A Dog, A Creek & A Camera

I have long admired pet photographers. They somehow manage to speak their subject’s language, capturing beautiful photographs. A couple of my favorite animal photographers are Sonnentier Photography and Dog Breath Photography. One makes stunning portraits of Labrador and Golden retrievers, while the other makes portraits featuring the animal’s more quirky side.

Adding to my desire to learn better pet photography was this video that David sent me a month ago about a Labrador breeder who lives in the South. Watching the fun these dogs were having while being trained to hunt and the cinematography that the video featured really made me want to go out and try my hand at making some incredible photographs of our own black lab, Langley.

Saturday evening, David helped me load up Langley into the back of my car and we drove over to a lovely creek across town that I sometimes run along. It had easy access for her to get in and out of, which we’re having to look for more and more due to the arthritis in her hips and her, ahem, advancing age. It was a hot and muggy evening and the water felt good to all of us as we waded in and began working together.

I had brought my flash along, always trying to become better at artificial lighting and also knowing that there were going to be parts of the creek that were going to be in deep shadows, which just a little pop of light would work quite nicely.

I think the hardest part of the shoot was just getting Langley to come straight at me, charging through the water and making terrific splashes as she came galloping towards me, which was the mental picture I had in my head. She’d start off okay, heading straight towards the spot that David threw her Dokken Duck (a training toy she’s had since she was a puppy. Not that we hunt, but we bought it on her breeder’s recommendation as an excellent water toy and Langley doesn’t let anyone else carry it but her, that’s how much she loves it.), but then the duck would start to drift in the current and she’d veer off course.

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Needless to say, we had lots of do overs, but in the end I got the shot I was going for so it was more than worthwhile

And what more beautiful way to spend an early summer evening in June than wading around a creek with a husband, a dog and a camera?