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.
We’re trying something new! If you’re interested in improving your photography skills, but you’re NOT planning to be a professional pet photographer, we have a new workshop. Just “all about shooting” for those of you who want to learn hands on! We’ll have live dogs modeling for us and we’ll set up a variety of different shots for you. Indoors, outdoors, with flash, using reflectors, etc.
This workshop is for people with DSLRs — so no point & shoot cameras this time. We’ll talk about lenses, creating some special effects, getting the dog’s attention and keeping him in one spot, exposure, metering, what equipment to use, etc. But it’s all shooting, no business, marketing and very little talk about working with animal rescue. Just learning to use your camera. One day only, shooting with Teresa in a small group setting. The fee is $295 which includes a catered lunch. I have been getting tons of requests for a workshop like this, so now’s your chance. Come shoot with me! If you want more details, check out my other blog: www.teresaberg.com/blog.
If you’re anywhere near Austin, Texas in March 16-18th you may want to check out this great conference! The cost of enrollment is really reasonable and they’re doing lots of great training and workshops –including one that I will be doing on (you guessed it) Photographing dogs. Visit their website for a full list of workshops and details.
You can read more about it here Come join us!
There are any number of places you could choose to create portraits of cats and dogs for their adoption ads. There is usually more light outdoors if you can find a quiet spot without a distracting background — and if you’re photographing dark colored dogs you need all the light you can get! You should look for a bright shady spot away from other dogs, bicycles and noisey traffic–all things that are way more interesting to your subject that you are. If you want him to look at the camera (and you do) then isolate him from distractions.
Choose the background carefully (how about a hedge or a brick wall ?) and then face your subject towards the light. In other words, shoot IN TO the shade, don’t stand in the shade and have the bright sun behind your subject. Get down on his eye level (yes, this involves bending at the knees and getting on the ground. It’s worth it) and surprise him with one sharp crazy noise — he’ll look right at you — and you’ll create a photograph that will reach out and grab someone’s attention.
Sometimes, we’re so glad just to get a sharp clear photo that we forget to look at a dog’s body language. Hurray! He’s looking at the camera and he’s in focus –CLICK! But just because we can look at his photo and tell what breed he is doesn’t mean that photo will help him get adopted. You have to take it one step further. My previous blog post talked about recognizing animal behavior — so now let’s build upon the idea. Most dogs look friendlier with an open mouth, but you MUST pay attention to the ears. Forget the wagging tail, it may not even show in your portrait of this pet –but the eyes and the ears are key. The little guy pictured here was sleepy. You can see by the first image posted that we weren’t getting that happy alert face. We photographed the whole litter and shot him last, hoping he would perk up, but all he wanted to do was slump down and take a nap. Plus, because he was almost all black, I really needed him to look friendly. No amount of coaxing made him a happy camper –so we placed him in a shallow basket with a couple of his litter mates (who were wide awake) and he started having fun. Then, we were able to photograph him alone for an individual portrait for his online listing. What makes puppies happy? Other puppies! What makes a fat older dog happy? A treat! What makes a hunting dog happy? A ball or something he can chase –he doesn’t know you’re not going to throw it for him.
The bottom line: friendly dogs get invited to stay. Sad, frightened or mean-looking dogs get left behind. So do your best to learn what makes your subject tick, and then make him happy. Just a couple of days until our next webinar!
In 2009, two pet photographer friends and I started teaching a series of pet photography workshops called Unleashed. Since many of the readers of this blog only know me as the “lady who photographs rescue dogs” I thought you should have a little background information –especially since we have a workshop coming up in June.
My friends, Barbara Breitsameter from Chicago and Bev Hollis, from the Washington D.C. area and I were on a mission to improve pet photography as a business and to raise public awareness for the art form itself. When we started, pet photographers were known as the people who set up a booth in the aisle at the pet store and did $15 portraits. I can honestly say, three years later, that we have made amazing progress. We have taught workshops in Dallas, Chicago (twice), Virginia and now Dallas again for 2012. We keep evolving and learning and meeting wonderful photographers wherever we go. Many of our graduates have their own thriving pet photography businesses and are located all over the U.S. and Canada.
In 2011, we were honored to teach a full day at Imaging USA, the national conference for the Professional Photographers of America. We’ve been featured in Professional Photographer magazine and many other publications along the way and it’s been a wonderful experience for all three of us. Our dear friend Barabara has opted not to teach with us this time, but we feel honored to once again offer an Unleashed workshop in here in Dallas on June 2-4th.
If you love dogs and love photography it’s probably the most fun you will ever have at a workshop. You need a DSLR and a lot of energy –but most of all, a love for dogs. You can read all about it on the Unleashed blog. We keep the group small so that we can work “hands on” with all of our students, so if you’re interested don’t delay.
I’m including last year’s promo video here but I warn you –it will make you want to run out and become a full time pet photographer!
Dogster did this great interview a few months ago and I just wanted to share it with our blog readers. If you’re just looking for a place to start practicing with pet photography and don’t even know where to start — this article will really help. I would suggest taking one tip at a time and practicing that technique before moving on to the next.
To read it on Dogster: CLICK HERE If you have trouble with this link (like some of our readers have) you can review the list on this blog.
We cover a lot of this information (as it applies to animal rescue portraits) in our webinar, but it’s great to see it side-by-side with the sample shots.
Still room for a few more people in our webinar this coming Monday. Use the pull-down menu above to get more information. And we’ll soon be announcing the next webinar –where we will talk more about DSLRs and how to set up a photo studio on site at an animal shelter. We’ll go deeper in to different types of lighting and equipment, too. So those of you who have already attended will get some help as you work your way in to the next level. If you haven’t found us on facebook, you can find us HERE
Thanks for all you do — you really are making a difference!