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Monthly Archives: January 2017

I shared some Vizsla puppies on my blog with you last year and now I’m back to share some more, because it’s the day after Australia Day and I know you’re in need of a puppy fix right about now.

The temperature had to have reached melting point when I went to photograph these pups. I don’t recommend scheduling a shoot in January but I make exceptions for puppies and sick dogs. Having spent the first 30 years of my life in Ireland my body just wasn’t designed to be outdoors when it’s 35+ degrees but I kept the complaining to an absolute minimum and got to work under a giant parasol. I thought the heat might work in my favour by taking the wriggle out my subjects but no such luck, for the most part they were just as squirmy as their relatives. All ten pups had their turn in front of the camera and then I did some candids and group shots. Enjoy the cute!

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser so you can view the gallery properly. Click on the first image to open and then scroll using the next and back buttons or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

I believe all these puppies are spoken for but if you’d like to find out more about Metropolis Vizslas, and the breed in general, you can visit their website here.

It’s not news to anyone that 2016 was widely considered to be godawful and most people couldn’t wait for it to end. I, on the other hand, got to meet all these (and many other) awesome furry creatures last year, so I have very little to complain about!

Click the HD button for a nicer viewing experience.

I’m really excited for what 2017 holds and I’m looking forward to my 8th year in business as a specialist pet photographer – creating memories, helping dogs find homes and fundraising … plus a whole heap of puppy cuddles if I can help it.

If you’d like your dog to appear in my 2017 round up let’s chat, I know how to make that dream a possibility 😀 If you enjoy this slideshow you’ll love my book, Tails of Sydney. You can buy a copy either from my website or from Rupert&Dora in Paddington. I’ve received lots of 5 star reviews from other buyers, so if you have any doubts go to the product page and have a read.

For file size reasons it wasn’t possible to include every dog that I photographed in this clip, so please don’t feel left out if your dog isn’t one of the few hundred that isn’t featured.

If you’ve followed me for a while you might remember a couple of years ago, when I was a founding member of Team Dog, we went to Renbury Farm Animal Shelter to set up an enrichment program for the dogs. I met an incredibly gorgeous blockhead there who did the most adorable happy dance when you approached his run. I quickly fell in love with him and named him Flatley (Lord of the Dance!). I could not stop thinking about this dog. He was very strong, had zero leash manners and was on the urgent list with no adoption interest. I went back a few days later to exercise him and try to burn off some energy so potential adopters might see beyond the fact that he needed training and see what I saw, a loveable clown.

We already had four dogs and it’s not easy for us to foster an adult dog as it upsets the balance more than a puppy, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him and was on the verge of plucking him from death row when I heard the amazing news that he’d been adopted. Being the crazy dog lady that I am when I saw his new owner comment on a photo of her new dog on the shelter’s page I decided to friend request her (that sounds much nicer than Facebook stalk, right?). My favourite part of this story is she actually went to the pound that day to adopt a little dog but he had already been adopted by the time she got there. Rather than leave empty handed she decided to have a look around and ended up leaving with meathead here!

Fast forward to today, he’s now called Chopper (yes, I know, Flatley was a much better name), he fosters for Fetching Dogs, he’s still more brawn than brain and he’s a calendar model – meet Mr June in the 2017 Rescued Blockheads calendar.

pitbull type dog running through water with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog sitting on rocks

shifty looking pitbull type dog

red nose pit bull type dog

If you haven’t bought a calendar yet they’re still available online or from Rupert&Dora in Paddington. If you like blockheads you neeeeeeed this in your life!

I promised you in my last post that I was going to share some exciting projects I have lined up for 2017 – here’s one of them …

Every Rescued Blockheads calendar that I’ve published to-date has been made up almost entirely of images taken during adoption photoshoots, but not any more. For the 2018 version I’m switching things up and inviting owners of rescued blockheads*, young and old, to apply for a spot in the calendar. Full details will be announced shortly, you can sign up to my mailing list if you don’t want to miss out.

* A blockhead is a Staffy type, Amstaff type or Pitbull type dog with a blocky head and a muscly, very smackable, butt.

Bruno and I both got new things when I returned from my trip – I got a lovely new/old floor in my workspace (good riddance revolting carpet, thanks Daveless!) and my boy got a toy that makes him sad because no one wants to steal it from him.

sable american staffordshire terrier pit bull type dog lying on wooden floor with toy

sable american staffordshire terrier pit bull type dog lying on wooden floor with head on toy

I decided to lose the toy to see if he’d perk up. Nup.

sable american staffordshire terrier pit bull type dog lying on wooden floor

What about sitting?

sable american staffordshire terrier pit bull type dog sitting on wooden floor

Sitting got boring real fast.

sable american staffordshire terrier pit bull type dog sitting on wooden floor looking miserable

I also got air-con in my workspace. After 12 summers here I no longer have to go for a drive or to the cinema in order to get some relief from the heat. There is a God! You can now see approximately 18 square inches of that lovely floor, since I’ve moved all my furniture back in, but it was nice to pretend I have a minimal, airy, space for photos, even if it was short-lived.

If you’re a long time follower and you’re thinking to yourself that you recognise these dogs, you’re not mistaken. This shoot was Peityn’s third time in front of my camera and Kai and Zari’s second. They weren’t planning on booking me so soon after their last shoot but they were very lucky to win a competition that was run by BlackHawk and the prize was a session with me. They were so excited about winning that they SMS’d me the news before I’d even received the official email from my client!

They were keen to do a sunrise session with off-camera lighting so we met at the ungodly hour of 5.30am at a nice little waterfront location. I started with individual portraits to gently ease everyone into the situation. Seasoned pro Peityn was up first and decided to throw all her prior learning out the window. She really loves making me perform all my tricks!

shar pei at sunrise

lilac shar pei in front of sunrise

shar pei on rocks at beach

Although Kai was less than thrilled about the early morning shoot he was very good at just staying where I needed him to be.

blue horse coat shar pei on rock at sunset

blue shar pei headshot

blue shar pei on rocks at beach

Zari was just a tiny puppy last time I photographed her so it was great to see her again, all grown up. She’s so fun to photograph, always eager to please.

funny dog with big ears

black and white dog with big ears at sunrise

border collie mix on rocks at sunrise

When we were finished shooting with the light we packed it away and headed to our second location, the beach.

horse coat blue shar pei standing on rock

apricot shar pei in play bow

“I’ll just wait here until one of my minions gets my ball for me”

lilac shar pei standing on waters edge at beach

blue shar pei running on beach

kelpie x border collie lean dog posing on rock


black and white dog mid flight

We worked with the dogs individually for the majority of the shoot, for pack management reasons, but I made sure to get a couple of group shots as well, even though they were challenging.

three dogs posing with feet on a log

After seeing their gallery my clients decided to get a large framed storyboard, a big album, a medium float block, a phone cover and all the digital files.

I really enjoy getting to put my graphic design schooling to use when creating custom designed albums. Here’s a flip through of the album on Instagram.

A video posted by Ruth O'Leary (@ruthlessphotos) on

If you’d like me to create memories like this of your dogs for you please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!