5 tips for a stress free Christmas with your dog

Christmas with your dog

How to survive Christmas with your dog. The festive season is a time for decorating our houses, giving gifts, eating delicious food and sweet treats and (usually) our homes are busy with the hubbub of visitors. Our pets are creatures of habit and when new arrivals come into their homes and alter their daily routine it can put their noses out of joint.

Cocker spaniel in the Christmas snow


⦁ Gastronomic gifts – one of the wonderful things about this time of year is the giving and receiving of presents. To make them exciting and keep us guessing until the big day, we disguise them in wrapping paper, however, be aware that popping an edible gift under the tree could be more than a temptation to our peckish pooches so you may want to check if the gift should be kept out of reach.

Healthy Dog treats

⦁ Christmas trees – whether you like to fake it, or display the real deal there are a plethora of decorations that could tantalise our curious canines. Consider having a ‘wag zone’ clear of baubles and decs to deter them from getting ‘wagged’ off the tree, practise your ‘leave’ command to prevent things being broken, stepped on or eaten.

Labrador in the christmas snow

⦁ Chocolate and sweet treats – there’s not many households at this time of year which don’t have advent calendars, tree decorations, boxes, bars, mince pies and cakes all containing percentages of cocoa content, sultanas and raisins. All generally considered toxic to dogs and best kept well away from our hungry hounds.

⦁ Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – most of us want to include our precious pups in every aspect of our festivities from their own stockings/presents, wearing a Christmas jumper and a joining us for a lovely dinner. Be aware that if your dog isn’t used to eating rich ‘human’ food (and they shouldn’t be!) they may not thank you for this a few hours later! Dogs can’t eat onions and garlic so trimmings like stuffing need to be avoided. To be safe, feed your dog their usual food and the day is more likely to have a happy ending.

Dog Christmas dinner

⦁ Visitors – pre-covid we usually do the rounds and visit friends and family dropping off presents and catching up on the latest news from the year. This increase of visitors to our homes can send our canine companions into security duty with barking, whining, jumping up and general attention seeking behaviour. Put your pups at ease by teaching your guests to abide by your rules and boundaries, as well as training your dog to accept visitors into your house in a calm and relaxed manner. Ensure you dog has a safe place to retreat to away from the visitors such as a bed in another room. A houseful in an otherwise quiet house can be stressful for your pooch.

Merry Christmas Dog

But above all have a wonderful festive period with your pets.

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next up is Jessica

South Carolina dog and equine photographer, Jessica O’Connor, shares some of her tips for keeping hunting dogs in too shape during “hunt week” as deer season comes to an end in the south.

Tis the season for dog photography

Tis the season to get that Christmas memory captured

Christmas is a special time of year and it is important that we capture those special moments with family.

I love to do Christmas themed shoots. A lot of the time I complete these in October time as people like to use the finished products for Christmas cards.

Pauline and Ray had a session with their fox red Labrador Rohan so they could send their Christmas greetings to their friends all around the globe.

Tis the season to book a photoshoot

Having a shoot with your pets can be a tonne of fun and I usually have loads of bloopers alongside the special memories.

tis the season for a Christmas photo shoot

Of course I understand not everyone enjoys being photographed and would rather just have Christmas photographs of their pets.

Christmas dog photoshoot
Red showing Christmas is serious business

That is fine too, because as we know our pets make great models.

Winston who has now sadly passed away, donned his Christmas gear to make Christmas cards to raise money for the Winston’s Wheels charity that helps get wheel chairs to canines that need them.

So if you would like to capture those special festive memories with your pet, then get in touch today to book a shoot.

Until then I will leave you with this cute festive poem all about Dog-mas.

Twas the night before Dog-mas

‘Twas the night before Dog-mas, when all through the pound, Not a puppy was yelping or playing around. Our leashes were hung by our kennels with care, In hopes that St. Bernard would soon find us there.

