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Tucker and Bug
11th September 2014 - 0 comments
It is time for the blog post in honor of some of my favorite clients ever. Today you will be saying hello to Tucker and Bug. I briefly introduced Tucker and Bug on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page back in May (May!). That was the first time you guys had met this lovely duo of greyhounds, but it was NOT my first time meeting them. I had the pleasure of meeting Tucker and Bug (as well as Darren, which I'm probably spelling wrong) all the way back in March of 2013 when I had a session with another greyhound and a fantastic mutt. THAT fantastic duo would be Richie and Happy. Happy unfortunately passed away in October of 2013 so I didn't get to see her smiling treat loving face when I showed up for my session with Bug and Tucker. I did get to see where her photos are hanging though for her owner to see her face every day. :) I was also excited to see the lovely tan greyhound named Richie when I showed up at his house for this year's session. When I walked in the door I was greeted by five greyhounds, but this session was devoted for Tucker and Bug. Bug was just how I remembered her last year, loving and wanting to be the center of attention. She wasn't happy with last year's arrangement of NOT being the center of attention. Tucker on the other hand was still shy and not a huge fan of me. I still ended up with some great photos of him since pet photography can be hands off if that is what is required to make the dog comfortable (even if I want to pet the dogs! I have to respect what they would prefer to make them comfortable). But enough rambling, I can do more of that with some pictures to break it up...

ON TO THE PICTURES!
I thought I would start us off with a photo of both Tucker and Bug, AND a before and after. Because I'm nice! Tucker is the guy in the play bow. He was nervous with me, but as long as I left him alone, he and Bug went into speed demon mode, dashing around the yard. Which for a greyhound is probably considered "leisurely jog around yard," but both dogs are wicked fast despite being older rescue dogs. Breed before age, I suppose. Also, I used the power of the force to move Bug, that gorgeous brindle girl, in midleap in the after photo.


I have various "favorite" breeds of dogs for particular reasons. The greyhound is my favorite in the running category. They are so incredibly fast. Bug was just running around having fun, but she was lapping me so quick that my camera had trouble keeping up. AND I HAVE A FAST CAMERA. Here is Bug wanting me to eat her dust.


And here's Tucker, all tuckered out from dashing around.


As I mentioned, Tucker was nervous around me. He didn't want me petting him, and didn't want to take treats, so I respected that and let him do his thing out in the yard. I used a longer lens so he could be away from me and not have to worry about getting close and stress him out. He was pretty happy with that arrangement. And even gave me an alert expression with both ears up.


I was pretty excited to get both ears up, since I always want alert photos like that, but apparently the "one up, one down" look is Tucker's look. A few seconds later he dropped an ear, and I had the photo for Typical Tucker.


I messed around with getting a few other backgrounds for Tucker. Particularly the lovely brick walls behind him.


And then we went inside for a break since it was hot, and the greyhounds were tired from their running. Bug sprawled out on the carpet, while Tucker went and took a blanket for himself.


After cooling off and chatting for a little while, we headed back outside to get some more photos of the gorgeous Bug, who had kind of missed out while I focused on Tucker. We tortured her by putting some flowers on her. She put up with us quite well.


We convinced Bug to stand in front of the brick wall to mimic the one of Happy from last year. She looked good in front of it. Although, I'm pretty sure Bug looks good in front of anything.


The last shot I'm showing you is of her pretty smile!


