82 Chihuahuas Rescued or should I say Chi’wow’wow!!

Posted on July 8, 2018 by Admin under Dog Portraits, Pet Portraits, Rescue Dogs Story, Uncategorized, Working with rescue dog from abroad

I always love to talk to my customers about their dogs and I couldn’t believe my ears when Paige started telling me about her two rescued Chihuahuas.

Groots Story  :

Groot’s mother was  pregnant with him when she was part of a household already overrun with Chihuahas, 82 to be exact!  It’s a very sad story where eventuality the Police had to call in the RSPCA.  An older couple had taken on just two chihuahuas puppies as pets, they never got round to neutering them and when the puppies started to arrive they loved them so much they just couldn’t give them up. The puppies grew and had more puppies and in the space of 4 years the couple had gone from having 2 pets to having 82!!! Its one of the largest cases of Dog Hoarding that the RSCPA has ever dealt with.

Chihuahua Groot was a puppy born from one of the 82 rescued from a house in Birmingham

‘This was a classic hoarding situation but it was clear the couple had loved their dogs and things had simply got out of hand,’ says RSPCA Inspector Boal. ‘The couple had started out with two pet chihuahuas – Blue and Tinkerbell. Unfortunately, they didn’t get their dogs neutered and four years later, they had 82 dogs! ‘This was a really sad case but it was also a really memorable one for me due to the sheer number of dogs involved.”

The story has been featured on Chanel 5s Dog Rescuers programe and you can see an exert from it on the Independents website

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rspca-chihuahua-dogs-birmingham-house-animal-mistreatment-a8416031.html

 

Gracie :

The beautiful Gracie was rescued from a puppy farm when RSPCA inspectors stepped in to put a stop to their trade. Poor Gracie had been used as a breeding machine and had a number of litters before  her new mum fostered her for a year during the rspca court case and then adopted her when she was signed over to the rspca.

 

 

 

Awards for Warwickshire’s Dog Photographer and her Child Portraits

Posted on by Admin under Child Portraits, Documentary Portraits, Dog Portraits, Pet Portraits

Every year I enter the Guild of Photographers annual awards, I’ve previously come within a whisker of winning their Child Portrait Photographer of the Year, been awarded a Double Bar for my images in both the Pet Portrait and Children’s Portrait categories. The competitions are not easy to win and many involve submitting images every month over the course of year so your submission becomes a body of work, the photographer with the most points at the end of the year wins. The monthly competitions offer Gold ,Silver and Bronze Awards and I have won all three in both Pet Portrait & Child Portraiture. In years gone I have also won many regional awards with the Master Photographers Association (MPA) and made it into their UK finals as well. I was also greatly honored to be asked to give my permission for my qualifying panel to be taken on tour of the UK when I initially qualified some (some years ago now!).  I’ve also won Gold Awards & Highly Commended  Awards with the SWPP’s International Competition. Dogs Today Magazine have even given me the monocle of being one of the worlds best dog photographers!

Award Winning Pet Photography near Leamington Spa, Coventry, Warwickshire & the West Midlands

Award Winning Images from Christine Lynne Burke

This year I also entered the Guild of Photographer print competition. Here’s what the papers had to say!

A Photographer from Bishops Tachbrook was the focus of  praise at a National Awards event. Christine Lynne Burkes portraits of dogs at Kenilworth Castle  and a lonesome tree at Burton Dassett were highlighted as being of an “exemplary standard” and narrowly missed taking top place in the annual print competition at the Guild of Photographers annual awards in Cheshire. Special mention was made of her professionalism, creativity, as well as the high quality of  the printing and mounting. Christine said “To have your work judged in front of all the competitors a number of which had flown in from other countries, is a very exhilarating experience and to be the only photographer who was selected for special mention after the judging is a moment I shall never forget, making it into the final was simply amazing of itself being singled out afterwards was incredible.” 

Labradors in silhouette near Kenilworth Castle.

 

Award winning Landscape image by Warwickshire photographer Christine Lynne Burke

 

Winter Wonderland at Burton Dassett

Posted on by Admin under Child Portraits, Documentary Portraits, Dog Portraits, Pet Portraits

         

Do you LOVE IT when it snows? I do! When those beautiful crystals fall to earth and freeze in place, blanketing our beautiful Warwickshire landscape in a carpet of white (every photographers dream!) Whats not to love?!   Kids off school, hubby off school and the chance to go sledging and create some fantastic family portraits. Leamington and the surrounding villages do not seem to get too much of the white stuff usually but every few years we get enough to really do something with.  This time we decided to head to Burton Dassett Hills which is easy to get to for us as its just down the Banbury Road.

