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.

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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.

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…..
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

Bathtime for Tiki

A look behind the scenes at a photo shoot with supermodel “Tiki the Westie” the star of the book “The Quotable Westie” – https://www.createspace.com/4070210

the Quotable Westie - book https://www.createspace.com/4070210
the Quotable Westie – book https://www.createspace.com/4070210

Fine Art Photographs featuring Tiki the Westie

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

 

WASHING THE DOG TIPS
1. Sometimes getting a job done is as simple as having the right tools, and bathing your dog is no exception. An indoor pet spray that attaches to your sink faucet or shower head makes bathing your dog easier to manage. The spray is gentle enough for a small dog.

2. If you must bathe your dog indoors, getting him into the tub may be a job in itself, let alone bathing him once he’s there. To help in the effort, purchase a dog bath helper that has a mini lead attached to a suction cup that sticks to the bottom or side of the tub. The suction cup can be easily removed once your dog is squeaky clean.

3. When rinsing the soap from your dog’s coat, use a one part vinegar to four parts water solution to leave his coat shiny and clean.

4. If your dog just doesn’t like the water, use a waterless shampoo that must be applied then lathered into his coat until a foam appears. Brush and towel-dry with a blow-dryer.

5. If you prefer, give your dog a dry bath to remove any odors when it’s too cold to bathe him. Rub some baking soda into your dog’s coat, gently massage it in, then brush it out.

6. To help give a small dog a bath, place a small window screen across the sink in which you want to bathe him. The screen will give your dog something to stand on, and, because the bath and rinse water flow beneath it, will prevent him from having to stand in water.

7. If you want to give your dog some extra help in the self-cleaning department but don’t want to stress him by subjecting him to a bath, use pet cleansing wipes to remove dander and
saliva from his coat. The product, made from all-natural ingredients, leaves your dog’s coat clean and healthy looking.

8. If your dog comes into contact with chewing gum, remove it by rubbing an ice cube on the gum until it hardens and can be pulled out, then wash the area thoroughly.

9. If your dog walks on tar, remove it by rubbing butter or margarine on the tarred area until the tar softens and can be pulled off. Repeat if necessary, then bathe your dog’s feet.

10. If your dog rubs against oil-based paint, wipe it off immediately with a dry cloth, then bathe him. If the paint has dried and hardened, cut it out, then bathe your dog.

11. If your dog doesn’t like the sound of spray conditioner after his bath, spray the conditioner on a brush, then run the brush through his hair.

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

The Circus is in town!

Clowning Around
One circus is closing, a new one is opening.

Just as a new circus opens in Washington, D.C. including an oranged haired boss clown, its sad to see the closing of an American Institution – the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.   For more than 100 years the circus provided an escape for people across the spectrum.  An exciting event of thrills and laughs.

PETA is claiming a victory of shutting down yet another treasure of our collective memories. But I don’t see putting the hundreds of entertainers – clowns, aerial artists, gymnastic, horseback riders, trainers, artist, musicians, wranglers, riggers, teamsters etc. out of work and disappointing the next generation by removing yet another source of live entertainment. It’s ok kids, you can watch old clips of the circus on your phones – it’s just like being there! Just imagine the smells, the taste of cracker jack, begging your parents for a flashy light and inflatable elephant. Better yet, have three phones going at the same time and flip your head back and forth as you try to take all of the action in at once among the three rings.

Photography Prints

“The circus is a place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.” – Ambrose Bierce

Photography Prints

“Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.” – P. T. Barnum

 

Art Prints

If PETA, the international terror group, had their way, all joy in life and culture would be squeezed out until a meager existance of playing checkers with  rocks by the light of a soybean candle is all that is left.

No lobster dinners, no fishing, no hunting, no shoes, no belts, no fishtank, no pets…good grief where does it end?

“The circus allows one to be logical and unreal at the same time. In the circus, all is possible: there can be a man with two heads or a character with a green face.” – Fernando Botero

More circus clowns – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/clown

Taking young kids to the circus was kind of like, well…a three ring circus.  I recall going to the Ringling Bros. circus in Boston with my elementary school child.  We arrived just as the opening number was starting and it was a full blown, over the big top, sensory overload explosion of sight, sounds and smells.  Then there was the carnival barker or major league sports aspect of the hawkers selling all kinds of food and flashy souvenir trinkets. Every where you looked something was competing for your attention and your wallet.

