Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Hush Puppy Series

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/21/2011 at 3:09 pm

The Many Faces of Olive

Here it is. What I call the “Hush Puppy Series” from Olive’s professional photography session. I chose that name because it was the first phrase that came to mind when I saw it. It reminded me of the Hush Puppy shoes I used to love as a child. Always the  highlight of the back to school shopping trip each year with my Mom. To this day, I have an incredible affinity for suede and any fabric that feels soft against my skin. This preference may also have descended from the hellish mohair incident also from when I was a child. Someone gave me a mohair sweater and when I put it on, I felt as though I were wearing something cut from a roll of insulation. It scratched like hell and to this day I won’t go near mohair anything. What the hell kind of word is that anyway, MOHAIR? Maybe this why I also don’t really care for goats. (I really hate their freaky vertical pupils.) Because if you didn’t already know this (and I didn’t), mohair comes from the hair of the Angora goat. Anyway, back to The Many Faces of Olive. My favorite shot is the middle picture on the far right. It seems to capture Olive in a goofy child-like moment which seems to dominate her personality right now. I also like the middle shot in the top row which gives off the same vibe. The shot on the bottom far left shows just how symmetrical this dog’s features are. Her front paws line up with the precision of the atomic clock. I have showed Olive this bronze-framed piece of art and introduced her to herself. She showed more interest in the frame. This from the dog who routinely stares (and barks) at herself in the mirror while lying on the bed. Goofball.

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Mona Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/12/2011 at 7:38 pm

"LOOK. INTO. MY. EYES."

Notice the ambiguity in Olive’s facial expression in the portrait above. Is she registering surprise, confidence, or an intellectual curiosity? Her head, front paws and back legs form the shape of a pyramid. Her right ear, cocked ever so slightly, draws the viewer’s eye to the powerful apex of the pyramid’s base. The left paw, extending beyond the right and positioned forward, hints at an independent, dominant nature. Her eyes as wide as UFOs stare directly into the viewer’s soul. Does this make you uncomfortable? Stare directly into Olive’s eyes. What do you feel? Do you have an uncontrollable urge for a bully stick? Do you feel an inexpressible need to dig a hole to the center of the earth, eating the insect-filled dirt along the way? Have you just leaped across the room onto the couch? And does the water in the toilet beckon to you with an uncontrollable desire? Wait a minute. Sorry. Olive has been channeling me again. “YES OLIVE, THIS IS ONE OF THE PRINTS FROM YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION. AND YES, YOU ARE MUCH PRETTIER THAN THAT HAG MONA LISA.”

 

The Art of Olive

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/07/2011 at 7:35 pm

"Tracy, now I'd like to try something DIFFERENT."

“Oh my God, my portraits are ready for review. I CAN’T WAIT! Tomorrow Patti and I go back to Tracy’s to see them. I hope they’re better than the ones Patti took during “The Making Of” with her crappy little digital brownie. Did someone say BROWNIE? Am I drooling? Do you think I’m cute? I wonder where Patti will display my pictures. I hope I don’t eat them. I liked my photography session, it was fun. Tracy is nice too. Although 90 minutes was pushing it. I have a short attention span you know. Can I have an ice cube? I’ll bet that BIRDS don’t get their pictures taken like this. Geez, my nails are long. PATTI, WHEN DO WE GO TO THE SALON TO GET MY NAILS DONE? She’s ignoring me. She’s probably sitting on top of my porcelain water bowl in that tiny room that she always closes the door to. What DOES she do in there? I like sweets. Do you have any? Where was I? No, not metaphorically, literally. I hope I look beautiful in my portraits. Patti says I look breathtaking. I don’t know what that means, but she beams when she says it so it must be good. She sure does love me. I love her more than I love chasing birds. Was that my stomach growling?”

Say Cheese Dog

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/01/2011 at 8:09 am

"Am I DONE yet?

Last night, Olive sat for her professional photography session with Tracy Kometani. When we first got to Tracy’s studio, Olive of course spent the first 10 minutes using her nose to imprint the “GSS” Global Scent System of the studio on her brain. Tracy had two backdrops set up, one ghost white and one the color of dark coffee beans. There are big titanium white umbrellas with megawatt lights surrounding the dark backdrop. Olive explored the studio by walking back-and-forth across the backdrops, sniffing out all the assorted props which ranged from dolls begging to be chewed to a old stand-up mirror that Olive spent some time gazing into. Then seeing the half open door in the corner of the studio, Olive shot up about 20 twenty steep steps and started to make herself at home in Tracey’s kitchen and living room. “OLIVE. GET BACK HERE. YOU’RE NOT GETTING A BATH,” I yell as I’m scrambling up the stairs like an ATV with 50,000 miles on it. I wrangle Olive back downstairs and after she calms down a bit, we start the session. Tracey has set up a beautiful antique bench whose wooden ends curl and is covered in an ivory white fabric. It is stunning against the java-colored backdrop and against Olive’s unique shimmering taupey-grey coat. “OLIVE. SIT.” My well-behaved dog sits on the backdrop and looks at me for her next command. “OLIVE. STAY.” As Olive continues staring at me, you can hear the “pops” and “clicks” as Tracy starts taking Olive’s photograph. She seems to be enjoying the process and amazingly does not even blink with the pop of each “flash.” You’d think she was used to this from years of walking the Red Carpet. “OLIVE. IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU COULD STOP PANTING AND KEEP YOUR BIRDHOLE SHUT FOR A FEW MINUTES.” Tracy gives Olive some water which she characteristically slurps up like a waterholic. It helps. A little.  Then we try to get Olive to sit on the bench and stay which she finally does with much cajoling and lots of Wagatha’s Cranberry with Chedder and Mint biscuits. It’s about 7pm and I haven’t eaten dinner and they smell so good, I momentarily consider eating one. Olive is now seated on the bench as Tracey clicks away. “MY GOD, SHE LOOKS LIKE THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND” I say. We take breaks during the next hour, letting Olive run around the studio burning off her energy by shaking her canvas Frisbee from side to side as though it is a beady-eyed woodchuck she has just caught. Back to the sitting. This time, we try to get Olive to lay down across the bench which would have been a perfect way to capture her natural regal demeanor, but Olive is having none of it. It’s actually a bit too small for her to feel comfortable on. Oh well, no matter how many biscuits I ply her with, it’s just not happening. Break time. Back to the session, this time Olive, starting to tire of posing or “remaining still,” just lays down on the backdrop. So, this becomes the next and final series of photos. Tracy stops to show me some of the pictures she’s taken and my jaw drops. I knew Olive was beautiful, but in the hands of a skilled photographer, she is absolutely breathtaking. It allowed me to see Olive more objectively than I see her every day. I look at these pictures and think, “This session was a great idea.” I look at one of the close-ups where you can clearly see Olive’s distinctive cowlick on the bridge of her nose and all of a sudden, I feel a mixture of love and pride, like I’m looking at the first grade picture of one of my kids with their hair slightly askew. What a fun experience! And for Olive? She got to be the center of the universe for 90 minutes.

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