Photography is usually about light and shadow. On a recent editorial healthcare photography project, it was mostly about Shadow. A few weeks ago I got a call from a healthcare magazine to do the photography for a story about a Sturgeon Bay cancer survivor and how active she is and the special bond she has with her dog. The magazine really wanted a nice shot of her interacting with the dog. She is also very active in the community playing her mandolin. The magazine expressed that their ideal photo would be her playing her mandolin with her dog at her side or interacting with her. I called the subject before heading there to scout the location and she warned me that if a new person came into her house, the dog would make a new best friend and ignore her. That’s exactly what happened during the scouting visit. During the scout I made a new best friend, a very cute beagle by the name of Shadow. Yup, from the moment I walked in that door he wanted nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. For this shoot the magazine wanted the subject to look her best so they paid for a hair and makeup stylist and I brought my lighting assistant. Both Jai, of Refashioned by Jai, and Matt, of Ludtke Photography, are big dog lovers. So our challenge that day was to ignore Shadow. Sometimes that meant “clearing the set” a.k.a. having Matt and Jai go to another room so the dog would pay attention to his owner. Our ignoring paid off and when the subject played her mandolin, Shadow came up and put his paws on her knee. I had a very happy editor. After that Matt, Jai and I could pet Shadow as much as we wanted; we had a happy Shadow! Later that day we went to a few other locations around town to fill out the story and got some great secondary photos, but no more photos of Shadow. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the day.