Last week a fellow photo student, Laura Phillips, approached me and asked if I’d like to photograph a shih tzu. Of course I said, “yes”! Her family had just adopted Nickey from a local animal shelter. Laura is the owner of Buzz and Pickles, the St. Bernard + chihuahua pair that I photographed last year. (HERE’S a refresher) Laura went on to explain that Nickey was in desperate need of a haircut, but she wanted to wait until after the shoot to give him one. As soon as she showed me pictures of him, I knew he was going to be a fun subject. Laura wanted to shoot Nickey on the gold background I photographed Buzz and Pickles on. She had made some large prints to hang in her girls’ rooms and wanted something matching for Nickey. Photographing on yellow/orange/red is always difficult with light colored dogs. The background color will inevitably reflect into the dogs fur, making them match (which is a headache in Photoshop to correct.) We did some shots on the gold paper and then switched out for a more neutral pastel blue for the remainder of the shoot.
Being back in the studio with new dogs is always exciting. You never know the dog’s personality until you’re laying on the floor, with one hand on the camera and the hand other waving treats around. I was used to Stoli’s relaxed demeanor–he is getting bored with the studio. Nickey was very excited about this new experience, and he still had his puppy energy (the vet guessed him to be about a year old). Keeping up with what seemed to be a bouncing mop was challenging, yet fun. Maybe in the future I will do a shoot with him with his haircut. He won’t even look like the same dog!
As always, the whole set of photos can be viewed on my FLICKR
All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com