Time To Say Goodbye. A Specialist Pet Photography Photoshoot For Samson & Sadie.

Specialist Pet photography photoshoot for dogs Samson & Sadie. Captured by Pet photographer, Detheo Photography

Being  a Specialist Pet Photographer did not happen by accident. Yes, it would be fair to say it was something I had aspired to. Over the past 7 or more years, I have worked hard and inevitably my business has grown. However, I believe that there was something more powerful than just wanting, that bought Detheo Photography to where it is today.

The relationships between people and animals has always fascinated me and the bonds that we build, have been one of the most profound foundations of my work.

Photographing animals takes so much more than just being a great photographer. The ability to interact with each individual, in a way that is suited to them, means dedicating a vast amount of time to learning and understanding the behaviour of each species. It is an endless journey with amazing rewards.

It is so lovely to be able to capture beautiful images of peoples pets, seeing the amazement when they view their images for the first time. And over 7 years we have been fortunate to photograph near on one thousand animals, of all shapes and sizes.

Yet, the true defining moment came Friday last week, when we were contacted by a very heartbroken lady Vanessa, explaining that her dog Samson had recently been diagnosed with Cancer.

“My Samson has only weeks to live. I have been trying to take pictures over the past couple of weeks but either burst into tears or just can’t capture a shot of him.Would you be able to fit Samson and Sadie (our other dog) for a shoot. They have never been apart for over 9 years and a picture together would be a wonderful thing for us to treasure.”

We worked quickly to make arrangements and get Samson and Sadie into the studio this Wednesday (23/11/16).

The dogs came with one of their regular dog walkers, Susanna as Vanessa understandably felt she would struggle. Instantly I sensed Samson was not quite right. It is difficult to express in words but there was just a gut feeling. So I decided to pretend that we were not doing anything other than just having a chat. I moved the giant leather pouf into the shooting area and invited the dogs to get up and lay down. Susanna then perched on the side and I sat on the floor. Within moments, they had both relaxed and soon feel asleep.

That evening I started to edit the images we had captured. But, if the truth be told, I found this an emotional time. Having said goodbye to three of our own pets, I knew all too well how devastated the family were going to be. Yet nothing I could do would ever change that.

However, there is something very special about a photograph. It has the ability to awaken all of our senses, so that in a split moment, we suddenly can feel the softness of our dogs coat and the distinct sounds of their barking. Photographs have the power to momentarily transport us back, to relive memories over and over again. And as sat back and looked at the final images, I realised, this way why I became a Specialist Pet Photographer.  To be able to create these important images, so others may treasure them and in time gain some comfort from them too.

On Thursday 24th November, Samson’s condition deteriorated and today, Friday 25th November, he crossed over Rainbows Bridge. However, his paw prints will remain on the hearts of all that knew him.

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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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Interview With Maria Michael, owner of Bishops Stortford based, Detheo Photography.

When I was first contacted by Angela Adams, asking if I would be willing to give an interview for her column in the Professional Imagemaker Magazine, I was quite stunned.

Professional Imagemaker Magazine has graced my office for many years. One of the many perks of my membership to The Societies Of Photographers, it’s articles have provided endless inspiration and learning, featuring some of the worlds best photographers. I genuinely never even considered that I, would one day feature in the very same publication, let alone over three pages.

Of course I would accept, after all it really was an honour.

At first I did not realise the impact the article would have. Many people know me, know my story and have shared my journey. But it was the one person who knew me best, and knew more of my story than others, that was to be most affected. That person was me.

Why?  Well you see, I felt so strongly that I should respect this opportunity by giving careful consideration to each question. However, in doing so I began to appreciate my own journey. It was like I got to travelled that same road, but this time I was able to actually pay attention to the views.

Through hard work, physical and emotional dedication, my dreams began to became reality, but I was almost too blinkered to realise. In life we spend so much time hiding in the shadows that we often do not realise when the shadows have disappeared.

Thanks to Angela’s interview, I was able to take a fresh look and realise how far I had come in such a short space of time.

I hope you enjoy reading the article and feel free to leave your comments.

(Please click on the images to enlarge them, making them easier to read)

Interview with Maria Michael, owner of Bishops Stortford based Detheo Photography

Interview with Maria Michael, owner of Bishops Stortford based Detheo Photography

Interview with Maria Michael, owner of Bishops Stortford based Detheo Photography

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.

Ross Order

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. 

 

Bishops Storford Based, Award Winning Specialist Pet Photographer – Two New Awards For March 2015.

So proud to announce that I have been awarded both a Gold Award and a Highly Commended Award in the March 2015 Monthly National Photographic Society (NPS) Competition.

 

Having photographed hundreds of pets over the years, I feel very proud of the images I have created and to each of those clients, those images are perfect.

