Pancakes the Boston Terrier and her humans flew all the way from Seattle to Santa Fe for this amazing Santa Fe Dog Photography Session. They took a long weekend, rented a wonderful dog-friendly Air B-n-B here in Santa Fe (there are LOTS of dog friendly travel accommodations here in the city - check out this list here: https://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/Pet_Friendly_Santa_Fe/index.html) and really took the time to step into a space of quiet enjoyment. Because Santa Fe is such a dog-friendly city, Pancakes got to go with my clients to visit galleries, eat at dog-friendly restaurants, go on some great walks and really experience the city. In the midst of this great visit they planned, they invited me to spend a quiet afternoon with them and create a series of really special portraits of their beloved Boston Terrier.
On top of being an amazingly sweet creature, a certified trick dog and an agility star - Pancakes really ties the family together. It was so clear to me that my clients loved and cared for each other. They were bonded and easy together. Pancakes, like so many dogs, quickly became one more way that my clients connected - through training and loving this little creature, everyone’s relationships grew and strengthened and that is something that I truly enjoy witnessing through my work. Dogs are the glue that brings us together, and Pancake clearly knew how special she was.
During our Presentation here at my studio my clients immediately fell in love with the first image in this post - Pancakes doing what she loves most, playing fetch. At first I didn’t think this image would work. Pancakes couldn’t play fetch outside because she has a tendency to run off and being from Seattle, she was not accustomed to cacti. I wanted to put her somewhere safe that also had good lighting and background. That’s the danger of photographing in the real world - there is always an element of chaos and unlike a photography studio, I am forced to work with what I’ve got. And I love that challenge so much. It’s keeps me on my toes and forces me to push myself creatively. So we all sat upstairs in a sunny bedroom and positioned Pancakes in such a way that she would be bathed in diffused sunlight, allowing me to use a fast shutter speed to freeze her action. When I was ready I told my client to just keep tossing the ball for her while I observed and photographed. Within those few minutes of shooting one or two perfect moments appeared and the work was well wroth it, as always. We made a large print edition of the jumping image, and it’s certainly a favorite of mine as well.
Though not the focus of our Santa Fe Dog Photography Session, creating a family portrait is always on my mind when working with clients. I always ask if that’s important to my clients during our Creative Meeting - and usually they come around to saying that yes, it is important. But they don’t like being in photos. And actually don’t photograph their faces. And actually they never like how they look in photos. All totally valid feelings. Being photographed is painful for so many people, myself included. However, by keeping things to relaxed and connected and trusting between my clients and I from the very first point of contact - I find that toward the end of a Photography Session my clients are so comfortable with themselves and with me that we create something really remarkable, full of joy and ease and happy relationships. Like this image. It’s a good one, and my clients really loved it too.
Thanks for a great session, Pancakes. You’re a very good dog. Can’t wait to finish these prints for you.