Not perhaps the best of times for dog photography sessions - the heat has caused a few postponements and quite rightly so. Evenings are often best at this time of the year anyway, especially with active or elderly animals.
Just before the heat kicked in, I was out in the countryside meeting a couple of very lovely dogs for an evening session but before I even reached the front door, I was captivated by the friendly chickens running round the yard. Would have been rude not to take a few photos but I can't imagine you'll be seeing a full time chicken photographer website any time soon...
Both these dogs were just lovely to work with - very distinct personalities. Their owners had brought back some beautiful bandanas from their honeymoon ( see? Even when we're not with them, we're always thinking about them! ) and I was keen to get them in shot.
At any session, the idea is to get a really good variety of photographs for the owners. Everything from heartfelt portraiture to full on, nuclear powered, paws off the ground action!
As you can see, the light levels were pretty low and as the session progressed, it grew ever dimmer - no wonderful golden light on this evening. So out came the strobes / flashguns. In the photo below, it's hopefully not immediately apparent that extra light has been added - I try to keep it looking natural unless I'm going for off-the-scale drama. If you have a close look though, you can see where Benson's legs and tail are slightly blurred through movement whilst a blink of diffused flash on a stand to the right has stopped the motion in his head and ears. And believe me, Benson is a fast fellow so the flash was entirely warranted!
Ticks - what are they for?!!Finally, at this time of year, dogs spend their whole lives doing their best to become infested with ticks. Seriously though, it's almost unavoidable if you walk in the Scottish countryside. And with this infestation come the many, many posts on Facebook, along the lines of, "OMIGOD my dog has a tick, what shall I do??!"
And out come all the auld wives' tales. Cover them in vaseline, put out a ciggy on them, spray frontline on it, rub widdershins round the tick until it falls off, only twist them clockwise, etc, etc.
I'm not about to start handing out advice on which tick-repellent works best but I can say for sure that all the above methods are a load of old toot and covering a tick with anything to "suffocate" it, rubbing at it to annoy it or burning it are all good ways to ensure the insect vomits directly into the host's bloodstream with the attendant risk of disease.
Kasper gets loads - below are a few phone snaps... Sorry... My method is to carefully part the fur without disturbing the tick - if it gets a fright, it'll bury in deeper - you can see it happening. Then just grab it as close to the dog's skin as possible with tick teezers, normal tweezers or any other removal tool and wheech it oot smartly before it knows what's going on. Simple and effective. I've also used my thumbnail and index finger when tweezers haven't been available.
Yuck. Anyway, happy Summer dog walking and do just get in touch if you'd like some beautiful, happy, sunny photos of your dogs :-)
Aberdeen dog photographer