However, when you are submitting images for competition, you are treading on very different waters! Being judged by those at the top of their career, alongside so many other professional photographers is very daunting and what once seemed like the perfect image, beings to fall apart at the seams.

The judges view the images of the first time without the emotional attachment to the subject that the owner has. All they have is the image itself. Therefore, images submitted must have impact, engaging the viewer and translating their story without any words.

As an animal lover who has adopted two rescue dogs, I am often engaging with animal charities and rescue groups throughout the year and doing a little to support their cause. As such I often read very sad and quite disturbing reports of cruelty and suffering, but also reports of amazing individuals who dedicate their lives to saving animals both nationally and internationally.

This inspired me to create the following image that was awarded GOLD.

Black Labrador, Award Winning  Pet Photography,  Detheo Photography

 

The second image submitted was captured during one of the many shows we attend throughout the year. Often at these shows, I can photograph up to 100 dogs on one day, in an environment full of noises and smells, capable of distracting even the most well behaved of dogs.

The Rottweiler, just like many other breeds, has been stigmatised for so many years as the “devil dogs”. Misunderstood as aggressive and dangerous, so many wonderful breeds are wrongly labelled this way, with the media ready to pounce when something seems to have gone wrong.  The general public never discover the truth behind the story and the stigma deepens, yet the importance of education and understanding of canine behaviour is diluted even further.

I chose this image, which was awarded a Highly Commended Award because I felt it expressed perfectly the true, gentle nature behind our large canine breeds.

Rottweiler, Award Wining Pet Photography, Detheo Photography

 

Thank you to all the wonderful people and their pets who are such a pleasure to work with.

If you are looking to capture your pets character, to preserve their memory so that it can be treasured for a lifetime, visit our website www.detheo.co.uk to discover more about our Specialist Pet Photography sessions or email us at contact@detheo.com

The Beauty Of Winter

I believe each season brings its own beauty and Winter definitely did not disappoint this week. Waking up feeling quite unwell, I piled on my layers ready to drop the children off to school, promising to return to my sofa and spend the day recuperating.

However, opening my front door I gasped with amazement at the stunning scene that greeted me. With an average temperature of -7 everything had frozen and turned white. I felt like I was stepping into a new, magical world.

With photography running through my blood I knew there was nothing I wanted more than to come back, grab the camera, my buddy Harvey, and head out.

And so we did. Walking through the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside surrounded by crisp, ice covered foliage I only wished we could have many more days like these because they make fantastic backdrops for photoshoots.

Are You Coming To Play?

Always Improving

“Highly Commended” Awarded Image October 2012

 

Whilst always trying to improve, it can sometimes be hard to measure what we have achieved. Each month I enter some of my images into the monthly competition managed by The Societies – an international collection of eight photographic organisations including the Society Of Wedding And Portrait Photographers, with whom we are proud to hold our Licentiate qualification.

October’s competition was as challenging as ever, with fellow photographers from all over the world submitting some amazing images. So it was yet another surprise to find out that the above image received a “Highly Commended” award by the judges.

This will be my third Highly Commended award this year and whilst I am proud of my achievements so far, I am always working hard, building on my skills and hope I will achieve my first Gold award in the not too distant future.

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.

Sara, Matthew and the Gang!

 

Having spoken to Sara for over a year now, it was lovely to see her again and finally get to meet her partner, Matthew, and the dogs that they share their beautiful home with.

 

Along with Ellie, the more mature Chocolate Labrador and Pickles, the sweet West Highland Terrier, we had the pleasure of Maggie’s company.

 

Maggie is the crazy working Black Labrador from our previous post, who is jointly owned by Sara and her parents, David & Margaret.

 

Having driven just over two hours, I could not have been met by a more beautiful sight. Matthew and Sara’s home is set in the most wonderful rural setting. A rustic wooden bridge crosses over one of the two picturesque lakes and there beyond lay the entrance to the woods.

 

With such an amazing backdrop, I could not wait to start. However, in true British fashion the rain began to fall just as I switched the car’s engine off. But I had never needed to worry, for both Matthew and Sara were not prepared to let this stop us and remained eager throughout the photoshoot.

 

This was definitely one of the most relaxed sessions I have had and one I truly enjoyed.  I cannot thank Matthew and Sara enough for their enthusiasm and hospitality.



Maggie’s Photoshoot

It was great to finally get to meet Margaret & David Rooney, whose daughter, Sara, had surprised them with one of our gift vouchers for christmas. I had previously met Maggie, the black working labrador at one of the many shows I had attended along with Sara. Margaret had order prints in the past but, whilst we had spoken, we had never met.

