The Story of Ronnie behind the scenes at a Sato puppy photo shoot

The Wilson family got more than they bargained for when their Hanover High School senior Daniel signed up for the “Surf and Sato” March Intensive program. Each spring the high school in Hanover, NH (home of Dartmouth College) offers a week of out of the ordinary educational experiences, everything from analyzing classic horror films to hut to hut cross-country ski treks to intensive Shakespeare, drama trips to NYC, college tours in Boston and a trip to Puerto Rico to help with the street dog problem and maybe try a bit of surfing.

Rumor has it that Daniel was under strict instructions to resist all attempts of adorableness and not to return with a puppy but then Ronnie’s cuteness prevailed and after a week of being surrounded by lovable puppies, one managed to come back to New Hampshire. Luckily I was able to persuade the family to bring Ronnie over for a modeling session.

What is a Sato?

Sato is the name for mutt i Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico has a large population of stray street and beach dogs.  Some estimates put the population of stray dogs at 500,000.

Dead Dog Beach is located on the South-East coast of the island. A dumping ground, it is known for its stray dog population, and the abuse that has occurred on the isolated beach including gang rituals, target practice, and cars running over helpless dogs and puppies.

Dogs are dumped here everyday. The Sato Project, a rescue group founded by New Yorker Chrissy Beckles, is their only source of fresh water and food, and rescues them as their resources allow it. Dead Dog Beach is one of the many beaches of the island overran by stray dogs. (source: http://www.sophiegamand.com/deaddogbeach/)

From The Sato Project Org – Satos are usually small dogs under 30lbs.  The majority have terrier in them so they tend to be incredibly smart and quick to learn.  The street or beach is a very hard life for a dog and the majority do not make it past their second birthday.  Nature seems to have sensed this and females are giving birth to increasingly large litters of puppies.

You can see Puerto Rico dogs who need a second chance on PetFinder – https://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=PR04

About the Photo Shoot

Being a puppy, Ronnie was quite the handful as a modeling subject. I’ve grown accustomed to Tiki the Westie ability to sit for a very long time, knowing that a treat is coming at some point. At this point Tiki anticipates treats when ever I make a move towards my studio strobe lights. During the photo sessions for the book “The Quotable Westie” Tiki was so good I could set him up on a chair and then remember that I forgot the SD card or prop or something, leave the room for a few minutes and he would still be stilling there patiently.

The quotable Westie book
The quotable Westie book https://www.createspace.com/4070210

I’ve dealt with puppies before but its been a while. When I photographed Max, Pete, and Jeanie, my main camera was a micro-four thirds camera, a Panasonic Lumix G3 which had a handy feature for photographing moving objects – an LCD screen in which you could touch a spot on the screen and it would focus and fire the shutter.

Sell Art OnlineArt PrintsPhotography Prints

With my Canon 6D and its minimal focal points (only nine) I found myself having trouble getting little Ronnie in focus. I also made the mistake of starting out on the tripod. Not good for a guy in constant motion. But I did manage to get some good shots.

The other challenge I had was too narrow depth of field.  The Canon 6D is a full frame camera which has a narrower depth of field than a micro four thirds camera like the Panasonic G series.

In order to nail the focus on the eyes with a constantly moving subject like this little puppy Ronnie, I had to shot a lot of shots.   I first tried pre-focusing on a certain spot on this antique high chair I was using as a prop.  But the entire first set of photos were ruined by the focus being off ever so slightly.

Photography Prints

I end up re-shooting the entire scene later with with the studio lights cranked up to maximum and the aperture increase to f16 in order to make sure I got his cute little face in sharp focus.

Photography Prints

I also started to abandoned my carefully composed set ups and took the camera off the tripod so I could move the camera main focal point to the dogs eye, fire and worry about composition later with cropping.

Sell Art Online

Some Tips

A few things I learned that worked in this latest dog photo session.

  • With puppies, be prepared for puppies.  They don’t know how to stay put, they need potty breaks, they are likely to climb out of what ever you put them in, and they are going to tire out and fall asleep on you at some point.
  • Safety – work with an assistant and try to create an environment like a basket with soft towels in the bottom to help contain the puppy.
  • Use chew toys, bones or a bit of peanut butter on a the edge of a basket to keep them interested and occupied.
  • Use squeaker toys or a weird noises to get their attention.  Don’t be afraid to sound like a wild animal or a complete wacko to get some great expressions.
  • Have plenty of paper towels handy.
  • Limit the number of assistants in the studio so the dog doesn’t get too distracted.
  • Shoot with a fast shutter speed and be prepared for motion.  I don’t recommend a tripod unless the dog can sit still.
  • Get on their level.  I used a small coffee table to raise the puppy up but watch that they don’t try to jump off.

