My Image of the Year 2021
It's the end of 2021 and what a year it's been! This time last year we were hoping the Covid-19 pandemic would soon be over - little did we know we were about to face another four months of lockdown restrictions here in the UK, taking us to April 2021 before things really began to return to something like normality.
It's a time of year to reflect as well as to celebrate, and normally around this time I look back on all the dogs I've photographed and pick my Image of the Year. It's typically an image that stands out in some way, not necessarily just for how it turned out, but because of the story behind it.
And so for 2021, my Image of the Year is the gorgeous Maggie with her portrait taken in the river!
The story behind the Image
Maggie's humans booked the Pawfect Moments Deluxe Experience with me, which consists of two photo shoots, one At Home Studio Style and one Outdoor Location session.
The outdoor location we chose was one of the places that Maggie and Jo, her human, like to go to on their weekend adventures, so we met there and had a little wander along one of their usual routes. It was really picturesque and we got some lovely shots across the fields - and we came to a spot where the river widened into a shallow pool.
Jo told me that this was a special place as it was where Maggie first learned to paddle in the water, and so we wanted to try and capture a image here to celebrate that memory.
The light wasn't great - there were harsh sunbeams and we were in a very shady spot due to the surrounding trees. I was laying flat out in the mud, with what seemed like an endless stream of ramblers crossing the bridge I was lying beside, all wondering what we were doing. My autofocus did NOT like the low light and, to be honest, I really didn't think we got the shot.
So I was over the moon when I loaded the images onto my computer and found this shot - and I knew that Jo and Iain would be too.....
This was the first image I sent through as a little sneak peek before their Viewing session, and I was over the moon when Jo shared it on her social media with this wonderful comment:
Jo & Maggie
Oh my!! We've just been sent a sneak peek of how our photo shoot yesterday is going to turn out and I am SO happy it's unreal!! Not only do I adore this stunning shot, but it's in a very, very special place for us. This is where Mag first got introduced to and found her confidence in water. This is her favourite every place to go paddling and our peaceful place. And this is where I learned to skim my first ever stone, which basically feels like I've made it in life.
It's not only a beautiful photo of our girl, there's a story behind it, there's a life we live together. I could not be happier and now I can't wait to see how the whole shoot has turned out.
Thank you so much Sandie, this is so much more to us than just a beautiful shot!
Knowing how much this shot means to Jo & Iain, and knowing how challenging it was to actually capture, makes it an image that is very close to my heart.
As a photographer there is no more wonderful feeling than knowing I've captured such a special moment that totally encapsulates everything that's special and wonderful about the time you share with your dog, and being able to give them that memory in a form that will last forever.
So that's why it's my Image of the Year for 2021!