Maggie was brilliant and clearly found the whole experience very exciting. Her relationship with David in particular was clear for all to see, however when the training dummy came out thats when she truly came into her own. A descendant  from a lone line of working dogs and with a Field Trials Champion for a father, Maggie was literally “born to work”.

David & Maggie

David, Margaret & Maggie

Maggie & the training dummy.

National Trust, Hatfield Forest WoodFest 8th & 9th September 2012

This was our second year at the annual Hatfield Forest WoodFest and it proved to be the best yet. With the sun set firm in the sky over the two days, it was no surprise that people seemed to be flooding in. As always musicians graced us with their music whilst visitors of all ages enjoyed the many trade stalls and wood related activities.

It was a real pleasure to see so many faces from last year returning to see us and to meet so many new faces too. This years WoodFest Prize Draw Winner was “Floyd” the Neapolitan  Mastiff who was so handsome!

Thank you once again to everyone who visited us and we loo forward to seeing many of you very soon.

Prize Draw Winner 2012 – Floyd

Labradoodle, Dylan

French Bulldog, Gladys

Patterdale Terrier Cross, Riley

The Bassett Hounds, Bella Roscoe Nelly & Doris

Much Hadham Village Fete & Dog Show 27th August 2012

This annual show, set in the Hertfordshire countryside, always attracts huge crowds and is a great day out for the whole family. We of course were very pleased to be invited back again, for the third year in a row.

A huge thank you must go out to this years dog show organisers, Fiona Smith and the team at Chestnut Vets, Ware, Hertfordshire. They all did so well and ensured the event ran perfectly.

As always Detheo Photography donated vouchers to each class winner, entitling them to a free print of images taken on the day.

Congratulations to all of the winners and to the winner of our own Prize Draw, “Paddy” who also receives a free print.

Paddy & Emily – Detheo Photography Prize Draw Winners.

Just some of the winners we photographed on the day.

Alfie & Bertie’s Birthday Party

I first met Alfie & Bertie at the 2011 Much Hadham Village Fete & Dog Show. The Poodle x Shih Tzu brothers were so sweet and seemed to love the attention. So I was rather pleased when their owner, Tracey, decided to get in touch.

Tracey explained that she planned to hold a garden party for the boys birthday and invite a few of their friends and she wanted me to cover the event.

Thankfully, after a week of torrential rain, the weather decided to relax a little and even provided us with some sunshine.

On the day all the dogs behaved themselves really well, with one or two clearly displayed a keen interest in developing a career in modeling!!

Archie

Coco

The Original Canine Clown

 

As a lover of animals in general, I do feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to focus my photography around them.

When it comes to the canine world, there are so many different breeds, all with their own unique appearance and breed traits. But of all the breeds, the Boxer is one that maintains their childlike cheekiness right to the end. During my life I have met many Boxers and the breed remains my husband’s personal favorite. So it is no surprise that we have our own Harvey who is a Dogue De Bordeaux X Boxer, but we also have the pleasure of knowing “Liston”, the Boxer pup owned by our special friends Laura and Marcus Shambrook. Laura is the founder of   PAWFECT FRIENDS,  which caters for all of your pets needs, and many of my clients are referred by Laura.

So when I was contacted by Matt, I was immediately excited. I had met Matt and his fiancee last year whilst at the Hatfield Forest Wood Fest along with their lively white Boxer pup, “Bogey”. Already clients of  Laura’s, they came over to visit our stands and Bogey had his picture taken.

This time, during the telephone call, Matt explained that he and Tracey were getting married and he wanted to surprise Tracey by having images of Bogey and Tracey’s parents dog, Ross at the ceremony. How could I refuse!

The photoshoot was as I had expected, difficult but very funny. Bogey was livelier than ever and poor Ross was a little nervous at times. But at the end of the day we managed to capture some great shots.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

                          

 

Gone But Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten

Even after two years her presence is felt throughout our lives and her legacy lives on in our memories. Memories brought to life by the many stories and photographs we have.

Kaci passed over to rainbows bridge on the 29th Jan 2010. Whilst she rested her head on my shoulder she must have sensed the eternal sleep was apon her as she suddenly raised her head and looked into my eyes.

I gently comforted her  “Shhh, its okay. Go to sleep now” .

As she lowered her head back to my shoulder I could feel the calmness that had taken over and slowly her last breath cooled against my neck.

Many who know me will know how passionate I am about the power of photography. It enables us to preserve the tinniest details,that without it over time our minds erase.

However, the many images we have of Kaci have given us the ability to manage our grief and reminisce fondly on the memories of our times together.

One of the inspirations in creating Detheo Photography was to give others the opportunity to capture and preserve the memories that they too will hopefully find such comfort in after their friend has passed.

RIP Kaci 1999 – 2010

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