Chihuahuas were curled up all snug in their beds, While visions of doggie treats danced in their heads. Max in his collar, on somebody’s lap, Had tucked in his tail for a midwinter’s nap.

When outside the room there arose such a clatter, My ears perked right up to hear what was the matter. Away to the window I jumped up with glee, And barked at the shadows that were cast by a tree.

The glow from the moon changed night into day, And started me thinking, “Woof, woof, time to play”. When, what with my puppy-dog eyes did I see, But a splendid dog-sled, led by doggies like me!

With a regal furred driver, commanding, not stern. I yelped to the others, “That must be St. Bern”! More rapid than greyhounds, our saviors they came, And we barked and we howled and called them by name.

“There’s Duchess! There’s King! fat Chance, and bare Buffy! On Fido, On Scooter! On Rover, and Scruffy! Go by the red hydrant and run past those trees! Nothing can stop you, not even some fleas!”

As puppies at play chase after a stick And race to their masters so lovely and quick, So out in the field his canines all flew, Catching the Frisbees that St. Bernard threw.

And then in an instant I heard at the door The scratching and clawing of each little paw…. As I pulled in my nose and was turning around, Through the door St. Bernard came in with a bound!

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his tail, His wood cask adorned with an icing of hail; A bag of chew toys he had brought in with him, And his mouth was turned up in what looked like a grin.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His ears flopped, how merry! His coat shone like crystal, his nose like a cherry! His big sloppy mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the fur on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a bone he held tight in his teeth, And his collar encircled his neck like a wreath. He had a large face and a furry round belly, That shook when he barked, like a bowlful of jelly. He was fluffy and plump, a big cuddly old pooch And I laughed when I saw him and gave him a smooch!

A wink of his eye and a wag of his tail; We knew right away we’d have homes without fail. He howled not a howl, but went straight to his deed, And took down our leashes that soon we would need.

He opened the door and families stood there, With children, all smiling, and much love to spare. He leapt to his sled, to his team gave a call, And away they all flew as if chasing a ball. But I heard him exclaim, as he chewed on a bone: “Happy Dog-mas to all and to all a good home!”

-Diamond Paws

Puppy and a christmas tree
Nuka loves Christmas time

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next up is Tracy Allard

Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography has been celebrating the holidays with Christmas mini sessions for both kids and dogs at her studio in historic old town Carrollton, Texas.

Gratitude – 5 things I’m grateful for

Sometimes when we are rushed off our feet getting on with work and daily life we forget to stop and think about what we are grateful for. When you stop and think there are lots of things we should show gratitude for, here are my top five.  Hopefully they inspire you to think about yours. 

Gratitude

My gratitude list

1 – My dogs

With the craziness that has been the last couple of years with lock downs and working from home I have become even closer to my dogs than I thought I could. Every morning I am grateful for their happy little faces and wags that make me feel that all is good with the world.

During lockdown they also served as my models so I could keep my eye in with my photography. Jelly, Red and Nuka……thank you! 

Finding gratitude everyday

2 – My home

I have had to work from home throughout the pandemic and I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather have been. I live out in the countryside in Suffolk and was able to walk with my three four legged friends for miles without seeing a soul. Bliss! 

I love my home and I don’t think about it enough. Writing this blog has been really cathartic and given me a moment to fully appreciate all the things I take for granted and my home is one of them.

3 – My Clients 

Without them I am just a person taking photos.  My clients inspire me to try new things and push forward. I love meeting all the new people that photography brings into my life. I live for capturing those special  moments that I know will live in peoples homes for years to come. To my clients, I thank you for being there and I will strive to always go above and beyond for you. 

Dog photoshoot

4 – My studio

I have not really had a chance to get in my studio and get going yet, but I can’t wait to get in it more. The renovation of it during the start of the year also gave me something positive to focus my attention on with so much negativity in the world. To my studio,  I am grateful to have you and look forward to lots of shoots in the new year. 

