Monday, December 21, 2009

Dogs as Art

In November we did a series of dog portrait sessions as a fundraiser for two area humane societies and food shelves. I tried to catch the unique personality and style of each dog. Sometimes this wasn’t all that hard to do.

The event was hosted by One-Stop Country Pet Supply in Brattleboro and their new Keene store and Leslie acted as my assistant. Riley and Rufus’ mom is giving this picture to her husband as a surprise Christmas present.

Over the course of two weekends, I did portraits of over 70 dogs, including Wesley.

We raised over $1,000 for pets in need of food and care. Cash donations were made to the humane societies and bags of dog food were delivered to the food shelves. A national dog food company helped out by donating even more food.

This is Johnny, who stole our hearts.

We call this our miracle shot, and not only because we were able to get this image with no PhotoShopping involved. Four of these dogs are rescues, each with a rich story, including the three-legged Collie, who was found on a rainy night on Route 9 outside of Brattleboro.

These portraits reflect both Leslie’s years of dog showing experience and Jeff’s portrait work. It didn’t hurt that Moxie was so photogenic.

Merlyn, a beautiful Australian Shepherd, looking for someone to herd.

Chopper, as you can see, is a distinguished gentleman.

Zack was one of several rescue Greyhounds from dog racing tracks.

This is Christine and Kyla. Christine is a friend who cuts our hair, so we hear about Kyla’s antics all the time.

Some shots are fine art, like this image of Burilla.

And some of them just make us laugh. Wesley gave us this look when he thought we were making fun of his coiffure.

This image of Gigi, a Cavalier show puppy, reminds us of a Rembrandt.

Sam is over it.

Moxie doesn’t have to do anything to be funny.

Sunday, the Boxer. Do I stay or do I go?

Stoli, demonstrating infinite patience.

Jesse does a seal imitation for the camera.

This is Batman, a rescue Collie who is now a therapy dog. He was beautifully brushed out by his adoring owner Amee.

If you’d be interested in hosting a pet portrait fundraiser in your area, we’d love to do it again. We had a ball.

I love doing event, wedding, product, and campus photography, but doing these portraits was a real treat.

This is PK, a recent rescue from Puerto Rico. I so enjoyed meeting dogs like PK, who are wonderful survivors, and making images of them for their loving owners.

Thanks for taking the time to look at these. I hope you had as much fun looking at them as I did making them!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Have Your Pet Shot for a Good Cause

This coming weekend, Woodwardesign is partnering with One Stop Country Pet Supply to raise funds for the Monadnock Humane Society and the Keene Community Kitchen.

Be good.

We decided to combine our love for animals and photography, and do photo sessions of your favorite pet(s). The cost for a 10-minute session and a 5 x 7 print is $50, 50% of which will be donated to help pets in need.

This is Cassie. She is not a pet in need, but she hopes you'll help out! The photo sessions will be held at One Stop Country Pet Supply in Keene (149 Emerald Street) this Saturday, November 14, from 10 am to 6 pm.

Any pet is welcome. Cats, dogs, lizards, cockatoos, boas, taranchulas.

All for a good cause.

Your pet doesn't have to be this cute.
But it sure makes our job easier.

We promise your dear one won't get bored! We're going to make sure everyone has fun and looks great.

Remember watching Lassie on TV? Smartest dog you ever saw. Lassie would start barking, and Timmy would ask "What is it Lassie? There's a fire at McGregor's farm!?!"

And, sure enough, there was a fire at McGregor's farm. She was always spot on.

This is Jasper, a good old boy, and truly loved.

To schedule a 10-minute session this Saturday in Keene, call 603/352-9200.

Additional prints and greeting cards will be available for those who would like them, and will be ready in plenty of time for the holidays.

We hope you'll be able to make it! Call today, operators are waiting to receive your call!

If you know of someone who might want to participate in this fun fundraising event, please forward them the link to this blog. Thank you!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flea Market

I recently spent a weekend at a large outdoor flea market in upstate New York, and gave myself an assignment of asking at least three people each day if I could take their picture.

People loved having portraits made, and were happy to take time for a photo session. Teri was a great model, and is clearly a person who thinks of each day as a grand adventure.

A lot of the antique dealers bring their dogs along to keep them company on the road. Both the dealers and the dogs can be real characters.

This is Chris and his ten-week-old terrier Missy. Chris had a wonderful peaceful spirit about him. Missy did not have a peaceful spirit, but was cute as a button.

It seemed like there was one of every kind of dog at the show, including this Boston Terrier. The dog's owner graciously held up an oil painting to provide the background.

There were also replicas of Boston Terriers. The show has over 1,000 dealers, each with hundreds of funky items for sale, so there are a lot of photographic opportunities.

Each object has an untold story. I wonder what life was like for the child who wore these shoes.

Can you imagine how the young owner of Meccano felt when first discovering him under the Christmas tree?

One of our friends purchased this Japanese doll, and I experimented with making a "hand-colored" digital photograph of it—I like the soft and subtle colors.

One of my favorites from the weekend, titled “Santas Under Glass.” Do they seem excited or terrified to you?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Santa Fe Photographic Workshop

I got back last Sunday from the workshop with Keith Carter. I had a great time! Keith is a great guy and an amazing teacher—fun, passionate, imaginative, always encouraging us to experiment, take risks, and find our own voice.

This image is of Cassie, one of my classmates.

The title of the workshop was "Visual Poetry," and Keith emphasized the importance of allowing images to tell stories, and to raise questions rather than answer them.

This image was made at a movie set a few miles outside of Santa Fe, where Gunsmoke, Lonesome Dove, Lone Ranger, and other films were made. It was so cool. It was also the first time I'd worked with professional models.

We learned about an "implied narrative"— there is a story being told, but each person can bring their own interpretation of what the story is.

Keith also encouraged us to be ruthless with space, cropping out anything not essential to the story. I love how the light picks up all the details in this image.

Several of us got lost trying to find some Spanish ruins, so we ended up just pulling off the road and using each other as models.

Tara was posing for the class when I noticed that every few minutes she'd bend down to straighten her hair.

I learned that all horses have "chestnuts": a dark circular scar on their legs, thought to be vestigial pads that were under the toes of their early ancestors. I love the way that the model has a spot of mud on her leg that looks like a chestnut.

I love the timelessness of this image. Is it 1909 or 2009?

This is one of my favorite images of the week. It's a picture of my roommate, Alex, who grew up in Brazil, and now lives in Australia. He is a lot of fun and an amazing photographer.

What's your story for this implied narrative?

Thanks for taking the time to look at these images! I hope you have an opportunity to fly today.