Tag Archives: photographing dogs

When It Comes to Birds and Llewelyn Setters, Be Careful What You Wish For

LuLu, A Llewelyn Setter

LuLu, a Llewelyn Setter, is obsessed with birds. LuLu’s human dad was ecstatic at the prospect of their setter puppy becoming a companion for bird hunting, a pursuit in which she was born to excel. If her obsession with the birds in her yard was any indication of her talents in the field, she would be masterful!

The day finally arrived when LuLu’s dad decided that the young Setter would make the leap from backyard birding to field hunting. He was so excited to have a companion with him on his hunting trips, something he had wished for since getting a bird dog.

Everything on their first outing had gone according to plan except for one thing: the risk of LuLu getting injured from any number of elements: wild animals, hidden traps, stray shots. Hunters and their dogs are completely vulnerable in the open field. Lulu’s dad spent more time worrying about LuLu than sending her after game.

By day’s end, LuLu’s dad knew that even though he couldn’t have had a more enthusiastic companion, his fears of something terrible happening in the field to his dog far outweighed his joy of having a birding partner. His family was deeply in love with this dog; She was an integral part of the family. Consequently, their first birding trip became their last! From that moment on, the only birding LuLu did was in the backyard.

To this day, LuLu remains an avid bird watcher. But playing with the family is what everyone prizes above all, a talent far safer than any field work!

You can find other photos of LuLu in DOGS ON CAPE COD.

What a Field Spaniel Wants Isn’t Always What a Photographer Wants

Lola, a delightful and good-humored Field Spaniel, finds the ocean mesmerizing. Her breed defines her job as: to flush out birds from land and water. Lola is far more successful at flushing tennis balls from waves for hours on end.

Lola

I met Lola, along with her human mom and dad, at Red River Beach in South Chatham one early evening. The light was magical, like most Cape Cod evenings. Lola had been newly groomed. Her coat was radiant in a silky rich auburn color. Jumping out of the back seat, she exuded infectious excitement! Before heading to the water, I wanted to take advantage of a cool little footbridge that crosses the salty marsh.

This was such a perfect setting for a photo. Lola’s mom decided she would stay at one end of the bridge while her dad stayed at the other. Enticed by treats, Lola walked across the bridge halfway. She looked like the cover of a Spaniel magazine. I positioned myself for a series of shots that would be breathtaking. After the first shot, one of Lola’s treats slipped out of her mouth, through the cracks between the planks, down into the marsh. Lola’s dad quickly tried to convince her that he still had many treats and not to worry about the lost one. Her focus, however, was on the treat she didn’t have. Ignoring the urgent cries from both ends of the bridge, Lola was determined to find the missing treat. As if in slow motion, we watched in fear as Lola jumped off the shallow bridge. It took what seemed like minutes, although it was seconds, for Lola’s dad to throw himself down onto the bridge and grab her frantically back up. This beautiful dog was now covered in mud. My happy, attention-getting noises had turned to groans as our fabulous footbridge photoshoot had gone terribly wrong! Thankfully, I did get one image before the fateful jump.

Lola

Without further ado, we headed toward the water. As soon as a tennis ball was produced, Lola forgot all about the trauma on the bridge. She now had a new mission: to retrieve the bright yellow ball from the water. Our hearts and stomachs began to settle after our brief nightmare.

Field Spaniels are known for their great perseverance. I can vouch for that trait one hundred per cent!

You can find other photos of Lola in DOGS ON CAPE COD.

How Dogs Help You See: Photographing Murphy and the Conception of Dogs on Cape Cod

Dogs are amazing! They make you see things differently when you observe the world through their eyes.

Dog and Flowers

When my friend from Arizona brought her new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy to the Cape, I was eager to get some great photos of Murphy. On a Fourth of July weekend, we walked to the Wequassett Resort where flowers are so plentiful, they almost seem wild. Murphy had only known life on the desert, so everything here was new to him. I have photographed dogs for many years, but this was the first time I was struck by a dog’s fascination with crushed shells, butterflies, flowers, and the like. Murphy was discovering so much. It was exciting to watch! I immediately began thinking about a book that captured the Cape through Murphy’s eyes. This premise grew to include not only other dogs but dogs doing what they love to do on Cape Cod: run, dig in the sand, swim the waves, explore and discover.

Whether it is Murphy attempting to catch butterflies, or Bella Blu, the Great Dane, running feverishly along the ocean’s edge, these wonderful dogs allow me to see the Cape through their eyes, as if for the first time.

You can find other photos of Murphy in DOGS ON CAPE COD.