Mother’s Day and other stuff

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:

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Happy Mother’s Day Bonnie, from your loving son Fidget.

One more quick thing, if you are in the UK,
don’t forget to put your clocks forward tonight!!

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Beware The Ides Of March …

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
Bouncy Border Terrier
Barney

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.

March Availability

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.

It’s All About The Action

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!

Action Photography - in the woods
Extra Challenges

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!

Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
The facial expressions dogs make when playing is priceless
Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
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,

Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
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.

Action Photography
Action Photography
Action Photography
Under The Sea

With the right equipment the action doesn’t have to stay above the waves.

Action Photography
Action Photography

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.

Action Photography
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.

Thank You

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.

More Hours Needed Please!!

A very quick update because I haven’t done one for a while, and I don’t really have the time to do this one. So  apologies for being in a rush and not taking too much time over this.

Anyway, we did some of this back in September …

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Then October was kind of busy doing things like this:…
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And some of this ..

Then a bit of this …
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Oh, and we rounded out the month doing this ….
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… and all the time trying to find new ways to attract more clients.

Hopefully this run of “busy” will continue!

The Busy Month Of May ..

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So May has been a rather busy time here at Shooting The Dog, the (mostly) lovely weather has brought a flurry of dog photography customers, and Fidget and I have been making the most of the bits in between to have some fun too.

First up, we finished off the Cockerpoo puppy shoot at the six week stage and put together the puppy boxes for our client; these were then received and dispatched with the puppies to their new homes.

The boxes were looking good and were filled with a USB drive of the pictures we had taken over each of the three shoots, along with a book showing the progress of the puppies, and some yummy bags of treats from The Dog Treat Company, who are based locally.

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So after a successful prototype, we launched our puppy pack service onto the world (well, to Torbay and the surrounding areas anyway).

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Then the glorious sunny Mayday bank holiday saw us heading to the beach with Buttons, for our first “in the water” photo shoot of the year; the lovely sunny weather meant for a rather busy beach, so things were far from ideal, but we had great fun and got some lovely pictures.

Fidget and I squeezed in some time on the beach too and he enjoys a nice swim when conditions are good.

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Last week-end saw us heading out on a covert “birthday surprise” photo shoot with Sam and Luna (Sam being a rather daft Staffy and Luna a typical Beagle). Lots of serious running about ensued, but the preconceived lovely picture of the two of them in the bluebells or splashing in a stream was unfortunately rather elusive. However, we got some lovely shots of the dogs and the client seems very happy with what we managed to achieve.

Finally this month, we had the fabulous Gracie in for a studio shoot last week, she was the perfect model and was so well behaved, not bad for such a young dog. She came with a few challenges because of her colour, black dogs are always troublesome when trying to get lighting right, and exposing for detail in the faces means the coats tend not to come out as black as they seem to the eye.

We are now off on a short camping break in Cornwall, so you can expect lots of news on that adventure in the next blog.

I think Fidget sums up how we are feeling after this month:

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Blue Skies, Sunshine & Puppies!

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You get the feeling that summer is just around the corner here in Brixham, we have blue skies (occasionally) and we have even had a few days of sunshine (and heat) – I was even wearing shorts the other day, so it must have been hot.

Fidget and I have been out enjoying ourselves, and generally messing about; the lighter evenings mean we don’t have to rush about after work to get home before dark, and we can take our time and have lots of games and a bit of silliness before heading home for our dinner.
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The sea is definitely not warm enough for me to venture in with the camera yet, so you will have to wait a bit longer for those shots. We have, however, booked ourselves in for a small break under canvas in Cornwall next month, so if you have plans for the middle of May that require dry, sunny days then you might want to reschedule, as we always choose the wettest week in May to go away camping!

We currently have an on going project photographing a litter of Cockerpoo puppies, which is great fun; and to be honest more puppy cuddling happens than photography. But at the end of my last blog I promised you puppies, so here we go.

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Four Weeks Old

 

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Five Weeks Old

Puppy promise fulfilled.

Next time: Who knows? But there might be more puppies, and some exciting new product information.

Winter hits back!

So, there we were all enjoying the first days of Spring – sunshine,  blue skies, everything was good in Brixham …
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… then WHAM!!!
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Winter came back with a vengeance.

Snow and ice, howling gales … what is going on? We don’t get snow down here, then suddenly we get it twice in one year and, just to rub salt in the wound, in the middle of March. Hate to think what effect it will have on my tulips.

Still it meant another snow day, time to close the shop and go and enjoy the snow; and Fidget had a wonderful time.

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Then, just as quickly as it arrived, we were back to sunshine and blue skies again.

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British Summer Time starts tomorrow, so let’s hope the weather gods are listening; we all really need to dry out down here now.

Back in the shop, and lots of framing work has been going on – a few of the jobs have been slight challenges but more of that in a later blog. We’ve had very happy bunny owners pick up their framed print, and discussions are ongoing regarding more work there. Lots of enquiries about different bits and bobs, so hopefully some of them will turn into paying work as well.

Is it too early for a Hot Cross Bun yet?

Signs of Spring – At Last!

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The snow has all gone, the winds have dropped and it’s beginning to look a bit spring like in Brixham.

These days, in our house, one of the signs of spring is the annual “puppy party” for my little dog Fidget, and his siblings, who turn four later this week. Every March we meet up with his brother and three sisters, along with his Mum and Dad and a few guests, for what can only be described as slightly controlled mayhem and birthday cakes.

A great time is had by all, and it’s so lovely to see how they have all grown and how well they all get along.

Now we have to get back to working and we are hoping that the nicer spell of weather will motivate a few people to come and book their pets in for a nice portrait session, or an all action session running about on the beach.

In the meantime, Fidget and I are enjoying the lovely mornings and making the most of the town and it’s surroundings before it gets busy in the summer.

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We also have to decide which exciting place to visit for Fidget’s birthday trip out; maybe the woods or maybe a much needed trip up on the moors – I’ll let you know what we decide in next weeks blog.

Cold and just a tad breezy

To welcome in Spring we hosted a combination of weather events, “The Beast From The East” and “Storm Emma”, that pretty much brought the country to a stand still. Down here in Brixham we do seem to have missed much of the snow, but the coastline was battered by gale to storm force winds causing a lot of damage.

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As the snow came in on Thursday, we decided to close the shop and head off for a snowy game of ball. No blizzard conditions can stop Fidget from playing ball.

However, as we were playing things were getting just a little more windy, and the snow as beginning to settle more, and our trip back down the hill was becoming slightly more tricky; as I proved by doing some of the trip elegantly on my backside!

The following day, the snow had eased up but the wind had caused some deep drifts in places, and ice had formed in others. We were lucky as we were pretty much at home but many people got stuck in their cars, or caught out at work and unable to get home.

Fidget found it doesn’t take much snow to cause problems if you only have short legs.

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The wind caused the most problems, combined with very high tides, and many businesses around the coast are still mopping up and having to face up to the damage that has been done; we hope they can all get back up and running before the quickly approaching Easter week-end. Brixham’s breakwater was doing a fine job of keeping the harbour safe, but in doing so has itself taken quite a lot of damage.

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Weather-wise, we are all pretty much back to normal now; the wind as died down and it’s raining again.

Let’s hope we can start having Spring properly from now on.