When I met Zoey’s mom to plan out our photo session for her mother’s black lab as well as her black lab, she told me the dogs were as different as day and night. I thought to myself, surely that’s an exaggeration. But once we met for the photo session, I realized she couldn’t have been more right! Zoey’s mom contacted me a few months ago about getting photos of her mom’s dog, Maya, for her mom’s birthday. What a lucky mom! And I was happy to be a part of the surprise! We scheduled the session at Tudek Park after waiting for spring color to arrive. Maya, an older gal, loves to chase her “cuz” ball. One of the images we hoped to capture was of Maya retrieving her ball, so we made sure to have a couple of them with us at the shoot. I was warned that Maya is fixated on this ball and I used that to my advantage.
When I work with dogs who have a lot of energy, like Maya, I often start my sessions by capturing action shots. Chasing a ball, Frisbee or even walking around the park is a great way to get them to settle down. Maya didn’t want to quit chasing her ball, but if we were going to get a variety of shots, we needed to move on. I quickly discovered the best way to get her to sit still was to show her the ball. She would do anything, and I mean just about anything, for the opportunity to retrieve her favorite toy! She was fun to work with and while it ended up meaning having a gift for her mom a little late for her birthday, I am glad we waited. We were able to incorporate some color from the blooming flowers into our backdrop making for some really pretty images.
During the planning process for Maya’s session, Zoey’s mom decided she wanted to include Zoey as well. Since they both were black labs, I kind of expected more of the same. While Zoey is younger, Maya definitely has a more energetic personality. Zoey is calm, laid back and a very sweet girl. So her session was very different. We didn’t capture any action shots, we walked around the park checking out the variety of scents, just working the different areas with the different flowers, grasses and light into the images. She worked for treats, but mostly I got her attention with certain key phrases and words. She has such a sweet face and her mom really wanted me to capture that. Asking her over and over if she’d like a treat elicited the exact expression I was shooting for! Ha! No pun intended! It just goes to show, even if they are the same breed, each dog unique in her own way.
After months of blah boring landscapes, I love photographing in the spring when the flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is turning green and the days are getting longer. And Tudek park with the butterfly gardens, open fields, and walking paths is a great place to spend a spring evening!
Here are a few images captured from that night. Enjoy!