Photography Prints

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Artwork

King Charles Spaniel Puppy
King Charles Spaniel Puppy

 

Any of the photographs, artwork and images of these cute puppy dogs can be purchased as greeting cards, framed artwork, canvas and metal prints and more, including products such as throw pillows and tote bags.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel classed as a toy dog by The Kennel Club. It is one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, it has grown in popularity in the United States.

Sell Art Online
…..
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of today is the direct descendant of the small Toy Spaniels seen in so many of the pictures of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Toy Spaniels were quite common as pets of the Court ladies in Tudor times but in this country it was under the Stuarts that they were given the Royal title of King Charles Spaniels. History tells us that King Charles II was seldom seen without two or three or more at his heels.
As time went by, and with the coming of the Dutch Court of William III, Toy Spaniels went out of fashion, being replaced in popularity by the Pug dog with the little black page in attendance. We do not hear much about Toy Spaniels again until the 18th and 19th centuries. At that time the special strain of red and white Toy Spaniels bred at Blenheim Palace by the Dukes of Marlborough were well known for their sporting qualities, as well as for their claims as ladies’ companions.

 

Bad hair days and Dog Breath – Modeling is hard work

Clowning Around
Terrier photograph
Just Chilling by Edward M. Fielding http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/just-chilling-edward-fielding.html

The life of a super dog model is not all bones and biscuits. Sure some days the kibble rains down and luck shines but some days its a bad hair cut and stupid wardrobe.

“Just Chillin'” is just one of hundreds of photographs that Tiki the Westie has modeled for in fine art photographer, Edward M. Fielding’s series of dog photographs.

Example of a licensed image.
Example of a licensed image.

Some of the best Tiki the Westie supermodel photographs have been collected in this small gift book called “the Quotable Westie” and is available on Amazon and direct from the publisher CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/4070210

Clowning Around
One circus is closing, a new one is opening. http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/1-clowning-around-edward-fielding.html

“This modeling thing, it’s pretty easy, but actually it’s also really tough” – Cara Delevingne

Writers Block
Writers Block http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/writers-block-edward-fielding.html

“I was successful and I enjoyed modeling, but it got to a point where I felt like I had ‘been there, done that.’ I wanted something that would inspire me and challenge me. I needed something that required more creativity. I started writing and I started auditioning. Simply posing in front of the camera was no longer enough.” – Julia Voth

Wash Day Framed
Wash Day – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/wash-day-edward-fielding.html

“Modeling, for me, isn’t about being beautiful but creating something interesting for people to look at and think about.” – Kylie Bax

Great framed art
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/portrait-of-a-westie-dog-edward-fielding.html

“I think the only reason I wanted to do modeling, really, was because I knew I wasn’t ready to act; I knew I didn’t have enough life experience, and I knew that doing photo shoots was a way of acting. Playing a character each shoot and being able to just emerge yourself in these awkward experiences – it was amazing.” – Dree Hemingway

 

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/pho-dog-grapher-edward-fielding.html
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/pho-dog-grapher-edward-fielding.html

“I didn’t mean to be a TV presenter, I just hated modeling. It feels very odd that it’s turned into this ‘It-girl’ thing. What does that even mean? I wear clothes and I go out. It’s so weird.” Alexa Chung

Man’s Best Friend Ode To The Dog

Irresistible Dog Photos

A look at man’s best friend and companion through the lens of fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding.  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog

Writers Block
Writers Block http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/writers-block-edward-fielding.html
The Line Up
The Line Up – call in the usual suspects – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/the-line-up-edward-fielding.html
Happy Birthday Puppy
Happy Birthday Puppy – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/happy-birthday-puppy-edward-fielding.html
Recently Sold Acrylic Print of "Portrait of a Westie"
Recently Sold Acrylic Print of “Portrait of a Westie” 24.625″ x 30.000″ print of Portrait Of A Westie Dog to a buyer from Austin, TX. Print Material: Acrylic Print Finishing: Aluminum Mounting Posts   http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/saleannouncement.html?id=4419282a0938b694a2532875a4554c3c

