When I first saw baby Willow in a photo taken at one of Take a Lead‘s puppy school classes I fell in love. She had wrinkles for days and looked so soft and velvety. Like nearly every dog with a social media account I clicked the follow button. Quite a few months later I had a request for a gift voucher. When I found out it was for Willow’s owner I was beyond excited. At 10 months of age, with two elbow surgeries already under her belt, this beautiful redhead was ready for her close up.
We started at her home where I was guaranteed her undivided attention. She was a pro from the get-go, modelling up a storm.
The shoot wasn’t without it’s diva moments though, where she let me know she’d had enough of this whole doing what she was told business.
When I was finished putting her on all the furniture at home we packed up and went to the park. Sit and stay off lead at a distance. Nice job Willow, all of the treats for you!
Given her recent surgeries we could only do a small amount of action photos but that was ok because she gave me a huge amount of ridiculous running faces. I found it hard to narrow it down to just one for this post.
It was time for a rest after that. A rest and a munch on the nearest stick.
We went deep into the trees next for a totally different backdrop. Willow continued to pose it up like a supermodel.
We finished our shoot at the top of this stone set of stairs. You might recognise the first shot from Instagram. I posted a picture of the Christmas card I received from Willow’s people that features it along with the words “Merry Everything”. It’s perfect!
When your subject does this after close to two hours of shooting you take it as a sign that they’ve given you their best work and it’s time to pack up!
Not long afterwards it was Willow’s first birthday. Like any self-respecting dog owner they threw her a party! But this wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill “cake in the dog park” kinda party. This was meticulously styled by her owner and when I turned up to photograph it, before the guests arrived, I felt positively robbed that I’ve never had a party that looked so pretty.
After several thwarted attempts to get into the cake that clearly had her name on it so was for eating right now, Willow accepted that sitting close to it was the best she could expect.
One thing I learned that day was the importance of buying an entire packet of tiny gold crowns for the dog’s first birthday photoshoot … some might turn into a highly prized tug toy before you get the money shot!
If this photo doesn’t make you full of all of the joy in the world you really should speak to your doctor. The confetti, the backdrop, the tiny crown, the expression. It’s all.too.much. Quite possibly my favourite photo of 2017.
Because pretty clouds were important, and didn’t show up for me the first day, we did another quick shoot down by the water shortly afterwards. It was super windy but when you’re as big as a small horse the only part of you that gets blown around is your ears. I just love these last two photos of her, they really show her silly side.
This is a composite of the framed wall collection that her people now have hanging in their hallway …
… and you can see a digital flip-through of the 12×12″ custom designed album I made for them over on my Instagram.
You too could have photos like this of your dog. Stop putting it off, email me now to book a session!