These are some shots from a recent pet photo session with a dog named Kelly and the story behind it. I received an e-mail from Sharon explaining that she wanted to have some nice photos of her puggle named Kelly because she is a 15 year old senior dog and also for another very important reason. She further explained to me that Kelly has glaucoma and is blind in her left eye and it will have to be surgically removed. Time was of the essence because the procedure was taking place in 3 days!!! I worked with Sharon and re-shuffled my schedule and wouldn't you know, a snowstorm rolled in followed by some rain! The bad weather finally let up around 4pm and even though conditions were not good and the available light was dwindling by the minute, I met up with Sharon and Kelly and we did our best to capture some memorable photos of her precious pet. Unfortunately, the cold, dark and wet conditions were just not conducive for portrait photography. Sharon and I made one last effort and we met again the day before Kelly's surgery. While it was still cold and damp, the lighting was much better and we were able to complete Kelly's 11th hour photo session successfully! Scroll down to see a sampling of images taken on that day.
Our shooting location was at a park and my eye was immediately drawn to a stone wall. I felt that Kelly's tan color would be a nice contrast and set her apart from the stone wall behind her. The red checkered bandana adds a nice pop of color as well.
After a bit of walking around we came to this bare patch of grass amongst the snow and Kelly, by her own choice, laid down and held this pose. She lovingly gazes at her owner while she takes a short break in the photo session.
It's all in the details. I am a big fan of closeup and intimate shots that reveal details within the image. It appeared that something had captured Kelly's attention and although I was quite a distance away from her, I zoomed in tight to obtain this very pensive and thoughtful profile shot.
Kelly was a little apprehensive standing on the bench but she was more confident as time passed, plus I was only a couple of feet away just in case she decided to wander. I was very impressed with Kelly because she stood and posed, quiet and still as if she were "Queen of the Mountain."
A photo of Sharon and Kelly, depicting the undeniably strong bond of love between owner and pet. Kelly did such a great job with the close cheek to cheek poses with her owner. Kelly has such a fulfilled and contented expression on her face as she relishes this beautiful moment with Sharon. I e-mailed this photo to Sharon when I got home so that she could use it for comfort since Kelly's surgery was the next day. She was so surprised to receive it and very appreciative of the gesture..
Here is another view of Kelly and the stone wall from earlier. I wanted to create an image with the same elements but from a different perspective. The wall is about 4ft high and once Kelly was posed, she pretty much stayed there. Her "mommy" was off to the side, just out of the frame in case Kelly decided to go exploring! Everything went well.
Oh boy do I remember taking this shot! This photo shoot took place at a park and there is a couple of fenced in areas where they have animals such as horses, cows and a donkey. There is a small white house attached to one of the fenced in areas. As we walked by the house, I saw the green door and thought to myself, "I just have to get a photo of Kelly in front of that green door!" I began to tell Sharon my plan and I said let's do this really fast because I don't want someone to come out and kick us out because we are on private property! So as quickly as we could, we posed Kelly in front of the door, I go the shot I needed and we bolted out of there unseen and unnoticed...unless there were some hidden cameras!
I imagine a photo shoot may not be the most interesting event in a dog's life so I feel it is important to give the dog frequent breaks so they can detach and unwind a bit. Kelly is very low key so we let her chill out and she took it upon herself to kick back and lay down in the snow. While she was on her much needed reprieve, I saw an opportunity to capture a very relaxed Kelly in this silent Winter Wonderland.
Sharon and Kelly share the space together under a tall tree.
Kelly waits patiently outside of the gate.
This photo gives a sightly wider perspective of the park. Horses roam on the other side of the fences on the left. Our two main subjects, Sharon and Kelly, have two rows of trees that fade away into the background behind them, creating some added interest. I intentionally blurred Sharon and kept Kelly in sharp focus so that Kelly is the main point of interest in the photo but Sharon's presence is still an important part of the image.
We arrived at the end of the photo shoot and we sat on a picnic table to rest and collect all of our stuff before leaving the park. It was even in this moment that I had another idea. Let's do another "owner and pet" shot but something different instead. So as Sharon sat on the picnic bench, I posed Kelly between her feet. I framed the photo so that we see all of Kelly but only part of Sharon. It still shows the pet being surrounded by its owner as well as their unbreakable bond.
I hope that you enjoyed the photos from this photo session of Kelly as well as some of my thoughts on the resulting images. You may be wondering how is Kelly doing. Well, she had her eye removed the very next day! I was very concerned of course and I heard from Sharon that the surgery went very well and Kelly is ok. She was already blind in her left eye so that is really no change for her. What really matters is that her eye pressure was VERY high, and now that the eye has been removed, Kelly should no longer have the pain due to that pressure.
It was such a pleasure to meet Sharon and Kelly. I knew that these photos would be especially important to Sharon because they would be the last photos taken of Kelly while she still had her eye intact. I am eternally honored that she entrusted me with such a meaningful and special responsibility. This was a truly gratifying photo shoot and meant a lot to me. I am so glad Kelly made it through her surgery successfully and I look forward to updates on how she's doing in the future.
"Can we go home now?"