"His name is not wild dog anymore, but the first friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always." - Rudyard Kipling
From time to time we are able to revisit a former project to update a client's image library with new content. The start of 2011 opened up with such a project for Purina via Colle+McVoy in Palm Springs, CA. We were last out in the area during January of 2009 at the Palm Springs Kennel Club dog show and back to refresh the campaign with some new imagery.
As can be expected for the Palm Springs area, the weather cooperated beautifully for Purina's "This Could Be The Year" campaign. Over three days of fierce competition, we photographed 15 different breeds ranging from puppies all the way up to the finalists being evaluated for the coveted honor of, "Best in Show."
Dogs at this level show an incredible amount of concentration, obedience, and training. It's quickly evident how much goes into each potential champion after spending time around the dogs, their owners, and handlers.
We had a chance to speak with a few "junior" handlers who historically get into the sport as a result of growning up in or around the business. Dog handling is a profession that tends to reach over several generations. Photographing these younger handlers was on Purina's wish list as there are fewer younger people working their way up through the ranks compared to previous generations.
By the end of the shoot we noticed our abilities to recognize and differentiate the various breeds had improved as well a sense of what it takes to raise a best in show champion.
Thanks to all at Colle + McVoy for another great shoot as well as everyone at Purina for allowing us to get close to the owners, handlers, and dogs during the often intensely competitive moments.