Spring has arrived!

After waiting months to see some color, spring finally arrived! And I couldn't wait to get out there with my camera and capture it! I love the burst of color coming up through the ground, the trees waking up and sprouting tiny little green leaves and the sound of birds as they become more active. Spring is probably my favorite season. I'm sure having a May birthday has something to do with that! I haven't photographed many pets lately. In fact, Izzy is the only dog who has been in front of my lens. I've been feeling stuck in a rut with my work lately, as I struggle to create images I'm proud of. It's been refreshing focusing on other subjects during this creative block I'm in. Hopefully it'll help me get through it. But if nothing else, I enjoyed my evening strolls through the gardens. Grateful to not have to bundle up in sweaters and winter coats anymore! Here's a few of my favorite images!

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Now booking spring sessions!

Winters are my slowest time of the year at work. So it's the perfect opportunity to get things done on my to do list. And that includes sorting and culling photos I took last year. Which means deleting all the bad shots. I generally prefer to keep up with this, but inevitably it's hard especially during the warmer months when I'd rather be out shooting instead of sitting in front of my computer.

The advantage to looking at thousands of photos in a short period of time is that I can identify my strengths and weaknesses as a photographer. Taking note of what I'm doing well and where I need to improve helps me grow as an artist. The other thing I noticed is how much I shoot during the fall months and how little I shoot the rest of the year. While fall is certainly a spectacular season here in central PA, I also happen to think spring is as well. Especially after several seemingly long months where the landscape is bleak, colorless and blah.

The early signs of color when the earth is awakening is a sight to see! I really look forward to watching the crocuses, snowdrops and hyacinths break through the ground. Seeing hints of green as the shrubs and trees start to blossom is a reminder that life has come full circle yet another year. Even though my allergies kick in, it's a small price to pay to enjoy nature's beauty. 

If you've been thinking about setting up a photo session with the fur kids in your life, why not consider this spring season? In case you need a little encouragement, here's a few shot from previous years. 

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Lessons from the Dog - Be Present

When I was in high school, I played tennis. I took lessons for years and became a pretty good technical player. But tennis, like all sports, has a psychological aspect as well. While it’s an important part of any athlete’s game, I think it’s especially so for individual sports like tennis. My psychological game was what kept me from being a star player.

During a game, if I was up 40-love, I’d tell myself whatever you do, don’t double fault. If you do, then your opponent will be one point closer to winning the game. And what did I do? Double faulted. Next point I might tell myself, ok, just get the serve in the court, but then don’t hit the ball into the net. Can you guess what happened? Yep. I hit the return straight into the net. And before I knew it, I lost the game, set and match. Happened to me all the time.

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Why? Because I couldn’t stay in the moment. In my head, I created scenario after scenario that I didn’t want to happen. If you believe the universe responds to what you put out there, I got exactly what I wanted. Just by my thoughts.

I’ve done this in other scenarios as well. I read a book about being present and I never forgot this passage. Say you are driving to the school to pick up your kids. In the moment, you are asked what you are doing. Most of us would answer, “Going to pick up my kids.” But if you were living in the moment, your answer would be “I’m driving my car.” Think about that answer. Not quite the same, is it? One addresses specifically the moment, the other addresses what you hope the future will be. But what if you get in a car accident? Or your kids call and say they will get a ride from a friend? Then your future doesn’t involve picking up your kids. So now, you aren't going to pick up your kids. The only thing we ever know for sure is what is happening in this very moment.

Isn’t this how our dogs live? Now, they could get a pass because they don’t have to plan ahead and make sure they have enough food to eat dinner tonight. All they know is that it’s dinnertime and food will appear in their bowl around the same time every single day.

Ever hear of a dog complain he was up half the night worrying about tomorrow’s storms? Or walk faster because she knows it’s time to get home to get her nails trimmed? No, they live vicariously in the moment. Always. Shouldn’t we be more like them? Take a walk and smell the roses. Literally. Stop texting, or talking on the phone. Take in everything around you. Feel the sun, the wind, smell the flowers, see the butterflies, hear the birds chirping. Live fully right here, right now.

We’re too busy multitasking, racing through our days because we have so much to do. Who wouldn’t want a simpler, more full life? Learn from your dogs. Next time you take a walk together, be fully present. And let me know how it goes.

PIN IT!

Lessons from the dog - Be present

Projct 52: Week 16 - Black and White

This week's assignment from David DuChemin's book "The Visual Toolbox" was to "try it in black and white." Who doesn't love color? After all, we see the world in colors every day. But sometimes color becomes the main element in an image pulling the viewer's eye away from other elements. Some questions to ask yourself when converting an image to black and white are:

What does the image gain without color?

How does the mood of the image change?

Are there lines, textures, or the gesture of a moment that are now stronger for the lack of color?

I knew I wanted to find a location that had a lot of texture and lines in it to photograph for this assignment. I found this great little alcove at a local park and the light was just perfect when I arrived. Izzy, of course, was her usual wonderful self modeling for me. There are less lines than I originally wanted to include, but I think converting to black and white, you can see how removing color changes this image. Which one do you like better? Why? 

Personally, I like both, but for very different reasons. 

Don't forget this is a blog ring, so be sure to click on all the links at the end of each post. Start with Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Project 52: Week 17 - Color

Now that spring has finally arrived, it seems everyone is talking about how we can't wait for the flowers to start blooming, the grass to start growing and the days to get longer. With the onset of spring, comes a welcome burst of color. Gone are the bleak gray days of winter. This week's project 52 theme is color. Here in central PA the daffodils and tulips are just starting to open. The forsythia plants are sprouting their vibrant yellow flowers and the once brown grass is turning into shades of green. We've gotten our share of rain, so I'm hoping as the popular saying goes, April showers brings May flowers. I'm sure ready to start spending more time outdoors soaking it all in! 

I thought I would include both my fur babies for this project. Lately, I've been photographing in our guest room which I painted a pretty shade of coral. I've gotten lots of positive comments about this color which I describe as Jolly Rancher watermelon candy color. People usually get a chuckle when I say this, but I'm not kidding, it really is this shade of coral! I love it, it's probably my favorite room in my house. So I thought I'd use this wall as a backdrop for Kita. She's still learning to sit and stay, so this was a good exercise for her so we could practice what she's been learning in puppy class.

 

We have a couple of forsythia bushes and I thought that would make a nice backdrop against Izzy's golden fur. Plus, she was very jealous when I was photographing Kita. This was her opportunity to show Kita how it's done!


I can't wait for the rest of the flowers and trees to bloom! It seems like we've been cooped up indoors for far too long! Next up, go check out Barking Lab Studio, Princeton New Jersey dog photographer. Be sure to keep clicking on all the links until you get back here!