Dalai Lama and gratitude

 Last Fall I was graced with the opportunity to be the official photographer for an event with the Dalai Lama. There really aren't words to express the feelings around an opportunity such as this. I was excited, anxious, nervous, but mostly grateful. But that gratitude is the same gratitude I feel every day no matter who or what I'm photographing. I'm so grateful for each and every one of my clients, and for being chosen to capture some important milestone in their lives with portrait art.

Thank you!


Categorized In: dalai lama | gratitude | palo alto

Pet Portrait Artists Unite for a Cause, Furry Friends Rescue (Mountain Winery)

Many many years ago my mom and I discovered some absolutely wonderful, adorable, fun hand-painted t-shirts with pet art that we fell in love with. It was always fun to surprise each other with some new design we had discovered. Imagine my delight when a couple of years ago I started finding myself in venues with that very artist, both of us supporting the same cause for local pet rescues! And taking it even further she recently began painting art of my other life passion -yoga! So I'm very happy and honored to team up with Diane Wat as the featured artists next month for Pets, Pinot & Jazz at Mountain Winery. Diane will be painting her renowned t-shirts and I will be taking pet portraits, so bring your beloved furry friend with you for an afternoon of wonder and delight in a gorgeous setting.

Now through August 30th, book a Posh Pooch Portraits session and receive a bonus hand-painted custom t-shirt of your pet from Diane!  To view her work:



And for more information about the June 12th Pets, Pinot & Jazz Event:



Posh Pooch Portraits, Los Altos Pet Photographer

 If you haven't yet checked out my newest website, www.poshpoochportraits.com, you are missing out on some fun and fabulous images! I LOVE photographing people's pets and creating wall art from the images. I wake up every day feeling so lucky to do what I do. I meet the most interesting pets and their people -never a dull moment around here. Some people think, "Why would I get a portrait of my dog?" and the answer is those of us have a dog or many dogs consider them as much a part of the family as anyone else, and so capturing portraits of them and creating wall art immortalizes that truth. Why not have a 30x40 canvas with an image capturing the essence of your beloved pet adorning your wall rather than a random piece of art taking up your wall space?


This is Hobo, one of my own beloved furry friends. He's a rescue dog we adopted about a year and a half ago, and we just can't image life without him -and I'm so grateful to have many fun images capturing who he is...


Why are Professional Photographers So expensive and How Do I chose the Right One for Me?

In this day and age when everyone with a camera is a "photographer", knowing how or even why to choose a professional photographer can be a confusing challenge. This confusion generally leads clients to select a photographer based on prices. Pricing in the photography industry can vary drastically, for example with 8x10's varying from $10-$150. While $10 is certainly more appealing, simply put, you are not just paying for the print, you're paying for the time and expertise in creating the image itself. The higher the price of the print, the more expertise you should find from the photographer. Ideally your photographer should be a CPP -Certified Professional Photographer, a designation held by fewer than 2500 professional photographers worldwide.

For a 1-2 hour family, child or pet portrait session the photographer likely has 10-12 hours invested between client consultation, image preview, the session itself, setup, preparation, downloading files, backing up files, pre-editing, final editing, processing order, packaging order, etc.

Now let's look at the expertise in creating the image itself. Did you know that the average 3-4 day workshop/conference in the photography world costs the photographer an average of $1,700 plus airfare, hotel, food, time away from the studio, and more importantly time away from family. I tend to average 2-3 workshops/conferences annually to assure I stay current with the latest education in the industry. Make no mistake, getting "good" doesn't just happen, it takes a huge investment of time and money and involves a lot of practice and a WHOLE lot of dedication to be the BEST. A photographer's price is going to be your first clue to their level of experience, education and talent.

In addition to the high cost of expertise is the cost of equipment such as the camera, the lenses, the lighting, the computer and professional editing software. There is rent on a studio space, utility costs, websites, business insurance, business licenses, industry memberships and subscriptions, office supplies, assistant salary, automotive expenses, advertising & marketing, studio backdrops. The list could go on -just ask my accountant!

