What inspired you to take this photo? Early that day, Miss ViVi Gold, who is the golden retriever, just met Miss Maddy, the Westie puppy. The two pups really loved each other from the moment they met. Miss ViVi is an adolescent pup, and Miss Maddy, was only 9-weeks old at the time. I asked Maddy’s mommy if I could photograph her puppy at my home. So Maddy came over to my house for a photo shoot. I was inspired to capture the loving curiosity and gentle friendship these two sweet puppies had for each other. This is something no words can ever express. Only photos can. I think this photo shows the sweetness and innocence of their true relationship.
Why did you capture this photo the way you did? Many times when taking photos, there really is no explanation for taking shots the way I do, except that it just feels right. Later, I might think about the how and the why, but usually it doesn’t occur to me to analyze how a photo is taken. It just happens by being part of the flow of things. When I’m photographing dogs, I really let the dogs just do what ever they want to do (within reason). I only have to remain ready to shoot, and hopefully capture that right moment, which happens in a blink of an eye.
What were you feeling? What mood were you in? I was so happy and overjoyed to do this photo shoot. What could be more adorable and sweet than photographing two beautiful beings, one so curious and big, the other so young and tiny.
How did you plan this photo? This photo shoot was done in my bedroom, on my bed, where there is a red bench at the foot of the bed. Afternoon sunlight lit up the room, giving it a warm golden glow. I thought the lighting and the colors were just right for this gentle summer photo shoot.
What sort of post-processing did you do afterwards? I did no real processing for this photo, except a little sharpening in Photoshop.
Do you have a connection to the subject and/or location? I am Miss ViVi Gold’s mommy. I photograph her daily. At least once a week, we do a special shoot, with props and a theme, usually something simple and funny. The rest of the week, I photograph ViVi just being her goofy, playful, joyful self. She loves her photo shoots. ViVi is a natural at modeling, and it’s pretty apparent that she enjoys her photo shoots. Sometimes she even hams it up more, as if asking me to get the camera out and photograph her! Which I do. That’s how we usually get the funny shots that we do.
Anything else you would like to share about this photo? Since the time when this shot was taken, these two girls have become the best of best friends, and their friendship is a very special one. I’m just so happy to have captured it on the first day they became friends.
Why is Photography important to you? Photography is not only one of my most favorite arts, but also my favorite way to journal life. It brings me great satisfaction to take at least one good photo every day. Like the saying goes, one a day, keeps the doctor away.
How do you overcome creative blocks? I haven’t had a creative block since I’ve been photographing Miss ViVi Gold. She inspires me practically every moment of my day. Before ViVi entered my life, I might have found myself feeling “stuck” without a creative idea for months. It could feel frustrating. But in retrospect, I now realize that it really doesn’t have to be so hard to overcome a block. Go back to basics, such as the simple act of observing. Be still, and just watch. Ideas come almost instantly if you can open your eyes and trust what you see. And, as for Miss ViVi Gold, well, she is a dog, and dogs are always in the present moment. Very zen!
Where did you study photography? Or are you self taught? My father taught me everything I know about photography when I was a teenager. He had a dark room, and I would love to watch him process his photos almost every night in the dark room when I was a little girl. Now that I shoot digital, it’s really much much easier and quicker! I think though at some point, when I can arrange to have a dark room in my home, I will go back to the old ways! For now, digital is convenient and the quality is exceptional thanks to advancing technologies.
What do you enjoy photographing most? I enjoy photographing things that I find to be natural, beautiful, graceful, harmonious, or joyous. Plus everything that would be considered funny or hilarious. Humor is a very important part of life. I couldn’t be without humor in my life, for humor makes moments “stand out” in a special way and helps us through the hard times.
What motivates you to do what you do? Photography is fun and creatively fulfilling. I find it very exciting to open up the files and look at the photos. They are fragments of memories, particularly moments I especially chose to capture with the press of a button in that second. Since life keeps moving on, there will be endless opportunities to take pictures, as long as I am on the planet and am able, I will keep photographing what I enjoy and everyone I love.
Do you ever use your skill for a good cause? I photographed a few dogs who were being temporarily sheltered by Derby Dogs, and fortunately, they found their forever homes!