I loved this mix breed puppy, Zoey! She had a beautiful face with big, dark eyes and a soft expression. When Zoey enters a room, you cannot help but fall in love.
But Zoey isn't the type of puppy you want to run up to or get in her face. You see, Zoey is shy. But lucky for her, I'm pretty good with shy puppies. I've had years of experience working with puppies who tend to be anxious or unsure about their new surroundings. One of my most shy puppies was my own Great Dane girl.
Zoey walked in to the studio, a little cautious. She did not show any signs of fear. Instead, she just moved slowly, staying close to her Human and watching everything around her. I knew immediately that my impulse to get close to Zoey and pet her would not be well received. So I kept myself away from her and tossed her bits of delicious cheese. Slowly but surely, Zoey came out of her shell to sniff out, and eat, the cheese trail.
Eventually, Zoey was ready to make portraits. Her shy puppy personality was still there, but her confidence was increasing by the minute.
I took my time with every portrait image I made of Zoey. She and I spent plenty of time between making images to engage in quiet play. I always let Zoey tell me when she was finished with me. And I was always prepared to back off and not force her into anything that may cause stress.
By creating a safe environment for Zoey, I was able to drastically increase her confidence in herself. But also, this shy puppy was able to trust me and give me the behavior I asked for during the session.
Zoey's time in front of the camera did not last as long as many of my dog portrait sessions. It was more important to me that Zoey be comfortable than that I get the perfect shot. Besides, I happen to be pretty confident in my camera work, myself. And I knew I could get what I needed from her in a short amount of time.
Zoey proved she was more than just a shy puppy. When Zoey came back with Tracey, her Human, to view the images, Zoey pranced right into my studio, as though she lived here! What's more is Zoey LOVED sitting with me. Gone was the shy puppy who preferred me at a distance. Instead I was greeted by a confident girl who wanted to snuggle with me and play.
Tracey has already booked a second session for Zoey. This time, I'll be photographing Zoey's doggy siblings along with her!