before & after #3 | sydney dog photographer

April 7, 2016 | 4 Replies

If you’re viewing this from your phone, or you received this post via email, you won’t have the fancy before and after slider.

I don’t post before and afters very often because I feel they open me up to a tonne of hate from purists who think this amount of editing is “cheating”. In my darkroom back in my film days I would do all sorts of whacky stuff to get different effects so I don’t think that digital editing is any less part of the craft. Plus and it comes with the bonus of no carcinogenic chemicals, win!

This was the first shot I took of Frank in this series of images for his spread in my Tails of Sydney book and it was a test to see if the balance between my flash and the ambient light was correct. It wasn’t what I was aiming for but I love Frank’s expression so I decided to do some work on it. The before is completely RAW and straight out of camera. The after is a combination of editing done in Lightroom and Photoshop. You’ll see I moved the surfer so he was still part of the story but not so close to Frank’s ear.

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You’ll be able to see more of Frank when the book comes out. Only another 79 shoots to go!

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Tails of Sydney outtakes 1-10 | Sydney Dog Photographer

March 14, 2016 | 2 Replies

Much of my time has been taken up with Tails of Sydney recently so I’m going to share some outtakes from the first ten to keep my blog up-to-date. It kills me to have to keep my favourites under wraps but I’m saving them for the book which will be ready by the end of the year (if all goes to plan).

First up was Leo, you might remember him from his session last year. I chose him for this location – St Marys Catherdral – because I needed a dog that was bomb-proof and really obedient. He didn’t disappoint.

Merle Koolie at St Marys Catherdral in Sydney

Next was Hendrix. We’ve known him for a few years through dog training and it was good to catch up with the little nugget again. His session was over at Watsons Bay where he drew a crowd of people that were very impressed by how well behaved he was.

Smiling Blue Staffy standing on a bench at Watsons Bay

Hunter was third and as an unknown I was slightly concerned that he’d struggle with all the distractions in The Rocks. I was so wrong though, I could not have asked for a better dog for that location. I passed on the name of Bruno’s agent before we parted ways, I think that boy is destined for stardom!

Smiling brown Labradoodle beside brick wall in The Rocks

I told people with puppies and seniors that their dogs would be photographed early on in the project, so Buddy and Charlie were up next. They had their session at Federal Park which is a really beautiful park where these two crazies got to have a run.

Two Cocker Spaniels running

Poppy drove all the way from Campbelltown for her shoot at Berry Island Reserve. She’s a beach babe so she was totally in her element there.

Weimaraner standing on rock against blue sky at beach at Berry Island Reserve

I had a commercial job after that so it was a week before I got back to Tails of Sydney shooting and Archie the Beagle had his turn. His session was at Centennial Park on a beautiful Friday evening.

Funny Beagle with lip stuck on tooth at Centennial Park

I photographed Mint and Jazz last year as well and I knew they’d be perfect for a busy location like Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. We were lucky to get there early because we spent 30 minutes “queueing” for a spot to photograph them in front of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge – talk about a popular spot for photographers!!

Two miniature pinschers standing in a big Moreton Bay fig tree at Mrs Macquaries Chair

After a few hiccups we finally got around to Diesel the German Shepherd’s session at Observatory Hill. He has a medical condition that prevented me from using treats to get his attention so that was a real challenge for me. Luckily he loves his incredibly grotty and flat football.

German Shepherd lying on a park bench at Observatory Hill

Speaking of challenges, photographing a baby Bulldog puppy at Bondi Beach on a sunny Sunday is definitely a difficult task! This was Sabra’s first public outing since her final vaccination and she was so calm and well behaved, she wasn’t the problem, the squealing passersby that all needed to pat the puppy were what broke my heart. I managed to bite my tongue and not swear at anyone which took massive self-control that day, believe me.

White bulldog puppy in front of graffiti at Bondi Beach with head tilt

And last, but far from least, was Benji at Mardi Gras. He’s another one that drew a crowd. I guess I don’t go to crowded places very often so I wasn’t prepared for heaps of people standing around the dog I was photographing with their phones pointed at him. Poor Benji didn’t know where to look. I’m not sure how keen I would be to accept that particular challenge again in the future.

Husky at Mardi Grass in front of rainbow socks and umbrellas

The plan is to do ten Tails of Sydney shoots a month, so I’ll have another ten outtakes for you in a month’s time. I’ve already done three and the rains are coming so keep everything crossed that I will be able to keep on track for the rest of March! If you want to learn more about the project you can head over to my website. I still have some spaces available, details of which are on the application form page.

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Adopt me 02.16 | Sydney Dog Photographer

March 1, 2016 | Leave a reply

With Tails of Sydney shooting in full swing (plus commercial and private client work) I haven’t had much time for rescue photos but I did manage to squeeze this bunch of lookers into three afternoons during February. The first seven are in care with Fetching Dogs and the last three are with Saving Staffies.

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser so you can view the gallery properly. Click on the first image to open and then scroll using the next and back buttons or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

A couple have started adoption trials and a couple have already broken the internet with people applying to adopt them but several are still available so please share this post to help them find homes.

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Riley, Spencer, Flynn and Doug | Sydney Pet Photography

February 11, 2016 | 3 Replies

If you dig back through my blog archives (please don’t!) you’ll find two previous appearances by Riley and one by Spencer and Flynn. Their owner has been a loyal supporter and friend since I started out – I first met her five cameras ago! During 2015 I was tasked with photographing all of her four dogs, including new kid Doug, first as two pairs and then as a group. This is going to be a super long post because it’s the highlights from all three of those sessions.

