Location: Burry Port
Paul’s owners are are absolutely amazing people – they are dog crazy to the core and have the biggest hearts. They’ve currently got four dogs at home – three of which are rescues, Paul included. This isn’t the first time they’ve had a dog photography session with me, I had the pleasure of meeting their old pack of three dogs in 2019. Sadly only one of those dogs is still with them now. Dogs’ lives can be cruelly short.
This year’s photoshoot was purely for Paul, because he’s a very special case. He’s a rescue dog from Llys Nini, and he spent close to two years in their care while waiting for a home of his own. He also has a multitude of health problems and suffers from frequent seizures. He needed a special family to take him in and he really lucked out with the humans that found him.
It was an early start for the session at Burry Port to make the most of the golden sunrise. Once the sun is up, the light can change so quickly from soft golden hues to stronger, brighter direct light, especially when there aren’t any clouds to filter the sun’s rays. And on this day nature gave us clear blue skies, which if I’m honest, is not my favourite condition to be shooting in. I’m most happy with a bit of cloud (and yes, I do feel just a tiny bit ridiculous whinging about uninterrupted sunshine when 99% of the population was probably jumping for joy at the sight of the clear skies) but to be fair, cloud is what we’re used to in Wales.
We started Paul’s session in amongst a copse of trees, capturing a gorgeous portrait with the sun rising behind him haloing him in golden light. Then we moved onto the beach for some fun times and frisbee chasing. A steep climb up onto the dunes, which almost saw me falling backwards onto the beach as I backed up to frame the shot, resulted in Paul’s humans’ favourite shot – him standing framed in amongst the long yellow grass with the blue sky above. This is being printed on a huge acrylic, which I cannot wait to see in real life – it’s going to be epic! Then we had a little paddle in the sea and found a gorgeous red rusty sea defence, which I absolutely loved. Lastly, we had a wander around the harbour and found some cool graffiti, which gave an urban edge to the end of his session.
I absolutely loved this session with Paul. He’s such a special dog – from being given up on, to living so long in rescue kennels and suffering with debilitating seizures, to then find a family that loves him unconditionally and lets him be what he wants to be, and loves and nurtures his quirks. This is the story of a dog who found his feet, and found himself with the right humans. It’s a story of what love, time and patience can achieve for a dog that so desperately needed it. And it’s a story that I’m grateful to have played just a teeny-tiny part in by capturing this wonderful day.