When I posted the Halloween photo of Boomer and Brody last week I was inundated with questions about them once again. Mainly you guys wanted to know if they were brothers and how on earth I got them to be so good for photos. So, first let me direct you to a blogpost telling the whole story of this Golden Retriever Brotherhood, how they came together and the friendship that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. Now, for those asking about their camera skills, well, I’m happy to answer that question…It’s simply treats and time. Basically it’s been a lot of effort and we’ve been at it for five plus years, so it’s a cinch now, but that wasn’t so in the beginning.
First of all, I have to give a lot of credit to the camera I use for helping with this. Ever heard the theory about Pavlov’s Dog and the ringing bell? Well, my camera makes a beeping noise before it takes an image. The shutter also clicks. So there’s a lot of action coming from one spot. I trained them early to recognise the noise and to look towards it by giving them a treat after every beep, and I did so from behind the camera. Now, when the camera comes out they actually get excited because they know they will be rewarded two-fold – with treats and love from me. They absolutely adore the attention and love being in the “spotlight of love,” as I call it. However, nothing is that much fun for too long. As you will have seen from the video, the only thing they really don’t enjoy is me dressing them up. I can’t say I blame them. They know they look ridiculous. Those are the shoots I rush, so that they aren’t uncomfortable for long. It’s literally one to three shots and we’re done. When I’m in the shot with them, we can go all day. They eat up the attention.
Basically, every dog is different, but treats and positive attention can work miracles for most puppies. These days we truly do have so much fun doing it. When the camera and tripod come out they go crazy, as it means we are headed out on an adventure. It’s all about making it as fun as possible. If you do that, there’s no going wrong. Also, some of the best pictures end up being the ones you never intended to take. My favourites with both dogs have always been unexpected kisses or knocking over of precious breakables (whoops, sorry mom).
Now, let’s get on with what you really came here to see, the fifty best bits. These are fifty pictures of my two golden retrievers, from the very start. Unfortunately, we didn’t get Brody until they were both six months old, so the first few pictures are of Boomer as a puppy alone. The rest are dynamic duo in action. Enjoy! Oh, and that very first picture above is the first picture we have of these two characters together. Appropriate that they are snuggling like two long lost best friends.