This weeks theme is self- portrait. I felt what better way to do a self portrait than reintroducing myself by re-capturing my journey with the dogs whom I have shared my life with.
As I was growing up, there was nothing I liked more than to pet any dog I saw. I begged and begged for a dog until finally I received one for my 13th birthday. Smokey was part Shepard and Collie from a litter my cousins dog had. Smokey was my confidant and comforter during those high school years of insecurity and shyness. there was nothing more I enjoyed throughout high school than spending time with my dog and my camera.
It wasn’t until several years after Smokey was gone, that I obtained my next dog. I got Midnight from a coworker who’s dog had puppies. My sister also fell in love with his littermate. Since we lived close to each other those two brothers were able to spend lots of time together. After the first few weeks of puppy-dom, Midnight grew into my little prince and sparked some rekindling of my love for photography. As an owner of a black dog, I became frustrated, and then obsessed with having him properly exposed in pictures in order that I could see all his features. His too-short life is also the impetus for me to take photos of pets and their owners before it was too late.
Shamus was my model for my new calling as well as my first rescue dog. It started at first with me just wanting to take images of myself with my dog. I purchased a “good” camera and started practicing with my dog and myself. I knew little of the camera settings and f-stops as we carried tripod and camera and headed up to the hills to capture images of us together. On one of those first days of practicing, I came home so happy, because I got “that” picture. No it was not technically correct. We had walked just out of focal range by the time the self-timer went off and my shutter wasn’t fast enough for a moving target. But I captured the bond between us. From then on I wanted to do nothing else but take pictures of owners with their dogs as they journey together. My working with dog rescues grew from this experience with my rescue dog as well.
Declan is my current dog and a bit camera shy. I have a hard time getting a little smile out of him when I get that camera out. He is most happy when he is flying through the backyard. He did pose briefly with me for a picture for this post. He won’t stay in one spot very long, so we had to work quick.