dallas pet photographer

Learn with Teresa: One day pet photography workshop


pet photography workshops

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.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NRXNRN6D6QJFU

On site shooting at Camp Diggy Bones


A group of photographers and dog trainers set out to do a big job. The task? Photograph 249 large breed dogs that had been living in a boarding facility outside of Dallas. Abandoned there by the rescue group that had been paying their room and board, these dogs had been living in the kennel for (some of them) 2-3 years. Some had even been born there.

focus on rescue

Zola rocked the pink bandana


Needless to say, this is a very different challenge from following the family poodle around the house. Very different.
So we broke in to teams and set up at different spots around the grounds with the facility employees shuttling dogs to different photo teams all day. On the plus side, over 100 of the original group had been pulled by various local rescue organizations so our task was smaller than we originally thought — only about 120 big, strong, energetic dogs needed photos. The now-defunct rescue group had specialized in Pit bulls and Rottweilers so we knew going in that we would need some muscle and caution in handling these dogs. There were several dog trainers on the premises including Robin Terrell of Good Dog Fetch — so we felt pretty good about our chances but we triple cautioned everyone to be careful.
teresa berg portraits

Violet poses at Camp Diggy Bones


Because I can never do anything the easy way, I had already decided to put together some sort of simple outdoor set to use as a backdrop. I frequently get questions about what to do with a less-than-perfect shooting location so I felt that this would be a great opportunity to try something new. The flowers and roll up screen from the garden center (see previous post) were assembled in to a little shooting corner, complete with some nice clean mulch to stand on. We know everyone is on a tight budget so we kept the total cost to $100 — and everything (except for the mulch) went back in to the car to be used again. For shade from the midday sun, we pulled out a canvas dropcloth that we just happened to have with us. Other than that, everything came out of our $100 budget. For those of you that can find a nice solid privacy fence to shoot against, you can save the $25 we spent on the roll up reed screen… but for us, it was a life saver. I just happened to have a stand to hold my reflector in the car — and it was windy — so we used it to help anchor the canvas drop cloth we used as a shade screen.
The camera settings on this very bright cloudless day were iso 100, f2.0 with shutter speeds varying between 1500 and 5000. I used a white reflector between me and the dog and sat on a low stool with the reflector leaning against my knees for most of the shots. I used a 50mm lens on my Canon 5d MkIII.
setting up

use wire or twist ties to hold the screen to the fence


adoption photos

building the outdoor set


on site adoption photos

Our PHOTO SWAT TEAM at Camp Diggy Bones


Many thanks to Mark of Shagly Photography, Robin Terrell of Good Dog Fetch, Mica of The Dog Photographer, Lesa Truax, my assistant Jessiree Kubica, Daniel Thompson, Sheila Weaver and all the rest of the crew — you were amazing! The final step is spreading the love on facebook, google +, and on all of our different websites. Please share the story of the dogs and help them (and others) get adopted.

Raising money for animal rescue


This time of year many non-profits are evaluating what worked (and what didn’t) for fundraising as they plan the new year’s budgets and programs.  I thought I’d share a few things that work for the rescues that I work with.

Every year I photograph 13 dogs for the Dallas Fort Worth Dachshund Rescue Foundation for their annual calendar “Picture A New Life.”  These calendars are sold online and at their events and they are big glossy 12×18″ artsy wall calendars. The group chooses the dogs that will be photographed –all dachshunds that have been adopted through their program — and it’s a great way to show off the quality of the animals they save. 2013 is our 6th and we sell out every year! If you’d like to order one, all of the proceeds go to the doxies and they’re available here.

In addition to donating to their silent auction every year,  I try to also donate to the Collin County Humane Society in some other way. This year, we are going to have a food drive at the studio. Everyone that brings a 10# bag of dog food gets a coupon for a free 8×10 print valued at $50.  We’re hoping to fill up a truck!

Dog calendar for Animal Rescue

Profits from The Tiny Dog Calendar benefit Dallas area animal rescue charities

I also personally publish a desktop calendar that I think is adorable. We call it The Tiny Dog Calendar  — and it sits up on a desk or table in a plastic stand which is also the CD case that it arrives in.  Easy to stuff in a Christmas stocking and easy to mail.  Every year I choose some of my favorite shots and sell them in the studio and online. After printing costs, profits are donated to a local animal charity like Paws In the City  and we also sell these at local dog-related events.