Apollo is a very big rescued houndog mix. He is bigger than these images portray- almost great dane sized, and a leaner (awww). I had so much fun at our shoot as I think you can see from the images. Well, it was super fun up until a certain point and then it just became painful for everyone involved. More on that further down the post.
We did our shoot at the Arboretum. One of the prettiest places in Seattle to shoot in the fall. The past month every time a client has suggested I pick the location for our shoot I have said “Arboretum!” without hesitation. This was the 2nd one I did there in two weeks.
I did another shoot at this location the day after I got back from California, and my flight into Seattle flew low, directly over the arboretum. I was so excited for our shoot (one of the Christmas dogs) because the trees looked like they had been painted with a paintbrush or brightly colored spray paint- the colors were amazing. By Apollo’s shoot the leaves were still on fire.
Y’all remember the shot on the right? He was turning his head toward me when I snapped this shot. Thank god for fast lenses, eh? Hee hee…
So now you want to know why the shoot ended up being painful, right? Well, during the time I was taking the shot on the left below, we (his parents and I) were all laughing at the crazy way Apollo was contorting his body. I had never seen a dog do that before. We laughed for a couple of minutes, until I said something to the effect of “uh oh, do you think maybe he was bitten by a fly?”. I was close. It wasn’t a fly, it was a bee. And there were lots more where that one came from.
The bee sting series.
Seconds after this series of pictures was taken, I felt a strong pinch on my wrist and looked down to discover in horror I had a yellowjacket stuck in my arm, and a whole bunch of his/her friends on the right and left sleeves of my sweatshirt. Everything happened pretty fast but I do remember madly swatting the bee off my wrist, letting some expletives fly, whipping my sweatshirt off and flinging it, dropping my camera and running, and calling Apollo’s name to follow me, all pretty much at the same time.
Those little buggers followed us, and poor Apollo got stung not just once, but several times. His dad got stung too. The only person to make it out unscathed was his mom. I had bees stuck down the sleeves of my sweatshirt, and we got a long ways away on the trail and they were still following us. They were MAD. I am thinking we must have stepped on their home in the leaves.
I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was a kid, and let me tell you it HURTS. BAD. I don’t really know if it they were yellowjackets or what, but those suckers meant business and I don’t really remember honey bees being that nasty. In any case, I felt soooo bad for Apollo- he was clearly miserable, desperately leaning this way and that to try and lick and soothe his stings.
But believe it or not, this was just halfway through our shoot, and many of the shots above I got after the bee incident (the orange toy shots and all of the shots below ‘happiness is a smiling dog’ were all taken with bee stings). Apollo was such a good sport, and aside from me being miserable for the rest of the day researching ‘bee sting treatment’ online we all made it out fine, and I think the photos made it worth it. Apparently Apollo was just fine by the time he got home. I was so relieved. I was really worried about the big guy.
I have a newfound respect for piles of pretty fall leaves in parks, and so too should you. 🙂