I am learning to have absolutely everything ready when photographing animals.  Of course, I am always prepared for any photo shoot, but this principle is especially true when dealing with animals.  This photograph is an example of me not following my own rules.  Titled, “Give me some sugah,” the feedback on this image is that Toby looks grumpy. Quite the contrary.

Background story: Toby, and I went to the studio where I had all the props ready; hat, backdrop, camera, lights.  Once everything was set up, I went outside to cut some of the mistletoe that grows on the pinon trees on our property. Of course, it was December and I assumed that mistletoe would be abundant. I went outside…no mistletoe!  Walked for an hour around our five acres and finally found some at the front of the property at the top of a huge tree. Using a broom as a spear, I was finally able to knock some down.

Interesting factoid about mistletoe, thanks to my entomologist brother-in-law: the seeds of mistletoe are very sticky.  The seeds stick to the claws of birds and that’s how they get from tree to tree growing on the top branches. Anyway, I guess December is not the high season for mistletoe…at least not in Edgewood, NM.

By the time I returned to the studio the dogs were dead asleep snoring away.  I woke Toby up and he did some posing, but he was so sleepy he could barely keep his eyes open. And that’s how this photo end up with this mean looking glare.  Lesson learned: be prepared…photograph the dogs while they are fresh and active.

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