Crufts Super Stars 2016

Crufts 2016 has just finished. Although I was unable to attend this year I watched as much of the coverage on Channel 4 as possible. The Agility Finals on Sunday were particularly exciting.  My ambition is to one day qualify in agility to compete there. Its is always good to have a dream…..

As you know my true passion is photographing dogs, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy photographing other subjects I do, but from as far back as I can remember having a dog of my own was a dream. I now have three! I am lucky to be able to combine my love of dogs and photography together.

So I am thrilled to be able to say along my journey of dog photography I have captured a few of the winners at this years Crufts!

The first ever commissioned job I had was photographing a litter of Border Collies in 2009. Nothing like a challenge. Eight feisty pups all eager to do everything but what we wanted them to do!  We had to resort to having them held for individual pictures. Who would have thought that I would be photographing a superstar!

Congratulations to this beautiful girl Scandal.

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Open Large Agility Winner 2016 to add to her numerous outstanding awards.

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Scandal with her Litter siblings 2009, boy did we have fun getting this shot. I wonder what the other pups have got up to?

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Those of you that follow my blog know that I recently got two Mini American Shepherds.

Earlier in the year the breeder  of my dogs and her friend came to see me to get some photos done in the Studio. It was quite a crazy session with all three dogs. They are a breed I have never captured before and certainly a breed that would win my heart over. The Lagotto Romagnolo.

The name of the breed reveals its origins; the expansive marshes of the Romagne district of Italy, where Lagotto (Italian dialect for curly coated duck retriever) were valued for their ability to retrieve ducks from water. The draining of the marshes in the early 1900s led to the decline of duck hunting and there was less demand for dogs to work to their traditional purpose. However, an alternative use was soon found for him: his natural scenting ability made him ideal as a truffle hunter and in his native land that is now seen as his primary purpose. – See more at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=2158
The breed gained KC recognition last year with Crufts 2016 being the very first time they were able to be shown in their own class and go for the group.
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I had no idea that the dogs had qualified for Crufts. So hugely impressed when I found out that Mum on the right won the Veteran Bitch Class at 12 years of age!

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Doesn’t she look well for her age!  Almost puppy like here.
Her Grandaugher, (below & right in group above) the puppy  for the breed. You don’t get much cuter than this!
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A huge congratulations to their owner.
Finally I had the pleasure of doing some photography at Devon Dogs at the end of January (Blog to follow soon) and got to meet and photograph this gorgeous Cocker  and her owner Tash Poddubecki. They had a great time at Crufts and came first in the Medium Final Jumping.. so well done to them.
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That concludes my claim to meeting up and photographing doggy superstars!  Thank you for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotgraphy.co.uk
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Gold Award

Really excited to have achieved a Gold Award this month in the Societies Monthly International Competition. Such a happy little dog and we had great fun in the studio getting her to stay in the basket and also get the head tilt.

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She came with a couple of her collie friends and the image I entered into the Monochrome category got a Highly Commended.

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Dogs Today Magazine

The new year has got off to a good start for me with the Awards at the guild and some press coverage with the Oxford Times, Witney Gazette and Oxford mail.

I have also been fortunate to have had some more images published in Dogs Today Magazine in “The Best Dog Photographs in the world” section.

I have got a little behind with my blogs as I have been away doing some dog training. So thought I would do a little catch up here for January and February.

January 2016

January 2016 cover

 

Love the front cover on this months edition. I have a real soft spot for Lurchers. Up until recently I have always had one, always rescues and have loved each of them. They are such lovely natured dogs and don’t need the exercise that everyone thinks they do. They make great pet dogs.

Some great issues addressed this month, Puzzle the Muzzle, Aiding homeless, raising awareness with the missing dog calendar and much more.

The image published for me this month was taken on the Ridgeway whilst out on a walk. The little dog is a cross breed terrier, very very sweet and it was definitely the ears that did it for me on this one!

January 2016

Often the owners don’t want to be in the image, but this is a good compromise. It gives the sense of closeness with the owner but with the focus on the dog.

February 2016

Feb 2016 cover

A Valentines theme for this edition..some great images in this magazine. The magazine had an image of a dog with a Red heart balloon and that inspired me to do a few images of my dogs with a similar theme and also had someone book a session to get the same.

