I had a concept to create an image that would imitate the look of a skull and crossbones  - but with something a little more lighthearted. The trick was to get the crossbones shape to fit into a dog’s mouth.

"BONE APPETIT" Black Labrador Retriever With Fork and Knife in Mouth Wall Art Photo Print for Kitchen, Dining Room, Restuarant, Dog Food, By World's Top Dog Photographer Ron Schmidt

I went to work on finding props and a Lab that could hold something odd-shaped in its mouth. I didn’t have much luck until I met Scout (you may recognize his amazing holding skills from my "Hew”, "Hooch", and "Rally" pictures). Scout is a certified Master Hunter, owned and trained by our friend Steve. Scout instinctively knows how to retrieve and, with Steve’s guidance, he takes to it like a duck to water ;) Scout has become my go-to dog whenever I have something challenging for a dog to hold.

For this image, I built an X out of two rounded wooden dowels joined together in the middle. I could have fabricated a fork and spoon together physically but it wouldn’t have been very comfortable in Scout's mouth. I lit the set, gave the X to Scout, and he held while I snapped off about 100 photos.

As you can see, the wooden X created the angles in the dog's mouth that were needed for the post-placement of the right props - which turned out to be a fork and labs are always eager for their next meal!  Bone Appetit!

Love it? Get the print in open edition and limited editions HERE

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