First up were Riley (14) and Spencer (10). Riley is either deaf or has developed extremely selective hearing in his old age. I suspect the latter myself, he’s still got the whole cheeky terrier thing going on.

westie high five

west highland terrier on a rock

west highland terrier from above

Spencer was extremely shy and wary of new people the first time I photographed him so it was nice to see he’s come a long way since then.

smiling spaniel at the beach

I was warned that he would run into the water as soon as he was released so I got the duo shot done while they were both still dry.

two dogs on a rock

Next minute …

dog running on beach with ears flapping

spaniel mix playing at the beach

dog in rock pool

wet dog

Riley may be well into double digits and have arthritis but he’s still very mobile and fit for his age. I want to know his secret!

westie running on beach

cute white dog in water at beach

Next up were Flynn and Doug, the Kelpies. I’ve done a portrait session with Flynn before and he was also a model at the Zoomies Workshop that I taught at in Kiama. I knew he was a superstar and he didn’t disappoint.

kelpie with green ball

kelpie

What I wasn’t ready for was the absolute ridiculousness of Doug. Talk about Mr Personality!

kelpie lying down with intense stare

smiling kelpie on sleeper

He had me in stitches the whole time.

kelpie in sand with leg raised

kelpie running with ball

To say Flynn is ball obsessed is a massive understatement. I don’t know how many times I had to try and hide it from him to get an expression different to his desperate for the ball face!

kelpie running on sand

I think these two win the handsome Kelpies competition, hands down.

two kelpies lying down

smiling kelpie portrait

While I was taking Flynn’s portrait, sillypants was behind me doing these ones!

kelpie being silly

So much good looking. Sigh.

two kelpies in a drop

Many many weeks (and a knee surgery) later we met for a Sunrise Session, with husbands masquerading as assistants in tow, to get the group shot.

four dogs on a rock at sunrise

four dogs on a rock at sunrise

four dogs on a rock at sunrise

After a little play with his pack in the water I got to play favourites with Doug. In my defence he’s the only dog in the pack that I’ve only had one session with so he deserved a little extra camera time, right?

kelpie on a rock at sunrise

After agonising over what to order Adriana decided to get the lot, plus a few extras. This is the wall collection …

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… and this one will be printed on metal.

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I posted an album flip through on my Instagram yesterday so I won’t share another one again so soon, but if you keep an eye out I’ll post the one from these sessions in the next few weeks.

If you need more Doug and Flynn in your life stay tuned because they’ve also signed up for my Tails of Sydney project and I for one can’t wait to see them again!

PS You might notice that the staining in Riley’s fur around his face and feet is pretty much gone in the group shots, which were taken about six months later. That’s not due to retouching (actually the early pictures have had the staining pulled back slightly to make them less severe), it’s the result of him taking turmeric tablets for his arthritis. He also had a change in diet to Raw for Paws but Adriana thinks the change in his fur is predominantly from the tablets. She was giving him Bioceuticals Thermacurin or Fusion Curcumin, depending on availability, not at the same time, one tablet per day.

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Buster the Golden Retriever | Sydney Dog Photographer

February 10, 2016 | 2 Replies

I had the pleasure of meeting this fair haired beauty for the first time back in November. He’s a student of the awesome Glenn Cooke from Canine Evolution who very kindly recommended me to Buster’s owners. On the day I was scheduled to do his portrait session it had been well into the 40s and, while he would typically spend his days in and out of the house enjoying the air con if he got too hot, that day he’d spent a lot of his time outside. He greeted me with some excitement and a couple of laps of the fountain, but by the time I had my camera gear set up he’d lost all his steam and didn’t want any part of the photo shoot. I tried every trick in the book but eventually conceded defeat and made arrangements to come back once our schedules could make it work and the temperature was lower.

happy golden retriever with blue ball

When I saw how full of life he was on our second meeting I knew for sure that I’d made the right decision. Look at him go!

golden retriever running

golden retriever running

I joked on my Facebook page about him having a giant paddling pool but it’s actually a gorgeous fountain in the front garden. Unlike my water babies he doesn’t ever get in it to cool off, which made me wonder if he really is a Golden Retriever. I should sight his papers to make sure.

golden retriever dog trying to get ball from water fountain

golden retriever standing at water fountain

For a six year old dog he sure knows how to turn on the cute to get a delicious treat.

golden retriever dog with head tilt

It wasn’t all plain sailing on my second attempt, he did like to try and call the shots and took himself off to bed when he’d decided he was done. Nuh-uh Buster, that’s not how it works!

golden retriever dog in mutt hut

Buster lives in one of the nicest properties I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting at. There was no shortage of beautiful areas to work with.

golden retriever lying on verandah

smiling golden retriever profile

golden retriever dog with head tilt

golden retriever sitting on step english country garden

The swimming pool was no temptation for him. I can’t say the same for my assistant and I!

golden retriever dog lying in the sun by the pool

After the pool we made our way down to their private jetty. (I know, I’m not telling my dogs either!)

happy golden retriever on dock of harbour

Buster showed me his go-to trick, just in case I’d missed it the previous 87 times. It’s ok, I was shooting with a wide angle lens so I was close enough to not leave him hanging.

golden retriever dog with paw up at sunset

Buster’s session was a Christmas present for his best friend and rumbling buddy. This collection of photos (inspired by a spread in his album, which can be seen on my Instagram) will be hung in his bedroom. Which, if he’s anything like any other teenage boy I know, looks nothing like this composite.

sydney dog photographer custom framing

Thank you Murray family for trusting me to capture these memories for you. It’s been a pleasure working with you all.

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