From the Barkives – Holly
We have had some big personalities in the studio before, every pet we photograph has something unique about them that I want to bring out in my photos. Not often though am I immediately reminded of both an historical figure and one of my own furry family. Meet Holly!
Straight off I could tell that we were going to get along, just as long as I played by Holly’s rules. These rules pretty much revolved around not stopping, whether it was giving belly rubs or treats – just keep ’em coming! She has this ability to turn a huge smile into a disapproving frown with just the lift of an eyebrow, and I have to admit to teasing her just a bit to get this look for the camera. All this reminded me of our own best girl, Sophie, who runs our house with a paw of iron (especially keeping those pesky kittens under control). I felt so at home photographing Holly as a result.
Holly was by turn playful, smiley, bossy, hungry, inquisitive, impatient, serious, giving, demanding, did I mention bossy? Just as all senior dogs should be. Puppies can be like a blank canvas, just waiting to gain life’s experiences to fill out their personalities. Old dogs are like an old master painting, maybe peeling a bit at the edges but they have survived the test of time, and their experience is written in their faces. I just love photographing old dogs.
My favourite photo is the first, with Holly staring domineeringly off into the distance over the top of the camera. I photographed her from a low position to emphasize the scale of her personality, and suddenly she reminded me of Maggie Thatcher, glaring down her critics at a political conference in the early 80s, giving her famous “The Lady is Not for Turning” speech. I asked her mum to stand behind me and call her, Holly gave that look, and its captured forever.
Old dogs are the best dogs.