Who's Darren you ask? Wondering if I'm going to leave you with a cliff hanger like that? Have no fear, for this blog post that won't be happening. I should get to see Tucker and Bug (and Richie) next year when I -hopefully- go photograph the two remaining greyhounds in the pack, Darren and, the newest edition, Dee. So there's your answer. But to see their pretty mugs, you'll have to meet me back on this website in 2015. ;)
Lucky the Beagle
05th September 2014 - 0 comments
Well, it has been a long time coming! I've finally gotten around to writing Lucky's blog post. Lucky is an adorable beagle that I had an Ultra Session with back in May. I'd never done an Ultra Session with just one dog before so I was a bit nervous and worried about my ability to get 60 photos that didn't all look alike of the handsome beagle. Those worries were for nothing because with Lucky as the model it was easy getting plenty of photos. We met at Shelby Farms Dog Park, a place I hadn't photographed in before (and couldn't even practice like I normally try to do thanks to the fact neither of my dogs are decent with other dogs). It took a little bit for Lucky to decide to follow us around and instead went into what can definitely be expected of a beagle... sniffing. After about 15 minutes he realized he could follow us around to the cool backdrops the park provided, sniff, and get his pictures taken pretty much all at the same time. Which for a dog, is pretty much a pretty awesome day. Oh and he was getting paid with treats... yeah. He loved it. So with that it is...

ON TO THE PICTURES!

This was basically the very first photo I got of the ever handsome Lucky so you knew we were in for a good session when it started with such a fantastic photo.


And I didn't know it when I got the photo, but this would be the only photo I got of Lucky baying (which is my absolutely favorite thing about hounds, their crazy baying). He was wanting the treat I was holding in my hand. No worries... he got it.


As we should all know, Shelby Farms is a wonderful huge place with lots of trails. The dog park area was no exception and Lucky smiled as he came down the path after his owners and me.


We were headed for a spot in the woods that I had found with a log when I had visited with a friend (to get at least a little bit of an idea of what it would be like shooting there). But Lucky had to stop and smell the flowers. Apparently he's read all about how one is supposed to best enjoy life, and I think he is doing it right.


And then for the second time he showed me what a natural he is at posing.


After a few more stops along the way, we made it to the spot in the woods I was aiming for. To some dogs, putting their front feet on something and keeping them there for a length of time while I take photos can be difficult as most normal people don't ask this strange behavior from their dogs. Lucky's owners are, I'm pretty sure normal, but Lucky is phenomenal (I think I've mentioned that) and stood and posed on the log on the first try and was content to stay up there while I took multiple pictures. Lots of "GOOD BOY"s escaped when were done as well as some treats.


After that photo we headed down to the little pond that is in the dog park area. There were a handful of other dogs and people there and at first Lucky was apprehensive as to why we would ask him to go towards the slightly noisy crowd. I took a little bit of convincing, but he finally followed us down there and took a few pictures. He interacted with the other dogs and people and seemed to realize everything was awesome and forgot why he had been nervous. If you don't believe me, look at this happy face! I know you can't see the other dogs or people, but behind my back they were all there. In fact, we had accidentally picked up a groupie dog who could smell the treats in my pockets and was pretty sure I should share (I wouldn't unfortunately to him, I apologized to the groupie and told him I didn't know if he had allergies or not that might flare up by giving him a treat).


We continued making our way around the little pond and left the other dogs and people behind. We had to go through another little section of woods and I saw this old railroad timber thing. I was originally going to get a close up photo of just Lucky's front feet on it, but he had other ideas. Admittedly BETTER ideas as well.


I got another shot from above, where he was happy to look up and smile.


As we were walking we were coming up to a bench and before I could even suggest posing Lucky up there, he jumped up on his own. Apparently he loves getting on benches, and jumping off of them. :)






We finally veered off the paths for a little bit and wandered over to a cool fallen tree for some family photos. As us three humans carefully picked out way through the brush I turned around to a cheerful Lucky probably thinking this was the best part of the day so far. Clearly the canine is better suited for getting off the literal beaten path!


We took the aimed for family photos and then posed Lucky with some of the gorgeous vibrant green brush next to some little purple flowers. It didn't take too much work to get him to pose.


But he couldn't resist the urge to jump for the treat that was being used to hold him in place. I think he secretly knew it would turn out to be good photo of his hound ears.