 

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/dirty-dog-laundry-soap-edward-fielding.html
Wash Day Framed
Wash Day – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog
Stop and smell the roses
Stop And Smell The Flowers. http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog
Portrait of a Westie framed print.
“Portrait of a Westie” framed in a simple black frame and mat.  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog

Top Seller: Portrait of A Westie

Portrait of a Westie – Fine Art America’s bestselling westie dog portrait

Portrait of a Westie – When “Portrait of a Westie” by Edward M. Fielding was selected as one of the featured artwork on the homepage of Fine Art America, a bestseller was born.  Link

Portrait of a Westie framed print.
The most recent sale of “Portrait of a Westie” framed in a simple black frame and mat. Image Size:
16.375″ x 20.000″
Total Size:
22.125″ x 25.75″

Selected by the staff of Fine Art America among the 100,000s of thousands of photograph and artwork within the portfolios of over 125,000 living artist, “Portrait of a Westie” was granted a rare award and a place of home on the home page of Fine Art America.

This is one of the most popular configurations of “Portrait Of A Westie Dog” that is purchase on the Fine Art America site:

  • Image Size: 11.500″ x 14.000″
  • Total Size: 17.25″ x 19.75″
  • Print Material: Luster Photo Paper
  • Frame: CRQ13 – Black Wood (CRQ13)
  • Top Mat: Arctic White
  • Finishing: 1/8″ Clear Acrylic – Foam Core Mounting

This configuration sells over and over.

It has been sold to:

  • West Chester, PA
  • Prescott, AZ
  • Haines City, FL
  • Neosho, MO
  • Houston, Tx
  • Derby, Ks
  • San Jose, CA
  •  Logan, QLD – Australia.

Other buyers have chosen metal prints such as this one going to El Paso, Texas and Fort Mitchell, KY

Portrait of a Westie Metal Print
Portrait of a Westie Metal Print

Portrait Of A Westie Dog

  • Image Size: 8.250″ x 10.000″
  • Total Size: 8.250″ x 10.000″
  • Print Material: Metal Print
  • Finishing: Hanging Wire

Of course there are thousands of other framing options like this one going to Trumbull, CT

Thousands of framing options available!
Thousands of framing options available!

The image “Portrait of a Westie” is also purchase as a throw pillow , phone cases, tote bags and greeting card going to places like:

  • Saint Petersburgh, FL
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Thoury Ferottes, SetMarne – France
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • West Allis, WI
  • Mission Hills, KS
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Miami, Fl
  • Christchurch, Canterbury – New Zealand
  • PLANO, TX
  • Keene, NH
  • Sykesville, MD
  • Boliver, Oh
  • Kaunas, Kauno – Lithuania
  • Elizabeth, NJ
  • Irvine, CA
  • Wingate, NC
  • Two, Tunis – Tunisia
Portrait of a Westie Throw Pillow
Portrait of a Westie Throw Pillow
Portrait of a Westie Phone Case
Portrait of a Westie Phone Case
Portait of a westie tote
Portait of a westie tote

Another popular westie image is “Wash Day

Art Prints

See the entire collection of fine art dog photographs and artwork here.  

I hate Mondays

I hate mondays
I hate mondays

I started a new series of funny dog quotes that compliments my book “the Quotable Westie” – https://www.createspace.com/4070210

You can subscribe on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/quotable_westie

The meme’s star Tiki the Wonder Models and some of his dog friends.  Taking portraits of my westie Tiki is one of the ways my photography work started to get noticed.  Tiki has starred in countless blocks, book and magazine covers and in advertisements around the world through my licensing as well as graced many walls via fine art.  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog

Dog art
Dog art by Edwarrd M. Fielding http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog

…..
I use my photography to communicate my vision of the world. My work deals with storytelling in light and shadow from the beauty, texture and shape of every day objects to wonders of the natural world. Thanks for stopping by! — Edward M. Fielding

Edward M. Fielding
Fine Art Photography
www.edwardfielding.com

Fine art photography and digital art by artist Edward M. Fielding. Fielding is an artist working in the photography and digital media. As a freelance artist my work is currently represented by several leading stock agencies.

My work has appeared in featured in numerous magazines, greeting cards, advertising, book covers and media companies as well as been widely shown and juries into fine art shows.

