July has been a busy month, we have had photo shoots in the studio and on location. Lots of fun with wonderful dogs, and lots of happy clients of the human kind.
In The Studio
In the studio, since my last blog, we have had Meg & Bailey. A pair of rather gorgeous Lhasa Apsos.
This one is Meg, doing one of her rather aloof poses.
And this is Bailey, far more in-your-face and ready for his chance at modelling.
Both Meg and Bailey were a pleasure to work with. There was a lot of belly rubbing and nose nibbling going on between shots!
Next up, was a location shoot with Leo. He was rescued from the street in Thailand. His owner wanted to show how much he has moved on and enjoying his freedom since arriving in the UK.
As he is still learning about all the new experiences, we wanted to find a location where we would not have to worry about other dogs approaching unexpectedly.
The answer was Barkers Unleashed, a fabulous enclosed field that has been setup specifically for dogs. It really is a fabulous facility to have found, so if you have a nervous or reactive dog you should really check it out.
We will definitely be recommending it to our clients who are looking for a location shoot, as it allows us to get the photo shoot done without interruptions.
The one dog that Leo is perfectly happy around is his rather senior step-sister Tufty. Tufty also joined us at the field and I couldn’t resist taking some shots of her as well. She is such a sweet old thing and was having a lovely time helping me get the shots I wanted of Leo.
A Little Bit of Down time
It’s not all been work. Fidget and I have managed to get out and about having some fun as well.
He turns into such a poser when the camera comes out!
We’ve been to the beach, and even ventured into the water on a few occasions.
If you want to book a photo shoot for your dog, or any other pet, just contact us and we will find the perfect setting for your photo shoot – either in the studio or on location.
After a rather quiet June, July is looking good, two photo shoots already done, and another two in the next week. So we like July so far this year, not only busy but, in general, the weather has been fantastic too. So not much to complain about as we celebrate our twelfth business birthday.
12 years in Business
I could hardly of imagined that I would still be here 12 years ago. It was a bit of a risk opening, but I wouldn’t change it now for the world. The move to specialise in pet photography was obviously the right thing for me to do, both from a personal and business point of view.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with and photographing some wonderful dogs, cats and occasionally other pets … and normally the people with them are quite nice too! I have made some great friends along the way, and have learnt so much.
Norman and FEBE
First of our July sessions was with the extremely handsome Stormin’ Norman. On location at a local park, we were looking for some shots amongst the wild flowers. Of course, Norman had other ideas.
Joining Norman in the park was the lovely Febe, a Lagotto Romagnolo. My first experience of the Italian breed, and I have to say she was gorgeous and full of fun.
Next up was a studio shoot with the adorable Evie, as 12 month old West Highland Terrier. She was bouncing off the walls a bit, but great fun; and who wouldn’t fall in love with that face.
We had to resort to having a lead on to keep her in one place, but with a bit of post processing work, you would never know.
Evie was joined in the studio by Max. Max is a 12 year old West Highland Terrier, who has a few health issues. He was a blast to work with, and spent much of the time I was photographing Evie sat on the floor next to me trying to work out how to get into the treat pouch!
Sir Fidget Smelly-Bottom, the studio dog, has decided that he would like to recommend to you some of his favourite things, places to visit and all things doggy related.
Ruff Dawg Sticks And TWIGS
First on his “must have” list are Ruff Dawg Sticks and Twigs. Fidget had a nasty experience with a real stick when he was a puppy, but is still drawn to them to play with. These rubber sticks are perfect for games of fetch in the park or on the beach – they even float. They have been a favourite toy for Fidget since he was a puppy.
One of Fidget’s favourite walks is through Long Wood near Kingswear. There are lots of squirrels to chase and water to splash around in.
In the spring the place is covered in bluebells, and as Autumn comes along the colour in the trees can take your breath away.
It’s part of the Dart Valley Trail, and you can find out more information here.
Ruffle Snuffle Mats
Another of Fidget’s favourite things, that comes highly recommended, is his Ruffle Snuffle mat.
Fidget got his Ruffle Snuffle mat for Christmas a couple of years ago. We didn’t think it would last past the New Year; but here we are two years later and not only is it still in one piece but Fidget loves his “Ruffle Snuffle time”.
Find out all about Ruffle Snuffle mats and the other wonderful things that are on offer here
When Fidget is meeting his friends for coffee he likes to go to Flour Flower in Middle Street, Brixham.
The even have special doggy biscotti for the four legged customers.
Fidget will always insist on visiting Denise at Taste in Middle Street, Brixham; and as lovely as Denise is, it’s possibly the wonderful range of cheese that he is really interested in!
This is just a selection of Fidget’s favourite places, he’ll be back to tell you about more of them at a later date .
If you know of some nice dog friendly places to visit around Torbay, then why not leave a comment and Fidget will check them out.
A rather late blog post, it’s June already what has happened to April and May? Well they seem to have sped past very quickly. So many apologies for not getting around to posting anything here for a long time.
May Camping Trip
May saw Fidget and me off on one of our camping trips. This time to the wilds of the Brecon Beacons. We managed to get in some nice walks, and we even managed to time it right for some sunny weather.
It wasn’t one of our favourite camp sites, but the location was absolutely stunning, and the facilities and the site staff were brilliant. It was just a bit too busy with the “wrong” type of campers, and there was a rather busy road just by the campsite. But we still had a lovely break, and we are already planning our September trip.
