Note to self: When designing photos think visual, not verbal.

Recently I was asked about the origin of a humorous “Lost Dog” bumper sticker I created.  I was hired to photograph an ad for the big network hardware company.  When the agency called me they said the working headline was something like “Put Teeth into your Network” .  I was told they wanted a growling dog as the visual and that they have contacted a trainer to provide the dog.  Knowing the few trainers in my area I asked who they were using and what kind of dog they had.  I was given a name I had never heard of.  I mentioned that to them and I was assured they were confident in the trainers’ ability.

On the day of the shoot the client entourage came to my studio and a short time later the trainer showed up… with the cutest little Border Collie you have ever seen.  OoooooooKayyyyyyy, I thought to myself.       I was already set up so we positioned the dog on set and he stayed in position very well.  From behind the camera I cued the trainer to start the dog and sure enough, he growled on cue.  There was a problem though.  Here’s the first shot of the dog growling.

Dog 2

I mentioned to the trainer that while it was really great he could growl on cue I was seeing no teeth.  The trainer replied defensively “Well, they don’t show teeth unless they’re threatened!”.  I looked over to see my client with a “This is the end of my career” look on his face.   I calmed everyone down, we talked for a bit and an idea came to me.  I had the trainer do a few shots with her pulling the dogs jowels up and revealing teeth.  Like this…

Dog 3

Dog 1

We did a few of these and some more profiles that fit nicely into the layout and created this version for the ad.  It was a little humorous but they felt comfortable going with that as opposed to one that may have looked too threatening ( ha ha, from a border collie!).

Mean Dog Lunging #2


Oh and here’s the bumper sticker…

Have you seen Fluffy_Y