Recently I was one of the featured artists in the PhotoReel art show at Gallery W at the Whitney in the Berkshires.

In addition to fine art photography, I enjoy being a staff educator at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon, NH teaching creative technology such as Scratch and Lego Mindstorms robotics to elementary and middle school children.

Many of the images featured here on Fine Art America are available for rights managed licensing for book covers and other projects from Arc Angel Images – http://tinyurl.com/aww2wzl
…..

All work in this gallery is the original work of Edward M. Fielding. It is for sale, copyrighted to Edward M. Fielding and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws.

Copyright Edward Fielding All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT NOTICE:
Edward Fielding retains all rights to these images. It is illegal to copy, scan or duplicate from the website in any form.
Images on this site may not be used for personal or commercial use without written permission by Edward Fielding.

Artist Blog: http://edwardfielding.me/

press release
Press release for funny dog photographs by Edward M. Fielding

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap Artwork

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap Artwork

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap http://pixels.com/featured/dirty-dog-laundry-soap-edward-fielding.html

Dirty Dog – The word “Terrier” means “go to ground” and if you have ever met a terrier you know what that means.  Usually it means chasing critters and digging to China.  Terriers as a group were breed to go after rodents.  West Highland White Terriers in particular are well known for their ability to dig ferociously in the garden, trying to get at a chipmuck, mole, vole or mouse.

My westie or West Highland White Terrier , Tiki, has been known to dig after critters and even bite at tree roots to get at them.  Westies were breed with four well know traits to help their owners keep them safe.  One is the white fur color which helps with viability and keeps them from getting shot by accident.  Second is the double coat, a soft under fur for insulation and a wire outer coat for dirt shedding.  Remarkably, the dirt does seem to come off rather quickly with a brushing.

The third trait is a high pitched bark so you can find them under the ground if they have followed a woodchuck or rabbit deep into a burrow.  The fourth trait is a strong tail bone in case you have to put the westie out of a hole.  You should not pull on the tail of any dog but westies have particularly strong tail to body connections.

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap is an art piece featuring a westie dog getting a bath in an vintage soap label.  It came about from my series of images featuring Tiki the Westie supermodel and has become quite popular in my portfolio of artwork available for purchase as prints, framed art as well as on products such as t-shirts, throw pillows, cell phone cases and other decor items.

You can see the entire collection of dog related images here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/dog
Photography Prints

Mad About Westies

West Highland White Terriers AKA Westies

The crazy cute Westie is one of the most popular small terriers among pet owners. Standing 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder, with dark piercing eyes, compact body, and an adorable carrot-shaped tail wagging with delight, the Westie’s looks are irresistible. Beneath the plush-toy exterior, though, beats the heart of true working terrier. Bred to hunt rats and other furry critters, Westies are surprisingly strong, brave and tough.  Look out chipmunks and squirrels!

Photography Prints

The West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as the Westie or Westy, is a Scottish breed of dog with a distinctive white coat. The modern breed is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers in Scotland prior to the 20th century.

West Highland White Terrier Dogs 101 Segment

The Westie is grouped with and probably closely related to the other terriers of Scotland, including the Cairn, the Dandie Dinmont, the Scottish and the Skye. It was bred to be a working terrier, going to ground to combat rats, rabbit, badger and fox. Legend has it that Colonel Malcolm was hunting with his small brown terriers and accidentally shot his favorite, mistaking it for a fox. Malcolm apparently set about developing a small white dog that could perform all the functions of a working terrier but would never be accidentally mistaken for prey. He selected the lightest puppies from litters of Cairn Terriers and bred them without crossing with any traditionally tan dogs. Eventually, he created pure white terriers that bred true to type, temperament, function and color.
Art Prints

 

The white coat of the Westie or West Highland White Terrier should be hard to the touch, never soft and fluffy.  The westie breed has a two layer coats.  A soft under layer for warmth and a wirely outer coat for shedding dirt.

Sell Art Online

The breed was listed officially as the West Highland White Terrier in 1907 at the Crufts dog show in England. The name was chosen for the rugged character of the dogs and the area of their development. The West Highland White Terrier Club of America was founded in 1909. It is a member club of the American Kennel Club. The Club’s annual meetings and specialty shows are held in conjunction with the Montgomery County Kennel Club Show at Ambler, Pennsylvania in October. In addition, the club holds a national Roving Specialty Show each year with one of the regional clubs acting as host.

