People and traffic stop, cameras and phones come out for picture-taking, people smile, children laugh, and in exchange, they receive wet kisses. That is what That Dood Squad photo shoots look like from the outside.
It has been an exciting new adventure for me as a photographer of 6 years. Who would have imagined that our first photo shoot at Big John’s Christmas Tree Lot in Dunwoody, GA would go viral and be picked up by national news outlets, that a major magazine would write an article about us, and lead us to pack up the doodles and drive to Nashville for the Pickler & Ben Show. What makes this new adventure even more special is that my goldendoodle, Lola, is a part of the squad, so I am able to photograph her and her friends while hanging out with my girlfriends.
Three years ago, I left Wisconsin with my new puppy, Lola, and moved to the big city of Atlanta to become a full-time wedding & lifestyle photographer for ShelbyRae Photographs. My doodle mom girlfriends also have full-time jobs as well. I know… I know… so how do we have time for all of this?!
Organization/communication is key! The girls and I have decided to regularly schedule photo shoots. We shoot once a month (usually Sundays) but nail down a bunch of fun content during that one day. Sometimes this happens even more than once a month depending on how our schedules line up. As you can imagine, trying to accommodate 7 schedules can get a little crazy, but we manage to always make it work.
We have brainstorming sessions where we come up with the monthly content we need to photograph for the upcoming months. Once we have a date scheduled for the shoot, we see what is on the list of themes/celebrations. We try to explore the city of Atlanta for our content, to really showcase our city and the stunning skylines. Once we have our locations down, we decide on props and style the shoots. We also incorporate a 1967 MGB as a character in some form/fashion in these photos since it has been with us since day one.
Depending on where and what shot we are after for each scene, I use my 35mm or 24-70mm lens when photographing the doodles. While I am taking the photos, the moms are making sure everyone can be seen and are paying attention. We really try to let the dogs get creative, and so if one moves to a different spot in the photo or lays down because they are so over the fame (hehe), we let them! It brings more personality to the images!
“STAY STAY STAY STAY STAY.” We are fairly confident that they all must think that “STAY” is their name. Or “NOOOOO, STAY!” Honestly, the dogs are well-behaved, well-socialized, obedient, and all have passed their CGC (Canine Good Citizens Test). They know when it’s time to work/pose. In exchange, they hope for extra love (i.e. treats) and play time! There is an expression that a tired dog is a good dog – and we all exercise our dogs regularly (often together – hey we need to burn some cals after donut eating and enjoying a mimosa!)
As you’d imagine, getting 7 doodles to sit still or pose can be a bit of a challenge. Although they’re perfectly posed in the final photos, what you don’t see is a whole lot of behind-the-scenes bloopers between the dogs and laughter among us ladies. They’re used to being in costumes. Outside of the squad, the moms take photos of their dogs at home, so that helps me when photographing them. It is so funny how they actually love it. Goggles, bandanas, hats, shoes, scarves, you name it, they will wear it! Some of us have done work for Nordstrom, Petplate, Brooks Brothers, Whole Foods & Sugarboo & Co., just to name a few!
Overall, we want this journey of ours to bring smiles to people’s faces and hope to do this for your readers, too! What would you like to see next with the Dood Squad?!
xoxo- ShelbyRae Photographs
All Photos Taken By ShelbyRae Photographs
That Dood Squad Members Instagrams
I am a wedding, lifestyle and doodle photographer based out of the beautiful city of Atlanta, GA. I love listening to Bon Iver while cleaning my house way too many times during the day, spending time with my Goldendoodle, Miss Lola, drinking lots of coffee and eating way too many donuts. I am a sucker for everything neutral and love chasing light. I picked up my first camera 6 years ago, which has been amazing to be in a world that is surrounded with love and happiness. It truly is a blessing to call this passion my career.