Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Year's Eve 2008

Every so often we all get the urge to do a major photo shoot here. This time I thought it would be fun to video the entire thing and then pick at least a small amount of the footage to use as a back story for the still photos.

If I had a better video editing program and IF I had more patience and IF I was able to concentrate for longer periods of time videos like this one would be not only better, but more interesting and fun to watch.

We have a very simple way of handling the "auditions" for these indoor, posed shoots. The dogs we use simply MUST know place, sit, down, stand, stay, fetch and hold. After that they must be willing to let us position them in whatever pose we have in mind and then they must be willing to hold the pose and at the same time make small adjustments to the basic position. Of course, it goes without saying that they must enjoy the work and not be in the least camera shy.

Dogs who come here often seem to be the most likely candidates, but not always. For instance, Lilly the Golden wants no part of doing any photo shoots, while her housemate, Jake can't get enough of them. My Sanity started out pretty much hating them and now is always right there ready and waiting for her next assignment. Sam's Rugby has been a camera hound from the very first day. In that respect, Rugby, Jake and Wrap are all very, very much alike.

Speaking of Wrap. She is just too old, stiff and lumpy to be able to take part in any of the posed indoor shots or even the spontaneous outdoor shots, but she still very much enjoys lying around on the sidelines and watching everyone else work. Every so often I figure out a way for her to join in for a short time. Sure does make her happy when that happens.

One of the things I continue to find interesting is the interest in treats of either the food or toy variety. One might easily make the mistake of thinking the dogs are only working for the tidbit being waved around or the ball bounced and that couldn't be more wrong. While they are all willing to eat whatever treats are handed out during the breaks and at the end, they don't any of them seem to be overly pressed about the issue. Meaning that if we put every thing away, told them thank you for you work this day and turned them out to play that would be just fine with them.

I have come to believe that the tidbit or toy simply makes it easier for the dogs to know where we want them to look and nothing more. At the same time, trying to work with even one dog, much less several who have little or no serious training is both time consuming and frustrating. So it will continue to mean that while we may have 12 to 15 or sometimes more dogs available, only a relatively small percentage of them will qualify for the indoor posed photos.

Trained dogs are always more fun and always have more fun.

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