Photography Day At Woburn Safari Park, Milton Keynes.

Being a photographer and an animal lover means that family are never too stuck for gifts and last year we received an amazing gift that combined both passions.  A voucher for a day’s photographic experience at Woburn Safari Park, with WildArena Imaging.

Woburn is a familiar location as we have often visited with the children on family days out. It offers the perfect opportunity to see some incredible animals in large open spaces, whilst driving around in your vehicle.

However, this day was going to offer something a little more special. David was our guide from WildArena Imaging and he was accompanied by Alice, one of Woburn’s own rangers.

Maria Michael, Detheo Photography with Black & White Ruffed Lemurs at Woburn Safari Park.

Me with the Lemurs

As a group of eight, we divided ourselves between two 4×4 vehicles that David and Alice would be driving.

Whilst bumpy, this gave us the opportunity to move off from the traditional visitors routes and cross over, close to where the animals would be.  In fact at times you could feel their breath as they strolled past or even looked up to investigate your sent in the air.

It was a brilliant day and whilst the photographic opportunities were plenty, there was something quite emotional about being so close to the animals. It was as if some of them too, seemed fascinated with us. Looking directly into the eyes of a Lioness or a large Bear and feeling something quite peaceful, is not what most would expect.

But it was out of the vehicles and on foot that we met some animals that, I for one, misunderstood most. The Black and White Ruffed Lemurs where truly special. Affectionate and gentle, they can of course also be quite cheeky. However, I discovered that they love it when you give them gentle scratch beneath their arms. So much so, that if you stop they will raise their arm up to signal for you to carry on.  They also like to hold on to your fingers and once they do, you just do not have the heart to prize them off.

Here are just a few of the images we captured on the day. If you like the images then please feel free to leave a comment below.

Photograph of Giraffes at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Monkey at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Lioness at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Brown Bear at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Monkey at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Brown Bear at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Giraffes at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Lemurs at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.

Sawbridgeworth Dog Show 2016 – Beautiful Images Captured By Herts & Essex Specialist Pet Photographer

In typical British fashion our morning started with rain. Reaching Bullfield’s Recreational Ground, Sawbridgeworth early to prepare our stand for the Dog Show, we were hopeful the rain would ease off in time for the formal start of the show. Which surprisingly it did. Bit of course this was short lived. The proceeded with intermittent spells of showers and dry periods. This however did not deter those who had decided to attend.

People of all ages, from all walks of life arrived to enjoy the day. There was a steel band, live music, the dog agility and dog show, alongside various stalls and even the fire brigade, who were displaying one of their amazing fire engines.

It was great to meet so many new faces and equally great to catch up with those who we have photographed in the past.

A big thank you to Adrienne from DogAblitly and Sawbridgeworth Town Council for the invitation and we look forward to attending again next year.

Here is a short slideshow with the images we captured on the day.

If you would like a Specialist Pet Photography Session for your dog or other pet, please visit our website for more details http://www.detheo.co.uk

 

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Specialist Commercial & Corporate Pet Photographer Goes Behind The Scenes At The Cromwell Veterinary Group, Cambridgeshire.

Our Commercial & Corporate photography service has catered for many companies over the years, ranging from Solicitors firms to large Airlines. However it will come as no surprise, that being a Specialist Pet Photographer, our services are often called upon by those within the Pet Industry.

One such company is the Cromwell Veterinary Group, with whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past two years. Our time working at the various surgeries has also provided us unique, “behind the scenes” access to the amazing world of veterinary practice, and a chance to capture some “fly on the wall” documentary images, which show the genuine, everyday goings on.

Staff reacting to a young King Charles Cavalier puppy visiting the Huntingdon branch of the Cromwell Veterinary Group. Captured by Detheo Photography.

Staff reacting to a young King Charles Cavalier puppy visiting the Huntingdon branch of the Cromwell Veterinary Group.

This first image was captured today without the staff being aware. This is a scene we have witnessed time and time again . The affection expressed by staff to all the animals visiting or in their care is heartwarming and a testament to the quality of the team.  And as such it was great to get the chance to capture it on camera.

A tiny, premature puppy hand reared by staff. Captured by Detheo Photography

A tiny, premature puppy hand reared by staff.

The second image is not just of a cute puppy. It is in fact one of a tiny little chap, born prematurely and rejected by his mother.

His siblings all died and his chances of survival would have been nil had it not been for the remarkable care and dedication given to him by the staff.

Due to being born prematurely he required care that machines could not replicate. He was carried carefully by staff, inside their clothing so he could be reassured by their heart beat and kept warm at the same time. However, his 24 hour care needs meant he would also go home with staff each night, and they would tend to him around the clock, forgoing any idea of sleep!

His survival is proof of their dedication and commitment to go beyond the call of duty and it was so touching to photograph him today as he played and then feel asleep in the hands of those that gave him the chance of life.

