This is Izabela. She’s 13.5 years old, almost deaf, eyesight not the best and has severe hip dysplasia. She belongs to the director of Arctic Breed Rescue and her shoot was a birthday present from some ABR volunteers. Don’t you just want to cuddle that big fluffy bear?

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Before each session I send out a questionnaire so the owner can tell me a bit about their pet. It helps me to prepare for the shoot and make sure I have the right kinds of treats and toys. In her one, Iza was described as the Director of Backchatter. When I arrived at the meeting point I was greeted with barking and Anna told me it’s a good sign, it means she’s relaxed and asked me to shoot moments like this because it’s a big part of her personality. Well luckily for me Iza gave me plenty of opportunities to capture her signing the song of her people!

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The challenge actually lay in capturing photos of her without her mouth wide open. But every barking dog needs to stop for a breath occasionally, so those were the moments I seized.

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When your studio is a public park on a Sunday afternoon you have to overcome rather a lot of hurdles. Generally people aren’t too interested in what I’m doing and when they see the camera they stay out of my way. This was my first Samoyed client though and boy did she draw a crowd of fascinated young folk … which were way more interesting than anything I had to offer (that she couldn’t hear or smell). Iza’s entourage were kind enough to politely ask them to move along so she could get back to working the camera.

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“Oh look, there’s water, I like water. The dirtier the better.”

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“Oh look, a dog!”

We actually asked the owner to walk her dog up behind me for this shot. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

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At this stage in the shoot I’d become a dab hand at catching her between barks. I had so much practice at it I might have to mention it as a special skill on my resumé.

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On the way back to the car we swung by the Japanese gardens. It was here that I finally discovered the trick to achieving quiet was to make Anna go out of sight. I wish I’d known that a lot earlier in the shoot. My joy was short-lived though as Iza drew another large crowd of tourists!

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It was almost dark so we decided to call it a day and Iza trotted back to the car IN TOTAL SILENCE. I could count on one hand the amount of easy dogs Anna’s given me to photograph (and still have fingers left over), I think she was secretly getting me ready for this shoot.

Do you have a dog that you think I couldn’t possibly get any nice photos of? Allow me to prove you wrong. Email now to book your session.

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