Think of it this way -the next time you pay $100 to get your hair cut, the scissors cost $3 but you gladly pay a professional to do the job. 

What about the cheap studios at the mall?

Apples & Oranges -Will the $8/hour employee behind the camera at Walmart come to your home or to the beach for a session? Will they happily spend 2 hours with you for your session and another 2 hours helping you select the best images to display in your home?  Will they come to your home to install the finished art? Not to mention the quality of the images. Truth is most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you will come in for some quick  cheap portraits and spend $200 on other things. They don't have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.

We hope that those of you who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why to choose a professional and why we cost what we do. That being said, before committing to a session, I offer a pre-session consultation to meet and discuss your portrait art needs to assure we are a good fit. I am as equally interested in getting to know my clients and developing a relationship as I am in taking their pictures. Most of my clients, if they don't hug me they want to. It brings me great joy to make such an impact through my art in the lives of my clients.

Heather Lussier, CPP




San Francisco Bay Area's Cutest Dog Contest

I'm very excited to announce the SF Bay Area's Cutest Dog Contest! This is going to be BIG!

Posh Pooch Portraits is a division of Heather Lussier Photography dedicated to creating contemporary fine art photographs of your beloved furry friends AND in the process create ways to benefit less fortunate cats & canines. 


By entering SF Bay Area's Cutest Dog Contest you will be taking part in the effort to raise money for local pet rescues.
Our goal is $5000, so help us reach and surpass that goal by calling or emailing today to schedule your session.
$10 from every session will be donated, in addition to all donations from voting!
Top twelve winners will be featured in the 2012 Posh Pooch Portraits Calendar!
Many prizes with Grand Prize package valued over $1000!
Call NOW to schedule!
Is your furry friend the Bay Area's CUTEST !?
Don't have a furry friend? Do you have a friend who does? Please forward this on!
Or does your friend think their dog is cuter than yours? Here's your chance to find out whose is really the cutest!


Charity Model Search -Cutest Kid Contest

Heather Lussier Photography is participating in the International Charity Model Search to select North America’s Cutest Kid and to raise funds for the non-profit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation. (NILMDTS.org)


Is your child North America’s Cutest Kid? We’ll give you the opportunity to prove it! The grand prizewinner will win a $2500 savings bond, a $2500 travel package, and a $100 Target gift card.  The second and third place runners up each will win a $500 savings bond and a $100 Target gift card.


Model Search Special:

$99 entrance fee includes a 40-minute model session and one image submitted to the international gallery.


Finalists will be determined by online votes. Each vote is $1 (no limit on the amount of votes you can cast), and all proceeds from votes benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS.org).  Every family member who registers their information on the Charity Model Search Website will also receive 1 complimentary vote.  The top 5 paid votes, and the top 5 complimentary votes in each region will move on to the final judging round for a total of 50 finalists.


Grand prize international winner and runners up will be determined from the 50 regional finalists. The winner and runners up are selected by photography experts.


Call 650.948.1182 now to enter your “Cutest Kid” in this exciting contest.


*Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. For more information, visit http://www.charitymodelsearch.org.

Certified Professional Photographer

 Well, it's been a very busy few months and once again I'm very behind on Blogging. Ive made a New Year's resolution to do better, so here's hoping!  In addition to having been busy with holiday orders, I was studying hard, and as a result I am thrilled to announce that I've earned the Certified Professional Photographer designation!

Here's the Press release:

 Heather Lussier of Heather Lussier Photography, Posh Pooch Portraits, and Boudoir Romantica has earned the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission.

 Lussier earned this designation after meeting rigorous requirements measuring her artistic and technical competence. The Professional Photographich Certification Commission currently recognizes less than 2,000 Certified Professional Photographers worldwide.

The Professional Photographic Certification Commission is the leading body for certifying imaging professionals. Certified Professional Photographers must complete a written examination, an image evaluation, and adhere to a stringent code of conduct. Certification must be renewed on a periodic basis, ensuring continuing confidence in the professionalism of Certified Professional Photographers.