Julie Shaub commissioned me to photograph Buddy and Birdie for a birthday present for her dad. I agreed that I would take some pictures of her dog Beatrice as well during Buddy and Birdie’s photo shoot. It was a beautiful, sunny southern California day when I arrived at Julie’s parent's house. To keep it a surprise the session took place while her father was not at home.
Until that day I hadn't met Julie or her mom, and it was my first encounter with their dogs. This was not unlike any other shoot day. Though, I was surprised when I entered the home and three dogs greeted me. Again, being greeted by the dogs is the norm, but the surprise was Buddy, an adorable Pug. Buddy was full of life, and so exited to meet me, banging into the furniture and spinning around my legs, such a loving little soul... Buddy's back legs are paralyzed due to a birth defect. Big surprise. A first for me, taking pictures of a dog on wheels...
My mind was wondering, thinking of the different ways I could take Buddy’s portraits. Most of all it was an emotional moment for me, as I couldn't stop thinking about Mr. and Mrs. Shaub's commitment to give Buddy a good life, instead of dumping him because of his handicap, like I've seen so many times in shelters, often because of a way more minor reasons than Buddy's condition.
The session went amazingly. After I photographed individual portraits of Beatrice, Birdie and Buddy I took my 6x6 negative camera out and took a few pictures of the three of them together.
- Frank Bruynbroek