Updated: Dec 11, 2019
I hear it at almost every session ... "this is the worst photo-session ever". Nope... Naw... No way, because my very own dogs hold the worst photo-session ever!!!!
In 2018 we lost our 8 year old Goldendoodle ~ Daisy suddenly to aggressive cancer. I had been planning their photo session all year. And when we lost Daisy I knew this would be a sad event. I also knew our card was going to be sad with only 3 dogs. Deep down I was dreading this.
I had to enlist the help of my husband (JP or aka: DooDad) and our friends Becky & Jackie. JP & Becky would hold the dogs, Jackie would man my strobe and big modifier and I would be on the ground photographing. Becky & Jackie are always willing to help. DooDad does not like to have anything to do with any photography sessions and every time he "assists" something goes wrong. (I tell him its his "aura").
If you read my older post about our pack, you sorta get the idea of my dogs personality. Ziggy (chocolate doodle) is laid back, Baxter (tan terrier mix) goes with the flow but does whatever Ziggy does and Sela (Picard) is "guard dog". They are all big dogs plus all my camera equipment... we loaded up 2 vehicles and off to the supposedly quiet park. I go to this park all the time and its usually no one there!!
Well it just so happened to be quite a few people there and kids. We found our spot and I hung Christmas decor in the trees. Jp was getting Ziggy & Sela in the posed position. I am on the ground. Jackie is manning the strobe. Look closely at these unedited photos. DooDad has two retractable leads on them. I kept telling him use a regular leash, but noooooo. He's got it. You can already see... Sela looks happy. But she is listening and watching people. She is not the dog you walk straight up to. Trust me!
So now we add in Becky and Baxter. Baxter does NOT like to be beside Sela...because Sela acts bipolar and he never knows what is going to set her off. She is telling him, "Get over here and I will show you buddy". JP is holding the 2 on those red and blue retractable leads.
This is the one photo from all that above that we got. So, read dog body language. Ziggy is saying, "Mom can I have that squeaky toy". Baxter is saying, "Mom please I don't want to sit next to HER!!" and there is Sela, ears are down and she is "watching" people.
Out of the whole session there are 3 or 4 usable photos ... and this bad one is number one!
They only sit for a second. Then its readjust. JP still fighting with retractables. Becky has Baxter calm, Ziggy is ready to play and then there is Sela. Actually Baxter is just glad to get away from Sela.
Now, Baxter is trying to give Becky a kiss, she is lifting him closer to Ziggy. Ziggy is saying "Bax what is that smell"... as Doodad holds that blue retractable. Lastly, there is Sela - watching people.
And this is the one good photo from that set. But read the body language. Little Baxter is happy to not be near his sister. Ziggy is his laid back self but he is people watching. His people watching is different from his sisters. Lastly, there is Sela - ear twisted back, she is listening and not panting. She is looking at me, but listening to everything else.
At last, she can't take it. Her head whips around like the Exorcist.
And then every dog looked.
And now Becky & JP are looking. Apparently, there was a kid running around.
This is the view I get at every session! There are leashes everywhere and butt views. But... look at Baxter's eyes. He is afraid of the energy Sela is putting off. Becky is holding the Red retractable of Ziggy and there is Sela. Ears are still pricked, listening and watching.
This was the best photo out the ornaments hanging. I knew this session was a disaster from the start.
Never got Sela to focus or listen to me! (some pack leader huh) Her ears are always straight up, but they are twisted back listening to everything. We really should have given up.
But no... I wanted the one good photo for my Christmas Cards. See Part 2!