Ready to take the next step? Two hands-on shooting opportunities with Teresa Berg


If you’re interested in moving past the basic automatic settings on your camera and taking PRO quality photographs, we have a couple of great workshops coming up this summer.

First, we’re doing some portfolio shooting in Minneapolis on August 1st (and possibly August 2nd if we have enough people interested in a second day). This is for photographers that know a little bit about their camera but are tired of making “snapshots”. They’re looking to add depth and interest to their compositions and expand their tool kit when it comes to lighting and posing.  We won’t be shooting in a studio at all — it will be outdoors or possibly indoors but on location, not using studio type lighting. This type of workshop will be learning as we move from location to location setting up shots and getting the lighting right.  No sitting in a classroom, no business lectures, no paperwork or handouts.  We will set up shots, troubleshoot, talk about composition and lighting as we go and learn, learn, learn.  Lots of walking and lots of fun.  The cost to you is $500 per day.  Maximum of 6 people in the group shooting with live models.

Secondly, we will hold our third annual Studio Shooters Unleashed at Teresa’s studio in Dallas on July 10-12.  July in Dallas is a great time to stay indoors and experiment with light and all types of equipment. We’ll use anything and everything to create beautiful studio portraits using Teresa’s props, backdrops and equipment. All you bring is your camera. Because we have a little more time, we’ll go deeper into exposure, metering, adding people to your shots, multiple dogs, litters of puppies, using unusual props, and more.  We cater in lunches so we can maximize our time. We’ll have an optional group dinner at the end of the first day so everyone can relax and get to know each other. Cost for this two day workshop is $995. Maximum of 10 people.

teresa berg puppy images

 I you are interested in either of these workshops, please email us at TERESA@TERESABERG.com or call the studio at 972-250-2415 and we will send you the registration email with more details. Payment in full is due when you register and is non-refundable. If you find out later that you cannot attend, you can sell your seat to another photographer, but we do not issue refunds.

You can pay via paypal, credit card or check.   Discount hotel rooms will be available in Dallas (tentatively $59 per night at the Marriott Quorum which is 1 mile from the studio) You will not need a rental car in Dallas as we usually have plenty of drivers to shuttle people back and forth from the hotel to the studio.  Lunches and snacks are included.

White on white? A few ideas that might work for you


Everybody likes the behind-the-scenes shots (we call them pullbacks) so I thought I’d share the set up we used yesterday when we had 10 adoption photo sessions.  Normally I wouldn’t use the same background for all of them but I wanted to see how much variety I could get using just one set up.  The last little guy was white and smart as a whip.  I thought this would make a good example of a white on white shot.

teresa berg's focus on rescue blog LHS_feb15_0524x LHS_feb15_0532x

As you can see, you can vary the color of the background from white to gray just by pulling your lights back , or even turning the power down. This is NOT my standard high key set up, because I usually use TWO lights on the background turned down low. But on this day I wanted the background to go a little gray.  If you expose these shots properly, you will not lose detail in the dog’s fur and you create a nice bright scene with few distractions.  We love adding the bow ties or the toys for a pop of color.  If you’d like to learn how to use studio lighting or just need an opportunity to practice and figure out what type of lighting system you need — sign up for our Studio Lighting Unleashed workshop this summer.  July 10-12 at Teresa Berg Photography in Dallas. Cost: $995. Lunches provided.  Two full days of playing with lots of different lighting equipment and shooting with live models!  It’s lots of fun.  Email for more information: teresa@teresaberg.com

shooting white on white futon

Hopefully these shots will give you the inspiration to start practicing with a white background which is the absolute best way to show off a dog with a dark face!  pet photography tips by Teresa Berg

Tickets now on sale – Join us February 21st at 7pm


focusonrescue:

For those of you in the north Texas area — come see what we’re doing to raise money for Operation Kindness! Tickets available now!

Originally posted on Artists for Animals:

We hope you’ve been following all the activities on our facebook page — the big day is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more pleased at how everything is coming together. We’ve added lots more wonderful artwork from the amazing artists at Booker T. Washington School for the Arts. All donated for our silent auction to help the homeless animals at Operation Kindness!  We’ve also added some premium table seating – but we only have a limited number of tickets for sale, so purchase yours today at the Operation Kindness website.

artists for animals Booker T Washington students create amazing portraits for the Artists for Animals event

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Using facebook to get dogs adopted


If you’re reading this blog you’re probably interested in pet photography and saving homeless animals — and about a billion of us are also on facebook — so why not use every possible resource to speed up adoption?  My friend, Erin Hannigan, is not a photographer –she’s a world-class oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra but she is always looking for ways to get dogs adopted.

