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4.12.2009

Elsa & Jeff + 8...and I'm not talking about kids...

I shot a special wedding at the end of last summer... one of the most unique to date. It was that of Elsa & Jeff. We weren't able to fit in an engagement session BEFORE the wedding, so we agreed that I'd come back out to their home outside of Excello in the spring for a post-wedding couple shoot.

Two months ago, Elsa told me that they instead wanted me to shoot their family...more specifically...their dogs. :) And they had FIVE of them. I was very excited for this challenge, but I knew that four-legged friends could indeed be handfuls, so I brought along my trusted assistant Ashley Clarke. When we got there, there was a surprise.

Elsa & Jeff's family had grown. By three. So there were now EIGHT dogs!!!

First up, meet 7-year-old Tug. She is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. And she was super cool.
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She was well-trained...and came when she was called. Flapping ears and all...
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and how beautiful and majestic does she look here?
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And check out her beautiful chestnut color... photo taken by Ashley.
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She has a special place in Jeff's heart... :)
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And then there is Elsa's little ham of a dog. Rooster... he is a Vizsla and is charming and rowdy at the age of 4.
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Love how mature he looks here. :)
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OH the things dogs will do for a piece of hot dog.
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I should say here that most of E&J's dogs are trained (or in the process of being trained) for hunting. BUT, in these next pictures, the pigeon was never in harm's way. They merely used the bird for training purposes. And I found it cute.

Rooster likes pigeons, too.
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I bet this is that bird's first kiss...
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The third canine...a German Shorthaired Pointer who is 7... is Gator. I like Gator's smile. ;)
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The eldest of the E&J clan is Rocks. She is an 8-year-old English Pointer. Elsa & Jeff almost lost her not too long ago after a run-in with an infection that came from inhaling a grass seed. She has stitches up and down her belly. She's a trooper!
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This photo makes me laugh. It's not super stellar in any sense other than the expression on Rocks' face. Elsa & Jeff are laughing...and she looks not quite as entertained.
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Her lack of amusement might have been because we kept saying "Birds!" to get her excited. And finally, she said, "Forget you guys, I'm going to find a REAL one."
She came close. She found a nest. Check out her form....she stayed like this until E&J said she could move. That's COOl.

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Ashley's beautiful catch... Rocks looks so noble.
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And check this out... Rooster, Rocks and Gator can jump.
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Next up is their 6-year-old rescue mutt, Scooter. Scooter is a motley lil' guy...and his underbite is quite endearing...don'tcha think?

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Ashley's tongue pic.
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And I mentioned the three new dogs, right? Here is one of them...Clementine. By Ashley.
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But it was the two youngest, also beagles... that I couldn't get enough of. They were tricky devils to catch though because being untrained and puppies, they were hard to get in focus.

This is Goose. Named by the surrogate owner...one of E&J's nephews.
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And Piper. She also answers to Puppy if said a few times in succession.
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What a sweet moment when Ashley met Goose on his level.
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A ball fell beneath the steps, and Clementine wasn't having that. So she tried to get it...from the oddest way possible.
My view:
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My view of Ashley's view:
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And Ashley's view:
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Oh my...how this makes me sigh.
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TEAMWORK!!! (by Ashley)
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PRECIOUS PUPPY PIPER!!! Say that three times fast!
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One of my favorite shots of the day...caught by Ashley!! It looks like Piper was about to do something she shouldn't... like jump off the edge.
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GOOOOOOSEEEE!! His look of terror is sooo darn cute.
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And I think the term "puppy dog eyes" was coined with this in mind.
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Goose looks up to the older dogs...literally.
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And lastly, photo of the original crew that we came to shoot... (I have some with all eight, too...)
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Thank you, Elsa & Jeff, for treating us to such a challenging...fun...and unique family session!!! And Neil also thanks you because now I won't stop talking about wanting a beagle. haha ;)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Darbi and Ashley for coming out and braving the wet grass and ticks to get such great pictures of our family. We are proof that hunting dogs can indeed be spoiled rotten. We won't even hold it against you that you said Scooter looked like a wild boar! And that Rocks was "going towards the light" - that was way too close to what almost happened this winter! Thanks Girls. Jeff & Elsa

Erika Jackson said...

These are amazing, Darbi! You are SO talented!

Photography by Lara said...

Love these pics. All-time favorite is Goose licking his nose...close second is Goose and Piper with the toy. Awesome job - it's not easy to shoot dogs!

Anonymous said...

Darbi,

You are undoubtedly one of the most gifted photographers I've come across. When the pilot and I finally get hitched, I want you to take the pics!

Psss...may involve flying.

Sara Mullen

Julie said...

Aw, Darbi! These are awesome!

A said...

If only Diesel had been so cooperative!! :)

These are GREAT Darbi!

Hannah Harbert said...

I want a beagle too! As soon as we buy a house we are getting a puppy. I can't wait!

-Han

Dreaming Tree Photography said...

Oh Darbi, these are fabulous. What an awesome couple! I love dogs and dog lovers are even cooler. I am in love with one of the first photos in b&w with the dog and you wrote that the photo was majestic. Oh, I love it. Plus, the puppies are too cute :)

Beth Berry said...

Every picture of the puppies I found myself saying "Awww...awww!!!!" They are so cute! I have a special place in my heart for beagles :) And I love the guy with the underbite!

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