Anatomy of a greyhound portrait

Murphy and I are having a disconnect problem. It promised me partly sunny today and mild weather. I experienced totally cloudy and really cold. None the less, there is a calender to be completed.

Last year my theme was head shots, this year we decided to take them on location to show a bit of Oregon. Great idea, but waiting until the second week-end in November, not so bright.

Once we’ve decided on a theme, we have to select the models. I think we’re going with the golden oldies and since most of our gang is officially in the double-digits, it’s not hard to find models. Willing and cooperative can be a challenge. I was painfully reminded that I waited a little to long to get a rockin’ portrait of Roxy.

This is Murphy, he turned 13 in June. He’s gorgeous, but already he’s starting to get the skinny butt and ribby look no matter how much we feed him.

I know most of the nook and crannies within an hour’s drive of Salem pretty well. I thought a greyhound in front of a covered bridge would be pretty cool.

Eh, not so much once I saw the first picture (and having Buddy’s portrait turn out so stunning raised the bar for the rest of them). So poor Murphy had to wait as I zoomed in and zoomed out, moving left and right to find just the right background.


When I’m shooting the dogs I am on the ground nearly the entire time. We’ve gotten a lot of rain the last few weeks so my butt and knees are freezing and soaking wet by this point, but the minute I saw the old water-powered mill house, I knew the bridge was history.

Once I have scouted out my location, Karen’s job is to

  1. Keep Murphy happy
  2. Keep walking Murphy back and forth

The water was much higher in the creek than I expected and the leaves were kinda slick, so Karen also had safety patrol. Her job is so much harder than mine.

On the ride home, the excitement of going for a ride and a walk in the park were over. Murphy settled in against my camera bag and checked out for the entire ride home.

Since I don’t trust our dogs off leash, it becomes my job to clean up the photo and get rid of the leash if it doesn’t look obvious.

This is Murphy’s calender portrait. It took me thirty minutes from first click to loading him back up the car.


4 Replies to “Anatomy of a greyhound portrait”

  1. What month will this be? What’s off leash? 🙂 My old gal gets the most food in the house, and she’s ribby with no butt. It’s no fun taking low angle shots without an articulating screen. Sometimes I feel like I’m in basic training crawling around on my belly.

  2. Based on the photos I’ve seen, that calendar is going to be stunning! You should sell copies of it. Murphy is a very good sport, and a great model. I know that ribby stage, too.

    Bunny is requesting a Flocko only calendar for next year. I’ve tried reasoning with her, but she’s still talking about it!

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