It's the kind of photoshoot that goes to the dogs, quick. Plenty of fur flying on this one...

Sand bags are NOT optional. 

A friend called and asked if I would come over and take some photographs of her kids. I've known the children in this family for at least ten years; they swam with Ben every year at Summer Swim League and I swim with their dad, year round, at our club's Masters Swim Team. Of course I said, "Yes." And once she had me on the hook she dropped the other shoe, "Oh, and I'd like to get the three kids photographed together with ten very young, golden retriever puppies....can you do that?" 

What a crazy afternoon! I got over to the house around 5:30 pm and set up one big flash in the middle of their terraced back yard. We unleashed a puppy stampede through the middle of my friend's house and worked to corral the puppies into the back yard, then we worked on corralling the three teenagers. Once we had the whole crew together my friend worked hard at interchanging fussy puppies and acting as a defacto stylist for the kids. 

We took photos of the three kids each holding handfuls of puppies and also surrounded by puppies. The puppies didn't seem to understand my commands to stay still and smile but we worked around their recalcitrance. Can't go two minutes horsing around with ten puppies and not a have a big grin on my face. Did I mention that photography is fun?

"Quick! There might be treats."
Double checking the sand bag for me.

Photographer under close supervision!

M.C. Ecsher Dogs.

Camera: Sony A7Rii
Lens: 24-70mm f4.0 Sony//Zeiss
Light: Neewer Vision Four battery power flash.


  1. Trying to control 10 puppies is like herding cats!!

  2. She had a previous social engagement and could not attend. She was also preparing for the hurricane.

  3. I'm sure she gave you a thorough sniff inspection when you got home.

    Be safe!


  4. I shoot regularly for the Humane Society and I can sympathize/envy your experience.

    I have learned an awful lot about how to shoot animals and in the end patience is your winning strategy.
    I have learned to put my bags on tables or at least somewhere they won't get "tagged". A friend had his Canon 70-200 richly irrigated by an obese black Lab. He noted that even after service he noted a smell that reminded him of the shoot.

    My favorite image is one I grabbed of a champion English Bulldog that was in my studio and decided to leave a large pile on my freshly installed wood floor. The shot was her in action.
    I sent it to my kids to remind them of the glamor and glory of photography.


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