I love my job
Looking down at my arms I smile at the scratches and band-aid on my hand. Seeing these scratches means that I have either 1. had a great gardening session which I love or 2. that I had a puppy shoot. These scratches were from a puppy shoot and she nailed me good. Those puppy teeth do it every time and to me they are remnants of a great shoot. I've been shooting a lot of dogs lately; I'm working on another book. I often feel the urge to pinch myself just to be sure that I'm not dreaming; my job is hanging with dogs.
As a trainer I'm there to teach or fix; but as a photographer I'm simply there to capture and have fun, nice. A couple of weeks ago I was headed down to the marina; the California sunshine was beaming in my Xterra window as I headed west. I arrived to meet a huge and lovable guy and his guardian. I couldn't wait to get started and we headed out to the boat; that's right I was shooting a dog on a yacht. I first got to shoot the boy on his yacht and then captured him riding in a boat with a huge grin on his face; it doesn't get a whole lot better than this.
There was the shoot the day before at the park; action shots of a dog having fun just being a dog. I spent nearly an hour watching this guy have a blast; running, jumping and retrieving his toys. He had an amazing red coat that flew in the wind as he tore by in pursuit of his ball. The shots turned out amazing. A couple of days before that had been my puppy shoot; a blonde bundle of squeezable cuteness. Sometimes I just cannot keep my hands to myself and I need to get a good fix of puppy.
Last week I had one of my favorite shoots; a walk in a wide open field to shoot a gal who loves to run. The task at hand was to capture her in motion and motion is what she gave me. How great is it to see dogs running simply for the love of running? Acres and acres of wide open space; canine companionship and great canine conversation with the guardian, darned nice.
To be a dog photographer you must have a bucket full of patience. It is not typical for things to run smoothly or without a good amount of challenge. I'm lucky that all my years of training have offered me a never ending supply of patience when it comes to dogs. I can easily shoot 300 or more shots in one sitting but I'm always aware when I've got the shot; that one I'm looking for. And after the shoot there is always time to chill with the model; a perk you could say.