Enjoying a neck rub from her owner
As a dog photographer and dog trainer specializing in behavior I have to say that I'm a fairly brutal critic. I really love seeing how other photographers capture the canine species but I have a sharp eye for expression. It boggles my mind when I see an image that clearly shows fear, anxiety, anxiousness and the photographer is stating that the photo holds a happy face. There is much more to a happy face than a smile shaped mouth, you must take into account the eyes and the rest of the body.
Clearly a Labrador telescope
Not all great photos need a happy face, far from it. Sometimes an amazing photo doesn't even have a face in it. It could be looking away, just a fraction of a face or missing completely. As you all know I am not one for posed shots, the "smile and look at the camera" type. I like candid photos, the ones that hold the greatest amount of emotion.
A welcome hug from Mom
Elsa enjoying an evening snooze
They don't come much sweeter
A handsome, intense Catahoula listening slightly to the goings on behind him.
Dogs can offer us amazing photo ops just being dogs. I love the entire gamut that they offer when I'm shooting, from intense, excited, happy, sleepy, mellow etc. All happy, it isn't too often that I like a photo where I see a negative emotion on a dog unless the photo holds a great deal of information. If a photo tells an emotional story and a negative emotion is fitting then it can be amazing, but not simply a negative emotion on a face. This could leave us feeling like the dogs was just unhappy with the shoot.
A very aggressive male communicating to Elsa who owns the ball. She's high tailin it out of there.
Deer like Xolo's listening to their Mom
Capturing a moment is amazing, but unfortunately they don't always happen during a shoot. A special moment can be a very simple one if it means a great deal to the owner. An old dog lying in their favorite chair, sunning themselves or simply sleeping. Its all about emotion held within a photo.
But there are still times when a dogs face is so cute that no expression is just fine because the dog is just so darn cute.