Anyone who knows me knows that I love dogs. I have three rescue Great Pyrenees (and a shelter cat). I really just have a special place in my heart for dogs, they are a lot like little kids but without the stress! I seem to draw others to me that have a similar love of dogs and dog rescue, and I thought I would celebrate that here.
Here is a recent portrait I made of our biggest ham Griffin:
As you may know, contemporary magazine style glamour portraits is the main line that I offer in my studio. I was invited by one of my clients, Kim Avola, after her shoot to attend a fund raiser for the "2 Million Dogs" organization a few months back. They are now known as "Puppy Up", more info about them here: http://www.2milliondogs.org/walk2/. I was immediately drawn to this event because the dogs that participate in it are the same breed as my own Great Pyrenees and I had heard of their leaders trek across country on foot with his own Pyrenees companions. He lost one of his Pyrs to cancer, and the group was formed to raise money for researching cures for canine cancer. If you've ever been touched by someone in your life having cancer, or your best dog friend having it, you know that it can be devastating. Kim was one of those unfortunate souls to experience the pain of losing a beloved furry friend to cancer and thus got involved with this group to help do what she could to raise money and awareness.
I liked the idea so much, I decided to put a shoot in as an auction item. I got a call not long after from a lovely lady that didn't win the bid, but liked my work and booked a session. Her name is Tammy Leeth, and she too is a dog lover and part of an organization of people that do Weimaraner Rescue across the south. You can find out more about her organization here: http://www.weimrescue.com. She wanted to find a way to include her favorite four legged pal into her shoot and as well as her best friend and her dog.
We got creative, and if you've ever tried to take a picture of a dog, you may understand that the idea is wonderful, but the execution is not always as easy as you might like. Eventually you figure out how to get your dog to do what you want. Here's an example of me trying to get Griffin to do what I wanted in our recent session, lol. Check out that laser focus people!
We call this "dog currency" in our house. When you need a 120 pound dog to do something he may or may not want to do, it's your best bet!
Back to my story though....so I had Tammy bring her pup Dust-ten in for his own shoot before Tammy and her bestie Tonia Hanson came in. Since he is a big guy, it was better to bring him in with as little distraction as possible. We spent an hour or so taking shots of him doing his thing while his mom gave him a bag full of his own dog currency! I tell ya, it works!
A week or so later Tammy and Tonia came in for their glam shoot. Tonia's furry bud was little enough to fit in his own doggy stroller, so he got to sit in on the whole shoot with the ladies. Through the magic of Photoshop, and my artistic talents, I was able to bring Tammy and Dust-ten into their shot together. Here is what what I produced, it is titled "Blow me a kiss":
The reason I wanted to write this post was because after the shoot was all over, I got a lovely note from Tammy about her session. She sent me this article title "Do Over" via a link with the comment "this is why I will always cherish this image of Dust-ten": http://dogmasf.com/2014/07/02/do-overs/. The gist of the article is that the article's writer Diane had a zillion images of her dog, but none *with* them both in the same image. She wanted a "Do Over" because she felt robbed of the opportunity to exist IN an image with her beloved dog.
As a photographer, I can totally relate to this sentiment. I have hundreds of pictures of my three dogs and cat, but very few with me and them in the shot. So to honor that thought, this past weekend I rounded up Griffin and my hubby to head to the studio. Willow hates the camera and is terrified being anywhere that is unfamiliar, and Riley will tolerate the camera, but not for very long, so Griffin was the obvious choice. I'll wait no further to share, here is one I took of Griffin and my husband Jeff. (Nothing is sexier than a man that loves dogs right ladies?!)...
....and after everything was setup, I asked him to get one with me in it also. Didn't he do did a good job?!
So to answer the question, do glamour and dog photography go together? Of course! Especially when you're a photographer that loves both things. :)
And to prove it, here's one more showing Tonia and her bud Cooper, aren't they sweet!
Now don't you wait either! When you book your session, if you want to bring your special pal along, well just let me know. :)
For more information about adopting a Great Pyrenees rescue, please reach out to one of these two wonderful organizations that we dealt with:
Great Pyrenees Rescue of Indianapolis: http://www.igpr.org/
Great Pyrenees Rescue of Wisconsin: http://www.greatpyrrescuewi.com/
Or any dog or cat breed can be rescued by doing a search here: https://www.petfinder.com/