The One Time There Was A Dog I Couldn’t Photograph

Written by Courtney Bryson

I Could Not Take Her Picture

Emma spent the first month as our foster dog in early 2011 living under our bed. She was terrified of people and we had to slide her food bowl under the bed and leave the house for her to eat.

Eventually, she came to trust us. We could pet her. She’d sit on the couch with us. She played in the yard with the other dogs.

But, I could not take her picture.

Every time I brought out my camera, or even my trusty Blackberry (remember those?) she would dive to hide behind anything nearby.

The photo we had to use for her adoption profile was her peeking from behind the toilet. I have searched for that photo, but I believe I must have erased it from existence.

Atlanta pet photographer shares her story of the one dog she couldn't photograph.

Now, I wasn’t a professional pet photographer at the time, but I was so embarrassed to have a toilet in the best photo I could manage.

Emma did go on to get adopted. And I got a super cute photo of her with my phone in the car after she met her forever family for the first time.
But here’s the thing.

After Emma, I knew I needed to learn more about dogs.

I began taking classes at Canine Country Academy. (I still host Pet Portrait Events there a few times a year… get details here.) I attended canine body language seminars and started studying books written by training experts about calming signals and positive reinforcement training.

And guess what? In the 10 years and thousands of dogs since Emma was adopted, I’ve never failed to get an image I’m proud of with every dog I’ve worked with.

This story proves two things:

  1. Education when working with animals is key. 
  2. There’s someone out there for everyone… even if your profile photo includes a commode.

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