charities of Central Texas in Austin at 1817 East Sixth Street. Organizers are asking for donations of the following items:
  • Medical Supplies
• BP Cuff
• Nebulizer
• Thermometer
• Glucometer
• Pen lights
• Tongue Depressors
• Ibuprofen
• Gauze Wrap
• ACE Bandages
• Neosporin Cream 
• Bandages

Other Supplies:
• Sleeping Bags
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Towels
• Shampoo
• Body wash
• Toothpaste
• Paper Plates, Cups, Napkins, Plastic Utensils
• Deodorant Sprays for men and women
• Disposable Razors
• Shaving Cream
• Baby Wipes
• Size 4 Diapers
• Baby Shampoo
• Sanitizer

Pet Photography Booth Austin, Texas

I was recently asked to create a photo booth to photograph dogs here in Austin, TX at an event called Pupapalooza. I don't typically photograph events, but I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to get out into the pet community here in Austin and to support a cause close to my heart. All of the ticket sales from my photo booth went to the Austin Humane Society and the Animal Trustees of Austin.  Although the day was hot, I felt I had a pretty good turnout in my booth! I created the background with a board from Home Depot and some chalkboard paint. I filled the chalkboard with "dog" words–sometimes the dog's name to add a little special "flair" to the background. I wanted the booth to be fun and to express a candid feeling while maintaining a beautiful quality of light and color. Pet owner's and their beloved pets joined in on the fun and in exchange for their tickets they received their very own custom photo booth strip! This was absolutely a perfect way for me to meet some of Austin's dogs and their people and for me to play around with my photo booth idea. Special thanks to all of the participants in my booth for their support and to my helpers for making the day run smoothly!

Pet Portrait Workshop this July 10-16 2011 at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

I'm going to branch off from my last post about the importance of self-nurturing. What is it that you have a passion about? Cooking, building motor cycles, gardening, painting, collecting? Is your passion photography? Obviously my true love is creating images and this summer I have been asked to teach for the second time at the world renown Santa Fe Photographic Workshops where I will be sharing my passion and knowledge about creating pet portraits. I'll be teaching a fun packed course entitled "The Creative Pet Portrait" from July 10th to the 16th and there are still a few spaces available! If you've always wanted to learn more about creating portraits, pet portraits specifically, this is the perfect opportunity for self-nurturing. You cannot imagine how much self-nurturing occurs during these workshops. This course is designed to lead you through a process filled with many learning opportunities to connect with people and their pets in a way that truly lends itself to amazing imagery and helps you explore your passion.

Last year I was joined by 10 students who chose to invest in their self-nurturing for a one week photography workshop in Santa Fe. We focused on the interaction and approach for commissioned portraits of pets and their owners, tricks for getting the desired imagery and how to use these new skills in future endeavors. The daily assignments and activities were followed by group discussions and sharing. These discussions were incredibly inspiring and offered the ability to learn in a stress-free and supportive environment.  The students were supportive of one another and shared their struggles and triumphs and we collectively offered support and suggestions for improvement and trouble shooting. We were fortunate to have a variety of special guest speakers.  We discussed lighting, posing, styling on set, clients, interactions, photographing on location, creativity and so much more. By the end of the week everyone was exhausted. For me, this was a good thing to hear! It is my job as an instructor to provide students with as many opportunities as I possibly can during the course and to make it fun! How could we NOT have fun when working with animals?!!

I love teaching. I love to see the improvement of the students through the week of this course and witness the camaraderie that builds amongst the participants. I value the chance to communicate and share my experiences and love of photography with others. It is vastly rewarding to help students pursue their passion and goals.

The following is a link to the course description and details:

I have put a tremendous amount of effort in the preparation for this course and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with a new group of participants from around the country! Whether your passion for photography is a new discovery or an old flame you're looking to reignite, I strongly encourage you to consider joining us!

Here are a couple of the students' reviews from the course:

"One of the Best Workshops I have ever taken."

"The hands-on shooting experiences combined with the discussions beforehand with Norah to prepare us and afterward with the class were invaluable. I can't think of a better way to learn..."

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!