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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Thank you 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

Dogs Today – September 2015 edition

Well I am going to have to subscribe to the magazine as I have been fortunate to have another of my images published in the Best Dog Photographs in the World section… have had a look at all editions and I have been lucky to have one in each copy up to the most recent December edition. I will post the details of those at another time.

September 2015 CoverI have really got into the magazine too, there are lots of great articles to read. Lots of breed information, problem guidance and training tips and also many informative stories. If you like dogs then it’s definitely worth picking up a copy.

The image in the September edition is of Flynn aged 12 yrs, a rescue dog from Charney Kennels who is sadly no longer with me. He got me interested in Agility and we learnt together. Those of you that have loved and lost a dog will know the pain and the gap it leaves. He was a very faithful boy and we miss him lots.

The image was taken in the poppies at the Folly Tower in Faringdon. I am fortunate enough to have many nice images of him to choose from and this one will definitely find a space on the wall. It was an image I also used as part of my licentiate Qualification panel with the Societies.

I would like to thank Jackie A for finding him in Dogs Today and letting me know he was there as I had no idea it was being published.

September 2015

Thank you for reading my blog.

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.

 

 

 

 

National Puppy Day – 23rd March

Yesterday was National Puppy Day and #nationalpuppyday has been trending on twitter in the USA.

National Puppy DayWhat is National Puppy Day all about.. seems like a good reason to have a holiday to me!

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Collen Paige who was also the founder of National Dog Day and National cat day. It has trended on twitter for the last three years.  It’s a day to celebrate the love that puppies bring to our lives but most of all to help save orphaned puppies across and the way that they are often mistreated and kept in puppy mills in the USA. Puppy Mills are large commercial organisations that operate for profit over the welfare of the puppies.

digital photographer_0079Not all puppies like the ones above are lucky enough to have good breeders and end in good homes, many are very poorly treated and neglected and end up in dogs homes because the owners did not think of the commitment and cost before buying.  The kennel club provide some useful information on purchasing a puppy. http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/

Puppies are full of life and energy and take up a lot of time if looked after properly in the first few months.  They give unconditional love. It’s a shame that some many are not given the same respect by humans.

digital photographer_0080A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours. ~Author Unknown

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