September 30 – October 3rd there are a series of dog shows at Sampson State Park in Romulus, NY. I will be there doing freelance photography. At the last two dog shows I photographed dog owners approached me about buying photos of their dogs. This has lead to some business selling prints of their dogs to them. This type of photography is something I have just started getting into over the past three years in addition to my wildlife photography. I have photographed five dog shows and am always looking for more opportunities that fit into my schedule.
I have photographed agility trials, conformation, and obedience portions of these dog shows. Information for the upcoming shows indicates that there will be AKC Rally Events at this series of dog shows. I am excited by this difference because I have never photographed or even watched a Rally event before, and Rally is a relatively new event in AKC. I am a little dissapointe4d by the fact that there will be no agility trials at these dog shows, because I love watching and photographing them.
It appears that there will be approximately 140 breeds of dogs at the dog shows. I thought I’d make it easy on myself and cross of the breeds that I already had quality photos of. To my surprise that left me with 120 breeds that I still needed to photograph. So I have my work cut out for me if I want to get photos of all the breeds of dogs at the show, which was my goal prior to this discovery. I am planning a very workmanlike focused photo session for the first two days then a more relaxed go with the flow approach for the final two days.
The first two days I will focus on getting photos of as many breeds as I can. The next two days I will try to look for more fun and interesting photos. Also my style of photos tends to focus on the dog and exclude their handlers. This time around I want to try to include more photos of the dogs with their handlers and owners as well as more wide angle shots of the whole dog show event. This upcoming event will be the most time I will have spent photographing one dog show event.
The hardest part of photographing this event will be pulling myself away from the breeds I naturally gravitate to because of my own personal preferences for dogs. I want to have photos that will appeal to dog lovers of all kinds, not just those that love the same breeds as me. I also want to have as broad a portfolio of stock images as possible.
I love Australian Shepherds, but I attended an all Aussie event earlier this year and have a bunch of great shots. I will have to tear myself away from the Aussies at this event because I do not need photos of them for my portfolio. I will still photograph them if they are competing in the Rally or obedience portions. I also own Bernese Mountain Dogs and especially enjoy photographing this breed. I will have to restrict the time I spend photographing breeds I already have plenty of photos of.
This is a photo from a few years ago of my wife and our Bernese Mountain dog Buck. It just happen to pop up in the random selection of photos in my sidebar on my computer and I thought it was cute so here it is. Random cute photos you don’t normaly look at are the best.
One thing I greatly enjoy about being not only a nature photographer but a nature lover is that you never know what you are gonna get. I find surprises in nature all the time. I even get nice surprises from nature in my own back yard. All I have to do is look out my window or step out onto my deck. Yesterday I stepped out on the deck to watch the birds at the bird feeders and was surprised to see two birds I had never seen before. Ususally it is the same old crowd of species of birds at my feeders. These 2 were definitely not one of the regular crowd. Figuring I might not get a chance to see them again I sat and watched a minute I wanted to get a good look at them so I could later look them up and identify them. They stuck around a few minutes as I watched and I figured that since I had gotten a good look at them now I would chance running in and getting my camera and try to get a few images of them. Luckily when I got back out on the deck they were still there. I was able to snap off 4 quick shots and then they flew off into the woods and did not return. Of course this happened when my wife and I were about to head out the door to an event so I could not stay out there and wait to see if they would come back or not. None of the images I took were particularly good but they were good enough to identify the bird as a Black-Throated Blue Warbler. So I can now add this bird to my life list of birds.
This past weekend a photographed an AKC dog show in Owego, NY. It was a great event. Especially for a person who loves dogs as much as I do. I was able to combine my love of photography and love of dogs. I was not there on any assignment or photographing any particular dog. I was there in large part for fun and in hopes of capturing some images for stock archives. I was approached by one individual who requested a business card, and perhaps that will result in a business relationship. But that said even if I do not generate a single dollar from this venture I had a great time.