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Chama Conquers the (Snow) Mountain

Hey there, dog-loving pals! Have you ever had an idea in mind, only for Mother Nature to throw a curveball your way? Well, that's precisely what happened right before my recent dog photography session with the adorable Chama! My original vision involved a more summery scene with boulders, but a spring Colorado snowstorm transformed the landscape overnight, dumping over a foot and a half of snow in just 24 hours rendering our planned location inaccessible. But as they say, when life gives you snow, make snowbanks! We pivoted to a local high school parking lot, turning an obstacle into an opportunity for creativity.


Luckily, Chama, a four year old Border Collie with a name that whispers of adventure (she’s named after the majestic river in New Mexico!), was more than happy to embrace the change. Chama is a dog photographer’s dream - eager to please and up for anything! However, her biggest love is her mom and my usual tricks to grab her attention fell completely flat – this girl only had eyes for her mama!


The session took some hilarious turns. We started with Chama pretending to drive the Jeep, giving us adorable "look-backs" as it "sped" away. Then, the Jeep "broke down" and Chama, the dedicated mechanic, inspected the situation under the hood with all seriousness. And we even tried matching up her blaze with the painted white lines of the parking lot. But the real magic happened when we moved the Jeep to a giant snowbank created by plows. My wide-angle lens allowed me to get up close and personal with Chama, which she clearly appreciated since I could dole out the treats faster.


“Off-Roading”:


Black and white border collie sporting pink Rex-Specs, standing atop a kid's blue motorized Jeep, balanced atop a hefty snow mound, with the vast Colorado sky framing the scene.

Here's a little secret: those stylish Rex Specs she's rocking? They actually helped keep her focused and perfectly positioned for some pawsome (sorry, I couldn't resist!) photos. 😉


The behind the scenes (BTS) look of how I created it:


Behind the Scenes (BTS) of a border collie dog photography session Parker, Colorado

Chama’s Mom: A Love Story in Every Wag

“Chama is a total ham--she's cute and she knows it! When her litter (5 months old at the time) was dropped off for us to foster through Western Border Collie Rescue (WBCR), the transporter said, "Watch out for that one with the butt strip--she's spicy!" Within 24 hours of meeting them, guess which one I was smitten with? She has a BIG personality and eyes only for her "mommy," (and the feeling is mutual)! I wasn't planning to bring a new dog into my life for several more years. We work with and foster regularly and see those animals off to new homes, but I just couldn't find any home I felt was good enough for her … besides mine. After a few months of denial (everyone else saw the writing on the wall), I made it official and adopter her. She's my work partner (as a dog behavior consultant), my dear friend and up-for-anything dog sport companion, and a heart dog.”


Chama’s Mom: The Session

“Chama LOVES balancing on top of things - we tried to get shots with only her front feet on the jeep but that's a really new behavior for her so she told us she preferred all 4 feet on it. Once Chama got tired and really settled into the session (and decided Ginger's treats were pretty great, as was the person giving them), she started doing her trademark "chin rest" (with her classic smirk) and offering poses she thought were best. We spent the days leading up to the session introducing a bit of "paws up" training, and introducing Chama to wearing Rex Specs. She took decently easily to the Rex Specs, I think because we've done muzzle training in the past. I believe that happily wearing a muzzle is a great skill for all dogs to have in case they need it one day - I usually think of that as prep for an emergency, but in this case it was prep for adorable photos. Worth it! A chin rest (dog putting their chin on your hand or an object) is also a behavior I teach my clients that has lots of practical uses - and is heart-melting for photos.”


Chama’s mom: The Power of Captured Moments

“We've recently had 3 beloved pets pass in the past 7 months, 2 of which were pretty unexpected. It's been a harsh reminder of how valuable photos of them are - we treasure all the photos we have of all our animals over the years. The main photos we have of them are of course from our everyday lives, and my partner has gotten quite good at capturing those moments beautifully! Still, there's something special about intentionally setting aside time to capture your animal - and of course the skill level of having a professional do so. We had another photographer do a photo session with our beloved King Dog Spector when we knew he was reaching the end of his life, but before life got too tough for him. We love those pictures and enjoyed honoring our old man with that special time all about him. Ideally, I'd love to have photo sessions of each season of my animals' life: puppy/kittenhood, them in their prime, and them in their senior years. Each time is special.”


Additional (unedited) images from the session:


Filmstrip of (unedited) border collie images in Parker, Colorado

So, to all you dog parents out there, whether your fur baby is your first or your fiftieth, remember the power of capturing these precious moments. Whether it's a playful romp in the snow or a quiet moment of connection, every photo is a treasure to be cherished for years to come. Until next time, keep wagging those tails!


Ginger Wick Photography is an award winning dog photographer specializing in creating beautiful custom artwork of dogs & their people. Based in Parker, CO serving the Denver area.

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