When photographing pets I'm all about getting those shots that show the personal connection between the dog and their human. But, when photographing dogs separately from their two-legged friends, action shots are hands down my favorite. When they're dock diving, playing ball, or just running around in the yard, the joy they feel shows in their every move.
I've been a bit scarce on social media lately, but I have a good reason... I became a gramma! It's so much fun for me, but one of the grand-dogs is not sure about it all yet.
This is Birdie. She's a one year old Greater Swiss Mountain dog and not only does she have lots of energy, she's also been a little pouty since she's no longer getting 100% of the attention, 100% of the time. (The baby may have toppled her princess crown just a bit.)
During my latest visit we took Birdie to the park and she had a ball. Since this week's prompt for the blog circle is action, I thought Birdie's pictures from our little trek would fit perfectly.
Here's a series from what she would probably call the best play date ever. When she saw this particular dog, it was like she'd spotted her long lost buddy. They had so much fun!
I love seeing such unbridled joy in dogs. And yes, I'm usually grinning from ear to ear watching them, and I may end up saying their thoughts out loud to whoever is near. (Come on, I know you talk for your dogs, too.) ;O)
Have a great weekend!
This is a blog circle post so if you'd like to see action captured by other pet photographers, just continue around the circle starting with Linda Perdue of VPShoots Photography serving the Tampa Bay Area in Florida.
Happy came to Sioux Falls from over two hours away to celebrate her 3rd birthday. She had a rough first 2 years of life before her dog mom found her, but she's now learning that a dogs life can be a beautiful and fun one. Being that this was Happy's first birthday with her mom, it was a special one with a special celebratory day.
Happy had all the frills of a princess party, but she also got to have tons of fun doing all the things she loves to do. The list included dressing up (she loves dressing up), playing fetch, destuffing toys (we made do with a new ball), and hanging out with her mom.
At the end of the evening, I commented to Happy's mom that this was one of the few times that a dog didn't seem to be tired after a session. Happy walked out of the park with a grin on her face and I swear a little skip in her step. Happy is definitely with the human she is meant to be with. Wishing you many more memorable birthdays, Happy!
When I talked to Ted's human on the phone, I knew that this was going to be a fun session.
I was told that Ted was an 18 month old Golden Retriever who liked to play ball and go on walks and runs with his humans. (Sounds like most active 18 month olds, but...)
...then she said that Ted likes to be in everyone's business. From her comments I gather that Ted feels that at the dog park, fun is in direct correlation to how dirty you get. He's "the fun dog" and one that Annie describes as gregarious. She says he's the one who would be setting up the keg at a party. ;O)
(This picture cracked me up. Never one to miss an opportunity. Just sneak up on them and act like you're the perfect dog when they say "come." HA! I'm on to you, Ted.)
Even though he's a social butterfly, Ted loves more than ever when he's got his pack together. Hanging out with his humans is what makes his heart smile.
The months of June through August are usually a time when people are hanging out together at summer events. Families gather at the lake and friends hang out downtown. This year is a bit different. We see smaller groups at the local parks in lawn chairs, 6 feet apart doing their best to observe social distancing while still staying connected.
During the past few months I've been able to document dogs with their family from a distance while the images never let on that anything has changed in our world.
I met Vinnie four years ago at the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Chihuahua Fashion Show. He was all decked out in his poncho and tiny sombrero and was just so adorable.
This time I got to hang out with Vinnie and his big personality (and even bigger heart when he looks at his dog mom) while we all had a nice evening at the park.
Vinnie's mom describes him as a "feisty old man." He likes to go after squirrels, rabbits, and bigger dogs! This tiny little guy loves to go for walks, but they need to be long walks... and ok, car rides will work, too. ;O)
He loves McDonald's fries, and going for coffee with mom is a favorite for Vinnie as he gets his own cup of cream from the barista. He might be a bit spoiled when he stays at Grand-paw's, too, but then that's what grandparents are for right?