We look forward to working with the team again soon and thank them for their openness and hospitality.

 

 

Specialist Pet Photography – Why We Prefer Not To Be In The Studio.

Over the years we have photographed hundreds of pets from the usual Dogs, Cats and Horses, to the not so common, Bearded Dragons, Macaws and Syrian Hamsters. However, the most popular pet so far is the dog.

Man’s best friend, originated from Wolves and has been bred for thousands of years to work and live alongside humans. Today, for the lucky ones, they are very much a part of our families. Bringing joy and friendship to young and old, we care for them deeply which of course means that when the time comes to say goodbye, the pain can be unbearable.

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Ross with his favourite toy, at home in the kitchen where he loved to lay.

As such we here at Detheo Photography, we know how important it is to capture the very essence of a pet’s personality within the images we create, be that from the way they lay with their favourite toy or the way their face looks when they are running.

However, in order to capture these special details, we believe it is important to become apart of the dog’s world. This is why we rarely book Specialist Pet Photography Sessions at our studio. Instead we believe that the best place to work with dogs and other pets, is where they can express themselves most naturally. For dogs, this would be at home, or at a park a forest, or woodland etc.

Outside in familiar places dogs will behave more naturally, sniffing and exploring and have space to engage in play, without feeling anxious or nervous about a new environment.

Studios are quite an un-natural environment for most pet dogs, which can result in excessive pacing, panting and salivating.  Others may seem calm, however they are very much aware of the photographer and will be expected to behave as per the photographers requirements.

Instead, for many of our photoshoots, we work mainly from a distance, following and capturing the dogs, as they go about their usual behaviour with little to no interaction form us. Others will have a combination, incorporating time where we may encourage a certain behaviour, include some interactions and even capture some specific portrait images.

So, if you would like stunning images of your dog that really capture their personality, but have been put off by the idea of having to take them to a studio, then our service is exactly what you need.

You will find plenty of information on our website about our Specialist Pet Photography  and a link to our prices there too.

You can also see examples of some of our Award Winning Images too.

Detheo Photography specialises in working with all animals catering for all of their individual requirements, including dogs who may be extremely nervous / fearful or unwell. Please enquire to learn more.

5 Years On…..Who Would Have Thought.

Maria Michael, Owner / Photographer at Detheo PhotographyRecently, I asked my children if they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our daughter had a few ideas, whilst our son, the eldest, had none. And why should they. So many fantasise about a career in one profession or another, yet the reality is more often than not, far from as glamours as they had envisaged.

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Maria’s children when they were younger.

What did I want to be when I grew up? Now that is an interesting question. Guess what, the one thing I never considered was a Professional Photographer.

The day to day running of any business is challenging, even more so sometimes, for those of us who do so on our own. Switching off is not always an easy option, even when we know we should.

So there I was, head buried in paperwork when the messages started to arrive. “Congratulations Maria, hope you are well”.

Now, anyone who uses LinkedIn will know that it has this cleaver way of asking people to congratulated others on their new job or in this case, the anniversary of their employment. And on this occasion, I was the one being congratulated.

So “Thank You” to everyone who messaged me, because your messages made me stop and realise what had happened.Me in wales 1

5 years ago I started something totally new. Something small and personal, with no expectations, and looking back, definitely no idea, just where it would take me.

In the early days, I seemed to be finding my way in the dark and I know now the mistakes I made were plenty. But I am so grateful for those mistakes. For without mistakes, one can never really appreciate how to do things right.

I also seemed to run into many brick walls, not realising know how important their presence was. Not only did they force me to pause a while and think, but they also taught me how to preserver and use my determination to find my way around them.

Looking back, it is quite overwhelming to see how far I have come.

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Maria working on behalf of the Air Ambulance.

As I prepare for another busy week, I wonder, what will the next 5 years bring?Whilst I have learnt never to try and predict too much, I do know that the plans are plenty.

In the beginning Detheo Photography was just a name. Today it is a rapidly growth photography business, committed to providing a personalised service to each and every client.

With an already established Specialism in Pet Photography, I know have a thriving business that also caters for Weddings, Families, Beauty Unveiled & Boudoir and Corporate & Commercial Commissions.

Whilst my journey has been challenging at times, I have been blessed with many wonderfully supportive people. My husband and children, my mentor and friend John Denton, my closest friend and whip cracker, Laura, and so many amazing friends (too many to mention but you know who you are) whom I met through the Society Of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP).

Little did I know 5 years ago that I would be an Award Winning Photographer, running my own business, being commissioned by some of the industry leaders in Pet Insurance, Veterinary Care and Maritime Security. Or that my passion for Pet Photography would attract invitations from international renowned photographers to teach in this genre, on their behalf.

So, I am excited for the future and hope you will accompany me along the way, because I know it is going to be amazing.

 

Why not visit our website http://www.detheo.co.uk and take a look at what we do, the amazing images we have won awards for and read the reviews from some of our clients. 

