Monday, July 19, 2010

Secret's "First Job" (more or less)

Yesterday the dogs and I traveled to Stockholm, WI to photographer Barbara O'Brien's farm for a photo shoot. Not an audition, but a real, live, honest-to-goodness job. :o) Well, more or less. This particular photo shoot had zero budget and the models were not getting paid, but we were given a lovely gift of our choice of one of the collars or leads being used at the shoot.

The collar I chose for Secret didn't even end up being shot, which is a darn shame, because I think it's absolutely gorgeous! It stuck out to me the moment I saw it, so I kept a watchful eye on it all day (leaving it in case they wanted to use it) and snagged it towards the end of the day. Secret would have modeled it nicely for them, but they didn't seem all that interested in photographing the collars. The focus of the day seemed to be on the agility slip leads.

Truthfully, I am completely baffled by the whole experience. It was far more disorganized than I expected. The owner had lots & lots of leads strewn about a picnic table and several people picked out whatever they wanted their dogs to wear in the shoot. Nobody really kept track of anything and several items were used for more than one dog. The shots themselves seemed to be more of the "artsy" variety than of a "showcase the product" variety. I think she's looking for shots to use on her web site as filler and not necessarily product representation.

Secret's big shot came and went when she failed the, "Will your dog tug the leash" test. lol Everyone thought that surely the Border Collie would tug the leash. Well, no. I got her to put her mouth on it a couple of times but she showed no interest in tugging -- So the wild-eyed Australian Shepherd gladly took that job. Luke would have loved to have stepped up to the plate, but alas, again nobody wants a solid black dog.

The above-mentioned "artsy" shots meant that there was to be no pretty posing, as my dogs tend to be so good at doing. The first shot we took was from above. The model stood and held the leash and I had to stand outside of camera and get Secret to pull forward towards me. She did very well at this part and stood very nicely for the shot.

The second shot was of the model & Secret walking towards the camera, again with a tight leash to show off the product. They were walking at a snails pace, which immediately threw Secret off. Her default was to spin or stop. If she did pull, she pulled fairly sharply off to the side and most of the time with her ears back. Hopefully they got something decent out of it.

Kaiser had the same series of shots and he did remarkably well for his first time working with a model. She didn't try to touch him, so that made him happy. The model did try to touch Secret to manhandle her into position once, and Secret lost all confidence in her at that point.

We were one of the first people to the farm, so we were also one of the first to be done. They asked us to stick around if we were available, in case they needed any other shots. Well, they ended up having an over-abundance of dogs in attendance and barely managed to get through everyone before the light went away. So in essence, we stayed several hours longer than necessary for no real reason.

But we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Barbara's place is a beautiful farm. It was a fantastic experience for Secret. For the first time, she got to see goats, sheep, chickens, cats & horses! Her general attitude was disinterest, uneasiness and a bit of fear. She thought that finding poop in the grass was more interesting than sniffing at the goats who all came up to the fence to investigate her. I sure do wonder if she would show more interest if turned loose in a pen with them. Well, maybe not goats -- They were hard-headed little things that kept butting at the fence when the dogs were there, so goats might not be a good introduction for her. lol

She showed the most interest in the chickens who were wandering freely about. There was one that she managed to circle around (on her flexi) a couple of times before the chicken ran off squawking. I don't know that Secret has ever seen a cat before, but Barbara has especially brave (and friendly) cats. One went strutting past Secret without a care in the world and stood there calmly as Secret sniffed it all over. She whined and then it walked away -- It's probably better that she met that particular cat vs. the one who swatted at Kaiser later in the day!

We ended up not leaving the farm until 8:30 p.m.! I felt horrible that I had not packed dinner for the dogs, but they did receive several treats throughout the day. We stopped for gas in Winona and Secret took my spot in the driver's seat while I went inside. She was zonked out cold when I returned and was reluctant to return to the back seat. Instead, she decided it would be easier to heave herself over to the passenger side -- and there she stayed for the remainder of the trip home!

We got home around 10:30 p.m. and nobody had forgotten that they had not received their dinner. I stayed up with them a bit longer to allow for one more potty break before bed -- Secret decided to make another dent on one of her deer antlers for a bit before she crashed on the couch. I practically had to drag her off to get her to go outside a bit later. She was so tired!

It's been a very quiet day at work, indeed!


  1. What site will the pics be on?

  2. I expect there to be a gallery on the photographer's web site soon, but nothing yet:

    It would appear that a web site doesn't yet exist for the collars/leashes themselves. She has a facebook page under "Collars 'n' Such," but the shoot was for "Chuckle Pup Dog Gear." It's a new business and she must have just picked the new name and now needs to create the web site.

    If/once pictures are posted on Barbara's site, I will download them and post them here.