When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse to cuddle with both.
Another complaint I hear a lot, mostly from people using point and shoot cameras or flashes, is that black dogs particularly don’t photograph well. I would agree that black dogs are harder to expose correctly and you’re more likely to get that dreaded demon-dog eye thing that happens with the flash. But my advice is get that dog outside and in open shade–then lower your f-stop! It’s the same advice most of us give for photographing just about ANYTHING. Always focus on the eyes, because once you open the shutter up you’re likely to have some drop off of focus. And put your shutter speed as fast as you can with the light your given–this is particularly important for kids and pets!
This image was shot with an ISO of 160, 1/320 of a second, f/3.5
This here is what happens when I leave my yarn out.
And this is her ‘I know I’m guilty, please don’t be mad’ face.
Quijote is venturing into the world of modeling. Before his shoot, I sat down with him and had a heart to heart. I told him he was beautiful as he is and plenty skinny enough. I didn’t want to see him skipping meals or sticking his little paw down his throat before any auditions. He proceeded to hump my foot after our little chat. I think that’s a sign I got through to him.
Quijote, more affectionately known as QuiQui lives below us in our building. And he and Bebop are totally in love. If Red is Bebop’s big brother, then QuiQui is definitely her boyfriend. And the big brother QuiQui has to answer to when he’s caught in a compromising position is a scary one.
QuiQui has a neurotic older sister named Lola, also an Italian Greyhound. Lola, however would never make it as a model. Anytime you look at her funny, she thinks you’re automatically out to hurt her. But if you let her come to YOU, Oh m’gosh, she is the sweetest and the most cuddly dog ever.
Gracie was my dog in college–she lived with me for years and was a specific breed of brindle boxer mixed with just a little bit of a-hole. Meaning: She hated men. Specifically, then men I dated. She would growl and her hair would go up. She never actually bit any guy, but it came pretty close a couple of times.
So, I knew when I moved to New York I knew it wouldn’t be a good move for her. Not only because she hated any man that came within a few feet of me, but because she was used to a yard. And space. And grass. The change would have been bad for her and even worse for my dating life. Not to mention, she loved my parents. While I was in college, it always seemed she was happiest when I was home over break. The decision was made for me: My parents would keep Gracie. I missed her (and still miss) her constantly, but it was the right decision to make. Within months, Gracie’s aggression had subsided. She still has certain people that she doesn’t like, but for the most part she’s very friendly now. NYC would have ruined her for sure.
A couple months ago, we noticed a tumor on Red’s lip. It wasn’t very large–maybe the size of a small lima bean, but as we watched it, it kept getting larger and larger with each passing week. We decided that it was best to get it removed since it was in an area that might eventually start to bother him. After talking to our current vet, the price he quoted us was ridiculously high. I know that procedures, especially for pets can be pricey, but this seemed as though he had marked it up quite a bit since the last time we had a similar procedure done.
The good news is that as a result, we ended up finding a new vet (the Park Slope Veterinary Center) –one that is only a few blocks away. Not only this, but our new vet is so sweet and her love of animals just seeps out of her pores. Seriously–I love this woman! And what made me even more comfortable in our decision was when we brought him in for his second check-up, she came into the exam room and Red just started nuzzling her immediately. She fell down to her knees and started hugging him back. few weeks ago, poor Red had to have surgery. That’s the kind of vet I want for my dogs…someone who will love them as much as I do!
So, a few weeks ago, Red went under the knife. She actually found a second larger tumor on his back ankle and we went ahead and had that one removed, too. We received the news that both tumors were benign and our boy is cancer free, yay! But that didn’t stop him from giving us these pathetic looks for the whole week.
The second he got home, he curled up on his bed with his favorite ball…
Having a small dog like Bebop is such a different world than when I had Luna. If Bebop starts to growl at another dog, all I have to do is pick her up by the scruff and yell at her. With Luna, it was a battle of who was stronger each time–and IF I won, it was just barely.