We took a few more photos in the dog park area and then headed for our cars. Not to end the session of course, but to go to a different section of the park and get some more awesome photos. I think Lucky was thankful for the chance to take a short nap while we drove over to my favorite pine needle covered location. The nap was good for him as he was willing to run down the path a few times while I took photos of his flying ears.




Maybe we busted out a squeaky toy to convince him to run around. ;)




We got a few formal photos too. Including this one where I had his owner had behind the tree. I'm pretty sure Lucky was wondering what she was doing behind there.


Once I had a handful of awesome images from the pine needles we headed back into the open.


We stopped when we finally left the pine trees behind and I gave Lucky some water, while he laid down. After a couple of minutes he was wandering through these flowers.




And even taking the time to enjoy them again. Or possibly searching for a lost treat... I'm not sure. ;)


He was happy to lay down again for a few more pictures.


And then we began to wrap up our session by having his owners show me some of Lucky's tricks. Like jumping.


And his ridiculously adorable version of high-five.


They tried to get him to howl, but he wasn't feeling it, and I was definitely thankful I got one photo of him baying way at the beginning of our session. Instead he decided to dramatically flop over and perform a roll over instead. He had me laughing pretty hard when he did that.


For his final photos I wanted some close-ups of him in the gorgeous light of the setting sun. The first was of his beautiful amber eye.


And the second was of his nose. I think I mentioned something to his owners about Lucky's nose looking crooked and they laughed and told me that he does that when he's trying to look one direction, but smells something else. And then I laughed too. At least he was trying! But the beagle in him was taking over his nose and it couldn't help but try to follow the scent.


Hopefully the final photo made you all laugh like it made me! I laughed more than a few times while editing it. I'm sorry I'm behind on blog posts, but I'm working to get back to being on schedule with them again. There are lots of fabulous clients that you all deserve the chance to meet. And apparently I'm a glutton for punishment because I'm probably going to try blogging more than just client sessions. Mixing them together. They won't all be photography related, but they will be dog related. I've had a few things I've been wanting to write about, but couldn't decide if I should or not. And then I remembered that this is my blog after all! Regardless I promise I'll always include photos in the blog posts, although they might not be related to the actual subject!
Frazier and Belle - The Second Session
20th July 2014 - 0 comments
You've met Frazier and Belle before, (unless you're new, and then you haven't, but WELCOME!) but to recap, they are two adorable Bichons. Frazier is the bigger dude with a pink nose and tail that curls over his back. Belle is the little girl with the black nose and less curled tail. This session was at my favorite little park in Lakeland. This time around features more green and longer hair. :) Here's a link to their last blog post where we had their session at Shelby Farms: link like I promised

SO ONTO THE PICTURES!
We had our session at around 9 in the morning. Frazier and Belle were excited by where we were at and since it was early and Easter morning, I don't think we saw a single person at the park.


We stopped for some posing in the long grass, but since Frazier and Belle are on the short side of the dog scale, we stayed on the outside of it for our pictures.


Frazier enjoyed running around off leash. And here is my photographic proof of that. Look at that smile.


We stopped for some posing and well, what was going to be the out take turned into an actual final photo since it made me laugh. Don't worry, I included the posed photo without the yawning in boredom and licking of lips (I think Belle was waiting for a treat for her posing) in the final gallery.


We then did some posing on the picnic bench.




They even posed together since together they weighed less than 20 pounds. "What does weight have to do with posing together, Erica?" Well it makes it easy to get them to pose together on the picnic table without them jostling for room, that's what it has to do with it. ;)


Belle stopped for a photo in the moss that grows on the ground. She's pretty cute. And I don't think I'm biased. She was excited to get treats and willing to pose. Whenever I tried to get Frazier to pose, Belle would come and steal his treat since he didn't eat them fast enough. Looking at this innocent face you wouldn't think she was a thief.


