Tricky family shoot this. Very, very tricky. Firstly, photographing a family with one dog is difficult enough. But trying to get it right with three dogs in tow is almost impossible. Dog A is running around sniffing Dog B’s bum, dog C disappears behind a tree and digs a hole. Dog A is fascinated by what Dog C is doing so runs off to help. Meanwhile Dog B decides it’s leg-lift time and kind of grins at you while going about the urgent chore. What funzies! And then, just as you seem to be getting it right, along come some ‘shoeweeee bro-check-my-kiff-hiking boots’ dog walkers (bless their cotton socks) with another 7 excitable dogs who disrupt the entire apple cart. Tail-wagging, bottom-sniffing, crouch-and-run barking, jolly-good-time stuff. But wait, it gets more interesting. So the kids here, Gerrain and Estine are coolio. No problem there. They’re just very awesome dudes. So are mom and dad Aubrey and Carina. BUT. There’s a significant problem here with the folks. The thing is, they’re both dentists. So I’m significantly conscious of not saying things like ‘ show us your teeth,’ or ‘smiiiiiile’ or ‘say aaaaaaah’ or ‘don’t worry folks, this will be painless.’ Because I know, when that dentist drill starts, one does tend to clamp up a bit – grab the armrest of the chair and all that. Same counts for photography. Say ‘smile’ and the false teeth begin chattering and those fake grins come to the fore. So I decided not to really direct any of the proceedings at all (except trip over the odd tree root or three). Yip, I just let them be a family and that was that. Soon enough ‘the angst and the pain’ of the shoot was over and we all walked back merrily to the parking lot (including the dogs, who, by this stage just wanted a nice warm rug and a bowl of fresh water). So at the end of the day, no root canal at all – just very, very nice and chilled. ‘Aaaaah’ great.

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