Burton Dassett was not as busy as we had expected it to be and it looked more like we had gone to Switzerland with its “mountains”  and folk skiing and snowboarding! We arrived mid afternoon and the light was just beautiful. Fantastically blue skies and the type of cold you can feel nipping at any part of you that isn’t covered up! Just brilliant! Our wonderful rescue dog Lola LOVES the snow. She never ceases to amaze me, although she has collie in her she does not have a thick double coat but she doesn’t let the cold stop her! To be fair she does so much running around catching snowballs, chasing my boys and rolling in it that all the activity must keep her warm enough. You can see from the smile on her face just how much she loves it!

  

On the first day we also brought along Johnny who has been a constant and wonderful friend to my son Joe. Watching the boys and Lola play in the snow was a real slice of heaven! We went back for a second day of fun, the lighting was very different,there was no blue sky  but the muted light made for a rather spectacular landscapes!

Being able to combine my passion for portraits and landscapes is just sooooo much fun. Cannot wait for it to snow again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait of a School Trip!

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Admin under Uncategorized

I cannot think of ever hearing of a school trip that takes its kids on a demonstration at the Ministry of Defence!

With that in mind when a when a school trip to London came up I wrote to Chris Gabbett the Head of Trinity Catholic School, a secondary in  Leamington and asked if I could come along with my camera. He said YES!

Personal projects are a great way of stretching your imagination and technical abilities. They are a wonderful way of satisfying your curiosity and testing new equipment. I had been looking for a way to combine street and documentary photography with children without it being in any way questionable!!  My new lens, the Sigma 17-35mm 1:2.8-4  arrived the day before the trip and I was sooooooo excited!

The trip included lots of train and tube travel and copious amounts of walking, perfect for documentary/reportage work. It means you have very little time to plan, instead you need to be in the moment, aware of all lighting and surroundings ( you don’t want to get run over by a car or tube train!) and wherever possible looking ahead over the  the kids to see what we might be passing that would make for a good opportunity. Everything fell into place with this shot of the  group walking down what I later learned was Exhibition Road.

The building behind them is the Victoria & Albert Museum. It involved a certain amount of running on my part but well worth it! I don’t know London well at all so it was impossible for me to predict what would be coming up and the wonderful architecture London has  became a natural feature of the day.

 

The Brompton Oratory literally took my breath away. The beauty and depth of the architecture is simply staggering.  There is a real sweet spot towards the end of the central aisle where it feels like the church is expanding upwards and outwards, quite incredible.

 

As there was very limited natural light on the day and no flash photography permitted it  did mean pushing the cameras capabilities to its absolute max.

   

 

 

The students were also attending an Act of Witness Demonstration at the MoD organised by Pax Christi.

 

The demo was the ultimate in peaceful protests, tying pieces of ribbon to the railings and carrying banners & signs promoting  peace and nonproliferation and of course praying. They were joining other members of the Pax Christi community and some other like minded groups. As you can see from the images umbrellas also took a leading role! It became so cold and wet though that I was delighted when I saw the Principle signalling that the student’s time there was over. Our next stop was a pub for hot chocolate!

       

The last visit of the day was to the Royal Society of Arts. We were kindly given a private tour and its quite incredible how many famous people have spoken there including Charles DickensAdam SmithBenjamin FranklinKarl MarxRichard AttenboroughWilliam HogarthJohn DiefenbakerStephen HawkingBenson Taylor and Tim Berners-Lee ! PLUS  A student from Trinity who was asked to speak there last year. Quite incredible.

We had lost all natural light by time we left the RSA so my photographic journey was over for the day.

It was an amazing trip, everybody that went got something out of it. Huge thanks to Chris Gabbett the Principle at Trinity Catholic School for allowing me to accompany them AND a very special thank you to the students all of whom showed great maturity and acted as fantastic ambassadors for their school. ( Before anyone asks NO my kids were not on this school trip! They do go to Trinity though and I wouldn’t dream of sending them anywhere else! In fact I  highly recommend it!  http://www.trinity-school.org.uk/

 

The Sigma 17-35mm gets a huge thumbs up from me as well, much lighter then I had anticipated and I did wonder if it would cope but I’m pleased with the results and I hope you have enjoyed looking at the images too!

