Client Session ~ Angus the Great Dane and Rocky the Mini Foxy x Chihuahua

Angus and Rocky’s mum Patrina was the hard working recipient of the second prize in my Bark Stars Dog Photo Competition I ran in March this year. She managed to rack up a huge 378 votes and won herself a $200 gift voucher to use with Charlotte Reeves Photography.

When organising the session, I realised she lived just around the corner from where I used to keep my horse (also called Rocky!) when I lived on the Gold Coast. There’s a huge and rather beautiful cow paddock just nearby, which I thought would be a perfect location for my session with 5 month old Angus and his little big brother Rocky.

Our first attempt to get into the paddock ended in an encounter with a rather large but seemingly friendly bull. We didn’t feel like testing out his apparent friendliness, so we decided to try another day, and ended with a nice walk around the local area instead. When I came back the following week, we’d sorted out how to get into the paddock (not the same paddock as the bull, fortunately) and it was full steam ahead.

We were blessed with a lovely sunny afternoon and both dogs had a ball exploring the sights and smells of the paddock. Angus had to be rather firmly coaxed away from some fresh cow pats, but luckily there was lots more to see and smell to distract him.

Rocky is three years old and such a great little model.

There were many fallen logs on the hill in the paddock where we set up camp to shoot, and he needed little encouragement to jump up and balance on them for us for some shots.

Angus is still very much a puppy, at just 5 months old on the day of our session. Anyone remotely familiar with Great Danes will agree that at that age, they are one of the most goofy animals on the planet.

Having owned two of this wonderful breed myself, I know that they grow so quickly it seems like they shoot up literally overnight. It must be hard trying to co-ordinate such a rapidly developing body! Not to mention two rather large floppy ears and a tongue that flat-out refuses to stay in your mouth…

Although he’s part of a rather large family of children, Rocky has closely bonded to the eldest girl of the family, Keziah. It’s pretty apparent from the way he follows her around and responds mainly to her, regardless of his mum and dad’s commands!

I always think there’s nothing better than a sunny afternoon on a hillside in the country, and Rocky seemed to agree.

Angus was proving a little tricky to tire out, which can happen in such a stimulating environment.

So we focused on Rocky for a while. I had Keziah helping me “train” Rocky to stay up on the log as I photographed him, once she got the hang of it she proved to be a great trainer and Rocky was modelling like a pro.

On afternoons with such amazing light, I always tend to prefer the colour versions of the images, even though I provide clients with a full set of black and white versions as well. I had to include this one to show the difference in look and feel. Black and white has it’s charm, but I do prefer the colour set for this session!

With all the success in training Rocky to stay up on the log for photos, we tried out the same technique on Angus, with maybe not quite so much success. He was a little too large to balance on the log, but did manage to get his front paws up there for a bit. I love the second shot here – “look Mum, I can do it too!”

As it was proving tricky to get Angus to settle, I decided to embrace the craziness and spent a good ten minutes racing around madly trailing a tinkling furry cat toy for Angus to chase, while attempting some action shots. Patrina and Keziah must have thought I was mad, though it did pay off in the end, with this cracker of a shot!

I must have managed to tire Angus out to the extent where he stayed in the same spot for more than two seconds too, as I found these shots interspersed with lots of blurry out of focus crazy images…

I had so much fun photographing these two pups and spending an afternoon enjoying a beautiful Gold Coast location. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favourite locations to shoot in future!

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