Ten years ago today I walked my first dog for See Spot Run. This is so cliche but it’s true: time flies when you’re having fun.
Snow days in Charlotte are a big deal. The famous Charlotte weatherman Brad Panovich has starting making his #snOMG forecasts and that means the bread and milk aisles at the stores are already empty. The following is a true story and personal testament about keeping your dogs warm when it is so cold outside.
Many of you have read stories about my previous yellow lab Sam. Sam was a dog that loved life. She was always happy, wasn't fearful of much and generally was just a pretty balanced, happy go lucky dog. He LOVED the snow. He'd get the zoomies. If I leashed him and took him for a walk, he'd walk with his nose to the ground. His nose was literally plowing the snow as he walked along.
As he aged, he starting losing his muscle mass and he got skinnier. He reminded me of a frail elder man. He still loved the snow but I'd always put his coat on him whenever we went out because he would shiver. One particular snow day, he zoomed around and then rolled around on his back like he always did. We didn't stay outside too terribly long but it was too long for Sam.
When we got back inside, he wouldn't stop shivering. To the point that it scared me so I called the vet. They said that his internal body temperature had gotten too low and I needed to SLOWLY warm him up. They suggested putting a dry coat or sweater on him (which I had) and wrapping him in blankets. They suggested warming up some water with a little bit of broth in it so he'd drink it.
I did that and it worked but it scared me.
Please be careful with your pets in during snow days or even just in cold weather. They don't know when enough is enough. You need to know that for them. Dry them off. Get any packed snow out of their paws. Clean off their paws if they've been on any salt.
Have fun in the snow but be safe. #dogsincoats
I'd love to know if dogs remember each other. I did a BARKography photo session earlier this week with Baxter, a dog that used to live in Charlotte and now he lives in Florida. I was introduced to Baxter and his family through my neighbor Tiffany. I'd done a photo session with Tiffany's dog Jack and when Baxter's parents saw the photos, they wanted to have a session with Baxter and they wanted to have photos of the 2 dogs together. The dogs used to play together all the time when they both lived in Charlotte. I did an early morning session with just Baxter and later that day, I met up with Baxter at the Mint Museum and Jack joined us there. Seeing the two of them run around and play was a lot of fun.
I've been thinking about it a lot since then and I wonder, do dogs remember each other? I have no scientific reasoning behind this but I think they do.
I know there are studies about a dog's memory and many say dogs don't remember things but I tend to question that. I think they remember certain things or events. When we rescued our black lab Buddy, he cowered if you lifted your hand over his head. I feel pretty certain he'd been hit in the past - he had to remember that and seeing a hand raised over his head made him remember being hit in the past, right? I can tell you over the last 6 years of his life, he was never hit again.
When Baxter and Jack saw each other, the first thing they did was sniff each other. There were a few other dogs around so they sniffed them all too but then they ran around together and played. I even captured a quick pic of Baxter giving Jack a little lick on his nose.
I do think dogs remember each other. Perhaps it has something to do with their sense of smell. Perhaps they remember the dog's scent. Seeing Baxter and Jack together was really sweet. I'm so glad I was there to witness it.
If you want to see more photos of Baxter, head over to my BARKography blog where I wrote a post about our time together.
For this week's pet photography project 52 week challenge, we are examining lens flare. I'm so glad this is the assignment for this week because I have an image and I would really like some honest feedback on it. I took this 3 weeks ago. My mom was looking at all of the images from this photo session and she saw this one and audibly gasped. Now, she is certainly biased when it comes to the photos I take. I like this image but something doesn't seem quite right and I don't mean the fact that her front paw is cut off although maybe that is part of my issue. Does this image work? What would make it better? If you took this at a session, would you show it to the client?
Here is another photo from this same session. I found the raw file while searching for the image above and just edited it now. I didn't edit it before because I didn't think it was good enough. Your thoughts? (Seriously, honesty is what I want. :))
Here is another of The Moose.
Be sure to check back next week for some super exciting news!! :) This is a blog circle. Click the link at the bottom of each post and you'll see the other photographer's take on "lens flare." Next up is About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud MN.
