Dashing Dash

Was it only four months ago that I shared some images of my lovely new Mini American Shepherd – Dash… how did he grow so quickly… cruel how we are cheated so quickly from all that gorgeous puppy awesomeness!

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As puppies go he has been a star. Only a little whimper for the first few night and very quickly house trained. He has become best buddies with my other Shepherd, Buzz and even Maya my collie likes him a little. Buzz is still trying to gain her affections but doesn’t realise that trying to plant kisses on her every morning will not win her over!

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Dash is not backwards at coming forward, he enjoyed his two puppy socialisation classes where we realised that bouncy puppies are not something that he is keen on and he can have a little temper when confronted by bounciness! Can’t say I would be too happy if a stranger came running up to me and started jumping all over me.

We have gone through the weird ear phase but they have now settled down but he has had a few different looks.

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He has been a joy to train and once we get over the initial excitement that training involves food, and food is something that Dash is very keen on and is very vocal about letting me know this at feed time!

We have already started our agility training. Lots of fun games at the moment and just working with poles on the ground and learning our left from right and he has a fantastic wait which will be a great help once we start competing.

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Apart from his agility he loves to snooze, more so now that the weather has turned wet and nasty. Getting up in the morning is hard, we would rather snuggle into Maya’s bed than go out for a walk and getting our feet wet is not something we like to do and will avoid going out to do what little pups need to do until physically taken!  He will then tiptoe around and walk like John Wayne!

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So we continue our journey together learning new things every day, having lots of kisses and cuddles and he has grown into quite a Dashing young fella.

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

 

 

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1st Birthday

Today Buzz turned one… where that year has gone I don’t know.

Such a small dog but he has so much character and is such a happy boy. digital photographer_0076

After loosing my beloved Flynn last August I pondered whether to get another dog but having always had two or three dogs it seemed strange just having the one and Maya seemed a bit lonely. I stumbled across this breed via an agility friend who has one of his half sisters. I had seen picture so her and just thought she was a nice small collie. I had never heard of the Mini American Shepherd before.. I got the breeders details and it led me to another breeder Fran of http://www.basileas-minis.com

I fell in love with him the minute I saw him on the breeders website, but thought that all the pups would have gone. I was lucky, she had just been let down and Buzz was available so I arranged to visit… one glance from his little foxy face and there was no going back for me and he has given me so much enjoyment in the past year and I can’t thank Fran enough for letting me have him.

We are working hard on our agility and we are hoping to start competing in the spring 2016…

digital photographer_0078It’s hard being the puppy in the house with the big bad wolf….. please play with me…………

ZX7A4170Early morning walks in the Autumn.

ZX7A4986First Christmas

ZX7A0370Not the baby any more… I got a playmate!!!!

ZX7A0045AChilling out……

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

Paws in the Park Event….

I have been having a lovely time just recently with my Pet Portrait Promotion in the bluebells and am always on the look out for interesting dog events and shows. Not that I have much time with the photography and my agility competitions.

Elston Vets_0021Anyway for you dog lovers out there, there is an event on the Saturday 18th July 2015, that may be of interested of you. A lovely walk around the grounds of St Giles Park, on the Shaftesbury Estate which is not normally possible and raise some money for a good cause. The Worldwide Veterinary Service which is a registered UK charity whose emphasis is on providing a sustainable veterinary resource to help animal organisations around the world.

Elston Vets_0018There are lots of other things to do, a dog show, kids area, displays and trade-stands. Take a look at their website for full details and information. http://www.pawsinpark.org/home

If you are interested in a Pet Portrait session, I currently have an offer running for May, please look at my offers page on my website http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk. Fathers day is just around the corner so maybe if Dad loves his dog that would be a great gift for him!

Thank you for reading my post and if you go the event.. have a great day!

Mel Taylor LSWPP and QGPP

Putting things off until tomorrow is easily done. We all have busy lives and I am sure all of you have had good intentions to get things ticked off your must do list and still have not got round to it! I think two years ago I had this good intention to apply for Photography Qualifications. However, I got busy looking after the family, working, continually improving my skill and knowledge base to insure my images are of a good quality.

This year I figured enough was enough it was something that must be done and that applying for my first qualification was a good way to mark of my achievements and assure my customers and potential customers that the quality of my images are deemed off a good professional standard by the Fellow’s of the photographic societies that I belong to. There are a lot of photographers for customers to choose from these days in this digital age. So I wanted to assure my customers that I was a good choice for them, not only because they like my style but because my images are of a high consistent quality.

