"Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is.
Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!"--Tasha Tudor

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pretty as a picture.

Oh, hello there! Thanks for stopping in. I was just answering a few emails. I get quite a bit of Corgi related email questions. Two subjects that seem to come up quite often are photographing and grooming. I will tell you that I am not a professional photographer and I am not a professional groomer. I do take loads of photos and a do groom my Corgis a lot. Most of the photos shared on my blog are taken by me unless stated otherwise. I am always asked, "How do you get the dogs to stay like that?" The answer is patience and luck. Especially with puppies. Patience and Luck. Now Mary Elizabeth Simpson (my dear friend and Reinwood Corgis partner) is an amazing dog trainer which helps tremendously when trying to set up a shot. She also is a fantastic photographer. One of my favorite photos she took, which I have in a little frame in my studio is the one above. It is a bittersweet photo because only two of those precious Corgis are still with us. When you see a nice photo or two here, what you don't see are the fifty others that didn't work out. What ever did we do before digital cameras?

Here I was lying down on the grass trying to photograph a puppy when this other little puppy decided to climb on my back. Mary Elizabeth (who was next to me also trying to get a shot) quickly snapped this one. It looks like he is looking over my shoulder supervising the shot! One tip I can give you when photographing your dog is to try and get down on their level so you are not pointing the camera down at the dog, unless that is what you are going for. Try and make sure that the sun is behind you, not your subject. Get as close as possible and have pockets filled with treats for your dog. Try and keep the setting calm and fun. If you are not enjoying it, stop and try another day. You will not get a good photo if you are aggravated and your dog will only sense your frustration. You want to keep it a good experience so he is happy to oblige the next time, knowing you've got the jackpot of treats in your pockets.

As for the pretty part, I know it sounds crazy, but I really love grooming my Corgis. I find it relaxing (except when bathing one who has always been a maniac in the tub) and I know it makes them feel good when they are clean and bright. Regular grooming is a good way to be vigilant about looking for ticks or any lumps or bumps or weird things that need attention or that you may want your veterinarian to see. Mary Elizabeth and I groom all of our dogs regularly. Whether they are show dogs or retired Champions or do agility or obedience or have never stepped a paw in any kind of ring their whole lives, we groom them all the same. Over the next few days I will share with you some home grooming tips for your own dogs. With a few basic skills and tools, it is really quite easy to keep them looking spiffy.
I will share a few of my favorite products as well as how I use them. And don't worry, I haven't forgotten to show you the studio as it is coming along. Stay tuned! xo -CS ^..^


the Corgi Girls said...

Patience is key, BOL! For every 100 pics I take 1 is ok... LOL!


Anna M said...

My girls love to be groomed. Agatha in particular is a total gumbie dog when being groomed and you can pose her any way you want as long as you are doing something to her, including toes and teeth. Taffy can be a bit of a squirm with toes but she's not too bad.

I'm still learning how to take better pictures but you are right that for ever 50 or so I take I get one really good one.

Tanya said...

I'm so excited about this post! First of all, that first photo really made me smile this morning. They are all beautiful and sit so nicely.

I'm really looking forward to your grooming tips!

ClassyChassy said...

Patience in the photography department is a must - I agree! Great post today - looking forward to reading your grooming tips!!! What fun!

Chatty Crone said...

The pictures were so cute!

Angela said...

Hey Cat!

Such lovely pictures of your corgi's! Do you keep a photo album just for them full of those cute pictures? I sure would!

The ticks are already coming out here in West Virginia! Gotta get that Frontline on them tonight when my husband gets home from work.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photo tips. I will try them on Charli. Your photos are wonderful.

Susan said...

What a beautiful photo! It made me smile!!! Celeste looks alot like the last corgi pictured... are they related?

Judy took some great photos of Bear today==she is very patient! Will send some Celeste photos soon!

MC said...

What a sweet picture!!

Anonymous said...

That little line of corgis really made me smile on this dull wet day. Wonderful!

Susan said...

Oh heavens! That first photo is SO darling!! And the second picture is often how my pet photo shoots turn out!