And now it is time for the last photo of the blog post and of their session. Look at how cute they are! Small dogs have the benefit of being able to pose on cool things together.
Jackie and Juno
11th July 2014 - 0 comments
It has been months since I did a blog post. Bad job me! But I'm going to correct that, and I have more than a few backed up that I need to tell you lovely people about. Why do I do blog posts? Because when I share on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page you normally only get a few pictures and my space for writing about the lovely dogs I've photographed is limited. BUT HERE ON MY WEBSITE... I get to ramble as much as I want and you're trapped... HAHA. Not really, but I do love telling you about the dogs I've photographed. During sessions I ask about 80 million questions about the dogs I'm photographing because I'm genuinely interested and love learning about them. So for this session from April starring the gorgeous Jackie and Juno. Who were owned by the lovely couple Josh and Jamie. And while the J's weren't done on purpose (I asked), in my head I ended up calling them the J family.

SO ONTO THE PHOTOS!
The lovely "J family." Josh and Jamie had just gotten married before our session around a week or so before. Jackie is the German Shepherd looking girl. Juno is the tan muscle girl.


We had our session at my favorite little park in Lakeland. I was warned that Juno probably would bark at me at first... which she did. But she quickly decided I was okay and that this park was a blast.


Jamie gave me a few ideas of what she wanted to capture in the photographs. One of those things was Juno and her love of jumping through long grass. Juno, of course, was thrilled when she saw the long grass and jumped through it with little encouragement (although the squeaky toys did help keep her going).


After the girls had their fill of fun and I probably lost a toy in the long grass (happens a lot...) we headed back towards the lake and did another family photo.


I made sure to get my favorite photo from above that I nearly always do with Ms. Juno.


I know, I know, you were getting worried. "Erica, Juno is one PRETTY lady, but what about Jackie!?" Have no fear, I took plenty of photos of her as well. See. Proof!


Josh and Jamie both work at (I think) a retirement home (I think, something close to that I know!) and Jackie occasionally gets to go with them and be a therapy dog. She's calm and loving and the people she meets are always thrilled to see her. Which I could see why. I love dogs, and Jackie was pretty awesome even past my standard love of dogs. Here she is showing how good she is at "shake."


I wasn't sure if Josh and Jamie had started their relationship with each of them with their own dog, so I asked if they might want a photo of them with their "favorite" dog. Jamie and Josh adopted the girls together, but they each had their favorite although it just barely showed. Josh was a bigger fan of Juno since she's a rough and tumble kind of girl, and Jackie was Jamie's probably because she isn't. ;) And in case you were wondering, both girls came from the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County.


Once we got onto the wooded path we stopped for some more posing. We were trying to get Juno and Jackie to sit near each other, and I managed to get this shot of Juno catching one of her treats for trying to do what we wanted.


Jackie and Juno liked roaming ahead and working their way back to us slow humans. Here's Jackie proving that I am, in fact, not a liar. :)


As always, I'm terrible at endings. So here's a picture of Jackie's beautiful amber colored eyes. And her perfect brown and tan markings on her face.


I had a wonderful session with Jackie, Juno, Jamie, and Josh and am thrilled that I got to meet all of them. Hopefully my next blog post won't take a couple of months!
Cash at 8 Weeks
13th May 2014 - 0 comments
On April 6th, I photographed this adorable little Rottweiler puppy thing named Cash. Cash is a purebred rottie who came from a breeder in Portland, Oregon. When I met Cash he was basically fresh off the plane. And by "basically" I mean he'd been in Memphis for a few days. Cash lives with three other dogs: a fellow rottie named Tyson, a pit bull named Memphis, and a chow mix thing named Jinx or Jenk as his owners, Whitney and Jesse call him. "Erica, why are you calling their dog a different name then the owners call him, that's just weird, you weirdo." Well you wonderful blog reading people of my website, I call him Jinx because he has the distinction of being one of the first dogs I tried to help. I didn't actually help him, but I did name him and his two sisters. Unfortunately Jinx was too smart for his own good and I never did catch him (I did catch his sisters who have since found homes). Fortunately, Whitney did manage to catch him and after looking for a home for him, decided keeping him was in Jinx's best interest. To read more on Jinx you can check out this blog post: From Homeless to TV

