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matea does Toronto ~ {Toronto pet photographer}

last fall i was contacted by an agency to see if i had any leads on some trained dog models … in particular a smooth-coated, solid-coloured hunting breed like a ridgeback or a weimaraner … for a photoshoot for Toronto Tourism magazine.  apparently there is a lack of agencies handling skilled dog models in this province … but always anxious to help in this area, i immediately put a call out on the scruffy dog facebook page for models.  although this job had nothing to do with SDP and was not a scruffy dog photo session, i knew there had to be at least a few avid followers who should fit the bill.

in our initial phone conversation, prior to my posting the model call, Gord from the agency had asked about my own dogs.  i knew that the goober would be a wash for the kind of job Gord had in mind — walking with a model, away from me, in downtown Toronto, with a location crew and lights, etc. — but matea could potentially be a pretty good fit.  still, she’s not a solid colour, and we were in the midst of our extremely busy fall season.  i told Gord, though, that if he was in an absolute bind, i would do what i could to make her available.

the response from the facebook model call was, as expected, superb … however, everyone at the agency apparently wanted matea, and it had been decided.

so early that Saturday morning, my girl and i headed into Toronto.  matea was so warmly welcomed by everyone involved with the shoot, and is always something of a hit wherever she goes anyway … but being the only dog on the set meant she could prance around from person to person offleash and feel like a queen.  of course, this girl is the quintessential model … i’m able to walk her up to any spot or mark, unleash her, and ask for a ‘wait’ … walk away, and — with my back turned — get out my gear, change lenses, and when i turn back to start working, she is always standing stock still in the same position i left her … head swinging from side to side catching the sights, or nose lifted to the breeze carrying the scent of a rabbit or fox, or in the case of Toronto, perhaps breakfast from the diner around the corner.  whether pedestrian or vehicular, traffic can flow around her and she won’t move.  i gotta say, it’s taken years of working with this girl to get to this point, but i definitely give her a lot of the credit.  she just knows what it is i need from her …

i wish i’d taken more shots in front of Massey Hall’s fabulous doors.  i have to admit, i felt a little self conscious horning in on another photographer’s set, even though Christopher Dew was still setting up, when i introduced myself and explained that i was taking a few photos only to warm matea up.  i needed her to know she was here to work, and that the area in front of Massey Hall’s three doors was her ‘stage’.  so a few quick shots to set the tone …like i said, i really wish i’d taken more time…of course, the hardest part of the ‘job’ for matea was walking away from me.  this girl wants to work … and work for me.  she also has always needed a firm hand, and this lovely model adored matea and was so sweet and soft with her.  it took a few passes before matea was finally walking with her and not always turning her head to see where i was.

and here is the 2013 cover for Toronto’s tourism magazine…you can see more of the 2013 edition here.

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  • Linda HarrisShe looks amazing, such an awesome dog, of course all due to her awesome owner who trained her so well.ReplyCancel

  • The Barking LensMatea’s so beautiful! Just had to mention that. Also, getting a rock solid stay is such a tough thing to train, you both get compliments for that. I still have a lot of work to do with my little Maia :).ReplyCancel

  • Jen MetzgerI LOVE the cover!!! I had seen some of the close up shots before, but I really like the finished product. Lucky Matea to get so much attention, Blue would have loved that job!ReplyCancel

  • Joni A SolisYep, she looks great in front of those red doors!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle BradshawBeautiful, simple beautiful! Matea, you’re such an uber model! xoxoReplyCancel

  • scruffy dog photographythanks, Joni. yes, red, has always been Matea’s colour. 🙂

  • scruffy dog photographythanks, Barking. part of it is the breed; part of it is the training. a rock-solid stand has been easy with Matea since she actually has a bad back and sitting has never been comfortable for her. she’d much rather stand in any situation. the hard part with her is getting her attention! (a) she’s going very deaf, and (b) she’s pretty much seen and heard it all already. 😉

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