We take pride in our photography, but it’s no secret in the office that this great imagery is a product of many days, thousands of takes, a talented photographer, and the experienced dog-wrangling skills of our staff. Leanne Champion, Marketing Manager, recounts the events of last week’s photo shoot to give you a glimpse into the world of canine photo shoot management.
7:30am – Arrive at first location. It’s already 80 degrees. Much hotter than forecast. Start scoping for the perfect set-up. I look a little crazy walking up and down the river trail (alone) stopping every 10 feet or so, squatting down to visualize the shot angle.
8:00am – 12:30pm – Attempt to organize 7 dogs, 11 owners, and 2 models. Special challenges: getting a “leaning” dog to run straight, keeping overheated dogs from dashing away from the camera towards available shade, encouraging dogs to run with the models versus bolting for their owners, and cropping out oblivious trail-goers who enter into the frame unaware.
1:00pm – Change location to a local storefront to show the handy tie-out hardware on our leashes. Very thankful that our photographer’s dog, Denali, has returned from his morning escape in time for us to use him as our model.
1:30pm – Lauren and Tiki arrive at Entrada Loop/Gooddog Trail System for some hardcore mountain biking and trail running scenarios. Temperature hovers in high-90’s. Note to self: black dogs tire in heat much quicker than lighter dogs.
3:30pm – Two Ironmen, Russ and Matt, and three dogs, Hank, Streetly and Mili, join in for some more running shots. Dogs continue to shy away from camera and search out non-existent shade. Black dog/ heat issue theory confirmed.
6:00pm – Load up cars and gear and head up to Sparks Lake for some backpacking and campground shots. Ahh…relief from the heat (but not the mosquitoes). Thanks to JD Platt and his K-9 Kings, finally find dogs that will lie down and stay still on command.
9:00pm – Exhaustion sets in. Denali takes off (again!) on a scavenger hunt for food from neighboring campsites, while Badger (another staff dog) takes off for a late night swim… just as we are getting ready to crawl into our sleep sacks. Smelly, wet, renegade dogs are captured and sequestered into vehicles for the night.
5:00am – Just after sun rises (but long before Starbucks opens), we capture some stunning early morning shots of dogs playing in water. Makes a cold night on an uncomfortable sleeping pad almost worth it.
9:00am – Break down the tents, load up the gear, and journey to Elk Lake for some dock diving and dirty dog shots. Meet up with Gunner, Mick, and their owners. Labs make for great water fetchers and are also very good at getting dirty. We smear a bit more mud on them for good measure. Extremely thankful they’re not riding home with me!
1:00pm – Wrap up with lunch on the deck of the Elk Lake Lodge. Mick, an exuberant yellow lab, winds his leash around several bikes that are leaning up against the same railing he is tied out to. Note to self: Spokes, pedals, and wet fur do not mix.
2:00pm – Load wet, dirty, well-loved toys and collars back into car and head for home. Yipppeee… another season’s photo shoot complete!