Personal Documentary | Sweet 16 and Jax

My daughter turned 16 this year. She wanted to spend time with her friends at the mall and opted to have cupcakes instead of a whole cake. It was practically a whole day affair, so I turned it into a Day in the Life session. Funny thing is, I think it turned into a DITL for our dog, Jax. 

Little dog sitting on a girl's lap

We adopted him from a local rescue based in Auburn CA. He was 8 months old, much younger than I had intended to adopt (I say "I" because although my husband allowed the adoption, I made the decision). His name was Archie. I don't know about you, but this name holds some unfortunate connotations for me, many of them a consequence of growing up in the 80s. 

I was originally looking for a "fetching dog" for my son. Did you know that this is an actual filter on pet adoption sites? I sent queries to a few rescue groups that I thought would be a good match and I made some appointments to meet a few dogs. I received an email from 1 Love Dog Rescue who said that they had a fetching dog that fit our desired characteristics (all except the age). I was hesitant because of Archie's age - I did not want to house train a dog. Against better judgement, I took my kids to meet Archie, with the understanding that we *probably* would not bring him home, but *if* we did, we would have to change his name. Since he was to be my son's dog, I let him choose the name. My son being who he is, liked "Archie" and made it difficult to find a suitable name. Desperate, I asked him what his favorite letters were - J and X. How about Jax? DONE.

Well, needless to say, we did bring "Archie" home and now we love him to pieces. So much that we sometimes fight over who gets to hold him or have him in their lap (I often win, but that's because he loves me the most ;) ) 

He has such a loving personality that we spend a lot of our free time watching him play with his squeaky toys and give affection to someone who may be feeling sad. He is slow to warm up to people, but once he is comfortable with you, then you are his friend. 

Thankfully, he is like this with friends that come visit - which many of my daughter's friends do. During my daughter's get together, he spent a lot of time on her lap and enjoying the chatter that she and her friends were creating around the house. It was really sweet. As you may see from the pictures below, he loves to be part of our lives, so my daughter doesn't mind that Jax gets to share her Day in the Life session. 

Little dog looking at girl with strawberry in her mouth
Little dog looking out doorway
Birthday cupcake with 3 candles lit
Family looking at dog at the dining room table with girl opening gifts
little dog on girl's lap while she is sewing another girl in the back is laughing

Claire Toney is a photographer based in Northern California. She has one teenager, one preteen, 2 little dogs, and a loving husband. She uses Documentary Photography to record her family's life while her kids are still at home. She's still trying to convince her husband to have another documentary photographer come in to do a session, so that she can be in the photos too. To book a session for your own Family Documentary Photography session, give her a call at 916.769.5482 or send her an email at