Samson & Cooper sneak peek

There is nothing funnier than a big, lumbery, happy black lab IMO. And Samson totally fits the bill. This is Sam with his little buddy Cooper, who was just lucky enough to be staying over with Sam for a few days. When I saw Cooper’s face I had to get him in on the photography action. Sam didn’t mind at all. In fact, Sam doesn’t seem to mind much. He is the epitome of laid-back.

That’s Cooper there on the right. See how I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of him? Oh just you wait….

Some of you may recognize Sam from my old blog. Sam’s mom received a birthday gift from her super sweet boyfriend in 2007, and they invited me to go ice skating with them at that time. They were going skating and then for food + drinks. I had to say no because I had a ton of work to do. This time they invited me to go lawn bowling with them after our shoot. Again, too much work to do. Next time I WON’T say no- there is nothing more fun than drinking and lawn bowling, IMO! (ok, I’ve never been lawn bowling but it sounds like a blast. Sheena what’s the haps with the team??).

Heyyy, how’d SHE get in there? Rarity of rarities, I brought Fergie to this photo shoot. I am in love with Sam, and I thought Fergie would be too, and I just had to get the two of them together. I hoped that Sam’s mom would be ok with it, and felt confident that I could do my job well with Fergie there, so I decided to go for it.

I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but Sam DID pull a Junepug and start walking Fergie around by her leash, which I was so surpised by it I forgot to take pictures of it. Well, except for this one. Notice the leash wrapped around the Fergs’ right foot? hee hee. Right after this we took the leashes off and they went nuts. Yep, they definitely love each other. I think a date at the dog park is in order. 

Now you tell me- how could you NOT photograph this little guy if you were there? 



I can give you proof that I am a nice person. While we were at this fountain, a man who was exercising by jumping on and off the edge of the fountain, actually FELL IN. Everyone around us grabbed their cameras and starting taking pictures of the poor guy while he struggled to get out, clearly mortified by what just happened. Did I lift up my camera and start snapping away? No way. My parents always taught me to ‘do unto others’ and my heart went out to him (talk about embarrasing), so of course I wasn’t going to take advantage of him for my own photography kicks. I admit I would make a terrible photojournalist. I like dogs more anyway. They don’t get embarrassed. Fergie gets shy when she is pooping sometimes though. I digress. 

Check out the ‘sugar string’ drool from Samson. 

Ahhh, the lovely Puget Sound. I can practically smell the low tide.

Fergie (L). Samson (R). Stick- the same. 

I don’t know if you can tell, but this photo below was massively processed. From time to time there are situations I find myself in photographically that I just don’t know how to capture. Well, in the window of time that I have anyway. Like this shot in the late evening with a still bright sky but a very dark, black dog, half lit by the sun, and half in shadow. Increasing the exposure to get the detail in the dog loses the blue in the sky, yet exposing for the sky loses the shadow detail in the dog. I had it on manual, used spot metering and metered off the midtones in the ground, then recomposed and focused on Cooper. I didn’t even have time to change the aperture (which was set on f/8.0- ok but could have used wider), because I saw that there were dogs walking toward him on my right and I had about 1.5 seconds to fire off a few shots before he moved. A neutral density filter would have helped but not exactly in the way I wanted. Fill flash would have also helped, or even a stationary light, but alas I didn’t have my flash on my camera because I didn’t think I’d need it. But even if I did, this shot was also taken at 70mm, and then also cropped way down, because I was pretty far away from Cooper when I took it. I don’t know my flash well enough yet to know if I could have gotten the lighting effect I wanted at that distance. Plus I knew if I crept in closer he would move, so I did the best I could with what I had available at the time, which is really, the best that you can do when shooting dogs on location outside! You have to be ready for anything that happens and do the best that you can. See below for the original image. 

Doctored in Lightroom and Photoshop:

Original, unmodified file. Would have been perfect had it been a profile shot. I would have just darkened the blacks and increased the contrast. I may have one of him like this in profile- I’ll have to look. 

This is funny. I decided it would be cute to try and get a group shot of all three dogs together. Not an easy feat mind you, but the outtakes that came from trying this were totally worth the challenge. Funny stuff. 

And lastly, the piece de resistance, the shot that had tears streaming down my face from laughing the first time I saw it. Ah, dogs are so funny. 🙂



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5 thoughts on “Samson & Cooper sneak peek

  1. Jamie, I am in awe of these pictures. I have a black cat that no matter how I try to photograph, more pictures are discarded than kept. It’s to the point I’ve almost given up. I don’t have a top of the line camera but it’s not bad either (Fujifilm s700). Lately I’ve noticed if I focus on something else next to her, hold it, then aim the camera on her and shoot, I tend to get slightly better results. I’m sure you know what I mean. Of course you are using plenty of natural light, which also helps. My cat is indoors so the light is not always optimal.


  2. Jamie,

    Do you happen to know the brand of collar that Sam has on – I have a big black dog that that collar would look quite fetching on and wondered if you knew or could find out.



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