It was a different kind of summer this year, but I don't think Vinnie even noticed. He got to hang out with his favorite people, and a picnic at the park is always a fun treat.
Ever wonder what the world looks like from the vantage point of a dog? It's no wonder tiny dogs like to be carried around. They get to play king of the mountain without breaking a sweat!
Enjoy the rest of your summer Vinnie. And, good luck with your Cinco de Mayo fashion career!
This post is part of a circle blog. If you'd like to see the summer fun had by other pet photographers start with Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole serving the Las Vegas, Nevada area.
Since Grace was released from commercial breeding she has been getting healthy and enjoying the life every dog should know with a wonderful foster family. She's a beautiful black merle Great Dane and she's in need of a family to call her own.
To try and help let people know that Grace is searching for her forever family, we wanted to get some pictures of her that would show not only her gorgeous physical traits, but how beautiful she is on the inside as well.
We took some pictures first in her open backyard and then on the deck and I felt pleased with what we got. Then we moved to the front yard where there was more color and those images won out over the others. The flowers helped show Grace's softer side (since she's such a big girl). Just having the flowers in the frame with her helps to show that this XL dog is meant for family more than a lot of other large breeds who's job is more of that of a guard dog.
If you want images that have a sense of calm to them, bring in some flowers. Not only will they brighten the scene, the color will brighten the viewers day, too. It always does mine. ;O)
Grace is available for adoption through B-Squad Dog Rescue in Brandon, SD.
If you'd like to see what others have blooming in their area, start with Pet Love Photography and continue around the blog circle.
This summer will mark the one year anniversary of the Arc Of Dreams in Sioux Falls, SD. The downtown sculpture created by artist Dale Lamphere, is 70 feet tall and spans the length of a football field across the Big Sioux River. Modeling his art piece on the 6 ft midwest prairie grasses that bend in the wind, there is a space of about 15 feet in the middle where the two pieces almost touch. Through this space in the sculpture, Lamphere creates a reminder that,
...sometimes all it takes to make a dream come true is a "leap of faith."
I've always loved the sculpture walk that is showcased on Philips Ave every year, but I hadn't yet made it to see the Arc. When I decided on a whim to go last week, I was in awe of the enormity of the sculpture. As I walked along the river looking at the Arc from different angles, the only thing I could think was,
I need to get a dog down here for some pictures!!!
But, what kind of dog? Hermes and Dash are not the right look for this statue and their personalities are not quite right for it either.
I knew it would need to be a dog who is use to the downtown lifestyle complete with distractions. As soon as the thought entered my head I knew the dog for the job...
Meet Downtown Henry!
I first met Henry when he was taking dock diving classes at Paws Pet Resort last summer. The first day of class Henry was asking his dog dad why in the world those dogs were going in that pool, and why were they crazy enough to jump!!! By the end of the 4 weeks Henry was a star! After finally making his "leap of faith" off the dock, Henry showed up at the dock with his super cape in tow and the smiles went on for days!
In my mind, Henry was perfect for pictures at the Arc. Besides the fact that he's so darn cute, Henry is a downtown dog who loves his city and all that downtown has to offer a dog (even if he was once told that he was too loud for Josiah's). Through his diving journey, Henry took that leap of faith that the Arc of Dreams was created around (pardon the pun). Dogs will do that you know. There is really nothing that they won't do for the family they love.
I told you Henry was adorable. ;O) By the way, you can follow Downtown Henry on Instagram. Yep, he's got his own account!
If you're in Sioux Falls or plan to visit, make sure you take some time to visit the Arc. It does not disappoint.
Thanks for modeling for me, Henry! Those GQ dogs got nothin on you. ;O)
This was a "free for all" post for our pet photographer's blog circle, so feel free to circle around if you'd like. Start with Linda Perdue of VP Shoots Photography in Tampa, Florida.