Dog portrait session

5 – My Friends and Family 

Where would we all be without our friends and family?  I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. They have supported me and helped me every step of the way and continue to do so.  There is nothing more to say. To my friends and family, I am grateful for you. Thank you! 

Family gratitude

What are you grateful for?

Now I have shared mine, have a think about what you are grateful for. Even in the darkest times there is always something. Often things we take for granted day to day.  Take a moment and show gratitude for those things. 

I try to think of one thing every morning that I am grateful for and it starts the day off on the right foot. 

Go find your gratitude. 

Around the circle

Another thing I am grateful for is the brilliant group of pet photographers that form part of this blog circle. Click on the link below to jump to the next blog and see what they are grateful for too. 

Canberra Pet Photographer Ina Jalil of Ina J Photography shares what she is grateful for

Get in touch to book your shoot today

Dog body language and my photography

As a pet photographer, my clients can’t speak to me, well not in English anyway. (well their owners usually can). This means I need to be mindful to look for other cues the animals I work with may give me. In this instance lets focus on dogs. As a dog trainer also I suppose I am lucky that reading dogs body language comes naturally to me so it is almost as if they can speak. But, for those that maybe are not so fluent in dog, lets find out a bit more.

dog body language

So what is dog body language?

Unlike humans alot of the dogs communication is non verbal and they communicate a great deal with humans and other animals using body language. Unfortunately alot of the time humans are pretty bad at reading their dogs and miss alot of cues.

What are the main types of body language dogs display?

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Tail
  • Posture

These are the main body parts that a dog uses to communicate with its world.

Eyes

Lets start with the eyes. The eyes are known as the windows to the soul and with dogs this is definitely true. You can tell a lot about how a dog is feeling by their eyes. Are they fixed and staring? This could be an indication that they have spotted a threat or prey at a distance and are getting ready to move.

Alternatively if the dog has a locked stare on you, this could mean the dog sees you as a threat and if you come too close will either run away or right. It is not always the case but bare this in mind, especially if it is not your dog. An indicator that people often misinterpret is what is known as “whale eyes”. This is when the dog shows the whites of it’s eyes. You often see it in dogs that are enduring an overly tight cuddle from an enthusiastic child. When dogs who are displaying whale eyes are ignored they often up the behaviour to growling or biting. Look out for this one.

Whale eye in dogs

Ears

The ears are great indicators of the mood of a dog. Pricked ears show the dog is alert and interested, equally a dog will usually have relaxed ears when taking some down time. A dogs ears may go back if if they are worried or anxious, however extreme excitement can also make dogs ears go back. It goes back to knowing the dog in front of you. This is why as a photographer I try to collect as much information from the owners before getting started.

Mouth

Everyone knows the obvious cues dogs give with their mouths, like snarling and baring their teeth. A dog doing this is likely to be scared and or aggressive. Do not approach a do doing this, especially if they are cornered. So what are the more subtle things a dog does with its mouth to communicate? Yawning is a give away that a dog is stressed about what is going on and is trying to calm itself. That isn’t say dogs don’t yawn just like humans do and it’s even been proved they can catch yawns like we do. Dogs will also lick their lips and nose if they are feeling anxious or worried.

Tail

A dogs tail gives us some obvious cues, such as wagging when excited and happy. A dog may hold its tail stiff and upright when it is aroused, this often happens when dogs meet new dogs. When a tail is held rigid and over the dogs back this may be a sign of dominance and aggression and conversely a dog that tucks its tail under its body may be fearful or anxious.

dog body language and photography

Posture

A dogs posture is often much easier to read as it is similar to humans in a way. Stiff and upright would mean the dog is aroused and possibly displaying dominance or aggression. Equally a dog that is unsure about a situation may slink to the floor and stay low avoiding eye contact.

These are just a few brief cues that dogs offer us that we can look out for.

Dog body language and photography

As a dog photographer it is important for me to be aware of all these different body language cues dogs display as I rarely know the dogs I am working with. At least having an understanding of body language gives me an insight into what the dog is experiencing.

