Weekend Favs: My Girls

It was an abnormally warm day for February, the temperature was in the low 70’s and we were ready for spring!  I had been itching to photograph something outside after a long winter being cooped up indoors.  As we approached the golden hour before the sun sets I grabbed my camera and opened the car door and my girls, Maxie and Sadie came running!  All they cared about was that they were going for a ride, they never care where they are just happy to go.  We drove to the lake in our neighborhood, there is a small spot with a dock and luckily it was empty that day.  The light was beautiful and the trees and lake looked amazing.  My girls are really good at sitting and staying so I snapped some individual photos of them with the cool texture of the wood of the dock.  I wanted a photo of them together though.  Here is where I let you in on the secret of this photo and how I “posed” them.  I get complimented every time someone sees this image on how good I am at posing dogs.  The secret is that you cannot pose a dog but you can get their attention in different ways or by God’s help which I give credit to on this day.  I put the girls in a down stay and shot down on them from above to make sure my settings were correct and a dog barked in the yard to my left.  This caught their attention and in less then 10 seconds I managed to get flat on my belly on the dock and snap off one frame while they were still alert to the noise.  Two seconds later according to my time stamp Maxie had shifted her weight to the left and Sadie was ready to get up and check out the noise.  Less then a minute later and Sadie was coming towards me to say hello up close and personal.  So unfortunately I am not a dog posing whisperer but I pay attention and I can move fast if necessary to get the shot.  This photo now hangs above my couch as a 20×30 metallic gallery wrapped canvas.  I LOVE it, my girls look so good in it and I always get tons of compliments!


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  • VanessaOctober 3, 2010 - 9:04 am

    Melissa- this is absolutely gorgeous!!! What sweeties!

  • HeatherOctober 8, 2010 - 11:14 pm

    love the photo!!! I also have lab and getting a photos is so hard sometimes 🙂

Miami newborn photographer

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I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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