Are you a fan of The Office? Say hello to Dwight! According to his humans he has a dry sense of humor if a dog can have one and he's "super chill." Dwight demonstrated that beautifully during his session. He also had three wardrobe changes and he rocked each and every one. :O)
Dwight can not hear, but that doesn't stop him from one of his favorite activities-watching tv. He's not shy and is always excited to meet other people. His mood changes when his humans are both with him, and he loves watching his dog mom work.
As far as hobbies go, Dwight is a leaf and stick collector. When he goes for a walk he always brings home a new stick and has them safely stored in a pile outside. (Take a guess what we used instead of noises to get his attention at the session. wink, wink)
We introduced Dwight to something new during his session...bubbles! And, oh my goodness he went for them with everything he had. (I know what the Easter bunny will be bringing Dwight next year!)
Dwight is not even a year old yet and he's eager to explore and learn everything he can. Enjoy the rest of the Fall season Dwight and I hope Winter is just a fun for you!
These three fur-balls are all heart and they bring so much joy and fun to their humans' lives. Don't be fooled though; what one dog doesn't think of the others will and they are involved in just as many hi-jinx as the next dog family. They are also so very loved.... and they know it. ;O)
During their session, Shiloh, Little & Moose showed off tricks, played with bubbles, ran through the leaves and even struck a pose every once in awhile.
It was obvious that these three love being around their humans, but they are also adventurous and ready for fun. Through it all, Moose was curious yet polite, Shilo was on alert for possible threats to the session (i.e. squirrels and other varmints), and Little never let on for one second that she wasn't in charge and running the show. And, did I mention hi-jinx?!
By the end of the session, we were all worn out. It's just another perk I offer for pet parents. ha!
As we were leaving we noticed a dog who was enjoying the park, but it was obvious that she forgot to bring her owner with her. So, while Brittany and I waited with the pups, Shelby took care to make sure that the dog was in safe hands, posted her on Sioux Falls Lost Pets Facebook page and we all crossed our fingers that her owner would be found. By the next morning I had a text from Shelby telling me that all was well. I soooo love dog people. :O)
What you do for one you need to do for the others. So, since we had so much fun with Tex in the water a couple of weeks ago, we made sure that his siblings got to have a great time, too.
This session was a little extra fun for me to go through the images because it included four very different personalities all in the same place. When trying to get one good family photo, no matter what the others were doing, Blu was ready. (Blu, you're so awesome.) If a duck flew over (and they did - several times), TEX was all business. ha! Lola just loved to smile and dash ahead wherever we were going, and Ray was a typical puppy who explored every inch of his surroundings (and looked cute of course).
There is lots of play time and lots of fun for these four, but when mom says, "look"... all eyes are on her.
We hiked, played with bubbles, watched ducks fly by, explored the "grassy jungle" and some, well, couldn't help themself. (Yes, they are adorable, but look at Tex!)
I always have a great time photographing sessions, and even though it's a bit more work with multiple dogs it's always that much more fun. Thank you for "that much more fun" you guys. :O)
This was a session I was really looking forward to! I love working dogs and have wanted to photograph one "at work" for a long time now. When Sami told me that she wanted to do a session, BUT she wanted me to photograph her dog hunting, I couldn't say yes fast enough.
Tex is a duck hunter so that meant we were going to be in the water. I borrowed some waders (thanks Greg!) and they only leaked on one side! (Thanks, Greg.) It didn't matter because I was having as much fun as Tex was!
Tex did some training while we were out there, too and I learned things like, one- how he learns to follow signals that lead him to where his owner wants him to go, and two, what a dog looks like when he's peeing in the water. ha!
Seriously though, this dog can be the biggest muppet out there, but when he's working he's all business. Look at that determination!
Tex is a hard worker and you can see the pride in him when he knows he's done well. It's quite humbling to watch a dog who is so in tune with his owner both as a friend and as a partner. The hard work put in by both does not go un-noticed, and it is very, very cool to witness.
** No ducks were harmed in the making of this session. ;O)