If I see a dog is getting anxious or worried about a certain shot, I can try something else or find a way to make it more fun for the dog.

Pet photoshoot

Anyone can call themselves a pet or animal photographer but I believe having the extra training with not only dogs but horses as well makes me understand my subjects better and in turn get the best out of them.

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next up is Elaine Tweedy of I got the shot photography.

Elaine Tweedy gives you a look at why body language is super important when dealing with deaf dogs.

BOOK YOUR SHOOT TODAY

Pet photoshoots and what I see vs what you see

Pet photoshoots vision gift or a curse?

I spend my life walking round looking at the world as if it were a pet photoshoot. (sad I know) To the point I’m sure my friends and family are bored of me saying “Oh my word that would be an awesome spot for a shoot”. They often look in disbelief at what I am looking at and say are you for real?! Pet photoshoots locations live in my brain rent free.

When speaking to clients I always ask where they would like us to do the shoot and often suggest their favourite place. Sometimes they respond with well I’m not sure there is anywhere that is pretty enough. Believe me there is always somewhere that will look great.

My latest doggy holiday in North Norfolk

I am recently back off my holiday with my dogs so I thought I would use some examples. We were staying on the coast which obviously involved a lot of beach action. I like to spot interesting backdrops or complimentary backdrops. Needless to say my friends were getting quite impatient when I kept making them stop every 5 seconds to pose the dogs. There were lots of interesting spots. I have tonnes of photographs of my dogs running on beaches etc, so I wanted something different.

These are the results

Pet Photoshoots black and white photography
Mr Red the happy guy

I spotted these lovely remains of sea defences and knew what I wanted to do instantly. Needless to say Red was all too willing to pose in position and spy through the gap. I genuinely think my friends thought I had finally lost it when I was snapping but I love the result. I love how Red seems to see my vision too when posing! haha

North Norfolk dog beach
Nuka will grow into her ears one day

Next was what I called my mermaid rock. I loved how it just sat on its own on the wide expanse of beach so obviously I had to put a dog on it. Unfortunately the wind wasn’t playing ball with Nuka’s naughty ears. However I kind of like her flappy ears as it sums her up, so I didn’t edit them with normal ears.

Dog photoshoot on beach
This dog is the David Gandy of the dog world I swear

After the ear debacle I brought the pro model back in. There were these lovely orangey cliffs along one stretch of the beach so I sent Red off to do some rock climbing. I love how the cliffs compliment his colours and think he looks fab with his super serious stare.

pet photoshoots
The gang

I couldn’t go on holiday without a group shot. Again, I didn’t want the generic look at us all sitting on the beach photo so found another piece of broken sea defence. Perfect, it put the dogs at the right height to see the sea and sky behind them which made them all stand out beautifully. Jelly (far right) truly hates photo sessions, can you tell?

What about when I really can’t find a background I want?

In one of my recent shoots there was a ship wreck just off shore on a piece of land. The owner jokingly said wouldn’t it be great if we could pose him in the wreck. I didn’t laugh, I just turned to her and said we can. She looked concerned as I turned my gaze to the isolated ship wreck and started snapping.

The wreck

I turned back and said all done. My poor client looked confused and I reassured her she’d understand.

Pet photoshoot in suffolk
Buddy the pirate dog

The client loves the shot and it will soon be adorning her wall in pride of place.

Then we have the gorgeous Lily the farm dog. I was at the farm photographing horses and I couldn’t not snap this. I obviously couldn’t choose the background as Lily chose it and in my haste to capture the moment I cut off her feet. A little bit of editing and the unslightly background is repaired and she has feet again.

Magic can happen but I only use it when necessary. Talk to me about your shoot and I can check out the location for potential, but there is beauty everywhere if you care to look.

Get in touch today

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next up is the lovely Tracy Allard

Animal photographer Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography shows how she makes the most of any location in and around the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex to create beautiful pet portraits.

