The Joyful Process of Dog + Baby = Picture

While the title of this blog alone is enough to get most of you to click on it, because, really, who doesn’t love dogs and babies, there is also herewithin a lesson in joyful patience.

So, I am in the process of digging through the hundreds of sessions, which equals over 40,000 images, to fulfill client orders for the holidays. It’s sort of bedlam. It is also why all you parents, who e-mail me at 11pm after the kids are asleep, find me quick to respond to your emails.

Anyway, I was going through this clients’ files, exporting their images and preparing them for print, and I found myself cracking up. A lot. So I thought I should spread a little joy and share a little lesson in the joyful patience it takes to be a photographer. This is not the same patience I have to exercise when a print lab doesn’t seem to know how to print, or when a computer or external drive malfunctions, or when a lighting tool works in all test runs, and on when on location falls apart into an embarrassing pile of junk. Those events require patience, and it ain’t of the joyful kind. But plying a dog with peanut butter and continuously propping a chubby baby up, joyful indeed.

So here is a play by play of about 20 frames, shot back to back, and infused with a lot of photographer self doubt and second guessing, all in an effort to get one great shot. Let’s get started.

1. Dog lays down and licks. Because, well, he’s a dog. Baby is interested in the funky jig dad is doing in the corner. Every parent has one. I have seen them all.
2. Dog’s interested in piqued. Photographer gets excited that “the shot” is about to happen.
3. Dog and baby collapse in exhaustion from all of the expectations put upon them as professional models.
4. Dog snaps back to it, but baby reminds him to milk it for all that it’s worth. They get a better day rate that way.
5. Baby plays the martyr and tries to get the dog to behave, already.
6. Photographer is convinced that ‘the shot’ is not going to happen today, and so focuses on the sure fired cuteness of baby rolls.

7. Photographer begins to think that the parents will pull the plug on this unsanitary shoot. But they are uber-cool, so we continue on and wait for ‘the shot’.
8. We are getting closer. At least dog and baby’s heads are on the same plane. But that is not a happy face.
9. Come on baby! Hang in there!
10. Dog has a scratch. We wait for greatness.
11. Photographer waits requisite amount of time for dog to return to the task at hand. It takes so long that she circles behind to see what is so interesting back there. And of course, dog then turns back around.
12. Back in front just in time….we’re getting closer!
13. And. Lucky 13. The Shot of the Day.
Thanks kids. It’s been fun. And that shot never happens again.

6 Comments on “The Joyful Process of Dog + Baby = Picture

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