Owen Sound Pet Photography / Pet Portraits / by Candra Schank Photography
Okay okay, I must say that I love being behind the camera. Being able to create a portrait that evokes a true emotion is well, the best feeling EVER.
For over 5 years, I have been helping people and pets feel comfortable in front of the camera. I enlighten them about posing (a.k.a. interacting with each other), provide wardrobe tips, choose the best location for them, and so on. My goal is to properly prepare them for their photo session so that they have fun, look great, feel comfortable, and let their true personalities shine through.
The day of their photoshoot, I meet them at their location; excited for what’s to come.
Up until I see them at their session, I do NOT know what their day has been like. From the moment they wake up, eat, get ready for their session, to driving to their session, I have no idea what their day is like. I can only assume (and hope) it’s been all sunshine and butterflies, as I tried to prepare them properly.
But NOW it’s my turn to be the one having her photograph taken. And I am not just speaking of a 20 minute headshot, but an actual photo session with my dog Sally Pants.
You see, I wanted to have photos done of me and my dog. Why you ask?
1) I wanted photos for social media
2) I wanted to print and hang photos of me and Sally Pants on my living room wall. LOL we just moved and our walls are bare!
3) I wanted to remember this time in our lives. How Sally Pants would put her paw on my head to get my attention. Or give me sweet little kisses…even though she didn’t want me to return the kisses. I wanted to remember how excited Sally Pants got when we went on a walk. During our walks, she would walk excitedly, wiggling her little bum back and forth, and smelling EVERYTHING.
Thus, It was my turn to be photographed.
And being a pet photographer, I know the difficulties associated with photographing a dog like Sally Pants (and best dog ever).
- An energetic and distracted dog that moved a lot.
- A dog who is midnight black (definitely hard to photograph without the right knowledge),
- Posing a dog that doesn’t understand more than 5 words of English (i.e. sit, treat, down, walk, and ‘grandma & grandpa’s house’). Hehehe Sally Pants LOVES going to my parent’s house.
So, I wanted to have a professional photographer take our photos. And not just any photographer. A photographer I trusted, liked, and knew Sally Pants felt comfortable with. Sophia Lemon, a talented photographer and friend of mine was whom I knew could do the job.
LOL…so I thought this was going to be a breeze 😉 Why? Well because I knew how to pose, dress, and be in front of the camera. LOL…boy oh boy…it’s so much more than that. Especially when you add a dog…or children to the picture!
I now know what a person goes through before and during a photo session. I know what might be going through her mind while getting dressed, doing her hair and make-up, getting her family ready (in my case, my dog), and driving to the session.
3 HOURS BEFORE OUR PORTRAIT SESSION
I enlighten couples and families on what to wear all the time. So I thought I had this in the bag. LOL well I thought I did.
In my head I knew exactly what I wanted to wear. So I picked it out of my closet, put it on and looked in the mirror. BLAH YUCK! I didn’t like it on me. I felt icky…pale…not photo worthy. I peered into my closet and a blank stare fell over my face. And I spoke out loud…
“WHAT DO I WEAR…AHHH?”
I put on 6 shirts, 3 different pants, 2 blazers, a shawl, many scarves, 2 different boots…nothing felt right. I tried another outfit and then looked back at my bed and saw the mountain of clothes that had grown. I then looked back at my closet. Wow-we, I had tried on most of my clothes from my closet. Literally! My closet was now empty except for my hoodies and comfy sweaters, which I wanted to put on and sit on the couch and cry.
LOL…after much deliberation…and a short conversation with Sally Pants…guess what I ended up wearing? The very first outfit I tried on. LOL
Then, it was time to do my hair and makeup. I spent time putting on my makeup and flat ironing my hair. While doing this I was worrying about my hair in the wind, or my eyes running and ruining my makeup. I cringed…Hmmm, I hope I look good in the photos.
Next, I was on my way. My first stop was to have Sally Pants bangs cut by Lisa. I meant to have this done days before. But I never got a chance. LOL so I left it to the last minute. But I knew Sally Pants was in good hands. Plus, I wanted to be able to see her eyes in the photo; she has incredible sweet eyes. So this was a necessity.
Check. Now we were on our way to the photoshoot.
ONE HOUR BEFORE OUR PORTRAIT SESSION
Actually, we weren’t on our way yet. I started to think that I should get Sally Pants a new winter sweater for the photo session…I heard about this cute sweater that said ‘I have my Sassy Pants’ and thought this would be very cute in photos. So I took a detour to Pet Smart to look for this sweater for Sally Pants. LOL, in the end, Sally Pants didn’t fit in the medium and the large was way to big. So, we ended up leaving empty handed.
So back on the road we go. Heading from Owen Sound to Thornbury.
The session was to be held at a spot I had never been before. A trail in Thornbury that was apart of the old railway system that ran from Collingwood to Owen Sound and beyond. I was to park on a sideroad that was situated on an S-bend, just outside of Thornbury.
Quick note – I am directionally challenged! Seriously, I get lost in my own back yard.
So I was a little stressed about finding the right spot. So I made sure to go early so that I could find the location. You will be happy to know that I found the spot very easily; Sophia sent great directions.
Sophia showed up 5 min after I arrived and I changed into my boots, got Sally Pants out of my vehicle and we headed to the trail.
YAY! I was the perfect spot!
OUR PET PORTRAIT SESSION
LOL…and this is where I got to feel and experience what a pet mom goes through while trying to pose with her dog.
Bahaha! This was more work than I ever thought. I knew we didn’t want ‘posy-posy’ shots, but just trying to get Sally Pants to look and stand the right way was interesting. Trying to get Sally Pants to either look at me or Sophia was like trying to get a horse that was lead to water, to drink. And trying to get her to sit in a certain spot or walk a certain direction was just as fun. So I have to be honest, I was a little stressed. I wanted Sally Pants to do something but she wanted to do something totally different.
Hehehe, I new what Sally Pants wanted. She wanted to go for a walk down the trail. There were so many amazing new smells and things to discover. So, that’s what we did; we went for a walk down the old railway tracks.
And you know what?
Even though I worried, and stressed a bit about my outfit, hair, makeup, posing, in the end the photos looked great. Sally Pants and I looked great.
Sophia, the professional she is, captured me and Sally Pants just the way we are. Silly, distracted, and best buds.
So what I’m I trying to say in this blog post?
Well, it’s simple.
We all get worked up preparing for our photo sessions. Just remember, you’re working with a professional photographer that is fabulous at what she or he does. Thrust her! Trust yourself! And go and have a fabulous time creating memories.
Photos taken by Sophia and edited by Candra