A mother and daughter duo in New York City are creating whimsical photos with their dog that are almost too picture perfect to believe. Meet Olia Saunders, a lifestyle and food photographer, and her toy poodle, Cookie.
“After my first dog passed away, I promised my daughter Lara that we would get another dog,” Olia said. “We always wanted to have a dog that looked like a stuffed animal. A toy poodle was the best choice for us, because they are very smart and affectionate, and they don’t shed. When we saw Cookie, we immediately fell in love with him. He looked just like a live teddy bear!”
Olia and Lara brought their adorable pup home in August 2012 and that’s when the photo adventure began. “Sometime in the fall of 2012, my daughter created an Instagram account to share photos of herself and our puppy. We decided to call it ‘Pumpkin and Sunshine,’ after their nicknames.”
As Lara and Olia began posting their iPhone photos, they were immediately inspired by the many creative people and accounts they encountered on Instagram.
In her work as as a lifestyle and food photographer, Olia takes photos constantly. But, this proved challenging with Cookie around. He is a master at photobombing and stealing parts of the set. “One of the funniest and maybe a somewhat unique thing about Cookie is that he is addicted to veggies and fruits, especially green smoothies. He would steal my smoothies and juices, if I happened to leave a glass on the table.”
This handsome pup also loves to be the center of attention. Olia explained, “When I grab a camera, he is immediately there!” One day, the mother-daughter duo dressed Cookie up for fun. Not only was he totally agreeable, but he posed perfectly.
“It became very entertaining, so we started to improvise, using different props and clothes and creating themed stylized photo shoots. It’s very easy to take pictures of him because he is very smart and knows a lot of commands. He would stay still without moving and touching anything for a few minutes until we say ‘release.'”
Cookie clearly possesses all of the necessary traits to be a perfect model for Pumpkin & Sunshine’s account. From picnics to fairy tale inspired shoots, Olia, Lara, and Cookie are creating beautiful, unique and elaborate portraits that are a must-see! Visit and follow this talented trio’s adventure on Instagram.