Similarly, Bebop can come on almost any trip with me. She travels easily and she loves hotels–she makes friends with all of the maids and hotel staff everywhere we go. Mostly because they know to give her treats. The only downside is that she is like having a child on vacation. She is so excited to be somewhere other than home that her sleep schedule gets all out of whack. She likes to wake up at the crack of dawn and look out the window, bugging me to wake up too so we can go for a walk and smell all the new smells the city has to offer. If she wasn’t so darn cute, it would be really, really annoying.
These photos were taken with the Hasselblad at approximately 6am. If they’re not quite focused, it’s because my EYES WERE NOT FOCUSING THAT EARLY IN THE MORNING!
A few weeks ago I made the decision to start jogging in the mornings. At the time it seemed like a good idea. I mean, what better excuse is there to buy new clothes? Not to mention, if you go running doesn’t that mean you can eat WHATEVER you want and not feel guilty? Umm, SIGN ME UP, PLEASE!
3 weeks ago we had guests over for dinner and drinks on Sunday night. It lasted well into the night and when my alarm buzzed at 7am, I completely forgot about that silly goal I had set. Snooze was hit. I slept on. I felt incredibly guilty and the NEXT morning, I dragged my caffeine-deprived body from my bed, guzzled some water, put on my new outfit and headed out the door with Bebop, Red and Sean at my side (How supportive are they!!?). I ran at a consistent pace, and 40 minutes later I was back at home freshly showered, with coffee in hand watching the news. And I still had an hour before work began! It was an amazing feeling. While I hate running, I did enjoy the fact that it started my morning off well and gave me relaxation time before the work day began.
In the three weeks, I haven’t noticed changes in my body necessarily yet…but I can tell you that I no longer put on those cute running pants. Those damn things are too expensive and I don’t do laundry enough–I’d have to buy 20 just to get me through the month. However, I already own sweatpants and tshirts galore…so what if they’re not cute and fitted? I’ll worry about that as we get closer to summer months.
In any case, Bebop and Red are getting so much more exercise these days that they curl up together and DONOTMOVE for the rest of the day.
A couple weeks ago I was walking home from my coffee shop and came across a man who lived in my neighborhood handing out flyers. His dog had run away (right after a bath and therefore didn’t have her collar on). I stayed outside with him for over an hour, walking around the park calling out her name, Blackstarr.
The temperature was rapidly dropping–this was days before we had the record low temperature of 3 degrees. After an hour and a half, I had to get home for a phone meeting–it just broke my heart to leave this guy on his own. I still don’t know if he found Blackstarr. I tried calling him and never heard back…which leaves my mind to thinking the worst, of course. The night that the temperature dropped so dramatically, I held Bebop and Red close to me and cried for Blackstarr and every other stray and lost animal that had to brave the elements that cold night.
Bebop is micro-chipped, but neither of my dogs had tags on their collar. That night, I ordered them these gorgeous copper pressed tags made by DawgTown. They are truly stunning. I can’t wait to take a few more photos so you can really see how beautiful they are. Jackie did an amazing job–and for only a few bucks more than the shitty ones you get from Petco, you can have a true work of art.
I would be an absolute wreck if one of my dogs ran away or got lost. But at least now I know that I’ve done everything I can to prevent this and prepare for it if it does happen.
Bebop and I nestled in to take our holiday photos for Christmas cards this year. This was literally the ONLY photo that turned out. And it wasn’t all Bebop’s fault, either. I mean, yes, some of them, she was making a weird face with her ears back. Or she would lick my ear right as the shutter clicked. But half of the fault is my own–I kept making this stupid pirate eye with one eye squinted smaller than the other. Two lessons learned here: 1) I should stay behind the camera, not in front. 2) My dog is not a child…I should stop treating her as such.
Well, the latter is more of a reminder than a lesson learned. A reminder I have to tell myself daily.
No matter how often I wipe down those eyes of hers…they remain gross and crusty and have a faint reddish hue. As if she hit the sauce a bit too hard the night before and is paying for it in saggy, baggy, crusty eyes.
It’s ok, Bebop. All us ladies have been there. Maybe I should slice some cucumbers and the two of us can have a spa day. I’ll paint your toenails if you paint mine.