So at last I selected a panel of images and decided to use Dog Portraiture as my theme as this is one of the areas of photography that I am most passionate about.  My 20 images were submitted to the SWPP (The Societies), for my licentiate, the images are reviewed by a panel of four Fellow’s of the Society and I am glad to say that I passed with Flying colours!

digital photographer_0092I have also been awarded Qualified Status with the Guild of Photographers.

I am now planning the submission for my next qualification, but want to shoot new images for it over the summer months.

Thanks for reading my post and if you would like to see more images please go to www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

Highly Commended Images

The Societies, run a mothly image competition which photographers from all over the world enter trying to get the highest Gold Award. These images are then put forward for consideration for Photogapher of the Year, where the winners are announced at the European Photographic Convention held in London in January.

You are permitted to enter one image per category each month.

January 2015 entries have been judged and I gained Highly Commended for two images. These images will be re-reviewed at the end of the year but further judges an may be upgraded to Gold.

The first image was in the Pet Portrait Category.

 

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The second image was in the Wedding Photojournalistic category. This is the first time I have entered this category so was pleased with the result.

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To celebrate success in these competitions I have decided that for  my 2015 entries I will provide my clients with a Complimentary Mounted Print at 8″x6″ or 9″x6″ for any images that gain a Highly Commended and a 12″x8″ or 10″x 8″ mounted print for those that get awarded Gold.  A small thank you for allowing me to use the image.

A Portrait of my dog….

I have always been in love with this coat colouring and Collies as a breed. My first ever puppy, Tag was a Blue Merle Collie, a very sweet boy, followed me around like a Lamb, cried like a baby at night but contracted Parvovirus and sadly died 11 days after I had got him. The friend who I had got him from very kindly gave me his Mum as she was no longer being worked at the farm. Blue, surprise, surprise, another Blue Merle. She was a darling. Could not have asked for a sweeter, more obedient companion. She lived a great life and holds a very firm place in my heart.

Did you know that Merle is a pattern in a dogs coat, though is commonly incorrectly referred to as a colour.  The merle gene creates mottled patches of color in a solid piebald coat, blue or odd coloured eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well.

I now have another Blue Merle. Maya. She was 5 yrs this month. It seems ages ago that she was just a little pup. I wanted another Collie to do Agility with and the same friend I got Blue from had their bitch in pup to the Blue Merle dog they had. Working sheep dogs. That was it… I wanted on… but it had to be a girl and it had to be a Blue Merle… luckily on the 11th January 2009, Maya was born and two days later I was across to see her. There were no hard decisions. She was the only Blue girl.

Blue Merle Puppy

There was no going back. I fell in love and she was mine. The following weeks passed slowly but we had regular visits to watch her grow. She got nicknamed Stumpy as she had a very short tail and was rather plumb to say the least.

Blue Merle Collie PuppyI took her home at 7 weeks olds and she was greeted by the Big Bad Wolf..

Fighting Collie dog and puppy

However, what goes around comes around! She soon learned how to look after herself! She is definitely the top dog in the house now!

Playing Collies

She loves agility more than anything else and we are trained by the wonderful Jo Fraser. We have grown together in over the last three years. We started puppy with training with Jo and so far she has helped us move up to Grade 3, as you can see below she showed an interest in jumping from an early age!

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I doubt we will ever join the Elite Competitors who sit at Grade 7, but we will have fun trying. Unfortunately, last season we did very little due to my broken foot in April and Mayas leg injury later in the year. Hopefully we can both gain full fitness and maintain it for the coming season. I would like to climb to at least the next grade in 2014.  The competition is fierce with usually 200-300 dogs per class at Kennel Club events.

For those of you who don’t know what Dog agility is, it is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off the lead with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can not touch neither dog nor obstacles. Consequently the handler’s controls are limited to voice, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

This image was taking during a training session. Sadly I have not yet learnt the art of running her in a competition and taking images of us at the same time!

Tyre Jump

Apart from Agility training, we love to walk and look for and photograph wildlife. Maya and her companion Flynn are the subjects of many of my images. I was delighted in 2013 to be shortlisted with an image I had taken of Maya in the Hamdan International Photography Award and I also had my image published in their book,  The Beauty of Light, and displayed at the Royal Geographical Society in London at their exhibition. I also gained two Gold Awards with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers in 2013 with images that I had taken of Maya.

Maya is without doubt my most patient Model, there are not many places that she will not stand, sit or lie down for me and will stay until she is asked to move. Below are two examples location portraits of her.

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To celebrate her 5th birthday this week she had a play in the Studio today. I love the Pet Portrait side of my business and offer both location and Studio sessions.

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Please refer to my website for further details. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk or call me on 01235 763359 if you are interested in booking a session.