Monday, January 27, 2020

Short Answers!

The next couple of posts will be multiple questions that don't require longer answers. I am limiting these to three questions so there isn't as much information to take in! I would like to thank Kim and Odebt for these questions.  Please, without questions there is no blog so ask, ask, ask!

What is preferred? To have the judge and handler look at the dog, or the camera, or vary it? Some handlers are so proud of their accomplishment and can't help but look at the camera, but is it considered more appropriate to look at the dog every time to bring attention to the dog? 

One should always look at the dog, it’s a dog show, technically, the dog won! Most judges already do this; some even move out, and turn slightly in, to "see" the dog better in photos. If all people in the photo are looking at the dog then anyone looking at the photo, will be drawn to the dog as well and dog shows, after all, are about the dog. (All of this said even experienced handlers and judges have been known to watch a toy right there with the dog!)

Can the photographer ethically change the judge/or add one?

Well, I have added judges or moved dogs from one photo to another, I am not sure there is an "ethical" here question. Other than making sure the judge actually DID put the dog up. Truly, many judges have hit the point that they really prefer to NOT stand for pictures. I have heard rumors of one judge who does not want his image Photoshopped in, and when I work with that person, I honor their wishes. In general though, if the people are willing to pay the fee I will add a judge or swap the dog from another photo.

There are a couple of advantages to this, first, you can get the picture taken anytime the photographer, handler, and dog are available at the show. There is usually less rush, and less stress meaning the picture is sometimes easier to get, as everyone including the dog is more relaxed.  Also, if we took a photo and you are unhappy with it, the dog moved, hair was not combed correctly, etc. we can retake it and add the judge at home without bothering the judge for a second round of photos; as was very common (and annoying to judges) when digital cameras first began to come to dog shows. There is significant time involved doing it right, so MOST photographers do charge for the service. Fees will vary.

Is it okay to request that the photo be taken later at the podium?

Yes! Just realize that the podium is for group placements first, and then the class dogs, and that this is up to the judge. There are a couple of judges out there, that feel the podium is for "groups only" and do not take class pictures there no matter what. That is their right and prerogative. We usually have a photographer still set up at group time and they can go with you to get the photo taken in the ring. I have noticed that fewer judges feel this way. With the number of photographers that no longer work ring to ring, and instead require the photos at the podium, I suspect there will come a time that there are no longer any judges that have this 'requirement' for the podium. 

All of that said it is NOT okay to expect your photo before the group winners, even if you have waited longer or to expect the judge to leave his/her ring to go to the podium to get the photos at every break if it is set up prior to groups. There is a protocol for the podium and it is always wise to follow the lead of the judges and the photographer (often a photographer will know if a judge is willing and when, so ask us). There are times, even with Specialty photos (concurrent or afternoon/evening Specialties), the photographer will ask everyone to step aside to grab a couple group photos, then continue with the Specialty ones. This allows the show that is ongoing to not be interrupted. Also, the podium is intended for the group dogs and there was a time, not so long ago, where those were the only photos allowed on one. Although I have no problem taking anyone at the set up (podium and backdrop) we must honor these protocols. There is also the fact that if we get the group winners done and out of the way then we will have more time to get the 'perfect' photo of those Specialty dogs.

Finally, honestly the photos are much easier to process at home if all of them are taken in the same location and lighting, this is why so many photographers do not travel to you any longer in various locations around the country. However, I still find that the convenience of having a photographer come to them regularly throughout the day does make the judge more amenable to photos in general.

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