A couple of years ago she started posting photos of her foster dogs on facebook and because she had a following of music lovers, she tapped in to a whole new market for adoptions.  Most of us have lots of dog lovers as our facebook friends so we see endless (BAD) photos of dogs on the euthanasia list at the local shelter or see photos our friends post. But Erin started doing quick little cell phone videos and cell phone photos of her fosters and TELLING THEIR STORY. People LOVE stories! Now people tune in on a daily basis just to see what the latest foster is up to over at Erin’s place.  And it’s working!  She has so much web traffic that her fosters almost always get adopted before it’s time to place them in the shelter (she fosters Moms with their pups). Music fans (and her personal friends) all over the country have shared the adventures and adopted Erin’s puppies.  It’s a true success story. Here’s Erin with one of her foster pups.

erin hannigan artists for animals dallas

So how can you use social media to help homeless pets?  Maybe a blog?  Or a facebook page talking about your adventures in pet photography?  Or make some cute little videos with your cell phone and post them on YouTube! You don’t have to have professional photos.  But make them clear and uncluttered. Play the cute card. This is just one creative way to help dogs get adopted. She’s now set up a facebook page just for her foster dog stories — so check it out and click LIKE so you’ll get the latest updates!

Shooting at Shelters


Possibly one of the toughest assignment for any pet photographer is photographing pets on site at an animal shelter. If you’re just starting out, I strongly encourage you to work with a rescue group and photograph pets that have had some time in a foster home –they’ll be more socialized and calm and your job will be much easier. We all know that pets in a shelter are not relaxed and a quiet corner for photography may be hard to find. So do yourself a favor if you’re new to this and start with pets that live in foster homes. It’s not cheating! Every pet that gets adopted makes room for a pet that might be euthanized because rescue groups pull many of their pets from the shelters.

If you’re not already connected with a rescue group they’re easy to find. Google is your friend. Take the time to research the group you’re interested in –make sure they’re organized with a good track record, professionally managed with a good web presence. Social media is huge for getting pets adopted.

Do you need something in writing? Yes. But it does NOT necessarily have to be a five page contract with witnesses and notary signatures. A simple one page (even one paragraph) letter signed by both parties is usually sufficient. You can spell out what you’re willing to do for them and what they are allowed to do with your images.

I personally do not give shelters or rescue groups printable images. The images I give are sized for the web only. Usually 4×5″ at 150ppi. You could even send smaller images (72ppi is common for online use). All of the images I send are watermarked because I own a business and images are how I make my living. You do not necessarily need to put your name on your images but if you don’t, other people will use them as their own. If that doesn’t matter to you, save yourself the time and send them without your name. When one of the groups I work with needs an image for their website or advertising or promotional purposes they simply call or email me and ask permission. If the image is to be printed in their brochure, or other collateral materials, they give me photo credit and I send them files that are larger and without a watermark.

If you have questions about re-sizing your images there are literally thousands of good tutorials on youtube.com here but you will need software like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements (the lite version of Photoshop), Picasa, or even in a pinch, Microsoft Picture Editor. Here’s a typical adoption photo with my standard watermark.
teresa berg pet photography

Dog in a Chair


Pet Portraits 101 — Use a living room chair and a window. Everyone has those, right? Even your local shelter might be able to provide enough space to do something like this!
pet portrait in a chair
We’re looking forward to new projects and new ideas to share for 2015 –but until then, don’t hesitate to join us on facebook and share some of your successful adoption stories and photos. Enjoy your holidays knowing there are a lot of happy dogs sleeping in their new homes because of your hard work.

Fundraising with Calendars: Vote for your favorite and help us raise money


The 2015 Tiny Dog Calendar voting contest began late last week. To give you a brief re-cap on how it works:  I put out a “model call” on facebook and via email. Friends tell friends and before you know it, I have TONS of people sending me snapshots of their dogs, hoping I will like what I see and offer them a free modeling session.  I choose the dogs that I think will send the right message (and look cute of course) and we photograph approximately 20 dogs over the course of a few weeks.  These dogs then compete for votes (votes are $1 each) and all the money from voting goes to the Legacy Humane Society – one of my favorite local animal charities.  The 13 dogs with the most votes get in the calendar. The TOP DOG also gets a $350 gift certificate to my studio. So competition is fierce!  We will be selling the calendars online starting in October — but if you’d like to see the contestants and place a vote or two, please visit the Teresa Berg Photography blog and click on 2015 Tiny Dog Calendar.

Tindy Dog Calendar

And don’t forget — calendars make great gifts!