Pets & People: Pet Photography Project 52 week 36

This week for the Pet Photography Project 52 challenge, our topic is Pets & People. Let me start by saying, I have very little experience photographing people. I've always enjoyed photographing dogs more than people. That changed when I met Emmas.

This is how I met Emmas. When my husband's relay team got into the Mt Hood to Coast race in Oregon, I knew I'd go along on the trip. (If you're not familiar with the race, it's a 12 person relay race from Mt Hood to the northern Oregon coastal town of Seaside. The race is 199 miles and it took my husband's team 28 hours 34 minutes and 33 seconds to finish. They finished in the top 17% out of 1,050 teams which was AMAZING!) I thought I could plan to do a couple of photo sessions with dogs and their owners while he was running the race. I'd have 28 hours, right? Well, in thinking about that I decided 28 hours wasn't enough.

I'd seen pictures of the Oregon coast and I knew it was beautiful. I knew I wanted to go to Cannon Beach where I would find Haystack Rock (see last week's Project 52 post for photos of Haystack.) I decided to go 5 days early and try to book dog photography sessions in advance. 

I reached out to a local dog shop owner, Emmas who owns Dogs Allowed Cannon Beach. She was more than willing to post signs in her store and at the post office and mention my upcoming photos sessions to her customers. I was offering the sessions at a discounted rate since I wasn't sure what to expect. Well guess what, I got? Crickets.  I mean nothing but crickets.

I'd offered a complimentary photo session to Emmas since she was helping me. I arrived in Cannon Beach on a Sunday wondering if I'd be asking Emmas if I could borrow her black lab Hailey every day so I could photograph dogs on the beach.

My session with Hailey was scheduled for Monday just before sunset. On Monday morning around 7am something glorious happened. I looked out at the beach from my room and I saw Dogs On The Beach!!!!! There were dogs everywhere, running free on the beach. Coffee had to wait. I grabbed my camera and headed down. I asked people if I could photograph their dogs and they all said yes. :) I've posted a lot of photos on my Instagram if you want to see them.

What a great place to visit if you're a dog. Any dog whose owner takes him to Cannon Beach loves him. It is like heaven on earth for a dog. Now that I think about it, it was like heaven on earth to met too. :)

Monday evening arrived and I met Emmas, her husband Doug and Hailey on the beach. Hailey's given name is Hailey Sweetbriar, Keeper of the Stars. I can without a doubt say that Hailey is a lucky dog that is loved to the moon and back by her parents. 

I loved my photo session with her. (As many of you know, I bought my first camera so I could take photos of my black lab Buddy so black labs have a special place in my heart.)

During our photo shoot, I asked Emmas if there were any specific photos she wanted. She gave me a sideways glance and said, "there is one shot I've always had in my mind but I can't figure out how to have it done. I want a photo of Doug and I walking down the beach away from the camera and Hailey in between us." 

I suggested they leash Hailey up and take a little walk. The image above is one of the resulting images. When I sent this to Emmas, she replied back to me: "We are thrilled. You just made my dream come true." And I cried because this is exactly why I want to do this. 

There is more to this story though. I have had a photo in my mind for years that I've always wanted to create and on Father's Day this year, I took it. I've wanted a photo of Don with our dogs walking away from me. Our yellow lab Willow doesn't love my camera and I'm sure she was also wondering what I was doing lying on the ground with my camera and not walking with them. She is turning back to look at me. So when Emmas asked me to take a photo of them walking away from me, it really hit home for me. I'm so glad I was able to do this for them.

Since having this photo session with Hailey and this conversation with Emmas, I've realized I am drawn to photos when the camera is looking in the same direction as the subject. Perhaps it is my desire to know what is out there or to be out there myself. 

Here are more shots about pets & people with Emmas, Doug and Hailey and in the first photo below, that is Haystack Rock off in the distance camera right.

i ended up with 4 booked sessions and I had to decline two more because I was leaving. I was really happy with that! 



This is a blog circle and next up is Elaine Tweedy, I Got The Shot Photography, Northeastern PA . Keep clicking the link at the end of each post and you'll end up right back here when you're finished. Woo hoo..... the NFL is back on!!! Life is Good at my house. :)

PS When looking back at these photos, I think I need to edit out some of the seagulls. :(