 

To see all the images watch the slideshow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adopting a dog from abroad?

Posted on March 2, 2018 by Admin under Working with rescue dog from abroad

Why adopt a dog from abroad when we have dogs here that need adopting?

That’s the question I found myself asking when I was recently contacted by an old school friend (we both went to Trinity in Leamington Spa, famous for calling its teachers by the first names and no school uniform!)   She had just adopted a dog from Paws 4 Homes Foundation in Cyprus. I have to admit, I did  raise my eyebrows!

Beautiful rescue dog is a German Shepherd cross with a Saluki

Juno in Oakley Woods near Warwick

The session took place at Oakley Woods, just off the Banbury Road and was the perfect location for Juno, despite it being bitterly cold for the rest of us! Here are some of Juno’s portraits.

So with my curiosity peeked I looked them up. What an amazing thing they do for these dogs! Puppies, pregnant bitches and older dogs are constantly being dumped. Boxes of puppies are dropped over this rescue centers fences and pregnant bitches tied to the fencing at night are found in the morning. Then there are the cases of absolute neglect. Its heartbreaking.

 

 

 

Take a look at their Facebook page …

https://www.facebook.com/paws4homesfoundation/

The wonderful Juno is probably a German Shepherd crossed with a Saluki and is bursting with energy!

This wonderful rescue dog was loving and attentive and eager to please and Jacqui’s family are doing a great job training her and on our way round the woods Jaqui told me Juno’s story.

Juno was abandoned at a cement works when she was just a tiny puppy. May even of been born there along with her brother, unfortunately he never made it (hit by a lorry).  The cleaner at the works chased Juno for a week before she was able to rescue her and she brought  her to Christina Charambolous at Paws 4 Homes Foundation.

 

Jacqui says “Christina arranged everything and brought Juno back to health.  She was just 15kg when she arrived in the UK,  just skin and bone.  She is now a healthy 24kg – and still very food motivated!” She arrived on a flight to Bristol Airport in September and was greeted by torrential rain – something she had never seen  before and then she had another first experience when she got home!

“We let her out into the garden – she hopped around like a bunny rabbit on the grass as she had never seen or walked on grass before.  She is loving, attentive and eager to please.  She has become a real member of our family and we just love her to bits!”

                         As a Dog and Child Portrait Photographer  its wonderful to witness the love that a dog brings into family life.

Portrait of a new friendship, so much love here in Oakley Woods near Leamington Spa

Dogs are family too!

Adopting a dog from abroad is simpler then you might think. Whatever your views are on bringing rescue dogs in from abroad there is no denying that anyone doing so is genuinely helping these dogs.   If you would like to learn more about Paws 4 Homes Foundation head over to their Facebook page.

And if YOU adopt a dog from Paws 4 Homes Foundation make sure you book in with me to have your new family members portraits taken and

I will donate the session fee to this wonderful organisation.

Dog Photographer Christine Burke captures this beautiful portrait of Juno a rescue dog from the Paws 4 Homes Foundation

Leamington Photographer meets Karren Brady

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Admin under Uncategorized

Leamington Dog Photographer meets Karren Brady

One thing I love to do is to meet people!

I find folk just so fascinating and to be honest as a photographer  you have to love people because even if they are not your subject enjoying being with people is key to all types of portraits.  Lately I had the pleasure of meeting Karren Brady, Alan Sugars right hand lady in The Apprentice.

She gave a very inspirational speech at the Motor Cycle Museum’s conference center near Birmingham,so not far from little Leamington Spa!  What a speech it was. To be honest I wasn’t too sure what to expect after all I am not trying to build a multi million pound business, my goal in life is to produce beautiful portraits that will hang on my clients walls for generations to come. So what did I learn? Well…. She has overcome many hurdles in her life and had to put up with intense amounts of sexism. This is something I can directly relate to with having experienced it myself. Thankfully sexism does not raise its ugly head too often these days in my line of work. She is one one very strong and savy lady! Asked “What careers advice  would you give to my teenage daughter” she suggested this website. Its well worth looking at!

https://www.barclayslifeskills.com/young-people/

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