For week 4 my theme is Adventure, this worked well as it tied in nicely with the last weekend of school holidays, Australia Day and a Family weekend away – which is always an adventure!

We are blessed with very close Friends who own a very beautiful property north east of Gloucester, NSW. We had 4 wonderful days away where the kids and dogs got to run wild, the Dad’s got to enjoy some work-free time and us Mum’s got to relax and enjoy the scenery!

As the theme is adventure – I am going to base my images and storyline around the kids – they had a new adventure every day!

The weekend started off with an ominous looking storm moving in and it was a race to get the bikes off the trailer and grab a 1st ride before the storm hit….

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No – Ash does not ride the big bike – thats Dad’s bike! Ash got his 1st ride in and was happy then, to watch the storms roll over.

Next morning dawned foggy and a bit wet, but that never stops Ash! 1st ride before breakfast…

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After some breakfast the fog lifted and the little boys changed 2 wheels for 4 and took off exploring the front paddock…

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Now I put the camera down for a while (ok, for a day) and put my feet up while the kids radiated between, motor bikes, mowers, swimming in the creek and archery, meanwhile the Dad’s were ‘out the back’ cutting a new bike track through the paddocks and wooded hills.

Australia Day was a beautiful sunny day, Ash even managed to get his bike bogged in a very convenient photo spot!

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Happy Australia Day!

Next it was time for me to drive out to photograph the boys riding the new track, the little boys were very excited as this new track had some seriously long, steep hill climbs that they had not tried before! Aimilee tagged along for the 1st section then jumped in the car with me…

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Dad, gave safety instructions and directions then it was time to tackle the biggest hill….

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Everyone safely at the top! I could not believe just how steep that hill was and how easily the little boys tackled it!! Little super-stars!

Then it was along the ridgetop to the next set of hills (can you spot Skarla? She ran the entire track as well!)…

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While I got into position at the top of the next hillclimb, I took the chance to grab a few images of Skarla in the long grass – because you can never have too many pictures of your dog!

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The boys were taking a bit of time and I was starting to worry, there had been a fall and while no-one was injured one of the bikes needed to go back for repairs – that’s adventure for you! So it was up to Ash to ride the hill on his own!!

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I really am so proud of this kid, I can not tell you the guts it takes to jump on a motorbike, ride steep hills with your Dad then go and ride those hills on your own at 7 years old!!!

It was about now that I realised I had lost my glasses somewhere on the track!! Ash headed back to the shed and Aimilee, Skarla and I spent the next 40 minutes scouring the long grass and scrub along the track before I finally found them – a little bit twisted but ok, at the spot where I had taken photos of Skarla!

Told you this was an adventure!!

Finally I drove Aimilee back to her bike and she rode back to the shed where it was time to pack up and head home after an awesome Family adventure!

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I hope you all enjoyed this weeks project 52 instalment and our Family adventure xo

Sharon Stokes ~ APP

Central Coast Photographer.

I am still playing catch up with the pet photography studio sessions from before Xmas….

Jaffa turned 2 just before Xmas, so as a Birthday/Xmas present he got his own studio session!

Ummm, Jaffa, thats a good thing, you’re supposed to be happy!

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There, thats better….

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Jaffa, is a bit of a clown and had a great time ‘hamming’ it up in front of the camera, but he is a serious model too

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Jaffa is currently competing in Agility and Rally O and has so far achieved his RN (Rally Novice) title.

High 5 Jaffa!

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Of course Jaffa did not come alone, he brought Big Brother Comet and Big Sister Skye along with him so Mum could get a family photo too…

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Skye, Comet & Jaffa are all the ‘faces’ of Woofs & Wags Pet Dog Training and can usually be seen helping out in classes and doing their own training as well at various locations around the Central Coast. If you are on the Central Coast and need a great fun class for your dog, Skarla and I can highly recommend Gail’s classes!

I hope you al enjoyed seeing more of Jaffa an the Woofs & Wags Family xo

Sharon Stokes ~ APP

Central Coast Pet Photography

For this weeks theme – week 3 – I have chosen Black & white.

I love black & white images, it’s hard to explain why, sometimes I find colour distracting, sometimes I ‘feel’ more with a black & white image.

I like this quote about black & white photography…

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant

So with this in mind, I set out to see which images from a recent sunrise shoot would make the best black & white conversions – now a note here, personally, I don’t think any and every image can or should be black & white, some images do work best in colour.

Tell me, do you think these images ‘work’ in black & white?

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I like the way I can see the different quality and intensity of the rising sun from 3 different perspectives on the beach.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Project 52 instalment, see you all next week.

Sharon Stokes ~ APP

Central Coast Photographer

Sunrise is always worth getting out of bed for, it’s even better when you add Wally into the equation!

