I first met Ian and Obie when they were still tiny, clumsy puppies. They have grown into two beautiful brothers, Golden Retriever x Labradors and I was so excited to finally photograph them professionally earlier this year at their Geelong Dog Photography Session. Read on for Ian and Obie's story . . .
"Pssssst! Caitie!" I could barely hear Danielle whisper to me above the loud laughter and wine-fuelled chatter of our big family Christmas dinner. I raised my eyebrows at her from across the table. She had a cheeky smirk on her face and bright, excited eyes that immediately aroused my curiosity. If I could choose three words to sum up my cousin it would probably be kind-hearted, gracious and generous. 'Cheeky' wouldn't normally come even close. She had a secret and boy! it must've been a good one.
We quietly snuck away from the table, dodging a tornado of giggling little cousins. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of Uncle John and my cousin Matt giving Johnny yet another tumbler of whiskey (oops). Danielle didn't say a word, just led me away to the back of the house and into the quiet garage.
They were adorable.
Two little puppies, fast asleep, just a jumble of big paws and little tails. They were totally oblivious to the happy craziness that is a McColl get together, oblivious to anything except the warmth of their bed and each other.
"This one is Obie," she patted the belly of the
chubbier cuddlier puppy. "He's Mum and Dad's puppy. And this one," she lifted him up with a huge, happy grin on her face. "This one is Ian. He's mine."
Fast forward three years to another family Christmas. Ian and Obie have become two of the most beloved, spoilt, happiest dogs in the world. Everybody adores them both - you can't help but smile at their goofy grins and hilarious antics (but they will win their way into your heart with their snuggly cuddles). Danielle and her siblings Matt and Rhiannah had organised a Ragamuffin Pet Photography gift voucher for their parents, Viv and John. We scheduled their session/play date for a warm Summer's evening in Geelong.
Normally I am super excited for my pet photography sessions. But on this day, I was sick with nerves that I hadn't felt for years. Unlike most photographers, when I launched my business in 2011 I didn't use the pets of my friends and family to build my portfolio.
When I'm behind the camera, I feel like become a different person. More confident, more energetic, more assertive. To be honest, I feel like that photographer is the real me and sometimes I just don't have the guts to be that person when I'm not in photography mode. Clearly, it's the reason I've always been so sure that this was the right career path for me.
Anyway, my point is that Photographer-Caitlin has never really met Family-Caitlin (hence not using family to build my portfolio). Family-Caitlin would never tell her Uncle John to sit up a little straighter, never in a million years. I feared that I had a particularly awkward evening ahead of me!
Well, I had worried myself over nothing (gee, that's unusual *rolls eyes at self*). The Sgarbis were awesome to photograph and I had so much fun! We laughed as the boys chased bubbles, splashed through the pond, wrestled in mud, raced through the long grass and then finally, as the sun started to set, cuddled into their family with a happy exhaustion.
Scroll down to check out some of my favourite dog photographs from our afternoon together. These two brothers can be tricky to tell apart in some of their photographs - watch out for the ridge on Obie's nose!
Thank you so much to the Sgarbi family. Usually I would use this space to thank you for your business or for being a lovely client or for allowing me to get to know your family. Well, you already know how humbled and grateful I am for your support of Ragamuffin. You already know that I think you're lovely and obviously I knew your family long before our session. So let me take this moment to say something that I'm not sure I've ever actually said to you.
Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for being you. You have such incredibly kind hearts, I doubt that there is a single mean bone in your bodies. All my life I have looked up to Danielle and Viv and hoped that one day I could grow up to be like you. When I find myself feeling selfish or sarcastic, I think of you and your beautiful good natures. I have always felt so very safe and happy at your place - the moment I walk through your door there is a weight that lifts from my shoulders. With all the different houses my family has lived in throughout my childhood, visiting you has always felt like we were coming home and I will forever be grateful for that.
I love you all so, so, so much.
Geelong Dog Photography ~ Album Proof