Another crazy idea…

I’m constantly teased because I like creating portraits in unexpected places. And for weeks I’ve been looking at the bright blue dumpster behind my studio letting ideas bounce around in my head — until today’s rescue dog showed up. He was a pretty blonde golden color and I decided to shoot his adoption portrait in front of my big glowing blue dumpster. I’m posting it here for all of you that constantly tell me they don’t have anything to use as a backdrop on site at the animal shelter.

teresa berg: do not copy

Even a big blue dumpster will work as a backdrop!


Why get excited about a dumpster? Imagine you’re shopping online for a dog and you scroll through hundreds of little tiny blurry thumbnails on Petfinder or some other site. What jumps out at you? A pop of color! And if you read this dog’s listing and want to go back to it at some point, how easy is it going to be to find? VERY. That’s it in a nutshell. Call me crazy, but I will shamelessly use color, props or any other device to save a dog’s life.

I’ve included the exposure info on the pullback below. I shot these photos at 4pm on a very bright day and sat ON THE GROUND where the red X is drawn. The foster mom tried her best to keep the dog sitting in that little strip of shade cast by the dumpster. These images (and everything I shoot) was shot in RAW and during post-processing I upped the clarity and the whites in ACR to intensify the blue. I photoshopped out the leash and that’s it! An easy shot on a very bright day that took about 10 minutes. Go forth and conquer!
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2 comments

  1. Love this post! I saw an amazing picture of one of our rescues with a beautiful backdrop of purples and browns. The colors just “worked” with Spot who is a basset/Australian shepherd mix. I mentioned how great the picture looked to the director and she said, “Oh, that? That’s just mud splattered on the old, blue metal door out back!” And of course, Spot was adopted by a great family and I’m thinking of framing his picture!

  2. Fabulous! I had a cat at the shelter that wouldn’t hold still on my white backdrop, so I shot her on the cement floor of her cage room…..and of course used your wonderful idea of “adopt me”! Miss you and hope all is well. Thanks so much for all the wonderful updates. Nancy

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