A family photoshoot with Burnell + Brown
For David and Jane, a typical Saturday morning starts slow, with fresh coffee, the dogs, the papers, and now .. the puppas, two 12 week old gorgeous jet black Sprockerpoo Spaniels who go by the names of Norah and Luna (and they even have their brother next door who they occasionally go and knock on for).
On this shoot with the Burnell + Brown clan, we hung out in the kitchen, had a play in the garden and then the pups followed mum and dad to their local stream for their first ever swim. A proper family Saturday.
We're sitting around the kitchen table and Brown Springer Spaniel Joey and Cockapoo Nellie (mum and dad) are overseeing a gentle kind of chaos as their pups run around our feet.
Joey and Nellie have that air about them as I guess all new parents do, a sort of tired and wise demeanour. The pups dart off down the hall into the front room, and I can see both parents pause for a second while they listen to what they're getting up to. The living room is a no dog zone. Eventually mum Nellie goes to retrieve her little ones and with a soft bark, the pups are racing back into the kitchen, clattering on the hardwood floor. They continue their rough and tumble in the kitchen and I notice Joey and Nellie go back to sitting with David and Jane. They paw for affection in a puppy-like way and it reminds me that even though they have a brood of their own, they still need regular love and hugs from their own pawrents.
The pups are running in and out of the kitchen, whizzing round the garden so the shoot naturally spills out onto the patio. There's a discarded flagstone propped up against the wall which the pups take over as their den. They dig up the flowerbed beneath, with a head peering out one end and a wagging tail poking out the other - I'm not sure what limbs belong to who.
It's not long before Howie, Norah and Luna's brother joins in the fun. He lives just next door and his sisters have worked out how to scale the raised decking area to his back door. It's so cute how they knock on for him to come and play. The three of them run around both gardens until they naturally fall into a family portrait, posing on the back door steps.
Just at the back of Jane & David's house is a pathway leading to a Leeds gem, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. And separating it is a secluded stream, where Joey and Nellie love to splash about, chasing their ball. This time, the pups get to join in too. It was their first time in the water and I was so touched to have been able to witness such a milestone moment, and of course capture it as well. The pups didn't seem phased at all. I think just the fact that they could see their mum and dad having so much fun, eliminated any fear. They just followed their mama's lead.
We get back to the house with muddy toes, nettle stung ankles and some very shivery pups. The pups are towel dried and mum and dad wait patiently for their turn. They know the score now. Once dry and fluffy, it's not long before the pups snug up together and within seconds they fall asleep. It's been a big morning for them and I suspect once I've left, it wont be long until Joey and Nellie join them. What else are Saturdays for?
Pricing starts at £200.