 

Learning From The Best

Anyone who knows me well will tell you how strongly I believe in Fate.  And over the past 16yrs that belief has been put to the ultimate test and yet Fate has never let me down.

Just before starting Detheo Photography, and throughout it’s first year I attended many courses, hungry to refine my skills. However, I always came away  feeling unsatisfied.

Looking back I know now why.

As in all professions, people have very different reasons for doing what they do. Throughout my life I have always been driven to jobs that mean something personal to me, and photography is something very personal. My passion to capture those snippets of time, that so powerfully transport you instantly back, has always been my driving force. I  needed to learn the basics, which I did, but the courses always seemed to skim the surface, falling short.  They never catered for the individual, never understood my strengths or try to identify my weaknesses.

Then last year, just by chance, I came across a thread on the SWPP forum, which unbeknown to me, was set to totally change my life. My first 121 training course with John & Liz Denton sent my head spinning. It was the most amazing experience and I shared my feelings in a post that you are welcome to read back on if you like.

So, when I heard that I was going to be given the opportunity to return to Cold Harbour Studios and embark on my second 121 training course with John,  I could not believe it.

And as before, we were joined by two brilliant models. On day one I had the pleasure of working again with Jennifer Dickinson. Jennifer and I met on my first visit. We then caught up at the SWPP Annual Convention 2013 where Jennifer was working with some other photographers. So, it was lovely to see her again on this trip.

On day two, John and I were joined by Katie Louise. It was the first training session Katie had modelled for and I felt very honoured. Her beauty and natural talent are undeniable and she is a great addition to the Denton team.

Straight talking, down to earth, and a true photographic genius, John Denton does what those others in the past forgot to do. Before he teaches anything, he sets out to learn about his pupil. He gets to know who they are, he identifies their strengths and weaknesses and tailors his teachings to help them achieve their fullest potential. As for Liz, she is without a doubt, one amazing woman and the wealth of knowledge she holds is remarkable. Her ability to motivate and guide you through the marketing, branding, advertising etc side of the business leaves people, including myself, feeling so energised.

Photography is so much about who we are as individuals and as such it can be difficult to accept critique. However, I came to trust John & Liz very quickly and a similar sense of humour ensured we connected from the start.

Just like my first visit, this second 121 stripped away all distractions, guided me deeper through my journey of development and taught me to accept responsibility for the barriers I created,  that were holding me back. It was without a shadow of a doubt, a soul searching and eye opening experience.

I have come to hold both John and Liz very dear and feel very fortunate to have met such inspiring people. People I know I will forever call my friends. But how do I thank them for the tremendous influence they have  had on my life? I had plenty of time during my three hour drive home to contemplate this and I realised, there really was only one way. To take everything they had taught me, draw on all the belief they had shown in me and really make Detheo Photography everything I have always wanted it to be. And in turn, I hope one day, they can look back and feel proud that their influence helped form the solid foundations on which Detheo was grown.

(Below are some of the images captured on the second 121 training course at Cold Harbour Studios). 

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Fingers Crossed For Ellie.

Direct descendants from the Grey Wolf and believed to still retain 99%  of its genetic make-up, todays domestic dog is still very much a pack animal. But more so, with domestication came the ability to develop a bond stronger and more loyal that any other animal.

Sharing your life with a dog is something that will change you forever. It is true that they are a huge commitment, not just financially but emotionally too. But the rewards are immeasurable.

In last my post I introduced you to Sara and Matthew and their three fantastic dogs, Ellie, Pickles and Maggie.  Having emailed Sara to advise her that the images were ready for them to view, I was not surprised when Sara emailed me back. What she had to say however was a shock. In the little time since I had last been with them Ellie had been diagnosed with Cancer.

Whist it touched very close to home for me as we lost our lovely Kaci to cancer, the truth is, whenever they go, in which ever way, loosing them tears through your heart in a way you could never imagine.

I knew immediately that I wanted to return to see them. We had battled with the rain on our last shoot and whilst we did get some great images, we could not get all of the ones we had wanted. Now more than ever that became a priority.

This time the sun was shining and the blue sky was scattered with fluffy white clouds. Ellie, Pickles and Maggie ran to greet me as I arrived ready for another fun session.

Ellie has already had surgery to remove the lump and her specialised medication which is being imported from the USA is due to arrive in the next few days.  Regardless of her recent ordeals, Ellie was her usual self and such a beautiful, loving dog.

In fact, the gang really are a crazy bunch. Whilst Pickles sits gracefully in the shade, Maggie is obssessing over her toy, throwing it at me and then starring, waiting for me to make my move. And Ellie takes this opportunity to rob me of all my treats, as she gets her head firmly wedged into the back hanging from my kit belt.

But they all are so sweet and beautiful and a credit to Sara and Matthew.

Fingers and toes are crossed for Ellie and we hope she makes good progress and definitely look forward to seeing them all again in the future.

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