I tend to rely on the owner’s pre-session questionnaire to gauge if I need to allow extra time to desensitise my subject to the camera or not but I recently learned that some owners have no idea that their dog is camera-shy until they’re faced with big lenses such as mine. So, prior to starting Bailey’s session I sat down on the ground and spent some time getting to know him. Before I even took my camera out he was shying away from me and sticking to his owners like glue. He likes his food so with massive amounts of time and patience I managed to get him to work with me. We started on the bridge where he was tethered to keep him in place. Once I knew I had a few keepers in the bag I suggested letting him have a run around with his ball. He was definitely happier when things were on his terms. After he’d run off some steam and my bum was sufficiently soaking wet from sitting on the grass we put him up on the bench for some more posing. His owner was never far away, to prevent him from getting stressed. Then I realised that he was much more relaxed on her knee so we did some photos of them together. He even got a neck massage for his efforts which completely turned him into marshmallow!

The last image in the gallery is the wall collection that they chose at their viewing session last weekend. They’ll take pride of place on their living room wall where they belong, not on a USB stick in a drawer somewhere.

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