READY!!!!!!!!! You could feel excitement in the air! I was watching happy dogs and happy owners! That's how my husband, three of our dogs and I spent this past weekend. I was fortunate enough to be offered the job to shoot the "Fun Canine Sports Weekend" in Bluffton, SC. at the astonishing Rose Dhu Creek Equestrian Center.
Oh, did I say fortunate? What a huge understatement, yet certainly true! As a photographer I take pictures to make money, just like anyone else, I go to work, I do my best. Sometimes the extra benefits are worth much more than any money can buy.
This weekend was so much fun to see all of the dogs and the owners give the name of the event real meaning! There was Agility for the beginner and experienced, the "Parade of Breeds", Frisbee demos, Freestyle Dance, Obedience and Rally presentations, rescue booths with info and much, much more. All the rage among the food was the wonderful creamy chicken salad sandwiches filled with grapes and nuts! Yummy!
I spent my time on Saturday mostly shooting the Agility, but occasionally getting the portrait shot in. A lot of time on my knees, up and down and getting the right spot (thank goodness for good kneepads!) This was my first opportunity at shooting Agility, so it was a true new experience for me (a HUGE thanks to Windi for her ideas and suggestions!)
Sunday was a lot more portrait and candid shooting, and admittedly a good bit of time I took for selfish reasons. One of the other offerings was CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Testing. It is a very basic 'title' for your dog, but certainly one that should not be underrated, as it proves your dog is a social and well behaved animal. The CGC title says he can be around other people, other dogs, noises, etc. and still be a Good Dog listening to his owner without distraction. I took my German Shepherd over and got him through it so he now has his CGC, I am thrilled that he has his first title!
I met wonderful people and gorgeous dogs. I learned the difference between breeds that look very similar, and I found information on a few more breeds I wasn't aware of previously. I had help to remain calm when Rock kept getting up from his sit/stay, and I'd like to think some of the advice I gave was taken well too. I am really looking forward to next year where I expect it will be an even larger event.
Dog people are a strange bunch. We love our guys and gals immensely. It is an incredible bond only another dog person can understand, it shows in the way we look at them, the way we are so happy when they complete a task, when they just do the most simple thing, and sometimes when they do nothing at all but lay quietly at our feet or give us those wonderful sloppy kisses. I hope that shows in my photography too.
The benefits to just being at an event like this is incredible. To shoot pictures? Priceless.