Sunday, April 7, 2013

Portraits of Beautiful Harlequin Great Danes

When I found out that my work friend, Barbie, had 2 Great Danes, I just had to
take their portraits. Her dogs were different than the tan "Marmaduke" Danes that I knew. Instead, their fur is an amazing pattern of white and black splotches. In person, they are absolutely stunning creatures.

My sister had a 180 lb. great dane and she loved that dog. He was fiercely loyal, protective and looked like a small deer running around their farm. He could easily look you in the eye if he put his front legs on the window to look in. With his pointed ears, dark shiny eyes and long face, he looked like an alien scanning the room before making an abduction. I'll admit that he was a bit scary to me. The snapshot to the right shows him with my dog, Winston.

The build of these dogs is unlike the average canine. Look how long those legs are.

Bella is a beautiful lady and less than 2 years old. Jackson is her half brother sharing the same father.

"Jax" was only 3 months old at the time of these photos, and very much a puppy despite his size.

I am told that since these photos, he has eaten lots of food, and he is on the fast track to becoming a big man.

To me, showing the dogs in "puppihood" is something that should make people exclaim "Awww... too cute!' They they will never be this small again... especially this breed.

The other thing that I like to capture is the love between the owner and the" adopted child". Any dog lover will tell you that this can be a strong unbreakable thread that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

The affection between Barbie, Bella and Jackson cannot be hidden.

Little Jax is still labeled a puppy, enven though at 50 lbs., he would be considered pretty large for a normal family dog. He could easily grow to be 150 lbs. or more when he grows into his enormous paws.

For convenience, we met outside the Graphic Works studio. My plan was to take some outdoor shots since the weather was unseasonably warm. The advantage was two-fold. This would allow the dogs to unwind from the car ride and get used to me pointing a big camera at them. Also, it would give a chance for them to empty their bladders which Jax did on my shoe in the first minute he saw me. I avoided an in-office disaster with a a little pre-planning.

Even though we were in the middle of an office park. I wanted the photos to look like we were in a city park. By strategically shooting up from a low angle, I was able to hide much of the parking lot and busy street in the background.

When I sensed that hey were tiring, we went inside to try some studio portraits. I had photographed dogs on paper rolls before, but not this heavy. They poked holes in the paper in no-time flat, but that is what Photoshop is for. Next time, I'll use a muslin backdrop.

I wanted to emphasize the size difference between the two dogs which will disappear in a matter of months.

I also wanted to capture the unique personality of each animal. Talk about charisma... these two have it in spades. Here they were having a beautiful tongue contest.
I thought a speckled background might look good with our spotted doggies.

To me, this angle only makes Jaskson cuter!

As a photographer I cover the basic angles, and then I try to make images that are not what you would expect. A little experimentation can yield some interesting results.

Call me strange, but this last one is my favorite.

Check back again soon. There will be followup photos.