Realizing it would be extremely difficult to pose them all at the same time, I focused on trying to capture each of them separately and made notes regarding personal characteristics and expressions. It was rather sunny and warm and I knew that the shadows would be harsh and I would have to soften the shading when doing the final artwork. After returning home, I went through the photographs and emailed samples for the client to select and also rough images of various poses for the group. Using Photoshop, I cut and pasted various poses of the little girl and each of her pets. I emailed the rough compositions to the client to solicit her preferences. The first two images below were sent as the intial suggestions for a composition incorporating all the elements.The client responded that she preferred the vertical format, but requested that the dogs be facing forward. The third composition above was the result of those revisions.
The facial expression in this photo was selected as best representative of Holly. To have her incorporated with the 3 dogs, I turned her body more forward and changed the arms to hold the turtle more centered. Bob was cooperative and easy to photograph. I think he likes posing.
Max wasn't especially interested in having his portrait done. The client noted that his usual facial expression included his tongue hanging out on his left side. She also asked that he be looking up or forward instead of to the side.
Unfortunately, Dusty was not looking forward in any of the photographs I had taken. I wanted to be sure to capture his unique markings, so I consulted the photos that I had taken and referred to a photo I found online of a black and tan dachshund facing forward for a reference in drawing the shape of his head from a face-forward position.
I was fortunate to get a shot of Bea that did not require modifications. I eliminated the leash attached to her collar, but otherwise, she was good-to-go.