In Memory – A fitting tribute to your best friend

This week is a difficult topic to discuss as dog owners and that is one of when our friends come to the end of their days with us. I will be talking about “In Memory” photoshoots.

The bitter sweet – in memory

I often get asked to take photos of dogs with not much time left which is always bitter sweet as we have a lovely time on the shoot with a sad note in the back of our heads that we are taking these photos as time is running out to capture memories.

This is why I always tell people not to wait to have a shoot, capture those memories now, and then maybe some more the next year, and the next and the one after that. Then those photos can be compiled into a beautiful life time of photos rather than banking on that one shoot at the end.

Hope

Today I am going to tell you about an incredibly special dog, the kind that is a rare gem and scarcely found. I know everyone thinks their dogs are incredible but Hope the labrador x cocker spaniel owned by Sophie an old friend of mine is above the rest.

Puppies photoshoot - in memory
When Hope first came home – a photo with her aunty Charlie

Hope is now 9 years old and tragically has been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer and has been given months to live which is so hard to believe when you see her still soo happy and full of life. We are all hoping for a miracle that the vets on this occasion have have way underestimated her time left.

Black labrador in the snow
Hope’s first snow – around 1 year old

Work life

Hope has been trained by Sophie since she was a puppy with the view to being a therapy dog and that is exactly what she has become and an amazing one at that. She has helped numerous people with brain injuries working tirelessly along side Sophie where they work at Brainy Dogs. Hope has also been nominated for a Naturo Super Dog award I’m afraid you are too late to vote but hop over and check out her profile and video on Naturo.

Wise old eyes - pet portrait
Wise eyes

Hope has improved the lives of so many people just by being her kind and loving self so I wanted to do her justice in what will most likely be my last session with her.

This is my favourite in memory shot
Playing hide and seek in the bracken

The shoot

We went for a walk in a local wooded area where Hope and Sophie live. As unfortunately she gets tired very quickly now. And I don’t want anything we do to take photos to make her feel worse.

Pet Portrait - in memory
Taking a rest on a bench

Hope was a superstar and posed dutifully in all the locations we put her. Sophie was adamant she did not want to be in any of the photographs, but I told her she didn’t have a choice! (haha of course she did really) I know no body likes having their photos taken but I think some photos of dogs with owners really capture the bond and these are a beautiful memory to look back on that bring back all the feelings of that special bond.

My Message

I guess what I am trying to say is treasure every moment with your pets! You never know what’s around the corner! Have that photoshoot you keep putting off NOW and capture those memories before it becomes a necessity. I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Hope proves everyone wrong and keeps bouncing through retirement. <3 <3 <3

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next in the circle is Tracy Allard

Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography talks about the importance of photographing your senior or terminally ill pet, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Dog walk photoshoot at Felixstowe Ferry

I am blessed to have a number of different places I can take clients and their dogs for a dog walk photoshoot.

I was yet to complete one at Felixstowe Ferry as I hadn’t really thought about it as a great place for photographs. My client suggested that we go for a walk and shoot there as it’s somewhere she frequently takes her gorgeous dog Buddy.

Cockerpoo portrait on dog walk

A little bit of back ground about Felixstowe Ferry

Felixstowe Ferry is an ancient small fishing hamlet north east of the main town of Felixstowe with some buildings dating back to 1043. Felixstowe Ferry is located on the coast at the estuary of the river Deben. Also, it is well known for its fresh fish stall, that is stocked daily with local produce.

Along with the fresh fish stall there is also the Ferry Boat Inn which is a lovely old pub which offers tasty food and drink with a dog friendly bar area and garden. The Ferry Boat Inn

Felixstowe ferry wreck
The old wreck

In addition to the FBI, for a quick bite and a cuppa there is also the retro Ferry Cafe.

There is a foot ferry which crosses to Bawdsey which is in use between April and October. More information about the ferry can be found here.

