Words and Images from Ed Felker

Portrait of a Portrait


I captured this portrait of our four dogs with my iPhone the other day. It’s far from perfect, but everybody looks pretty good and are generally pointing in the same direction. But anyone who has more than one dog, and clearly anyone who has ever even met a Jack Russell, knows that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get four dogs on the same page when it comes to getting their picture taken. Here is a little behind the scenes look at how it really went, a portrait of a portrait.
Clockwise from the white blur in the foreground: Gromit, exiting stage right; Finn, too close to the camera; Winnie, limbering up for some good posing; Petey, PERFECT! Nice model walk, bud. Let’s everyone gather ’round Petey and do exactly what he’s doing!

The older three (plus the wooden deer planter on the porch) all fascinated by a dog barking three eights of a mile away. Petey still perfect. Come on, everybody, gather ’round Petey!

Finn, not awful. Winnie, daydreaming about a good stretch. Gromit, exiting stage left. Petey, perfect.

Finn, hasn’t moved. Winnie, “is that a dog barking?” Petey, “My God that looks like a SHADOW!” Gromit, “I want Mommy.”

Now we’re getting somewhere! Finn, Excellent. Winnie, Adequate. Petey, Very good. Gromit, Serviceable. Photographer, Left the goddamn food bowl in the picture. Can everyone stay while I move over so the bowl is out of the way?

My God this might actually work. Finn, Perfect. Winnie, Perfect. Gromit, Perfect. Petey, “Holy crap that is the COOLEST BUG I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!”

Finn, Good boy, buddy, not much longer now, hang in there. Winnie, Well, Winnie you’re just not all here today, are you. Gromit, Way to be, man, you’re making me proud. Petey, “OH MY GOD, IT’S OVER HERE NOW!”

Finn: “Winnie I wasn’t gonna say anything, I was hoping I’d just catch on eventually. But I don’t understand what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Alright, everybody in position. Look over there, guys. That’s it. Finn, look over there, buddy. Where I’m pointing. Stop looking at me. OVER THERE, FINN! NOT AT ME! Oh to hell with it. This will do.

A little crop, cover up some of the technical shortcomings with a sepia treatment, and voila! A simple dog portrait!

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5 responses

  1. Haha, this is so funny, Ed–especially since I know your pain VERY WELL in trying to photograph my own dogs, mule, and mini donkeys. I still don’t know how you convinced four not necessarily interested dogs to stand there for even a split second!

    July 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

  2. great post!

    July 10, 2012 at 12:06 am

  3. A photo shoot with such “difficult” models can be frustrating, yet looking at their expressions makes it pleasant. Excellent outcome: A “simple” beautiful dog portrait!

    July 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

  4. Sissy Quill

    Very cute pics. I am laughing at the expression in Winnie’s eye. LOL. The fixed stare of the zoned out. hee hee

    July 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

  5. This made me chuckle 🙂 Too cute and too funny. Dogs keep life interesting 🙂

    July 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

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