Five. Five dogs total. I thought to myself, oh, this will be nothing. After all, I photograph 5 kittens at a time at PAWS often during kitten season. And dogs are usually easier to work with. Plus, I have acres and acres of land at my disposal. This will be fun. And it was!
The more sessions I shoot, the more I’m learning each one needs time for all of us (that’s me and the dogs) to get into a groove. Some dogs aren’t sure of the big black thing in front of my face. Others aren’t sure why they are being asked to sit over and over again. Some don’t care because they learned quickly that treats are involved. But all of my sessions usually start out with a bang when the dogs are intrigued by my nosies and then the end of the sessions when we’ve all figured out how to work together so we each get what we want. For me - that’s great photos. For the dogs - it’s playtime, rewards and treats!
And so that’s how it went with this session of five dogs. The winner of a session I auctioned at the WPSU Connoissuer’s Dinner last February. It took some doing since the dogs are used to having free roam on their several hundred acre farm. And they obviously were quite attached to their mom who runs with them on a regular basis. But eventually they warmed up to my husband and I and we were able to capture probably the largest variety of images I’ve ever taken during a session.
Because 4 of the 5 dogs were younger and more energetic, I focused largely on action and journalistic style photos. This really allowed me to capture their personalities. I got some goofy facial expressions too as they attempted to catch treats we tossed and chase toys into the fields. Ultimately, as they slowed down and became calmer toward the end of the session, I was able to capture the best images during our two hour fall evening together.
It took several weeks to get this day to happen. Mother Nature had other plans most of the days we scheduled the session. Plus busy schedules which inevitably meant those nights were the best days weather wise. So common here in Happy Valley, I’ve learned patience will reward my clients if we just go along with it, even if it means waiting weeks, sometimes months for it all to come together. And it always does. Opening the files on my computer the next night, I knew we had done the right thing by waiting for just the right light. Fall sunsets are just so glorious with the golden tones against a backdrop of rust, yellow and brown foliage. We missed the peak of fall, but had just enough left that it wasn’t quite winter yet either.
Here are a few favorites from this session.