They say never work with animals or children and although there have been times when I can totally understand this, this was not one of those times. In fact it was the exact opposite. If I could do a shoot like this every day I happily would. This little guy was so sweet and more co-operative than I would ever have imagined a 16 week old puppy could be. I felt like I was working with a professional as he somehow knew exactly what to do, as demonstrated here by his little paw resting gently on the pram as he looked at the camera.
With any shoot I meticulously plan the various settings I wish to complete in a session, generally knowing full well its unlikely we'll get through them all. Well in this case I got through most of them in the first 15 minutes. I always hope I will complete them all as usually I have visions in my head of how amazing they will all look and I never like to be disappointed. Well little Albert did not disappoint in the slightest.
When I met up with Albert's Mummy we discussed the possibilities. Having met him and seen his size and colouring visions of loveliness began to appear in my head. These two shots above were what I knew I wanted to produce. The only thing that could possibly go wrong here were if Albert didn't sit still. We had no idea in this consultation whether or not he'd sit comfortably for us but he so did. We were both shocked. And this got me so excited for all the images I could create.
For this session I wanted to create a few artistic pieces along with some more simple pieces. I wanted variety and I wanted to try out some new prop ideas and a new lighting technique. I'm pleased to announce that all were successful.
I used a pram I'd been frightened to use with new clients because I wasn't sure it would be as nice as my original one. Its still a Silver Cross but doesn't have the rose plate on the side so not as easily identifiable. Its also actually a racing car green which I figured won't be to everyone's taste. Given full reign over this shoot to do as I pleased I figured it was time to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. Not being a huge fan of the green though, I decided to tone it down in my editing software.
I keep looking at all these images and I'm still so surprised at how well Albert performed for us. I couldn't have got better images if I tried. He did everything we needed with minimal input from us. That is until we introduced him to the bean bag and blanket. Then we did experience a bit of a mad half hour. For some reason he got rather excited and I thought he'd enjoy a dig around for a while. But with the money shots in the bag already I took the time to relax and have fun with this gorgeous puppy. I mean who doesn't love getting to play with a puppy.
Within this mad half hour we were able to catch Albert's attention and capture a few great portraits. But I'm very glad we didn't start with the bean bag otherwise it might have been a whole other story.
I wouldn't normally share this many images in a blog but I just can't help myself here as I love them all. I always aim in every shoot to have images I will love but rarely do I finish a shoot where I love this many (I've so many more I've not included here but figured I better stop somewhere).
I am, like many other creative people, always super critical of my work and will usually find something that I find less than perfect. In my portraits this usually comes down to expressions. When dealing with people expression is everything. Its not enough to have all the other elements there. Without great expression a portrait with the best of everything else will still be lacking. In this case though, Albert really only has one expression to give, which thankfully is a great one, so I could concentrate on getting all the other elements just right.
I could have photographed this dog all day. And the cuddles in between setups was surely a bonus. This has me very keen on having puppies into the studio more often. And why not really? Puppies only stay puppies for such a short while, not unlike newborn babies. Dogs are such a big part of the family. They should be photographed too.
So if you would like puppy portraits then please get in touch. To contact us or book a session you can either ring us on 01455 611069, follow this link to our contact us page on our website, or send us a message via our Facebook page here. We look forward to hearing from you.