I didn’t post this on my blog, because I’m usually posting business stuff and events on Facebook. I know, that’s probably a business faux-pas, but all my clients are there, and the word seems to spread out faster.
BUT, last weekend I had a Winged Dogs Photo Shoot at a fabulous Doggie Day Care (plus more) center here in Long Beach: GoFetch. It’s owned by Carley & Katherine; Carley and I go way back and we thought this would just be a fun way to spend the day AND it gave me the chance to test-drive the wings on “real” (meaning not mine) dogs at the same time.
Wow. It couldn’t have been a greater success, for lots of reasons.
Number 1: The dogs. ALLOFTHEDOGS. I would have been happy to just visit with the dogs for the day, but to get to photograph them and get kisses from them and give them treats was unbelievable. We shot in a smallish room, and when you walk it, it’s kind of intimidating. There’s a huge softbox, another smaller (but still big) softbox, and then the camera on a tripod, and there are bags and smells and all kinds of things.
Lots of reasons to spazz; and spazz they did (well, most of them). But even the worst spazzing came to end when it came time to press the shutter. Every.Single.Dog performed beautifully! Even if they sat for only a few frames, they did it; all of them, and seriously, I was thrilled and amazed and if I wanted to get corny I could say that I shared something really special with all of them. But I won’t get corny. So.
Number 2: The people. Not just the owners (and in one case, a dog walker) were great, but Carley and Katherine and the employees at GoFetch were amazing with the dogs.
I had a really terrible, heartbreaking experience with a dog sitter almost 20 years ago while I lived up north in Albany (California), and I’ve been afraid of leaving my dogs with anyone since then. I’ve had sitter comes and spend time with the Vatos (Alex at Alpha Pet Care has some amazing people and they know I’m tweaky but they call me and text me and they’re great), but I still get nervous because of that one horrible experience. Watching Carley and her people in action was so reassuring; everyone acted like the dog they were with at that time was their own dog. ALLOFTHELOVE. (If you ever need daycare or dog training or anything dog, call these people; they will love your dog SOMUCH they will want to take it home (but they won’t, cause they’re cool like that).
Number 3: The photos. The photos are amazing, breathtaking. While I was uploading images from my CF card, I literally gasped at the expressions on these faces. The didn’t just “sit” for photos. They came to the photo shoot and they put their game face on and they just…they blew me away. I got the idea for shooting dogs with wings awhile ago and just over this summer created the wings backdrop (with major help from my artist friend Jana). If I’d known how beautiful the big dogs would look with these wings, I’d have done it so much sooner.
It was seriously one of the top 5 days of my entire professional career.
Here are three photos to start off the slow show: It’s just a teaser, but the shoot was a week ago and I realized I have a few anxious people who are waiting to see these. So here we are, from top to bottom:
Shooter, a senior dog who took my breath away. Shooter doesn’t look like a dog sitting in front of wings; Shooter looks like the patron saint of dogs. Shooter looks like he’s watching over ALLOFTHEDOGS and sending them the good juju and love they need to thrive.
In the middle is Angel. Angel is, for one person, literally an Angel. She was a niece-dog until her owner died, and now she lives with the owner’s sister. This was all very recent and from what I understand, very sudden. When Angel’s new mom saw the angel dogs for the first time on Facebook she contacted me immediately and I made sure she was a priority. Angel is a living memory, an everyday reminder of something so very precious recently lost. This is at once the saddest and sweetest story I’ve ever shot.
Beneath Angel is Scout. Named after the very-Susanlike tomboy in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Scout, I’m told, can be quite mischievous. If you look closely, you can see that twinkle in her eye. I love the sideways gaze; the “I’m looking at you but only because I choose to” expression on her face.
So look how beautiful and amazing these three are, and there are over a dozen more to come!! Gah, I can’t wait, really, to show them off (to their people, especially). I hope you like these (the photos, not the dogs because who the hell wouldn’t love these dogs?). I’ll be showing off more, as well as some art I’ve been creating from adaptations of these.