Horses and dogs and flowers oh my. wait a minute. I’ve never done photos of dogs. Not seriously. Oh sure I’ve done the “usual” pictures of my family pets. Some have even turned out half decent. But to capture the true look and spirit of a dog. That I’ve never tried to do seriously. Not even by half. Wait another minute, I need to correct myself. I did take some photos a couple of years ago at a dog show for a friend if mine. I had fun doing it, but for some reason I can no longer remember, I never shot anymore. Looking back on these first images I can see that I never really captured a compelling image. An image that speaks to the viewer and can convey the scene the way I say it in my mind. This close up of her dog’s head, showing just his alert eye was the only one where I felt I had captured his spirit.
And so I have set myself upon the path of learning to create images of dogs that will capture with my camera the nature and spirit of the dogs as I see them. I am fortunate to have a partner to help me on this journey. A good friend of mine has recently purchased a new puppy.I will be spending time practicing dog photography while trying to preserve special moments of the puppy’s growth. My goal is to be able to take a photo that when I look at it takes me back to the time I took it. And I can say, “Yes, that is what I saw.”
After just one session I already know that I have a lot to learn. Focus for one thing. Puppies move fast and leaving my focus set to spot left me with a large number of blurry images. The other thing I need to do remember is to not let my emotions get in the way of taking the photos. The shoot that these images came from was actually done a week later than planned. The day I had planned to go was the day I finally lost my canine companion of sixteen years. Understandably, I was in no way ready to face another dog.
Working with this beautiful puppy will help me heal from my loss as I grow in my photography. It’s hard to resist the playfulness of any young one. Be they a puppy, foal or human. You can’t help but smile at their joyful and trusting outlook on the world.