Thursday's face

Good morning, it's 5 something and way too early to be awake. I tend to consider the appropriate time of waking to be when the sun is up. It doesn't have to be fully up but it should definitely be making an appearance; getting up while it is still dark goes against everything my body tells me. And I have to say that my dogs agree as they have not budged from their beds this morning. Typically they will join us in our bed once they wake up enough to leave theirs; but they are all still in sleep mode.

I had several shoots yesterday which means that today I will be working on those photos. The face, its all in the face for me. My absolute favorite part of shooting dogs is capturing expression. Sometimes that expression is a lack there of; like my little Jack Russell Jessie. When she gets in the car to go anywhere she gets her travel face on; which is the lack of expression. Its funny but a nothing face is her travel face.

A dogs expression changes so quickly that I often don't even know what I've captured until I get home and see it on "the big screen." Often I can be heard saying OMG as I flip through my new images. Body position is cute and can make a shot but facial expression is truly everything. It takes the eyes, ears and mouth to complete the expression. Quite a while back I was doing a shoot with Jessie and a piece of cake; the entire set up was on the kitchen table. Ah yes Jessie on the kitchen table with a piece of cake; great idea Sherri.

So as I was shooting Jessie's expression which was caused by the fact that there was a piece of cake infront of her; one of my other dogs appeared. He was hovering around the cake; this is when the real magic happened. I could see that she was much more serious now that someone else might get the cake but I didn't know that she was quite so serious. I captured a lip curl which I had missed with my camera eye; it was a great capture.

Doing portrait type work can be tough; it is extremely important to have a "good expression," on the dog. Guardians who are intuned with their dogs know each and every "face," so if their dog is stressed, frustrated or just plain not happy they are going to see it in the image. Sometimes it can be difficult to have a dog relaxed enough to get a good face let alone a great face. That is where patience factors in, patience, patience, patience. It truly is a virtue when you consider the alternative.

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