"Erica, this is a blog post about Cash as the title clearly states. You have gotten off course..." Have no fear, I shall gently guide you back on course to the subject of this post: Mr. Cash. So Whitney caught Jinx and we ended up becoming Facebook friends so I could keep up with the evasive dude as well as add another "dog person" to my list. That was over a year ago. During that time I saw that Whitney lost her first rottie, who (I could be going out on a limb, but I doubt it) was her heart dog. His name was Kojak. A number of months later, Whitney and Jesse decided it was time to honor his memory and bring home another Rottweiler. They wanted a dog who could become a therapy dog, which is something people always told Whitney Kojak should be but never was. So they went the breeder route where they would know his full life experience as well as be in control of it without having to get rid of bad habits first.

We are almost to the pictures, I promise! So pictures of this adorable little Rottweiler puppy started showing up on my personal news feed and I mean, he was really freaking cute (and still is, I still get to see him, HAHAHA). So I offered to do three sessions like I'm doing with Womack so that Whitney and Jesse could have photos of him as he grows up. This session is of him at 8 weeks. We met at Cash's home (and by default, as Whitney and Jesse's home) to take his photos. So guess what.

IT’S TIME FOR THE PHOTOS!
We went out in the backyard and got some photos of him being adorable. He also had his soft and fluffy puppy coat which I know will be gone when I see him again at six months.


After a few photos of acting chill, Cash decided he should release his puppy energy, starting around the time when Whitney attempted to clean him off with a baby wipe.


And continuing on to playing with the toy I brought to get his attention (and then left).


Whitney picked him up and he made sure to hang on tight to the stick he had found.


He went running up on the porch to pause for a moment between his playing and switching between all the interesting things the yard had to offer.


Within a few seconds he was back to racing around causing puppy themed chaos. This time he played with a tennis ball. It should be noted, the tennis ball is not to scale. It is a big one. Cash accepted the challenge the huge tennis ball offered.


We forced Cash to take a break and get a picture of his tiny paws in Whitney's hand. Next time I expect them to be huge.


And then we released Tyson to play with Cash. Tyson was a bit distracted, but I managed to get a shot of Tyson with his current Mini Me.


Next up to play with Cash was Memphis. Memphis was supposed to be playing with Cash, but he in his pit bull ferocity decided I was pretty cool and instead should sit behind the camera with me while I took pictures of Cash. I couldn't resist getting a photo of my impromptu helper although I had intended to have only photos that included Cash.


In front of Memphis and I, Jesse played with Cash and a small tennis ball. Cash decided to use his puppy teeth to try and get it from him.


A few minutes later Cash took a break from Jesse and decided to play with Memphis, and even gave him some love while he was at it.


And then Cash was back with Jesse and in his arms. Both of them were staring at Memphis below them.


And when Jesse leaned Cash down, he couldn't resist trying to get to Memphis and play with him. We tried getting photos of Cash playing with Jinx, and the two love playing, but Jinx was really stressed out by my presence and has never been a fan of cameras, so rather than continue to stress him out when he wasn't wanting to play, he got to go back in the house and I didn't get any pictures of him, though it was wonderful to see him again.


When Jesse put Cash back down he started playing with a pine cone and brought it to the porch for some chewing.


After getting a good selection of photos in the backyard I asked Whitney and Jesse if they would be okay with getting some pictures of Cash in their flower beds out front. It took a little bit of convincing to get him to go in them. But once Jesse waved a stick around in them, he jumped in after the stick.


So I leave you with one final photo of the underside of Cash's adorable paw while he was in Whitney's arms.


I can't wait to see how far Cash is in his training when I take more pictures of him at 6 months old. Despite his puppy energetics he is already has a very loving side and you know he will easily be an awesome therapy dog to help people and keep the memory of Kojak alive.