Our Most Pet-acular Stories

Posted on 31. Oct, 2016 by in Children, Individual, Pets, Portraits

Imagine not just one puppy, not just two puppies, but bringing in a whole litter of puppies to be photographed.  Or the time we thought it would be fun to do a pet promotion and said people could bring in their pets and one of them turns out to be a snake.  Talk about being in the dog house… not only did Helen have to hold and corral a slithery snake (her least favorite job ever) but then it peed on her.  Obviously, it was not potty trained.  We thought it would be fun to share some of our most pet-acular stories and some favorite images.  We’ve photographed many different types of animals over the years, some that seemed gigantic and cuddly while others were so petite and fiery.

Mom called and said she want to bring in her two year old and their Great Dane to create some memorable portraits. I had never worked with a Great Dane before but knew they were big. When this one came in he was large enough for Cory to ride him like a horse.  I put that into the gigantic category.  He was such a gentle giant, easy going and smart. I loved the contrast between the small boy and his very large dog!sanders_1998_0001 sanders_1998_0002

Horses have been popular and are probably the largest animals that we’ve photographed.  They take time and patience because you can’t just pick them up and put them where you want them.  There are many times that a horse has been walked in circles because they walked too far forward and had to be taken in a loop to find the right spot again.  Not only do you want to get the horses attention, but their ears have to be just right too – horse people understand.  Fortunately, no one has asked for a studio portrait with their horse – at least not yet!

Brad created more of a fairy tale look for Kinsley with her Grecian gown and white horse.  With a lot of planning, checking out the location ahead of time, and climbing in the weeds for his lighting assistant, the result was stunning.kilgore_8450788

The evening was beautiful and we were excited to be able to create a beautiful art piece of Hannah and her horse.  However, the horse had other ideas!  No matter what we tried the horse would not look where we wanted, the ears were always wonky, we tried a feed bucket, car horn, pie plates, barking like a dog, etc., nothing worked.  Finally, mom said forget the horse let’s just photograph the new puppy.  I suggested that Hannah hold the puppy and just see if the horse would look.  That was the ticket!  We were able to record the horse’s reaction and create beautiful images.  Often it takes a massive amount of patience and thinking outside the box to get the perfect portrait.ross0002

David called and said he wanted to do a portrait of his babies.  I had no idea we were talking about 10 Golden Retriever puppies.  The cuteness meter was tilting with these little ones.  These photographs bring back memories of the studio filled with laughter as three adults kept chasing puppies.  What a comedy it was trying to keep them in line and every time we were ready, one would start crawling away or in this case two.  Brad got the cute photograph they wanted with the whole litter and then he made one for himself that was too sweet of 8 sleeping puppies.binder1566 binder0179

When a cat comes in that is larger than a lot of the dogs we photograph you have to sit up and take notice.  As you can imagine, when Sinclair first arrived he was very skittish, most cats are after riding in the car.  We spent about 45 minutes letting him get acclimatized to the studio and start relaxing.  He was happy enough when we took the photographs with his “Mom”, but on his own, he was not so happy.  We spent a bit of time letting him run through the studio or as some might say, chasing him down.  In the end, he lived up to his name and struck a very regal pose.cat_mom_59662 cat_59726

People without children sometimes treat their pets as their kids.  Likewise, sometimes the pets act like kids, very active and full of energy.  That is the case with these two cuties.  They were like a lot of brothers and sisters, arguing, fighting, and occasionally being sweet to each other.  They also had about as many clothes as your average child.  “Mom” and “Dad” had to hold them down to keep them from running away but we finally got their attention for this perfect portrait.thomas_771920

When you think about portraits, don’t leave out these family members that you love so much.  Whether you do a portrait of your pet alone, with you, or with your kids, the memories you have when you look back at the portraits are irreplaceable.

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Your Thoughts

  1. Teresa Dinger —  02. Nov, 2016

    Terrific article. I enjoyed reading about these sessions. I think an article on all the crazy things Brad has done to capture the perfect shot, along with those images, would be fun to see. Like the time he was on top of a 15 foot ladder or when he was so sick that he had to lie down on the ground between shots and was eventually hospitalized, but he still managed to capture the perfect toddler images.