Above all, there are some lovely walks that start at the Ferry and use the Sea Walls giving excellent views over the River, saltings, farmland and of course the Sea and Golf Course. Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club is one of the oldest in the Country. It guards the road leading to the Ferry which winds it’s way through the links.

Dog walk routes

cockerpoo photoshoot
Lots of opportunities for posing

You can take a lovely circular route along the beach, river wall and the marshes which is approximately 2.6 miles. However, you can also walk a longer route north through the Felixstowe marshes. These walks are not suitable for dogs to be off the lead if they like to roam. As there are lots of birds in the marshes and an extremely strong sea current which could be dangerous. That aside, they are beautiful walks to enjoy with your dogs.

dog walk map
Easy circular route

Little Buddy was recovering from an illness so we couldn’t walk too far so took a stroll along the river wall and back.

There are lots of benches to take a break on and take in the view and strike a pose on of course.

Owner and dog photoshoot dog walk
My strange noises make dogs and owners alike smile
cockerpoo
Pirate dog

However, despite not being let of his lead Buddy had a whale of a time and enjoyed his fun walk with the crazy camera lady.

Running dog walk

BOOK YOUR PHOTOSHOOT WALK TODAY

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next in the circle is Ina Jalil.

Ina Jalil of Ina J Photography goes to Commonwealth Park in Canberra for her Tails of Canberra pet photography session

Photoshoots for anxious or reactive dogs

This week I will be talking about anxious and reactive dogs and how I make shoots work for them.

Reactive and Anxious dogs

Firstly I dislike the term reactive as it does not describe anything, all dogs are reactive if they weren’t that would most likely mean they were sleeping or deceased. hehe.

Reactive is usually a term people use when they are referring to aggressive dogs be that to people or dogs. So straight off the bat it is important for me to know what you mean by reactive as this helps me to tailor the session to suit you and your four legged friend, and not put myself or others at risk.

Cocker spaniel with anxiety

This is not me being judgemental, but purely a case of safety. After all its my job to ensure your photoshoot with me is enjoyed by all and goes smoothly.

I have first hand experience with an anxious dog and that is my Mr Red. He likes to make out he is big and brave but deep down he is anxious of anyone or any dog that comes in to our space uninvited unless he’s working with them (go figure)

Red cocker spaniel photo shoot

This is why it is so important when planning a shoot that you let me know all about your dog, its likes, dislikes and then I can tailor a shoot that works. For example if you have a dog like my Red who dislikes others, maybe the local park that is full of dogs isn’t the place to go as it will make it a stressful outing for all involved which will not make for great photos.

Equally, if your dog dislikes strangers and it is a dislike that can be over come by a cheeky yummy snack from the weird photographer lady then I am unlikely to suggest my small studio where they may feel trapped with me. I need to leave a shoot with all my fingers intact otherwise that limits my photograph taking capabilities hehe. An outdoor shoot with one of my long lenses would probably make your dog most comfortable.

Dog photoshoot

If you feel your dog wouldn’t be safe/comfortable in a public setting then just ask there are several different secure fields we can rent out for photoshoots. Also please do not worry if you are unable to let your dog off for whatever reason, its not all about action shots. If you would like to we can also try a long line for controlled action as I can easily edit lines and leads out of photos.

I guess what I am trying to say is please don’t write off having a photoshoot with your dog because you don’t think it is achievable. All dogs deserve a pretty portrait to hang on the wall. Red has got much better with his anxiety but even still I could not deprive the world of his gorgeous face so have learnt way that make him feel safe and happy.

As a shameless plug if you are struggling with a behavioural issue I also am a dog trainer as part of Whistle and wag dog training so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Around the circle

As I am sure you know by now if you have read any of my previous blogs, I am part of a fabulous blog circle made up of pet photographers from all over the world. Please take the time to look through their blogs on the topic and see how they deal with similar issues.