 
Photography Prints

A less over the top experience was found at the Big Apple circus which comes our way every once in a while.  Big Apple is a more traditional, one ring circus with traditional acts and Grandma clown.  At bit less over the top and easier on the pocket book.  Maybe this size circus will have a future post Ringling Bros.  A more compact, easier to move, circus with few seats to fill and less mouths to feed.

 

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.  

Keywording 101 for Art Sellers

Selling Online Requires Keywording

What if you had a great product to sell but it was invisible?  How would you describe it to potential buyers?  How about you get them to see how the wonderful qualities of the product?  How would you attract potential buyers to said invisible product?

Selling products like artwork and fine art photographs online is much like selling an invisible product, because people search the Internet by using text based search engines.  Sure there are image search features on search engines like Google but for the most part buyers search using text.

Even within an online gallery like Fine Art America, text searches are used to bring up a selection of artwork and fine art photographs from the massive database.

If a buyer can’t find your art, they can’t buy it.  It’s as simple as that.

Keywords are the key to buyers finding your work

One of the most basic ways for your artwork and fine art photography to be found is via keywords.  Keywords are descriptive words used to describe the image.

In essence  you are trying to guess what word or words a potential buyer would use to find your artwork.

Another word for it:  Index term, a term used as a keyword to retrieve documents in an information system such as a catalog or a search engine

Usually online art galleries or databases require anywhere from 10 to 50 keywords.  You should start off with the first words that come to mind when looking at an image.  What words would you used to classify the image on your computer to find it again in the future?

This quick, top of mind words are going to be the most valuable.  For example, this photograph of a dog taking a photograph in the studios.

Art Prints

Right off the top of my head I’m going to think: dog, camera

Then I’m going to start getting more detailed and try to describe the image further with more detailed description words like:

studio, Westie, press camera, vintage

Then I’ll start to think about the mood of the image – funny, humor, photographer

And I’ll use descriptive words about the medium: photograph, black and white

I might add framed, print, fine art, poster and other more generic descriptors.

Basically you want to cover the who, what, where, when, why and how of the image.

Pho Dog Grapher Coffee Mug
Pho Dog Grapher Coffee Mug

If the product was a coffee mug I might include: ceramic, coffee, java, mug, tea, beverage, gift, household.

Keywording is an essential component of selling online so be sure to take the time and effort to do so!

 

Recently sold – Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

Edward Fielding sold a 7.125″ x 8.000″ print of Dirty Dog Laundry Soap to a buyer from Cincinnati, OH.

http://pixels.com/saleannouncement.html?id=851c3054e362e9ce230fe28e56e8943d

Unlike self cleaning cat owners, dog owners know that if you have a dog, you know they need a bath once in a while.  And if you have a dog who likes to dig or roll in smelly stuff, you know that they will need a bath often.  And then if you have a white dog like a Westie or West Highlands White Terrier, you know they need a bath even more often.

“Dirty Dog Laundry Soap” is a vintage looking image featuring photograph, artist and designer, Edward M. Fielding’s westie named “Tiki” who is often employed as a model for his photographs.

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

Art Prints

Washing a Small Dog

My twenty pound ball of white fur actually enjoys his bath.  I fill up the kitchen sink with warm water and he sits right down in it.  I use the sprayer to direct the water around and avoid his ears.

After a shampoo and rinse, I wrap him in a towel and try to get most of the water off.  Then he gets a rub down.  Next he is let loose (outside preferable if it is warm enough and I put the towel down on the ground.  He shakes off and then proceeds to go crazy on the town rubbing his face and ears on it.

westie Art Online

And I all most forgot the most important thing about bathtime. The treat at the end. If you train your dog to work for a treat, they won’t have any problem with bath time.

Buy the book – “the Quotable Westie”

Supermodel “Tiki the Westie” stars as photographer Edward M. Fielding’s inspirational muse for this series of dog photographs. Tiki takes on multiple personas including old Broadway actors, Aladdin as in One Thousand and One Nights and Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail. Accompanying quotes from writers, comedians and other notable humans round out the photographs…

https://www.amazon.com/Quotable-Westie-Photographs-Edward-Fielding/dp/1481084372/