The theme of our 52 week challenge this week is actually silhouettes not damn trees however this week, my challenge revolved more around the damn trees than silhouettes hence the title! Let me set the scene. Grab a cup of coffee or if it's later in the day, your favorite beverage. You may be here for awhile. :o
First of all, I love silhouettes. I always have. The first time I ever took one was in April when I was at Barkelona, the dog photography workshop I attended. We'd talked about how to take them during one of our classroom sessions and that night while out walking with 2 of the other attendees just before sunset, we crested a hill with an amazing view of the sunset so we took them of each other. We had a lot of fun but I'd not taken another one until this week. Finding a place to take them has been my challenge.... because of all the trees in Charlotte NC.
A few weeks ago a client hired me to photograph his two dogs. He selected the location which was a park about 30 minutes from my house. I'd seen the location in photos but had never been myself so I was excited. I loved the location with its wide open spaces and hills. I knew I wanted to go back to this location so when I saw this week's theme was silhouettes, I knew where to go.
I asked my 13 year photography assistant if she was available (she said yes!) and we grabbed Moose (remember him?) Have I mentioned that every time I get my camera bag out now, Moose thinks that means he gets to go on an adventure? If Moose is involved, it is an adventure. We hadn't even made it out of the neighborhood before he'd unzipped my backpack/camera bag with his nose and grabbed my memory card wallet out and thought that meant they were his and he didn't need to give them back. Moooooose!
Some of you may remember that last week I said many times with these challenges in particular, I have an image in mind but it doesn't necessarily work out that way. That happened this time too although it was because my memory stinks. Those wide open spaces and hills... they weren't as vast and plentiful as I'd remembered because they were surrounded by those damn trees.
We walked to the spot I had in mind and the location didn't work at all.Those stinkin' trees were in the way. Ugh. :(
We walked around and had Moose stand in any open area we could find. The resulting photos are below. Just as we were leaving, we walked up on a picnic area. I believe my photography assistant and my model were ready to leave but I thought... I need Moose up on that picnic table, then those dang trees won't be in the way. Guess what, they were still in the way. We had to hurry, the park closes at sunset and I had my dog on a picnic table taking photos of him. Others were exiting the park and I didn't want to get in trouble for having my dog on the picnic table and and dark clouds were rolling in so that was even more motivation to try and get some quick snaps.
The bottom line: My search to find a great spot to take silhouettes around Charlotte continues....
For more silhouette photography, head to Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati and the San Francisco Bay Area. Remember this is a blog circle and if you continue to click the links at the bottom of each post, you'll end up right back here. I can't wait to see what everyone else does... and I'm trying to remember if anyone lives near the beach. Photos on the beach would be amazing.... and guess where I'm going to be in a a few weeks? :) :)
Our photo shoot on our 3rd day of Barkelona was in the evening in a small seaside town called Sitges. Check out these google images if you're not familiar with the town. I loved it and could've spent several days hanging out here. It was about a 15 minute ride from our villa in Olivella. When we arrived in Sitges we were paired up into smaller groups and I was with Joanne Brown of Big Bernese Photography. Joanne and I got along great during the workshop and we stay in touch and talk on the phone frequently. She and I are both starting up our photography businesses so we have a lot of discussions about our business models, pricing and most recently on website development. It is so nice to have someone I like and respect to bounce ideas off of and someone who is going through a lot of the same stuff I am right now. Here is one of Joanne's recent photos:
Back to day 3 at Barkelona, shortly after arriving in Sitges, the dogs we would be photographing joined us. I was immediately drawn to the chow named Bimbo and this photo location was the suggestion of Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography. We'd actually spent about 30 minutes photographing him, then we photographed another dog (that'll be my next post!) We'd photographed a dachshund in this doorway and Kaylee said, we need a taller dog. Bimbo was walking by with his owners and we asked if he'd model for us some more. He did and this is the result.
Every time I see this photo of Bimbo, I get emotional. It brings back all of the emotion from this trip: the memories, the people, the food and the incredible experience that it was.
Here is another favorite of mine of Bimbo. He was so good, especially for a puppy. He was off leash the entire time and occasionally he'd wander of a little so his dad would pick him up and put him back in place. I smile every time I see this photo.
I have a ton of photos of him. Here are a few more.
I don't know why but when I look at photos of Bimbo I get super melancholy. I miss Spain the most it seems when I look at photos of him. Perhaps because I used to have a chow named Bear and I get the same feelings every time I think of Bear.
I miss this dog. I miss this town. I miss all the beautiful doors in this town.... it was amazing. I hope to make it back some day. BARKography in Sitges.... omg!!!!