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Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Wally….

Wally is a cute, spunky little Guy who has been having his xmas photos taken by me for the last few years and this year his Mum, Brooke, added a sunrise pet photography session to their end of year calendar.

Wally made getting up really early very worthwhile!

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Brooke, Wally and I met up at North Shelley Beach and while Wally was very happy to pose for photos he really wanted to run and chase sticks, so we did that too..

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We moved our way up the beach and Wally got to pose again – Wally is very, very good at posing!!

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As the sun rose higher, we had the most amazing light, it really was a stunning morning, back to running, Wally…

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Thanks to the random surfer for indulging Wally with a pat and a cuddle, then smiling for a photo too! The locals around here are great! Wally has an Uncle who surfs and Brooke tells me that Wally has to greet everyone coming from a surf, just in case he knows them!

A bit more posing for Wally, and there was one shot I had in mind…I wanted to capture the ‘big-sky’ look with Wally gazing out to sea…

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Yep, I think we got just what I had in mind, thanks Wally!!

Then Wally had a bit of a ‘diva’ moment when there was a ‘no-photos-please’ look…

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Hmmm, no, Wally I have not run out of treats, here have some more….there we go that worked…

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Look at that adorable sandy nose!!

I asked Brooke to write a little bit about Wally and what he means to her, here is what she has to say –

“WALLY!!
Wally isn’t just a dog.. his the fur child! From the day he arrived home, he had a camera is his face and from then on, he loves having his photo taken.
Everyone that meets Wally, falls in love with the handsome facial expressions and his ‘smile’

His a beautiful boy and could not live without him..
So happy that I finally got his portraits done and we can have Wally photos everywhere now.”

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Thanks Brooke for booking Wally in for his portrait session xo

Thanks Wally for being the absolute star that you are xoxo

Sharon Stokes ~ APP

Central Coast Pet Photography

I am proud to be part of an international network of professional pet photographers. This network is a group of photographers who wanted to participate in a project, a 52 week project. Each week a theme is chosen and posted, then we all go out and take a photograph or series of photographs to fit the theme, then we all post onto our own websites and form a ring by linking all the websites. That means you can look at my images and then follow the links all over the world to see what other pet photographers are capturing.

 

The theme for week 2 is from the lessons within a book called “The Visual Toolbox” – which we will be working through this year – the brief we have been given is – “We all make photographs for different reasons.” ~ David Duchemin, “The Visual Toolbox
We see the world differently and use the camera to express that vision. The photographs we take do not always have to be technically perfect, because it comes down to what we see, what we want others to see…our vision.
“Consider Your Vision” by looking at your favorite photographs you’ve taken to determine what you are trying to express. What are you going for with the images you take? Don’t look to hard or overthink. Look at the common elements in your work as clues. You are looking for your vision or your “style” as we might call it. For this week, feel free to share some past images expressing your vision and take and least one new image to share that is representative of your vision or style. The goal of this lesson is for you to find your vision and learn to express it with your camera. As Duchemin says “Perfect photographs are overrated. The images that will always captivate others, and mean the most to you, are the ones made in that tension of learning to express your vision.”

Ok, I have to admit, this one really had me stumped! I really struggled with this theme – I mean I know I have a vision – my vision since I was in high school (over 25 years ago) was to run a successful Pet Photography studio – but how did that relate to this theme? How did I ‘show’ you my vision?

I asked a few Friends for help, what did they think….what was my style and vision? One Friend, Karen, gave me my answer. Karen told me that what she thought was my ‘style’ and my ‘signature’ images were the connection images – the looking straight down the barrel of the lens – connecting with the pet images, she said that is the shot she always expects and looks for when I post and share images from a session!

So, I went back through my archived client sessions and there is was, in every session, the intense connection image, where you can feel the pets eyes connecting with you through the image!

Lets start with a selection of older images dating from 2010 through to 2015….

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And an image from my latest session this week – the first session in 2016…..

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(Please excuse Kuta sporting his ‘mudpack’ – he had just finished wallowing – there will be another blog post with plenty more images of this awesome boy soon)

Karen also asked me why and how I had managed to capture ‘that’ image consistently, well, I don’t know, I guess having spent so many years loving, owning caring for studying and working with animals, that I just understand them, I know what to look for, I suppose. My family will tell you that I connect better with animals than I do with people!!

Now as I said, this is a blog ring, so sit back, grab a cuppa and follow the links, starting with Trina Bauer Photography, State College, PA, to see everyones take on this weeks theme.

I hope you have all enjoyed week 2’s instalment of the 2016 Pet Photography Project 52.

See you all next week.

~Sharon Stokes APP~

Central Coast Pet photographer.