When I received a call from Sadie about taking photos of her mom’s most loved two dogs as a surprise birthday gift from her family, Sadie was full of questions and concerns.  The dogs are a handful.  They don’t like other people or dogs.  They won’t like you using any extra lighting.  They don’t like men (uhoh- my husband Scott assists me with outdoor sessions). No one had been able to nice pictures of the dogs….and more!  While I can certainly not guarantee anything, I could provide enough reassurance that I can handle dogs like Koda and Greta (go slow and have fun!),  that I would be able to put Mom at ease (laugh a lot), that even the most jumpy dogs do surprisingly well with my lighting, and that I would  do my homework and scout the location ahead of time so that we could go as efficiently as possible.   So with the session booked I went to work!  First I scouted the location at the Benicia waterfront (see my scouting report here) and sent some sample images so mom could see how great the location would be.

My husband and I arrived early and were sitting in the car admiring the view, when who should walk my – mom, dad and the pups!  I introduced myself and Koda tried to climb on my lap – GREAT START!

When the session began, I held off introducing Scott and instead used Dad to run with the dogs for action images.  They were on leash the whole time and had a blast.

Benicia 2 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer Benicia 3 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer Benicia 4 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer

Then we did some posed work – well they posed like champs and even were perfect in the family image.  How gorgeous are these dogs?

Benicia 13 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer Benicia 12 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer Benicia 11 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer Benicia 6 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet PhotographerIt was pretty clear at this point that Koda and Greta were tolerating the whole process extremely well, so I brought out the lighting.  I think Greta looks stunning in this image – this needed extra lighting to properly expose Greta against the beautiful sky.

Benicia 9 A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet PhotographerAnd then some magic happened.  As I was adjusting settings in my camera to properly expose for this amazing sunset, Koda stepped in front of me.  This image was meant to be a test shot, a throw-away!  Instead Koda’s gorgeous silhouette was captured in front of the lovely Benicia waterfront.  Benicia A Surprise Birthday Gift   Greta and Koda :: Benicia Pet Photographer

Was this a simple, typical outdoor session?  No it was not.  Koda and Greta are both excitable and get worked up around other people and dogs.  But with planning and timing, lots of help from family, many laughs and underlying incredible good natures in both of these dogs, magic can happen and a lovely moment in time can be captured forever.

 

 

 

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