In other news
Much work has been happening on the website. A few tweaks here and there in the background to try and optimise the site, and some changes to layout and content.
Meanwhile Fidget has been out playing with his friends and generally just being Fidget.
12th Birthday Special Offer
As our 12th business birthday is soon upon us, we have a fabulous special offer for anyone booking a studio photo shoot before the end of July.
And, we are getting close to completing our rebranding from Tom Horsley Photography to Shooting The Dog. Our new shop sign has now been ordered and hopefully will be with us before the end of the month.
Here in the UK it is Mother’s Day tomorrow, everyone is trying to get you to buy some overpriced stuff to show how much you love your Mum.
DON’T DO IT!!
Instead, make them something – a card, or draw a picture. Something special that only comes from you, and not some commercial attempt at extortion. But, even better, spend some quality time with you Mum, ask her about her life, learn about what she has seen and experienced – show an interest in her story, and listen and remember it all.
I lost my Mum some time ago now, and regret not paying more attention to the stories she told me about growing up, surviving the blitz, the things she did at school, and the amazing life she had. So, this year actually appreciate your mothers and learn from all they have been through during their lives, you won’t always get the chance.
… and on that note, here is Fidget’s Mum:
One more quick thing, if you are in the UK, don’t forget to put your clocks forward tonight!!
The curse of the ides of March seem to have bit me this week.
Things have been a bit manic, as my computer started doing weird things. Have had to spend most of the week trying to get them sorted out. Which meant the jobs I should have been doing have been delayed. That in turn means I’ve not been a happy boy!
After a wait for Microsoft to call me back – that never happened; I had a lovely online chat with someone who seemed to know less about what the problem was than I did. However, we agreed that something had done something and that it wasn’t working. Anyway, to cut a very long story short , I restored Windows back to a point some time in the middle of last month and by some miracle everything was working properly again. Then I just had to get all the things I had moved out the way, when trying to solve the problem, back to where they should be – I am still doing this bit.
Barney The Border Terrier
Barney came in for a portrait session at the end of last month, and was full of terrier mischief. His owners sort of knew what they wanted, but Barney wasn’t quite so sure that he wanted the same thing. A lot of fun and we got some lovely photos; so I hope his owners are happy with the results.
We still have some gaps in March and April if you would like to book your pet in for a photo shoot. Just drop us a message here and we’ll get back to you pretty sharpish!
Remember that dogs will be banned from many of the better beaches from the start of May, so if you would like a beach shoot then April is a good time to get it done.
February has seen a few changes to the studio layout here at Shooting The Dog. Things came to a head in the small studio space, when we had Jake in for a photo shoot. Jake was a BIG doberman, and there just wasn’t room to do him justice.
Trying to fit Jake, my lights and backdrop into the small space at the back of the shop was almost impossible.
So the decision was made to move the studio out into the main shop area. This meant that I would have to be disciplined and pack everything away after a shoot. I would also have to allow enough time before a shoot to set everything up. But I could do that … right?
All the lights, back drops, stands, etc. are stored under the stage area. They just need to be set-up before a photo shoot.
A black out blind has been fitted to block the morning sun, and hide distractions from passers by.
All this meant that we now had space at the back of the shop. So to free up some space in the Framing Dept, we moved some of the framing equipment to the back of the shop. Oh, and we also re-purposed an old door to make a wonderful new workbench.
Now all we needed was a client to try out the new set-up. Step up Benji, who was our first client to use the new studio space.
Both Jake and Benji received their Shooting The Dog® bandannas from The Prancing Dog, and hopefully will be proudly wearing them around the town.
Friday sees another client coming in for a shoot, this time a Border Terrier. We’re looking forward to see how the changes to the studio layout work for that one. We really need to get the set-up and take down working much smoother. We also need to get the lights setup properly first time, so we don’t waste time during the session messing about with things like that.
As always every session is an opportunity to fine tune what we do, and we are always looking for ways we can improve the client experience.
I love photographing dogs in all situations, and a lot of the time that is in the studio. The real challenge for me though is capturing the dogs outside, playing and running, and generally just being dogs. Action dog photography is where it is at!
The obvious difficulty is just keeping up with a moving dog. But there is far more to challenge the photographer than that. The lighting can change in an instant, and if you are down in the woods getting a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action can be a real problem.
So this means lots of practice is needed. At my local park there are no end of fun loving dogs around to give me the practice I need, and my own dog is always on hand and ready for a game of ball, if he feels like it!
On The BeacH
When we need a change of scenery from the local park, the beach is our next favourite place to have some action photography fun,
In The Water
When you get too hot and bothered running about on the beach there is always time for a quick swim to cool off.
Under The Sea
With the right equipment the action doesn’t have to stay above the waves.
Of course, an action shot doesn’t have to be close-up and personal. One of my favourite action shots of my old dog Ludo is this one taken on Mansands in Brixham. The light is fabulous and it just captures the feeling of the whole place.
Can You Photograph My Dog?
If you would like us to capture your dog having fun in the great outdoors then please call us or send us an email (the details are all the website).
Remember though, if your dog is a couch potato then you might be better off with one of our studio sessions.
A quick thank you to Brandy, Bruno, Molly, Alice, and a few unknown dogs who have joined in our fun; and all their tame humans.
Another thank you to my little Fidget, who doesn’t complain much about being a full time model, and to my old dog, Ludo, who was my main inspiration in setting up the business in the first place; and yes, I still miss him.