Tonight I have a presentation for Cielo (the beautiful and quirky Italian Greyhound), and her mom Kimberlee. The three of us met a few months ago at Hollywoof, where I almost fell off my chair laughing when I heard this skinny, spunky, warm, soft little doggie was named 'Cielo.' In college, a good friend of mine adopted a Maine Cook kitten (illegally, of course- we were rebels), and named him Cielo. Years later, Cielo the cat is enormous, fluffy, and full of attitude. He is probably the biggest cat I know. The juxtaposition of the two same-named creatures was just so funny, and added to the playful tone of our photography session.
As I do with all my clients, I spent an entire meeting on Kimberlee's living room floor- playing with Cielo, letting her get adjusted to me, and observing her witty interactive character. She was shy with me in the beginning, but with a few treats and a quiet voice I quickly got Cielo to approach me, sniff my hair (kind of odd...), and clumsily play-bow into my lap. She trotted over to her mom, perched on her shoulders, then trotted over to me, and perched on my shoulders. This game went on for a while, and clearly kept us all entertained.
But what intrigued me most about my session with Cielo and Kimberlee is the visual tension between the perfectly smooth Italian Greyhound coat, the silvery even tones and long lines of her shape, and the ridiculously silly behavior and playful connection she shared with her mom. Cielo is an interactive, quirky dog. She thinks before she acts. She is aware of being a joker. She is not like other dogs. And this uniqueness was all hidden underneath the smoothest, most beautiful shape and tone. There was something so visually intriguing about that relationship that added a special spark to our photography session. Looking through my lens I not only saw shape, tone, and composition- I also saw a dog that was performing for me, and for her mom. I'm sure Cielo knew why I was there, because the balance between her, my lens, and me was incredibly intense and beautiful.
The images from our session evoked tears of joy and emotion, with some good hearty laughs mixed in. It was a great project, and I can't wait to get into the darkroom to begin making the prints.