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Back at the end of April my Facebook memories told me that it was a year since my last trip to Canberra. I was reminded that I love that time of year there so I sent an email to my mailing list inviting people to book an Autumn Leaves of Canberra session. Three awesome people snapped up the spots and impressed me enormously with their quick decision making! As luck would have it the forecast for the coming weekend was good and I’d had a local client reschedule their shoot so off I went, mere days after coming up with the idea. I left Sydney on Saturday morning and arrived in time for some location scouting before my afternoon session with the lovely Albert and Penny.

It was a beautiful crisp day and the Autumn leaves were in full effect. I was quite the happy photographer. We set ourselves up in this first spot while I proceeded to OMG (probably a bit too much) about the pretty colours.

happy corgi sitting amongst autumn leaves

This head-tilt stopped me rattling-on about the leaves, momentarily at least. Seriously, I’m such a sucker, they get me every time. Lucky I managed to snap it because he denied me of another single one for the rest of the shoot!

corgi headshot big head tilt autumn colours in the trees

I narrowly avoided losing a finger to Albert in his over-enthusiasm for my treats. Penny was much more polite.

terrier type rescue dog sitting in park under autumn trees and leaves

She didn’t mind getting as close as possible to them though.

extreme close up of terrier type dog in park under autumn trees

Next we moved to a quiet spot where they could run around safely. They LURRRRRVE their Kong.

corgi running with kong in mouth

I tried some fake throws to get them running without the toy but this happened. Apparently the Kong serves an important purpose!

corgi running with giant tongue flapping

small terrier running with Kong in mouth

Altogether now – OMG look at those gorgeous colours!!

small terrier running with Kong in mouth autumn colours

Next we retired to the bench for a breather and to allow Albert time to get his giant tongue under control.

happy corgi sitting on park bench

Penny made me work hard for her shots so I especially love this one where she looks so happy and content.

happy jack russell type dog standing on green park bench with autumn leaves underneath

Daveless had to stay home with our four dogs so the wonderful Alyssa from Canine Compass assisted me. It’s a shame she lives so far away because she took direction really well and didn’t once complain about what a thankless job it is! (Only joking David, you’re still my favourite!)

small tri-colour terrier lying on rock wide angle

If corgi’s aren’t comical enough for you, try this on for size.

corgi on a rock wide angle extreme close-up

It would be wrong to go all the way to Canberra and not include a photo of “the lake”. We finished up the session as the sun went down behind the hills. Penny had had quite enough of my treats, noisemakers and stupid voices at this stage and Albert was still mistaking my fingers for food so we decided it was a good time to wrap things up.

corgi and terrier standing on wooden beam with sun behind and blue sky

Albert and Penny’s people chose my Platinum Collection, so they get “the lot” – a wall collection, a big album and the digital files. I’ve shared the album on Instagram and below is a composite of the wall collection.

Are you a Canberran reading this with envy and wishing you’d known I was coming to town? Sign up to my mailing list, I can assure you that you won’t be bombarded with spam. It’s altogether possible that I might do a Tails of Canberra book next year, so make sure you’re subscribed to avoid missing any important announcements. If you don’t want to wait until next year feel free to email me. If there’s enough interest I can come down again in Spring.

It’s also worth noting that a day trip to Sydney is another option, particularly for people who might be interested in taking part in one of my three current fundraising projects:
https://www.ruthlessphotos.com/squishyfacecrew-book/
https://www.ruthlessphotos.com/rescued-blockheads-2018-calendar/
https://www.ruthlessphotos.com/adorable-puppies-2018-diary/

Long time followers might remember when I shared the photos from Hamilton and Thumbelina’s first “Puppy’s First Year” session with me, last February. I’ve photographed them twice since then. The first time was for my my Tails of Sydney book, at Nurragingy Reserve. They were five months older and had forgotten everything I taught them about keeping the nice camera-lady happy. Many deep breaths were taken that afternoon!

standing outside a wooden cabin in the forest

We met up again recently for their final shoot. They’d had quite a few outings and training sessions since we’d last met but I still chose an extremely quiet location with almost no distractions to set us all up to win.

pretty red husky female lying in barn

pretty red husky female standing in barn

Ridiculous faces are a Hamilton specialty.

big red male husky in barn headshot

big red male husky in barn standing portrait

While taking those first photos I noticed a lovely spot where the sun was streaming through the bushes with a log in front for the dogs to sit on. I think I’ve gotten a bit used to photographing small dogs and puppies because there was no way these two were going to balance on there for me. We tried and failed and then decided to go with just paws up instead.

gorgeous red husky female posing with feet on log and backlight bokeh

smiling red husky male with backlit trees bokeh

Both dogs needed to be kept onlead for the whole shoot and didn’t like being tied to things so the logs became a good way for their owner to hold onto them while staying out of the shot. She got a good workout!

big red male siberian husky wide angle blue sky starburst sun and lens flare

pretty red female siberian husky wide angle blue sky starburst sun and lens flare

When I was doing a reccy for the shoot I saw all these beautiful yellow trees that were begging to be used as a backdrop. Autumn in Sydney is no Autumn in Canberra but we do get a little bit of colour, if you know where to look for it.

red husky x malamute male sitting in front of autumn colours

female husky headshot autumn colours

This image was chosen to be blown up and framed. It’s going to look awesome alongside the rest of the photos in Kirsten’s private Ruthless Photos gallery!

