What a Difference 5 Years Makes?

I was talking to someone earlier this week who was bemoaning her lack of progress with her photography. I get it-I have been there more times than I would like to admit. But it got me to thinking about what has my progress been about? So I went back into the Jack Henry archives and came up with this-

Cringeworthy? You betcha! And on so many levels. I had gotten Jack Henry a few months back and I had no earthly idea of what to do with him or about him. I was walking him one night and saw that a neighbor was getting rid of their blue velour sofa. So, I thought why not? I told Jack Henry to hop up and away we went. Now I must admit, what I saw in my mind did not prepare me for what I got. It was okay-barely. I could not get rid of the alien-light eye effect–honestly, I was hopeless at this point. I did notice the next night though someone else posing his dog on the couch–hopefully his pictures came out better. This was clearly during our urban-grunge period, though I had the idea of taking his picture on abandoned sofas all over the city. I may still do that. But the point is, I kept on.



Now, Jack Henry circa 2012 I think and I am now experimenting more with still life and portraiture. As you can see, I still did not have a clue about what I was doing–not really. But the thing I noticed by now, was that Jack Henry appeared to like having his picture taken.

Dog with Apple

Dog with Apple

I still had not given up on outdoor shots, but was reduced to this weak Walker Evans tribute around the same time.

"A Wall, A Washtub and A Dog"

“A Wall, A Washtub and A Dog”

And then this portrait in 2013-2014 which really made him look like a thug.

Jack Henry

Jack Henry

Fast forward to 2016–have I made progress? Yes and no. But one thing I do know is that I will never get tired of taking this dog’s picture. And I am grateful for that conversation earlier. While I have no idea what that person will end up doing, I know that for me, it continues to be about showing up, taking chances, and sometimes asking Jack Henry what would he like to be today?

Jack Henry 2016

Jack Henry 2016

Today’s Dog Quote:Β 

“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us.”
β€”Max DePree

For today: What a Difference 5 Years Makes?

46 thoughts on “What a Difference 5 Years Makes?

  1. I LOVED this post, Meg! The photo of Jack Henry on the couch, I started laughing heartily at the urban grunge reference. I do think you are on to something though with portraits with abandoned furniture. You can definitely see the arc of development with each photo. The 2016 photo reminds me of those illustrations in old books usually done by an artist from Britain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, and it is interesting to see progression. I am in love with your second to last picture, I know you say he looks like a thug, but the colours are wonderful, the wood panels are just popping out, and the whole composition fits together. Gorgeous.


    • Thank you Rebecca-that *thug* image was interesting because he rarely puts his ears back like that. That image made him look more like the dogs that get their ears cropped (which is part of the breed-specific look) and which often puts people on high alert who do not understand about the dogs. But I agree-there is a vitality and pop about the photograph that at least for me, always warrants a second look. Thanks so much for stopping by and I apologize for my very late response. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely photographic journey and Jack Henry is so relaxed at home, his body softens and the photographs are very moving. In the outdoor photographs he looks unsure and tense in some of them and alert. This can be in part due to you focusing on him and not on the ‘dangers’ that may be in the surrounding area. It would be nice to see some images of him outdoors in a natural way, without asking him pose.


    • Thank you Xenia very much. I do have some photographs of him being more like himself outdoors and will try to post those in a future post. He is very *on* when we are outside-keeping his eyes peeled for whatever might be coming around the corner. He is a great dog to walk, but sometimes that high alert energy can be exhausting for both of us. I apologize for my last response-and thank you for taking the time to look and comment-we appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A great post Meg! I was looking at my old photos a couple of weeks ago and thought the same thing. I may even do a post like this because I too have made progress and it’s a great feeling although sometimes I still fall into the “I’m not getting anywhere” feeling. But it’s all good, small steps.

    I’ve always enjoyed your blog Meg and Jack Henry’s journey. He’s beautiful and I love his face.
    So now that you’ve had this revelation, I think you should publish a book lol πŸ˜€πŸ˜€


    • Thanks Michael-it was good for me too, as it had been a while since I had really looked through what Jack Henry and I have been up to all this time. I am sorry to be late in my response, but please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to visit and look!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do think you made progress but I really like that first photo too. To me that is street photography and tells a different story than the art photos you make now. Both beautiful in their own way.Does that make sense? Most important is that you go a way you feel comfortable in. Jack Henry is always a star!!! xo Johanna


  6. I love this retrospective. It is so valuable for you to share this so others will learn from it. Thank you!

    Lesley Riley Les leyRiley.com

    On Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 12:07 AM, Little Dogs Laughed wrote:

    > littledogslaughed posted: “I was talking to someone earlier this week who > was bemoaning her lack of progress with her photography. I get it-I have > been there more times than I would like to admit. But it got me to thinking > about what has my progress been about? So I went back into ” >


    • Thank you Lesley-definitely one of the harder posts I have ever written I think but good to do. And thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I am very appreciative it-and I apologize for my very late response-Thank you again!


  7. I think you’ve made huge progress! Don’t doubt it. And I know what you mean – I look at the photos in my earliest posts, even those from 3 years ago and cringe. There’s so much wrong with them. We can both celebrate improvement! I *love* your work.


    • Alison thank you so much for your comment. It is always nice to hear what people think when they are looking-I sometimes think the worst thing is indifference πŸ˜‰ A reaction–good or bad–at least means people are responding. Appreciate your visits and I apologize for my tardy reply-

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your journey from the first photo to the last is DEFINITELY an inspiration. I have a long way to go before I develop a photographic voice as you have, but you have given me the courage to keep going. BTW…I need another baby gift and am thinking of the Jack Henry photo that we discussed with the paper hats. Another perfect photo for a little adventurer. I’ll drop you a line. You know I LOVE your work


    • Ah Lisa, you have been one of the many delights on our journey and we thank you so much for your ongoing support. The idea that Jack Henry and Hubble are gracing the walls of nurseries is a wonderful image. Thank you, thank you, thank you from all of us at Little Dogs Laughed!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. looking a dog pics always me smile…now I re-read the growth and I often think how much my dogs teach me ☺️ jack is also great I imagine him talking…you know short 3 or 4 word sentences…I love to see growth…and yes your photography has a different signature now but still I really like the thug and the sofa and your titles…I can relate…fun educative post! ☺️


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