Canine photography

I love this expression captured on a Toller in the show ring.  "How long do I have to stand like this?"

Being a canine photographer is about the best job in the world, for me that is.  Not everyone wants to spend their time waiting, waiting and waiting.   You have to or should love dogs; I've heard many stories from people who had their dogs photographed from non dog loving photographers.  There is also a great deal of patience required for the job, so much so that many people could not make it through one shoot without pulling out their hair.  Having an extensive training background in positive training was most definitely a benefit. When you use positive reinforcement training there is a great deal of waiting as well, patience.

Luke's favorite part of bath day; the after bath time when he has fun avoiding being dried.  Definitely his naughty face.

My favorite type of photography is lifestyle; moments that capture the dogs in our lives.  Most definitely my choice is to shoot candids, I cannot stand taking posed photos. Setting up dogs or people for that matter in specific places or positions and then asking everyone to smile goes against everything I love about photography.  Capturing a moment is what it is all about for me; at least this is what drives my passion.  I see so many images taken of dogs and their owners that offer no emotion, nothing shared, simple an image of everyone involved.  We've all seen lovely family photos; everyone staring at the camera smiling, everyone dressed in their best along with the freshly groomed dog.  It's a lovely shot of everyone but holds no sense of connection.  Fine for portrait photographers but not me.  I want to capture life as it unfolds, emotion, connection or a special moment shared.

A spontaneous ear cleaning between two siblings shows a special bond.  

Dogs can do the strangest things.

Action photography is also up there with my favorite things to shoot; capturing a moment in time that we would have otherwise missed.  A face, an expression, a motion so fast that we would likely miss it if not captured digitally.  I love when I get home from a shoot and see something that I had not even noticed while shooting that I've captured, that's an amazing feeling.

Sometimes as a photographer you have to do strange things.  I am regularly crawling around the ground; many times I've had to crawl in some pretty gross dirt or muck to get the shot.  I have climbed ladders, trees, sat underneath tables, lay on my back and held myself in some pretty strange positions all for sake of the shot.

Of course there are times when I need to pose dogs, for a specific shot or when a dog simple will not stay still long enough to capture anything.  Often an owner is looking for something specific that we need to set up.  If this is required I try my best to set it up and then let it happen naturally from that point on.

Dogs are amazing creatures, to be able to capture many of their amazing natural moments is also amazing.  As I finish typing this mornings blog Elsa is wiggling her way to get closer to Luke.  She is in need of a snuggle from him and moves in close enough to clean his face; this he does not mind in the least and leans into her, enjoying her affection.  With their faces pressed together, Luke's eyes closed while he enjoys the moment; I am kicking myself that my camera is in my office.  Oh well, there will be many more moments shared.

Dogs, they are truly amazing and how lucky am I to capture just a fraction of it all?