Fall is definitely here in the Milwaukee area as hat and mittens were donned for the dog walk this morning. My dog Ellie, a coonhound-lab mix, LOVES these cool, crisp mornings and gets a little skip in her 13 year old step as we approach the frosty days to come! This time of year also finds me busy as a Christmas elf as I photograph numerous families, kids and dogs in the fall scenery. This weekend was no exception! Today I share with you some images that touched me in some way. I think you’ll see why.
Is spite of 35-40 mph winds whipping the area on Saturday, I headed out with a favorite family to Hubbard Park. Hoping for some natural wind block down by the river, we knew the wind was still going to get us so we decided to ‘go with it.’ Dad tossed his daughter into the air and the very essence of that father/daughter relationship was captured. Sophia seems to fly as she laughs at the feeling of zero gravity. Here’s to all the dad’s that instill that sense of adventure into their daughters lives, teaching them that taking a risk can be fun. Taking a risk is always fun when you have the hands of your father to fall back into! I’m thankful for that gift from my own father, who told me that I could do anything I wanted to.
One of the other things that touches my heart is dogs and how they fill a special place in the lives of those who live with them. This family has an older Border Collie and recently got a new, younger model of the same breed. At 4 months, Finn is full of energy, but the 4 kids in his life have a way of dissipating that in him. As I attempted to get a shot of the 2 boys with Finn, I really wanted them to kiss the side of his face, simultaneously. A ‘canine take’ on an old theme. Instead, what I got would probably have been an edit-out to some photographers. Instead, I love how Finn’s timely blink gives the appearance of being in absolute heaven with his newfound brothers. Tell me – what do you think Finn would be thinking at this moment
Yesterday I moved onto Naga Waukee Park with another dog family. The one image mom was hoping for was her labs busting through the water after their ball. After coaching dad, the ball thrower, we took off our shoes and socks, rolled up our pant legs and headed into the cold water of Lake Nagawaukee. (was so glad to only have my legs in the water!) Dad got the ball toss down quickly and Triton, the ball-driven black lab, played right into my script.
Earlier, I had been photographing Triton’s brother, Zeus. On land, Zeus was all over the ball – sprinting after it and leaping into the air to grab it before Triton could get close. In the water, however, the opposite happened. Zeus lagged behind and seemed like a totally different dog. It made me think about how we all have aspects of our lives that we’re good at. While we have to work or practice to be better in certain areas or subjects, everyone has a strong point – an ace in their hand. Triton and Zeus remind me that even if I don’t readily see in other their strong assets, those assets are still there. Perhaps the right ball has not yet been tossed their way. Don’t forget to wait for it.
(Images of dogs in water made with Nikon D3S camera settings on Continuous High, Center-Weighted metering, and 11 frames per second at ISO 400, f 4, 1/2000.)