I recently had the pleasure of working with Brad and Mei. They were kind enough to bid on my auction display at Bullylicious, a fundraising event for the American Pit Bull and their enthusiasts. Their goal: Raising awareness that pits aren’t the bad dawgs they’re made out to be.
Brad put his bid in for the photos, but he had a secret agenda as well. I guess he figured, “Why not kill two birds with one stone?” A proposal, along with a walk in the park and a photographer following along was the perfect way to capture what happens only once.
We met for a sunset shoot in the hills of Oakland, but Daylight Savings Time being what it was, I miscalculated the time needed before sunset. Thus we had, shall we say, ample time to work with. But not to say that’s a bad thing at all. I always preach to my clients, perspective and current, that any extra time spent with their photographer will yield greater results. It’s no easy task to be thrust in front of a camera and act yourself. The whole feeling changes, and it’s only when you are comfortable and slightly unaware that someone is following you around with a camera that you start to let your guard down.
Along for the day was Rachel, Brad and Mei’s rescued Pit Bull Terrier. I have to admit, when I made the original call to touch base with Brad, I was a bit nervous when I found out she was a Pit and was coming along. My stereotypes couldn’t have been shattered more quickly, as she was good-natured and more or less unconcerned with me or my camera. She obeyed my commands right away as we frolicked through the grass and posed for a few portraits. If I had another treat, I would give one to her right now.
As we whiled along with the day, the sun was starting its descent. The light was getting soft and warm. I switched to one of my favorite lenses, the 85mm 1.4. It’s so lovely at making people just pop from the background while turning said background into lovely buttery goodness. I was aware of Brad’s plan, and had been waiting for it all day. He seemed to have a little nervousness in his step, and I knew the big question was coming. I just sort of ambled around until I saw him turn and get serious.
As he got out the little box and dropped one knee, Mei froze up. I think every woman has this reaction, but it’s the happiest freeze a woman could ever ask for. I love how they sort of pretend that they don’t know what’s going on. It’s the moment that most girls dream of for a long time…
So as Brad confessed his love through word, action, and intent, I moved around to capture the moment. After getting some great shots, I backed off and went a little wider to take in the moment. All’s well that ends well…
Brad and Mei, congratulations on your engagement and continued evolution as a family.
See you down the road.
Nice shots Todd.
Did you know . . . there was serious talk of banning pit bulls in Seattle about a year back, and, having a wolf/wolf-hybrid is illegal. Pit bulls are beautiful dogs. It’s funny how we humans create a persona for a pit bull, both figuratively and literally, and then we blame them for what we create. Crazy talk.
Didn’t know that Jami. I think it’s all how you raise ’em. Rachel was sweet to me, and a pretty mellow dog on the whole.
Thanks fir the comment and awareness of an issue not many people know about.