Next on the list this week is Nancy E Kieffer

Syracuse photographer Nancy Kieffer shares tips for working with a reactive dog during a photo session.

BOOK YOUR PHOTOSHOOTS TODAY

Dog days of 2021 – the summer of fun

Dog days?

Some of you may just think I’m talking about days with dogs, but dogs days has a second meaning. Dog days refer to the hottest days of the year i.e – Summer.

In the words from the well known song by Florence and the machine, well the “dog days are over”

So this week I look at some of my shots from the summer. As you are all aware we are struggling out of the grips of lockdowns and covid regulations, but I have managed to get out and about and shoot quite a few training sessions this summer, as well as horse and dog shows.

Dog portrait

A bonus of not being as busy as normal years means I have got to spend quality time with my own pooches exploring and of course taking snaps along the way.

Nuka enjoying her dog days

I love the colours of late summer when you get the light tones to the grasses, they make an awesome back drop for gorgeous dogs like the one below.

Dog days offer outstanding colours

Of course, dog days mean hot days, so what do dogs love more than a good splash to cool down in the lake. I love the focus in this guy’s eyes as he steams towards his retrieve. Look at that drive!

Labrador swimming

Dog days may well be the hottest but they are also the fun-erist! (yes it totally is a word, ha)

I love nothing more than photographing dogs doing what they love to do most. The below shot shows the handsome Leo the lab putting his all into his gundog training, I’m sure he thinks his ears help him fly.

fox red labrador gundog

As we move towards the Autumn and Winter months I look forward to getting out more again and capturing the beautiful colour changes in the world around us that helps to frame the equally beautiful the dogs I meet.

Yellow labrador gundog

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers that participate in a weekly blog circle. Next in the circle this week is Nicole Hrustyk of pawtraits by Nicole.

Las Vegas, Nevada Photographer, Nicole Hrustyk shares her favorite images from her summer travel sessions.

I still have limited availability for Autumn/Winter shoots so get in touch to book today

Candid shots – Those in between moments I love to capture

Candid shots – what are they?

Candid shots quite simply are a capture that the subject doesn’t know is being taken, which with dogs is quite simple as half the time they haven’t got a clue what the crazy lady on the floor is doing. ha!

However, their owners are a different matter, and I feel their pain and hate being the other side of a camera. If people are over conscious of the camera you can’t get relaxed shots.

This is where my sneaky shots come in….

Candid shot of a cocker spaniel and owner
The loving look

So how do I capture the in between moments

After a posed shot I will usually give the ok that I got the shot and to have a break, I will often pretend to look at shots on my camera and get a few cheeky little snaps in. These are the moments when people most relax with their pets as they think the camera isn’t on them.

I will often subtly watch owners and their pets when they go off for a little break walk on a shoot, and again you manage to capture some heart warming moments between owner and pet. This is where a nice long telephoto lens helps.

Clumber spaniel love
No words needed

I also have the pleasure of photographing training days and competitions which are fabulous for capturing those special moments as the owners are preoccupied on so many other things than me and my camera.

candid dog side eye
Mum, you’re soo embarrassing

Sometimes I manage to capture some funny shots like the lovely Morris and his side eye when his mum threw the retrieve the wrong way. I don’t know what you think, but I genuinely think he was embarrassed and his owner loved it.

Loving touch
Morris is a real mummy’s boy

I also love to capture the owners hands and their dog, you can almost feel the love between these two just looking at the photo.

Candid photos really are my favourite to shoot as I feel they really capture character and bond.

Next time you are out shooting, look for those moments around the posed shots…….get snapping.

Dog competition photography
Beautiful labrador focusing on the job at hand

Around the circle

I am part of a fabulous blog circle of amazing pet photographers across the globe. Next in the circle is Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits.

Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Photographer, Nicole Hrustyk, of Pawtraits by Nicole shares portrait session bloopers.

BOOK YOUR PHOTOSHOOT TODAY SO I CAN CAPTURE YOUR CANDID MOMENTS