Art Prints

Most Westies will get dirty between baths no matter how often they are bathed. It is a Westie duty to see just how dirty it is possible to get before Mom or Dad catches them. If you are lucky, it is just plain mud or dirt and not something smelly!!

Photography Prints

BATHING PRODUCTS AND PROCEDURES:

  • DON’T use human shampoos unless “prescribed” by your vet. (Occasionally the vet may tell you to use a medicated human product for treatment of a medical condition. Of course, in this case, do as your vet tells you to do. ) Human products have a PH level set for human needs. A dog’s PH level requirement is quite different. Always use a product made specifically for dogs unless your vet specifically tells you to do otherwise.
  • Read the instructions on the shampoo. Many shampoos require that you leave them on the dog for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. This gives them time to work. If you do not follow the instructions, the product will not do its job.
  • Use a rinse that will re-moisturize the skin. Your vet can give advice on this subject but a very commonly used rinse is called HUMILAC. This product is a non-greasy skin conditioner that gets right through the hair and down to the skin without leaving any residue on the hair. It is like putting body lotion on your legs after you have bathed. It helps keep the skin from drying out even after more frequent baths. It can be sprayed on the dog and rubbed in. Possibly a more effective way to use it is to mix it with water and pour it over the dog in the final rinse. Instructions are on the bottle.
  • If your dog has dry, flaky skin (doggie dandruff) and you do not bath him frequently, use the HUMILAC as a spray between baths. If the dog is bathed more often, use it as a rinse (mixed with water) and follow up by using it as a spray between baths. NOTE: If the flaky skin continues, ask your vet to run a full Thyroid test. Low or low-normal thyroid can be a cause of skin problems and is easily corrected with medication.
  • Put a rubber mat on the floor of the tub or sink. This will give your dog a more secure footing.
  • Most important of all, when you shampoo your dog, you must do a thorough rinsing. Rinse your dog, rinse your dog again and rinse a third time. When you are SURE you have every bit of shampoo removed, rinse once more!! The residue left from the shampoo is often the CAUSE of itching.

Art Prints

Photo Ideas

Time it well. If you’re looking for action shots, have your photo shoot before the daily three-mile run. If you want a serene portrait, make it after.

Let your dog get used to the camera. The click and flash of a camera can rattle dogs at first, says Rogers. Let your dog give the camera a good sniff, then start casually shooting the surroundings (if you’ve got a film camera, you can do this before you load the film). Once your dog’s gotten used to the camera and starts doing his own thing, begin taking pictures.

The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed. What not to do: Grab a ton of treats, abruptly shove the camera in your dog’s face, and repeat, “Mommy’s gonna take your picture!” at high pitch.

Take lots of pictures. This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject. The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots. “Always bring an extra battery,” warns Rogers.

Turn off the flash. Most amateur photographers do best with warm, natural sunlight. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the mornings or evenings, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day.

For indoor shots, you’ll probably need a flash. You’ll get a more natural-looking shot if you use an off-camera flash and swivel it upward so the light’s bouncing off the ceiling.

Get down on your dog’s level. “If you stand over your dog and look down, every shot you take is going to look like everyone else’s,” says Rogers.

Pay attention to background. Simple backgrounds, like a white sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out. If you’ve got a point-and-shoot camera, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background so he’ll be more in focus than whatever’s behind him, and of course, watch for the tree branches growing out of his head. Pay attention to color, too: No black backgrounds for black dogs, brown backgrounds for brown dogs, and so on.

Enlist help. A friend with a squeaky toy will come in handy if you want a head-on shot or a regal profile. However, keep your dog’s personality in mind with this tip. “Some dogs get amped up really fast when their toys are around, so it can have the opposite effect of what you intended,” says Rogers.

Get creative and playful. Lots of full-body shots taken from ten feet away can get mighty dull. Get up close so your dog fills the entire frame. Get even closer so you get the full effect of that long, wet nose. Photograph your dog head on, in profile, at 45-degree angles. And don’t get hung up on perfection; sometimes that shot with your dog’s tail out of the frame is the one you’ll have hanging on your wall for years. “With pet photography, serendipity is the name of the game,” says Rogers. “The best shots are often the spontaneous ones.”

Tips for Better Dog Photographs Featuring Tiki the Westie