Your local shelter or rescue group will tell you — spring brings litter after litter of unwanted puppies and kittens to their doorstep. So now is the perfect time to plan an all day adoption photo event. Plan a few weeks ahead and notify several of your favorite animal rescue groups that you will be at a certain location all day to photograph their adoptable puppies and kittens. NOTHING is cuter than a puppy or kitten but after a certain age they enter their awkward in-between stage and they’re much harder to adopt. So plan to photograph puppies around 7 weeks and kittens at 5-6 weeks — and take advantage of the great spring weather (at least here in Dallas it’s spring!) and set up a great outdoor set with some flowers and some shade. Make sure puppies have had their shots as there are certain soil borne pests you don’t want to expose them to. Can’t visualize an outdoor studio? Scroll down and read one of our previous posts about shooting outdoors at the shelter.
Or if you prefer to shoot indoors, use some light spring like colors for your backgrounds. Your photos will JUMP off the screen compared to all the other bland out-of-focus shots on Petfinder or facebook. Getting these pets adopted is all about how to make them stand out in the crowd, so don’t copy what someone else is doing, come up with something different. And make it memorable! How cute would it be to photograph puppies in a little red wagon on the sidewalk (maybe even in front of a picket fence)? Or at the playground on the merry-go-round, or in a dolly buggy. The great thing about puppies and kittens is that they like to huddle together — so find something fun to put them in and start making some great photos.
learning to photograph pets in the studio is not as hard as you think.
Remember to stay in the shade, get down on the pet’s eye level (very important) and keep the background simple and clutter free. You can do this!
Does the shelter or rescue organization that you work with have a surplus of older dogs? Black dogs? Kittens? Chihuahuas? Chances are that you see some trends and it’s smart to try and anticipate what kind of “marketing” you’ll need for whatever that surplus seems to be. I tend to bounce from one specialty group to the next, like most people, putting out fires. Right now it seems to be the senior dogs that are getting overlooked. Maybe because it’s “puppy season.” Well, to me that’s just a shame because older dogs make great pets for many families. So when I photographed this older guy, Rex, recently for Operation Kindness we decided to build a campaign around the idea that older dogs are not all used up! So we photographed Rex leaping for a tennis ball –one of his favorite activities. We don’t want to mislead anyone — so if he really wasn’t a tennis ball lover we would have found some other way to highlight his good qualities — but you get the idea. Figure out what makes that certain group that you want to “market” special and then make a few cute photos to illustrate those points and let them fly on social media. Print a poster for the lobby (if you’re working with a shelter that has an adoption center), ask if you can put up a poster at the local bank or market. There are dog lovers everywhere so don’t be shy!
a few clever words can make your message travel
We still have some openings for our DOG SHOTS class held at Teresa Berg Photography on Saturday, May 31st — so if you’re a beginner and still having issues with your camera or you just want to learn it the right way — call the studio at 972-250-2415 and we’ll answer any questions you might have about the workshop. It’s a full day of learning for beginners with Teresa and some very handsome live dog models.
Welcome to the new visitors from Yahoo! Shine — we know there are lots of pet lovers out there with cameras — so jump in and help out at your local shelter. We can help you learn to photograph adoptable pets. Just read through some of the articles and links provided here, select a reputable shelter or rescue group, practice (a lot) and you’ll be off to the races. Unlike our little model here.
Attend Dog Shots and learn to photograph your dog
It’s time to schedule our spring DOG SHOTS workshop! This is a popular one for brand new pet photographers. So mark SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2014 from 9-4 on your calendars. We start with the very basics and teach you to see the light and use the manual settings on your camera. This is our MOST BASIC workshop — so even if you’ve only had your camera a few months, don’t be concerned. We’ll start at the beginning, working with live dog models in a variety of lighting situations. It’s one full day and it’s held in Teresa’s studio and the nearby park. The cost is $295 which includes your lunch. All you need is your DSLR, your comfortable clothes and your willingness to learn.
The fee is non-refundable but if you find at the last minute that you cannot attend, we will apply the fee to our NEXT Dog Shots workshop –which in this case will be in the fall. Use this paypal link to pay your fee and we will send you the information sheet with the details.