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Monthly Archives: March 2015

About ten days ago our little mate, who isn’t so little any more, went back to live with his owner in his new home. I was out taking photos when he was collected, which is probably a good thing ’cause I hate goodbyes and tears may have been shed. I promised in the last blog post that you’d be seeing more of him, so here’s the second instalment of Jax the Rottie.

At the start of the year I bought a couple of Sigma Art prime lenses and Jax was the obvious choice to test them out on. What with him being far more obedient and compliant than any of our blockheads!


I didn’t feel they were working properly so over the course of the next few weeks I ran several tests on them. These pictures were taken during that time. Different lenses on different bodies. One very good puppy who knew the drill and sat very still for me each and every time. Even when he had a leaf stuck to his nose (his own doing)!



In the end, much as I loved them when they worked, I returned them and the shop agreed they were faulty and refunded me. I’m not game to repeat the experience even though photographers everywhere swear by them, I’m sticking to Canon.

Jax was also chief location scouting buddy. Unfortunately on this occasion (actually it happens on most occasions) it became cloudy by the time we reached our destination. He got to have a runaround anyway.






I also used Jax for my first attempt at the photo challenge. I didn’t like the light though, so I reshot it with Bruno.


On his last morning with us we got up very early for a sunrise shoot. My main motive was to get a photo for the Ruthless Leather homepage, but we kept going long after that was in the bag. Two things I’ll miss the most about Jax are his “speak” and his head-tilt – things that none of our four will do.





As payment for being so good he got to have a splash in the water – his favourite. My poor car is still wearing all the sand he brought home with him.





Much as we loved having him here, it is nice to be back to just four dogs again (that’s right, I said just!). Bruno’s happy to be the baby again and Chopper’s happy to have his boyfriend back. Dave’s decided that he’s choosing our next dog and it’s going to be a Rottweiler. We’ll see …

Fetching Dogs put me to work this month with a whopping 16 puppies to photograph (as well four adults and an inbetweener). You might recognise some of these munchkins from my Easter puppies blog post a couple of weeks ago, these are their official adoption photos – enjoy!

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser and view the gallery as it was intended.

Amongst all the Fetching Dogs and puppies I also did two dogs for Arctic Breed Rescue (can you guess which two?!) and two for Saving Staffies (they’re before the arctics in the slideshow). Some puppies have been adopted and their mother will be staying with the foster carer, but everyone else is still looking for homes so please share this far and wide. Easter is a great time to settle a new addition into the family.

Since the start of the year I’ve been completely engrossed in redesigning the Ruthless Leather website. I’ve done a few WordPress sites in the last few years and thought “what’s one more?”. Making an e-commerce website is a pretty mammoth task compared to a blog or a portfolio site. It was incredibly stressful, took way longer than anticipated and cost a small fortune but today I finally got to turn off the holding page and give it life!

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the process was this little personal project I set myself to create hero images for the homepage showing that we dress dogs of all breeds and sizes. I bought studio lights back in August but hadn’t done much with them yet. I hired an ex-teacher of mine from a lighting course I’d done years ago to come and do some mentoring to refresh me on the basics. With his guidance I was able to create these unique images to showcase our collars and inject some colour and style into the website. It was quite a journey in itself though.

My baby boy was first up and luckily for him looking at the camera wasn’t a requirement on the day!


I think I got lucky with my first attempt, because when I went out a few days later with Jax I wasn’t quite so successful. This was the best of a bad bunch, with a lens flare right on top of the collar.


I knew I could do better, so I waited for an evening with some clouds in the sky and tried again. Success!


Except, it was actually a fail, because I needed an image I could put type over and the clouds were too textured to work with a white type overlay. So on the morning of his last day with us we took him down to the beach for a sunrise shoot and managed to get him to pull almost exactly the same face again in front of a more overlaid type friendly sky.


Tofu Pow‘s photo was another one that took a couple of attempts to get right (I was very committed to this project!).


I didn’t like the sky from my first shoot. It was pretty grey. I tried pumping some colour into it in post, but it looked really fake and Tofu’s expression was a bit weird so I arranged a reshoot. A new location nearby provided a better ground to sit Tofu on and I was able to include the sun just before it set for the day. Don’t worry, Tofu was handsomely paid in treats and cuddles afterwards. His world didn’t end!


Thanks to the power of Facebook, and knowing everyone with anything to do with dogs (not quite, but close), I was able to get Rubens to represent giant dogs and show that we make collars for dogs of all sizes. His owner drove him all the way into the city to pose on the back streets of Enmore in front of this awesome bit of graffiti. Every person and car that passed slowed down to gasp at him (I’ll admit I gasped when I first saw him too)! It was a tough gig but he handled it like a pro.


Now that Ruthless Leather has a new website it also has it’s own blog (which you’ll be able to subscribe to by email shortly) so there won’t be any more leather posts on here (unless they’re photography related).

I did adoption photos for some Fetching Dogs puppies last weekend and afterwards I brought out the bunny ears to try and do some Easter photos, they were a bit tired and cranky at that stage though!

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser and view the gallery as it was intended. Click on the first one to open the slideshow and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll.

Their adoption profiles will be going up shortly, keep an eye on PetRescue for them.

I made use of the good weather earlier in the month and caught up on some rescue work. I’m delighted to report that all bar two of these dogs have since been adopted, but I figured I’d share their photos anyway since they’re all a bit cute!

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser and view the gallery as it was intended.

Little Rubix and young Link, the last two in the gallery, are still waiting in foster care with Fetching Dogs. Please share this around, you might know someone looking for a dog just like them.