Another image for me in the  “The Best Dog Photographs in the world” section. This time one in keeping with the weather we have been having recently. I like most dog owners at present are fed up of the rain, puddles and mud… nothing like a good shake to get dry!

Feb 2016

The Magazine has some great articles, New life for lab Beagles, Recovering Greyhounds and the dog crush this month is all about Labradoodles.

Thanks for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

 

Awarded Photographers Bar

As some of you that follow my blog or Facebook page will know that on Saturday 6th February I headed off to the Guild of Photographers Annual Award dinner. Held at the magnificent Crew Hall in Crewe. It was my first time as I only joined the Guild at the beginning of 2015. A lovely setting for a Black tie event, lovely food, a great way to catch up with fellow photographers and very well organised.

I was thrilled to gain two awards on the night from the highly respected Guild of Photographers.

I was awarded membership of the Guild’s ‘Photographer’s Bar’ & Top 20 Photographer of the Year in the Open Category.

The Photographers Bar

The Photographers Bar is a distinction that is very difficult to achieve, as it recognises an exceptional level of professional skill in photography. Fewer than 100 other photographers have achieved the Photographers Bar in the three years since its inception. During this time, over 30,000 images have been entered for assessment by photographers across the UK and from overseas.

Submitting and having images assessed every month for a year and reaching the required standards to become a member of the Photographers Bar is very, very demanding.

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The Awards were presented by Lesley Thirsk, Director of the Guild of Photographers

I was also given an award for being in the ‘Top 20 Photographers of the Year’ in the Guild’s Open category, coming in 14th position. This was secured as a result of the high judging scores achieved for my pet portraits in the Guild’s monthly competitions throughout 2015.  The Open category includes the follow genres so is a big category to do well in.  Pets, Sport, Wildlife, Nature, Macro, Landscape, Fashion, Digital Art and more.

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All the images I submitted into the Open Category were Dog Portraits, which is the side of the business I am very passionate about. So was thrilled to have my work recognised.

I had two images short listed in the top 10 images for Pet Photographer of the year but unfortunately was not the winner this year.  Its always good to have a goal to work toward!  I will be chasing that title this year!

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Here are a few more of the images that I entered this year.

Thank you for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

More Publications in Dogs Today

I was fortunate enough to be featured yet again in Dogs Today Magazines October, November and December editions.

October

Dogs Today October Front 2015

Octobers edition yet again full of interesting articles and featured an image of my Mini American Shepherd in The best dog photographers in the World section. The image was taken in a local bluebell wood. I had a gap between client shoots so decided to have a play with my dogs. Buzz is training to be an agility dog so this image of him jumping is great. However, getting him at to stay and wait while I got to the other side of the log and on the floor took a little bit of doing!

Dogs Today October 2015 image

I particularly like the articles they do on breeds, the October issue was all about Corgis. Some great info on the breed and some lovely images too.

November

November Cover 2015

Now that’s a cute pup on the font cover!  Who could resist him?

This months magazine published an image of my Working Sheep dog. Take on a lazy summers evening. She just loves jumping up on the hay bales.

November 2015 image

The Dog Crush article in this magazine was all about the Newfoundland.  They give you facts about the breed. For cleanliness apparently 75% of their respondents said if you cant stand the dribble then you are not a proper Newfie owner and they apparently shed a lot of hair and they are huge dogs! Probably not the dog for me based on that information.

December

December 2015 Cover

Now this cover was a definite eye catcher for me. Not only because of those stunning blue eyes but because its another Mini American Shepherd and a very handsome one at that!

This issue published an image very dear to me indeed. It is an image I have in a 30″ frame on my wall. I just love having large images. This gorgeous lurcher is sadly no longer with me. The image was taken on my very first digital SLR camera. I love the softness of the daisy’s and the rim lighting of the evening sun on her.  When you loose a dog its like loosing one of the family and a big gap is left.  We miss her but at least get to see her every day.

Decmeber 2015 image

The step by step guide in this months magazine had an interesting article on Food etiquette. Some sound advice.

