Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bella and Brady

Jean came to my studio with Bella and Brady, her two rescue Weims. I met her through the Northern California Weimaraner Rescue event, Weim Gala, held at Clos Pegase Winery each fall. Anyone who has spent any time around Weimaraner's is aware of their energy, intensity and beauty! Brady and Bella were a lovely duo. Anyone for up some Weim-Love?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


"A heavy downpour. Stand and face the rain, let it's iron rays pierce you; drift with the water that wants to sweep you away but yet stand fast, and upright in this way abide the sudden and endless shining of the sun." Kafka

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Help Save the Cheetah!

This fundraiser event is being thrown by client of mine, Nooshy Mobasher, and being the Leo that I am (!) I can't help but spread the word to help out the big beautiful cats! Here is what she told me about how she got involved with this project:

"When I attended the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo and Garden Party last year (held in SF every October), I met Dr. Laurie Marker whose story is remarkable. She explained to me that the only other country where a few cheetahs still exist , outside of Africa, is in Iran (where I was born). There are roughly 200 Asiatic cheetahs left in Iran. At one time there were thousands........ Dr. Marker is involved in training scientists from Iran to help conserve and grow the numbers of these cheetahs. She asked for my help in involving the Iranian community and educating them about the plight of these cheetahs. Since I am currently not working and have time I decided to organize the fundraiser at my house for 5/17. A live cheetah as well as Dr. Marker will be there, with food and wine to enjoy. Please feel free to extend the invitation to anyone who is interested. Dr. Marker will do a short presentation on her work and efforts to save the cheetah."

Here is a link to the Cheetah Conservation Fund to find out more information. Please RSVP by 5/1. Your support is very much appreciated!

Friday, April 24, 2009


"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
~Nelson Mandela


Sadie is a sweet and smart girl who loooooves her ball! She had a great time showing me around the property and chasing her ball. Sadie was recently diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and her parents decided it was time to get her portrait taken. We had lots of fun!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Maxima loves her Bodhi!

When I am setting up for a studio portrait session I often have Bodhi come 'sit in' so I am able see if I have the lighting is how I want it. He's a pro at being a test subject for me. So much so that when I begin to set up he immediately goes right to the 'spot' and lays down. He gets rewarded for his services with crunchy dog cookies. Maxima likes to nibble on the crumbs that he makes. This particular day she jumped up next to him and just started lovin on him!... What can I say?! Maxima loves her Bodhi!....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I am often asked how I came to specialize in 'pet portraiture'... and although I have always had a passion for photography and strong connection with animals, I think the two really merged when my cat Valencia was diagnosed with cancer. We had a very special connection. I had a gazillion snapshots of him. But I had a panicky feeling that I wanted something 'deeper', something more of his essence that I could remember him by in photos. So I spent the last 6 months of his life documenting him, and all the little 'parts' that I wanted to remember. As we'd lay there I would think "how will I remember this little wet nose, or the how he tucks when he sleeps"...

I believe that is where my passion for abstract 'pet parts' emerged, not just pet portraits. I love doing portraits, but I believe that those little parts speak to those of us that love our pets. The ears, the nose, the eyes, the tail, the paws... We feel them in these photos.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Eyes in New York

discovery consists not
in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes
marcel proust

For 4 years I lived in New York City. A place filled with people all in a hurry to get somewhere, including myself. But I carried with me two of my favorite cameras, the Holga. One had color film. The other had black & white. The camera itself is referred to as a "toy camera" because it is made of plastic and even has a plastic lens. It commonly has light leaks and vignettes and has only two exposure settings. But I fell in love with it. I learned all the nuances. Mostly I love the ethereal quality it gives to the final images. Someone once commented that my toy camera images look like snapshots of a dream! That was such a huge compliment to me!

The other thing I loved about carrying these two cameras with me at all times was that I began to see things differently. In fact, I began to 'see'. All those things and places that we walk by in our busy daily lives bacame fascinating to me. And my world opened up, visually.... I had 'new eyes'...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Recently my boyfriend Marcelo's daughter turned 10!... Yep, she's in the double digits now, woohoo! So we went out to the park for a portrait. What a treat it has been to photograph her over the years. It is truly amazing how quickly time passes and it isn't until we look at her previous portraits that we realize all the changes that happen un-noticed right under our noses!

Last night she asked me if I had ever heard of I hadn't. She showed me this awesome and fun site that helps feed hungry people around the world. For each trivia question you get right 10 grains of rice gets donated. So go ahead smarty pants, feed some people!... It's fun and it's worth it!.... What a smart and pretty young lady!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A sneak peak - Kirby

I am looooving this warm weather! Makes me think of a session I did recently, well, actually it was two sessions; one in the studio and one on location. And what a location it was! We had the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop! Kirby's adoring parents wanted the classic look of studio shots and the beauty of a classic location. So we did both! It's really a treat for me to photograph the same subject in studio and on location because each has it's unique feel. I am often asked which I prefer... I honestly don't have one preference, I love both! During the wet winter months we did our studio shoot and a little while later, once the weather improved, we scheduled our outdoor location. What fun! ( Oh by the way, speaking of great outdoor locations... Kirby's parents told me about a dog friendly camp that sounds way to fun! Check it out: Camp Winnaribbun in Tahoe!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A sneak peak - Penelope & Natalie

This quote was in my head this morning when I woke up. It's a favorite. It doesn't need any explaining but it speaks to me about my passion for photography... It's been my passion my whole life but I tried a few other routes in life. It never felt right. Those 'desk jobs'... oh so tedious and taxing on the soul!... So I followed my calling. It hasn't always been the 'easy way' but I couldn't have any other way...

"I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time." - Jack London

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pet Photo Event at Dog Bone Alley

Here's a special opportunity for those of you who want a nice studio portrait of your dog, but are not ready to invest in a whole private session. Once a year I a set up my backdrop, lights and camera right in Dog Bone Alley store and do "mini" portrait sittings. This year DBA has opened a store in Danville, too, so there's double the opportunity.

A single-image session is $30 for which you will receive a 4X6 print you can take home that day. Or a two-image session for $50 for which you will receive two 4X6 prints. Additional prints and other products will be available for purchase once the images are posted in an image gallery on my web site. Please reserve your portrait sitting in advance by calling Dog Bone Alley at 510- 521-5800 to schedule a time between 10:30am and 3:00pm.

Alameda Dog Bone Alley on Sunday, April 19th
Danville Dog Bone Alley on Sunday, April 26th

Walk-ins are welcome, but I have to warn you, this is a popular event!

Hope to see you and your furry friend there!....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Getting in Shape

Yep.... it's THAT time... I know, I should have started January 1st... but time slipped by. And so did a whole lot of calories that have settled nicely on my hips (honestly, all over!)... So I have found my way to personal trainer Margo Rose of Alameda to ease me into my new routine of exercise. The hardest part is beginning. UHG! But there she is, twice a week, supporting me with kind words of encouragement while I struggle with what seems an embarrassingly low number of push ups. But the next time I can do just a little bit more. And so it goes, getting back into shape.... Her playful spirit, patience and safety-conscious excercises are just what I need.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


In all fairness, I should mention our cat, Maxima. She joined the family about 5 years ago as a tiny little feral kitten. She was sleeping in the engine of a car that was parked in front of my place and when Bodhi and I walked by it his ears perked right up. Seeing the confused look on my face, a neighbor said that she thought a kitten was in the car. Okay... Kitten IN the ENGINE?!... With no luck, I spent the next 6 hours trying to coax her out with what I thought were tasty offerings. I even placed notes and drawings on the engine in case the owner returned. I finally convinced the local mechanic to open the hood (shhhh!). When it popped open, there she was all curled up in a ball and HISSING like a big girl. Unconvinced of her might, I scooped her right up. She was covered in grease and FLEAS, hundreds of them all over her face like a little blood-sucking army. Gross. My hands became black just carrying her into my place.

