Client Session ~ Jack the Labrador Retriever in San Francisco USA
Recently reminiscing and looking back through my emails, I discovered Susan’s first message to me, dated May 2008. She had emailed me to let me know she was a big fan of my Great Danes – Kaya and Luna – and their blog and photos. She also sent me a video of her boys Tuck and Jack, both black Labrador Retriever boys and similar in so many ways to my girls. Following that first email, I have more correspondence from over the years, where we discussed our dogs and swapped stories. On a number of occasions, Susan said she wished I could visit California and photograph her two boys.
In 2013 she got her wish when I made the big trip over to the USA! I had always wanted to visit San Francisco, so this was the perfect chance to meet up with Susan and her remaining beloved black Lab, Jack. My only regret is that I didn’t make it over sooner to meet Tuck before he passed.
We’d only just arrived in the country the day before so were still getting used to strange concepts such as driving on the other side of the road! Luckily though, the language of love for our canine companions is universal and Susan and I hit it off straight away. I’d seen the looming Golden Gate Bridge earlier in the day after taking a boat ride out to Alcatraz, but seeing it up closer from our photo shoot location of Crissy Field in the Presidio district was a bit of an eye opener! Getting the bridge in the background of some of our shots was the aim, though the sheer scale of the bridge and the fact it was shrouded in cloud and backed by a white sky presented somewhat of a challenge – especially throwing a very black dog into the mix!
We trekked up the hill behind Crissy Field in the hope of getting a clearer view, though the path to the top itself presented some lovely opportunities for pretty wildflower backgrounds which we had to take advantage of. Once towards the top, we had a much better view out towards the bay. Jack was such a good boy, showing me how he’d been practicing his sit and stays!
Back down in the park, we found some cool old buildings to feature Jack with, including the Warming Hut and the Torpedo Wharf.
I wanted to capture Jack’s super sweet face and expression, so we also spent some time playing games of fetch on the green grass. Is there anything happier than a Lab smile?
Our adventure was far from over, so we jumped in the car and headed just down the road to the Palace of Fine Arts. This amazing building was originally created in 1915 to house artworks for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in that year. It fell into ruin in the 1950’s but it was such a loved building by the people that it was completely rebuilt in 1964.
It was certainly an amazing place to shoot and we had a wonderful time exploring the building and surrounding parklands, Jack happily posing for us!
We even had a few minutes of sunshine which slanted through the buildings enough for some shots in front of the flowers. Everyone say.. “awww!”
Just as we were leaving and had finished up for the day, we saw the clouds had cleared again and rushed over to the waterfront to capture just a few more shots.
I had a wonderful time with Susan and Jack, it certainly was an amazing experience to finally meet someone who had followed my pet photography journey right back from the very early days. Thanks for your ongoing support Susan, it was great to finally meet you!
If you want to see more of my adventure with Susan and Jack, check out his slideshow.