GET CLOSE: Dog Photography 52 Week Project - Week 15

When the dog is less than thrilled with a camera being close to her, I put on my 70-200mm lens, back away and photograph her at 200mm which looks like I am close to her but I'm not. This is Molly, our newest family member.

Get close is the topic of week 15 in the dog photography 52 week project. I love close up shots. I take a lot of them. I have a macro lens, the Nikkor 105mm and it allows me to get close to my subject however some dogs don't like the lens that close to them so I tend to back away and give them enough space so they're comfortable. So why then am I struggling to figure out what photos to post here? I am actually asking myself, do I have to post photos this week? Keep reading and you'll understand why I'm asking myself this.

Next month on Saturday May 12, I'll be photographing an event called Paws & Pics. It is a fun, free event sponsored by Mathers Realty and the local community is invited to come out and have photos taken of their furry family members. Cynthia Pinkston, one of their realtors hired me last year to photograph the event and I'm so happy she asked me to do it again this year. Last year we held the event at a local church. Click here to see an article and video from Paws & Pics 2017. (Ignore my voice and the number of times I plugged Mather's in the voice over. haha! I am not good at "on the spot, no time to prepare voice over work!")

We are changing locations this year and Cynthia wanted to meet up at the new venue to get some footage for a promotional video. This year we will be in MORA near a new sculpture called Embrace that was unveiled in November 2017. I'd not seen the sculpture in person so I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to see it, take some sample shots, figure out what lens I'd want to use during the event and get an idea of how the photo shoot would go in May. 

Explaining my thought process and what happened next is probably going to be long so I'll apologize in advance. I needed a dog model for the video. Most of you know I have 2 dogs: Moose and Molly. Moose is 11 and a pretty laid back guy. I knew I could take him to a new environment and he'd be fine, we could use him in the video and I could take a few photos of him, figure out what lens I'm going to want to use at the event, etc. 

Another image of Molly taken with my 70-200mm at 200mm.

Molly is 4 years old and is new to us. We adopted her in January. She's been naughty lately... this is just one incident of several that have occurred lately. I was out working yesterday for a couple of hours and when I returned home, she'd chewed on the window seal and knocked over an artificial tree so peat moss was everywhere. We normally adopt the older, like 6-7 years old+ senior dogs. The ones that don't get bored easily and are content to sleep on a nice bed (with Moose) while we are away. Well.... I think Molly needs some longer walks, more frequent walks, or doggy daycare.

Don of course is traveling (and by the time you read this he'll be home and will find out about the window seal because I've not told him yet.) I needed a dog model for the video and I knew if I took Moose, that meant Molly would be home alone. I didn't love this idea but taking both of them wasn't an option. I'd need a dog handler if I took both of them and I didn't have anyone to go with me. Moose would be the better model so I wanted to take him. I'd planned to give Molly a kong with peanut butter to keep her busy for a little bit at least and take Moose. 

Moose and Molly had other plans.... well Moose did anyway.

I had Moose leashed up when I got the kong out. He went nuts. He wanted the kong. Molly wasn't as enthused by the kong, she wanted to go with me. Soooo you see where this is going, right? Moose stayed home with the peanut butter kong and I leashed Molly up and took her with me.

My initial thought of taking Moose was right. Molly isn't great in new environments. She lacks confidence. She looks scared. Giving her leash to Cynthia to hold while I tried to back away 5 feet to simulate taking photos so we can get some footage to be used in a promo video didn't go well. She pulled on the leash to get close to me. Her tail was totally tucked under her. She doesn't have a great sit command yet (I'm working on that with her.) It just didn't go well.

I saw all of this going on while they were trying to take video. They might not have noticed it but any dog savvy person will see it. It wasn't great. I hope they got some footage then can use. I emailed them when I got home and said, "that footage of her yawning? Yea... don't use that - it's a signal a dog is stressed." I gave them a few other tips too. I hope the video turns out okay. My voice over work is probably better than last year but it's still probably not going to be great either. Fingers crossed Molly doesn't look completely miserable.

I'd love a do over with Moose (sorry Molly!) 

So why am I struggling to post photos here? It's not because my model looked completely unhappy. It's because I did something (knock on wood) that I've never done before. I got to the location without a memory card. So much for taking sample shots and that's why you're not seeing any photos here with the sculpture. I don't think I would've had many to work with any way since Molly wasn't super cooperative.

It is a cool location. I'm super excited for the event and during it, I will get close to the dogs. Hmmm now to figure out what "get close" photos I should put in this blog that won't make sense at all since they're weren't taken at the sculpture. 

Oh well, just keepin it real folks: the day in the life of a dog photographer and rescued dog mom. 

If you made it this far congratulations. Sorry for the super long post. Next up in the blog circle is Touched By a Dog Photography, serving Spokane County, WA with premier dog photography.