Sali & Holly

Sali & Holly (the border collie girls)

Location:  Kilvrough Woods & Llangennith

Time:  4pm-6:30pm

Sali & Holly have had a studio session with me previously; Holly was just a pup at the time and she fell asleep mid shoot, sitting upright in a chair.  She has the most A M A Z I N G  ears, which looked far too big for her body when she was little, but she’s grown into them magnificently.

Sali & Holly’s human won a competition for a session and decided this time that she’d opt for a location session.  We’re so blessed in Swansea to have so many beautiful locations to work with, so we decided to try to squeeze in two different areas:  firstly the woods in Parkmill and then the beach at Llangennith.  This session was taken back in August of last year (I’ve been awful keeping the blog up to date recently!), when the sun was shining and the evenings were still warm.

Sali & Holly are amazingly behaved collies, though Sali likes to shout when she’s being told what to do, but she does have the mort expressive face.  I’ve never met such a chatterbox dog before.  We had a little walk from the parking field to get to the woods first and then we had an explore.  There’s a lovely little river that trickles through the woods with some old stone wall jutting out into the middle.  The girls posed perfectly on there for us to grab a quick couple of shots to begin with (you can tell that Holly decided that she’d have a play in the river before the photos, as her fur is wet, whereas Sali is nice and dry).  Then we ventured a little further into the woods and the ferns, which were a lovely vibrant green.  I do love to try to incorporate a bit of foliage into my location images, I find that it adds a bit of depth and added interest.

I try to mix up my lenses a bit at each session.  I like to try to get a variety of shots with each lens as they all give a different feel to the images.  I’d been using my 50mm lens for the more close up images of the girls, but decided to swap over to my wide angle for a shot of them together on the wooden bridge over the river.  I just loved the light coming in through the trees from behind the girls and the lush greens.  Thankfully so did their human, and this shot of them together was printed nice and big on a metal wall piece.

Finally, we hopped back in the cars and had a little drive to Llangennith for the girls to let off some steam on the beach.  This meant Holly had a crazy run around after her ball (typical collie style), and Sali, who’s a little bit older, had a casual stroll along the shoreline.  I really do love that shot of her with all the seagulls in the background.  I find that the quality of the light at the beach can change dramatically within a few minutes, especially in the evening.  We arrived at the beach close to 6pm with the sun shining brightly and unhindered by clouds,  which makes for perfect action photo conditions.  Then a little bit of haze appeared, which meant that the light was so much softer, giving a very delicate feel to Sali’s shoreline stroll.

Sali & Holly the border collies in the woods at Parkmill and Llangennith beach on the Gower Peninsula in Swansea