Thank you for reading my post. If you are interested in booking a shoot then please look at my website. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

A Trip to the Vets

As an animal owner a trip to the vets is not normally something that I look forward to because it usually means that there is something wrong with one of my dogs. However, this time it was very exciting! I had been invited to go along to Cherrydown Vets in Basildon, Essex to spend the day taking photographs to be used for their new brochure and website.

Having had pets for many years I have been a customer at many vets and would highly recommend Cherrydown to any one that lives in the surrounding areas. It’s a big, bright, clean and friendly practice and the staff really care about your furry friend(s).

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Cherrydown is led by Director Jonathan Nurse and he is backed by a dedicated team of vets and nursing staff. In fact they were winners of The Good Vet Guide, Vet of the Year in 2014!

I had a great time meeting all the lovely characters that arrived for appointments thought the day. This two were just adorable. Not to mention the cuddly Cockerpoo puppy featured above, he was not lacking in volunteers for cuddles!

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All the animals regardless of if they were waiting for an operation out the back or waiting for a consultation in the waiting room were happy and relaxed.

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Cherrydown guarantee to be there for you 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. Staff are on site to care for your pets, so it’s 24/7 at Cherrydown.  This care is not offered by all vets. Its is very comforting knowing that there is someone with your pet all the time. The staff take the time to greet the owner and pets and it was lovely to see that after operations the nurses were giving advise to each owner on how to care for them at home.

I was lucky enough to be invited to take images during some of the operations. I even got to gown up!  Obviously this was important as hygiene in the operating rooms is very key.

Working in low light conditions was a challenge, no flash was used for any of the images. This may have frightened some of the pets and would have been very distracting for the vets. I also spent quite a lot of time stood on chairs to get an elevated view of what was going on.

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Operation

Advice on all types of pet care and health is freely available in a friendly environment and there is plenty of room to allow separate areas for Cats and Dogs. I always feel sorry for the cats going into small surgeries that have dogs staring at them in their cat baskets!

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Another advantage is there is an outside area for a leg stretch of for doing the things that often need to be done and relaxation.

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A busy and enjoyable day and as you can see the images were put to good use. The brochure really nice and full of useful information for existing and new clients.

I would like to thank Cherrydown for allowing me to share what they do with you.

Thank you for reading my post… www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

 

 

 

Happy New Year…..

Happy New Year to you all. It’s always scary when I have to make a New Year folder for the next 12 months of photographic sessions not to mention those that I take for myself.

There are some exciting things coming up for Mel Taylor Photography but will be saving those gems for later in the month…

The camera’s have spent Xmas away getting cleaned for the New Year and I hope to collect then early this week as new bookings have already started to come in for January.

Typically January is a quiet month for photographers but for those like me that have children, not much gets done in the Xmas holidays so I always have a backlog to catch up on and the dreaded “Tax return” that I am sure will be highlighted on local radio every 5 mins for the next 30 days…. yes I know the cut off is 31st January!

I had a very busy 2015 and was thrilled to be published in Dogs Today magazine in the Best Dog Photographs in the world section.  As I had not realised that was happening I have got behind with sharing so I thought I would take this opportunity to catch up.

Its a really good Dog magazine and I can recommend it for a good read with many interesting articles.

October 2015

October 2015 cover

The image in this one is of Buzz, my Mini American Shepherd. He would have been around 7 months in this image.

The bluebell woods make a wonderful place for images. You can never quite plan shoots for them as depending on the weather they appear at different times and catching them at their best is always tricky.

Action shots can be quite difficult too, especially in wooded areas where the light might be poor. The Bluebells were early in 2015 and so the leaves on the trees were not completely out giving a much better quality of light in the woods.

Getting this image took a little while as I was on my own, with my other dog too. So getting Buzz to sit and wait the other side of the log while walked to the other side and got down on the floor for the low level perspective was not so easy! A few attempts were needed. Wait is not his one of his strengths and  at his age with many distractions around him it was a bigger challenge. Not to mention that he has a mind of his own!  My agility coach will vouch for that one!  But we got there and Butter wouldn’t melt!

Dogs Today October 2015 image

Thank you for reading my post http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk