Kaya & Poppy
I recently had the pleasure of shooting Kaya and Poppy. They are both owned by a colleague at work. I wanted more experience of shooting two dogs in one location. Most of my shoots have been the one dog, one hour, one location scenario. I also did not want to inconvenience my colleague so the time and location was arranged around when she would be walking her dogs regardless of my presence. In recompense I wavered the usual two dogs, one location, ninety minutes fee of £129.
"Poppy is a 4 year old working cocker spaniel who’s life started on a farm in Hartlepool. Although she is technically a ‘working’ dog she spends her days wanting cuddles and treats and is known as the ‘eternal puppy’ in the household. Kaya is a 6 year old Shar-Pei who is part sloth as she sleeps 18 hours of each day. Although she is an independent dog by nature she is 100% for her owners and as long as she is with them she is happy and relaxed. Kaya is an unusual breed and is an acquired taste. What makes her more unique is that she suffers from a form of ‘hay fever’ which causes excessive itching, hair loss and bruising to the skin. She has undergone various treatments without success but still remains the most loving natured dog ever!"
We walked along Ormesby Beck in a very built-up residential area of Middlesbrough behind James Cook University Hospital. Despite the very urban setting it felt as though we could have been in the heart of the British countryside in places. Cow Parsley was in full bloom, with Hogweed about to flower. Fortunately, unlike a lot of Cleveland's riparian habitats, there was no Giant Hogweed to be seen. This was fortuitous because, apart from the fact that it's a serious skin irritant to anyone that touches it, we also had my clients beautiful daughter with us. We were lucky enough to find a large patch of Creeping Buttercup which made for a great backdrop to some cool photos.
Darcy is a very small person who added a whole new dynamic to the shoot. It was nice to see her interacting with the three dogs, obviously Bailey was with us, and it was refreshing to get some nice photos of just her enjoying the nature we were surrounded by. I think there is something special about children being around dogs from a young age. It also makes for some very appealing photos. I especially like it when a small person is next to a large dog, just as I like the incongruence of when a tall person has a small dog. Take a look at this image from the 2015 SARA shoot earlier this summer; burntmoon.com/Sara.
For the most part the two dogs just did their thing and I grabbed photos as best I could. I like this style of shooting, almost photojournalist in its approach. Kaya was fairly easy in that her personally is a laid back, quite chilled one. Poppy on the other hand has an adorable, puppyish personality, together with all the energy of a dog with ADHD fuelled with Red Bull! However, this was just the challenge I was wanting. I wasn't confident about getting any great shots of her, but it would help develop my shooting skills and highlight areas for further development and practice. The potential result of not getting any decent images was another reason for not charging and not inconveniencing my client. As it turned out I was quite pleased with the results, though there were quite a few of Poppy where she had been too fast and was only half in the frame or had motion blur. I was very pleased with some of the images. Sometimes the harder a shoot is, the more stunning the results, sometimes! Facebook feedback from the client on one of the images was;
" I laughed out loud when I saw this. It totally captures her personality".
Check them out for yourself at burntmoon.com/poppyandkaya and let me know what you think by leaving a comment at burntmoon.com/guestbook or on individual images on the website.
Keywords: animal, canine, cocker, companion, dogs, pei, pets, photo, photograph, photography, share, sharpie, spaniel
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