Stacey was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate from her partner Brad for her birthday. He must be very in tune with exactly what she values in her life, as Stacey really loves her two dogs Mia and Ollie and it was the perfect gift for her!
Bribie Island is one of my favourite ever places to shoot dog photography sessions. The laid back, almost holiday-like atmosphere, the lovely uncrowded beaches and the pretty little beach and jetty that faces west at Bongaree all combine to make this a great place to shoot. I always like to start off the session at the beach, letting the dogs have a race around on the sand to get some of those beans out of their system. Ollie is a bit of a fiend for his ball, as Stacey says:
“Ollie is OBSESSED with his ball!! At the dog park or the beach he will want to chase it the WHOLE time and then when he gets tired and his ball gets dirty, he’ll go and drop it in the water bowl, wash it off, get a drink, flop himself down in the water puddle to cool off and then when he is ready to play fetch again he’ll come back to us with the ball. He is so clever. He does this at the beach too, but drops the ball in the ocean and then flops himself down in the water to cool off!”
Ollie also showed off his amazing aerobatic skills, jumping high to snatch his ball out of the blue sky.
After some racing around (check out those sandy feet!) luckily he could also be persuaded to show off his log balancing skills for me.
Mia prefers to chase Ollie rather than the ball, check out her focus on her big brother here!
I love the way the backlight lights up the grains of sand kicked up by Mia in this shot as she races towards me.
After much running around, the twosome were sufficiently worn out to do some modelling for me on the path to the beach. The sun was bright and close to the horizon and cast a beautiful warm glow from behind.
It’s plain to see how much both of her pooches love Stacey to bits. Ollie was adopted from Peninsula Animal Aid (the shelter I volunteer at) at 9 weeks of age. As Stacey tells the story:
“We had lost Misty, our 16 year old Cattle dog earlier that year, so when I met Ollie I instantly fell in love with him. Brad eventually gave in and let me “rescue” him (although I think he was meant for us). Ollie has been a dream from the day we brought him home. He settled in to our home so quickly with no crying at night and was so obedient and easy to train from the moment we got him. He is such a smart, beautifully-natured, affectionate and gentle boy and we love him to pieces.”
Ollie was also the push behind Stacey getting involved and supporting Peninsula Animal Aid in other ways. I love it when I hear stories like this! Stacey says:
“I’ve always been a dog lover, but adopting Ollie from the PAA made me more aware of the importance of dog rescue and since getting him have done volunteer work with the PAA, we have sponsored a pen there for the last 2 years, have a PAA donation box at work and regularly drop off baskets of food and other goodies to them as well as donating to other rescue organisations. Ollie really has been a blessing in disguise in so many ways!”
Mia is a stunning girl and the difference between the two dogs is plain to see after spending just a couple of hours with them. Mia definitely has that stubborn streak and if she doesn’t see the point in doing something your way, she won’t hesitate to go off and do her own thing. Including happily racing over and saying hello (complete with wiggly butt) to every dog she spots! As Stacey says:
“We have had “Princess Mia” since she was 9 weeks old. She will be 2 in July this year. We got her approx 2 months after we rescued Ollie. Ollie was the “perfect puppy” and was so obedient and easy to train so when Mia came along we were in for a shock! Mia was a little demon with personality plus and she tried very hard to show us she was the boss. She was hard work but has grown into such a smart, beautiful, friendly, cheeky girl who makes us laugh and smile every day. We couldn’t imagine life without her!”
Next we headed off to Bongaree and spent some time hanging out in the late afternoon sunshine on the white sands and pretty dune grasses next to the jetty. Have I mentioned how much I love this location? Mia needed a bit of persuading to co-operate but luckily we had heaps of treats to keep her focused! Don’t you just love her built-in black eyeliner?
Ollie on the other hand is a born model – he was pulling poses for us left right and centre. I think this may be due to the fact we’d previously worn him out with his ball though! I just love his collar bandanna, suits him perfectly.
And who can resist that little turned-down ear tip?
Ollie loves his cuddles and kisses and didn’t need much persuasion to slather them on his beloved mum on command.
Mia needed a little more persuasion, I love the little act of rebellion here with her tongue just sticking out!
With the sun just on the horizon and the dogs nice and relaxed on the warm sand, I was snapping like a crazy woman. This is definitely my favourite time of day to shoot. Luckily the treats hadn’t run out yet either!
Mia had her little puppy dog look down pat.
When the tide is just right, it’s possible to shoot across the water to the floating pontoon off the jetty for some sunset silhouettes.
Near the jetty is a little restaurant that has fairy lights strung up in the trees for the evening diners. These shots were taken about 20 minutes after sunset so I was really pushing the limits of what was possible to capture in the failing light. I think they turned out beautifully though!
I shared the shot of Ollie on my Facebook page as a “before and after” – it might be interesting to check out for the photography enthusiasts among my blog readers.
I was thrilled that Stacey chose this gorgeous shot of Ollie and Mia to be enlarged to a big canvas for her wall, along with a beautiful album.