Bodhi had shown some high prey drive on our hikes so I presented her to him with caution. "You be nice to this little kitty!" I ordered. At which point, my 85lb Male Rottweiler's MATERNAL instincts kicked in and he obsessively wanted to lick and clean her! I washed her up and he started licking her all over, playing close attention to the inside of her ears and little 'behind' (which I had apparently not cleaned well enough). She immediately became inseperable from Bodhi. Following him, napping with him, eating with him and greeting him with pure joy every time we'd return from the outside world.

I hadn't planned on keeping her, just getting her healthy and finding a good home. You've heard that before, I know. But seeing how she and Bodhi bonded warmed my heart. I think she believes she is a Rottweiler. She has no fear of dogs and loathes any cat that dare come into her stratosphere. Starting out as a feral, she gets zero pleasure out of being pet. Can you believe it? A cat that does NOT want to be touched! She just loves her dogs. I joke that I have a dog, and he has a cat.... Anyway... that's how Ms. Maxima came to join our family... from the engine of a Nissan Maxima...


In September of 2008, I had my photography booth set up at the Bay Area Pet Fair (ie: WORKING, not looking!) and this little one stole our hearts!.... We had to wait until Monday to adopt her from the Berkeley East Bay Humane... she is full of spunk and moxie and fits right into our family here!... We think we have settled on the name "Biella" which is Italian for piston rod.... Who knew so much personality could fit into such a tiny little body! We also call her "Chiwi", "Chiwa", “Piccolina”..... “Biella Piccolina”, what a long name for such a little girl!...

Bodhi likes little dogs and has taken to her as we expected. Luckily, our cat has no fear of dogs. In fact, they are best buds! Chasing and wrestling with each other.

It's like she's been here forever! We adore her!


Six years ago while I still lived in Manhattan, I was looking on for a dog. I knew I wanted a Rottie and I searched for almost 10 months to find the right dog. One day I found a listing that caught my eye, a female. When I got to the shelter they told me she had been euthanized that morning. While I was waiting for confirmation on this (I had the hope she had been moved or adopted) I noticed another dog, whose “time” at the shelter had already been extended. His intense gaze and goofy face struck me and I soon realized that HE was the dog I was actually meant to find!

This 75lb, one year old, intact male Rottweiler (mix?) got in the Taxi with me. I named him Bodhi (after a favorite books store in LA; Bodhi Tree Books). Having been a stray and spending nearly a month in the little cage, he had need of lots of training. I did my research and we trained diligently. At some point during his first year with me he seemed to transform from into a big ol goofy lovebug! Manhattan was like bootcamp for dog training (anything that COULD happen, did). We soon moved to California where we enjoy the trails of Redwood Park in the Oakland hills.

Looking back, I feel certain that fate took over in order to get me to that shelter that day to rescue him at the 11th hour. Some would say he’s a lucky dog, but I feel I am the truly luck one! I am grateful for him every single day!

2008 Fundraising for Animals in Need

Tonya Perme is proud to have donated her professional photography services to several animal fundraising events during the 2008 holiday season, helping to raise approximately $2,500 for animals in need.

In December, events were held for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, The White Kitty Foundation and Hopalong Animal Rescue.

Tonya Perme Photography has also donated sessions to several different organizations for auctions at fundraising events throughout the year.

Do you "Dogster"?

If you haven’t heard of the web site Dogster, go check it out!

A fun place to “meet” other dogs and get some good dog information; like this article Economic Crisis Means Trouble for Shelters.

Bodhi and Biella are both Dogster stars, of course!

Bodhi & Biella - The 2008 Holiday Card

This photo was taken just days after Biella joined our family! She and Bodhi got along perfectly right from the beginning, so comfortable that she is sitting on his foot! And no one seems to mind....

My New Blog

I was inspired by my friend Pat McIntosh to expand my Blog to include a much wider variety of topics than just pets. Of course, you know I LOVE pets... so that will often be a topic! But I've decided I would like to show some sneak peaks from sessions and talk about whatever topics come to mind - in addition to showing of my own endlessly entertainting pets. I'm going to start by bringing some posts from the pet blog.

So Here we go!... Thanks Pat (and my mom too!)...