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Monthly Archives: April 2015

International readers of my blog might wonder if I’ve moved back to Ireland with all my mentions of bad weather, but no, I’m still in Sydney. To date, 2015 has been a really difficult year for me as a natural light photographer. I haven’t had a single session go ahead on the date it was supposed to and some clients have had their shoots rescheduled three or four times. Last week, only a few days before Pepe’s owner was due to go back to work, we decided the forecast was suitable to go ahead with his shoot. They don’t live near the location so it had to be right. In fine 2015 fashion as soon as I pulled up a big cloud covered the sun and stayed there until the end of the session. But we wouldn’t be beaten! (I’m totally ok with that song being stuck in my head for the rest of the day, apologies if you’re not!)

Given the changeable nature of the weather recently I specifically chose somewhere that didn’t rely on pretty light as it had plenty of colour, texture and features.



And luckily for me, Pepe brought his winning smile to the party!



Pepe’s owner had a shoot with me last year with her Husky (who died not long afterwards) so we’re friends on Facebook and I get to see photos of Pepe quite a bit. I’d been so excited about his shoot for ages and he didn’t disappoint. Would you just look at how cute he is?


He’s not lacking in ‘tude either.



Sitting around was all well and good but Pepe really came to life when all the new toys were produced for him to fetch.


That smile!


Pepe’s meerkat impersonation had been mentioned a few times in the run up to his session so it was definitely something I wanted to capture. He teased me a few times by doing it when my back was turned, but eventually he held it for the camera long enough for me to get a few money shots. It’s kind of adorable.


He needed a belly rub after all that meerkat-ing.


His freckle-y ears are another adorable feature that needed to be documented.


Kirsten bought a new car recently and one thing it had to have was a centre console for Pepe to sit on. He sometimes likes to meerkat on it too!


The sun finally made an appearance as we were wrapping up and I got to get some sparkly light happening behind his lovely whispy-haired ears.


Kirsten pre-ordered my Deluxe Collection which includes wall art an album and digital files so while it was wet and windy outside I took the opportunity to design Pepe’s album. Look out for the finished product on my Facebook page in a few weeks.

If you’d like your pet to be the star of their own book get in touch, I’d love to tell their story in pictures too. I believe the weather for the rest of Autumn/Winter can only get better!

After missing the first photo challenge I almost missed the third one too, but the deadline was extended to accommodate others so I decided to get up bright and early on Sunday morning and take the whingebag (that’d be Bruno in case you weren’t aware of his most annoying character flaw) for a spin down the coast in the hope of finding a deserted beach. The theme was water, which I chose, so it would have been a bit rubbish if I didn’t take part. You’ve probably seen lots of photos of Bruno playing with other dogs and think he’s a social butterfly I can take anywhere but the opposite is true. He does love other dogs, but he loves them too much, to the point of obsession, which makes taking photos of him when there are other dogs around really difficult. In fact even if there are none around he’ll still spend the whole time looking for some. As a result I have an ever-growing collection of photos of him staring into the distance. On Sunday we waited for ages for the other dogs to leave the beach but within minutes of putting him in position for the shot another one arrived and once Bruno has locked his focus onto a dog there’s no way to get him to look at the camera instead. Not noises, not food, not even an entire jar of peanut butter. So, I just took a few shots and put him back onlead before he decided to go and introduce himself … in his own over-the-top and usually unwelcome manner that brings shame on the whole family!

The objective of the challenge is to try new things. What’s different about this shot for me is it wasn’t taken at sunset or sunrise and I didn’t use a shallow depth of field.

I showed a preview of this post to my husband and he asked why I’m showing how much work I had to do to make the image look good. So, I should explain that I intentionally underexposed the image so I wouldn’t lose the detail in the sky. I knew how I wanted the final image to look as I was shooting it and the beauty of shooting in RAW is that the files have so much information contained within them that I was able to create a final image that wouldn’t have been possible to achieve in-camera without a reflector or off camera lighting. Drag the slider left and right to see the before and after. (If you received the blog post by email you probably won’t have a slider, click on the heading to open the post in a browser.)



Being the perfectionist that I am I made two previous attempts at creating an image for the challenge. My first was the images of Jax running at the end of this post, but he wouldn’t run through through the water like I wanted him to, so they didn’t make the cut. My second was this photo of Bruno playing with the hose, but I felt the images were a bit rushed and snapshot-y, so they didn’t make the cut either!