I shared a digital page-turn of the big album, with images from all their sessions, on my Instagram if you want to check it out.

Did you or someone you know just get a puppy? Please tell them about my Puppy’s First Year package. They grow up so fast. With this package you can record all that cuteness for posterity with gorgeous, archive quality products, that you can keep and look back on forever. Send me an email for more info.

… go big or go home!

small black oodle dog shot from above with head tilted

My brief was to get a photo like one on my website of a dog on a wooden deck with it’s head tilted – how’d I do?! Huge props to Bella for making my job really easy. I’ll have to pop another bag of treats in with this 30×45″ framed print of her when it’s ready, I owe her one for making me look good.

The plan was to photograph Noah during my #squishyfacecrew book project but an unexpected cancer diagnosis meant his shoot had to be brought forward urgently. His owner is a vet nurse. He was brought into her place of work to be euthanised when he was eight years old, due to severe demodex. She instantly fell in love with him and asked if he could be signed over to her instead. Her background and experience meant she was in a good position to get his health issues under control. She gave him four good years and he gave her complete devotion in return.

Noah was blind and deaf but like any self-respecting Pug his sense of smell was sharp as a tack! I had prepared myself for a difficult shoot but he turned out to be great to work with, so long as the treats flowed freely.

senior black pug dog sitting on rock

He sassed me when I kept him hanging.

senior black pug dog standing on rocks with funny face

senior black pug dog sitting on rock

How gorgeous is his smile? He took all the unfamiliar surfaces in his stride that day. (Actually there was no striding, he was carried between each location. Someone had a sore back by the end of it!)

smiling old black pug dog standing on rock against big blue sky

smiling old black pug dog standing on rock against big blue sky

Those good ol’ Pug crazy eyes.

crazy eyes old black pug dog sitting on rocks

Stand on a branch? Sure, why not.

old black pug dog standing on wooden branch

Sit amongst the twigs looking adorable? Nailed it.

old black pug dog sitting amongst twigs

Noah was given his wings just days later, shortly before what would have been his twelfth birthday. When it came time to edit his session these photos really tugged at my heart strings. His love for his rescuer was undeniable.

old black pug dog sitting between owner

old black pug dog sitting between owner

Before the sun set we found another rock to put him on where he delighted us all by sitting like a baby seal. Too bloody cute! It was no surprise when it was one of those photos that was chosen for my client’s private Ruthless Photos gallery. (I’ve photographed so many of her dogs she has more of my photos on her walls than I do in my studio!)

senior black pug dog sitting in front of sunset sky

senior black pug dog sitting like a seal on a rock in front of sunset sky

I shared a digital page-turn of Noah’s album on my Instagram if you want to check it out.

I may have launched the #squishyfacecrew book project after Noah’s passing but that doesn’t mean he missed out, I’ve saved a spot especially for him. If you own a squishy and would like to join Noah and others in my next book applications are now open.

When a dog comes into your life and you love everything about them it’s not uncommon to want more of the same when adding a second dog to the household (or third and fourth in my case!). Bella was such a great puppy, when she was a year old her owners went back to the same breeder to get a sister for her. That’s when Beryl the Peril came along and havoc ensued! In her defence, this was the story I was told, I didn’t think she was any naughtier than the least naughty of my four dogs.

We started at their home where she showed me she was quite excellent at jumping on and off the furniture. (Mostly off when I wanted her on, but that’s ok, I’m quick!)

two schnauzers sitting in a chair

Good girl Bella would have sat there all day so long as I kept the liver treats coming.

schnauzer sitting in bright blue chair

Beryl can sure turn on the cute. I don’t believe a word they say about her.

schnauzer on wooden deck with paw raised

The other household pets got to be included in the shoot too.

two schnauzers standing on a leather sofa with fish tank in background

Then it was off to the park for some running around.

schnauzer chasing pink bone toy

Helloooooo tongue!!

schnauzer running with tongue hanging out

You know a good head tilt will make any dog my instant favourite.

schnauzer standing on wooden bench with head tilt

schnauzer sitting on owner

They were SO ready for their close up.

two schnauzers dogs extreme close up

These are composites of the two wall art collections I delivered yesterday.

The girls were on holidays at their “grandma’s” so this piece was a thank you gift for her.

Bella and Beryl are one of several matching pairs that I’ve photographed in the last 12 months. Did you find your breed and then get another of the same? There’s no better time than now to book a portrait session and get some beautiful portraits for your home. Drop me a line, let’s talk!