We’re busy selling votes for the 2017 Tiny Dog Calendar. This is our annual fundraising project and the each vote costs $1. Only the top 13 vote-getters make it in to the 2017 calendar, but each and every little model has fun in the process.
This year we collaborated with a wonderful local florist, Sheila Johnson of FLORAL CONCEPTS to create something colorful and spectacular for each of our models. No tired silk flowers for these babies! We think the results are well worth it. Our goal is to have a traveling display that will go up in several area public spaces to show off just how beautiful our furry friends are. And maybe inspire people to adopt or donate.
Most of the models are local rescues, but ALL of the voting money goes to a local charity — Artists for Animals — to help them save more homeless pets. The calendars will go on sale in the fall — as well as some limited edition greeting cards. So keep an eye on our Etsy shop for greeting cards, but you can PRE-order your calendars now.
Have you tried it? Periscope is a new social media platform (owned by Twitter) that allows you to watch a live, streaming video on your smart phone or tablet — and interact with the person broadcasting the video by typing questions that he or she can answer.
When I saw my first Periscope video I thought — what a great way to show people how we photograph adoptable dogs! So here’s fair warning: If you want to be part of our FIRST Periscope broadcast and watch me photographing rescue dogs in my studio, all you have to do is download the Periscope app and get familiar with it! It’s all F R E E. And with a little practice, you can ask me a question during the broadcast.
Everything you need to know is in this Wiki: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Periscope
We’ll be broadcasting live on October 20th (start time to be announced, but it will be in the afternoon, Central Daylight Time) here at Teresa Berg Photography with some dogs, some treats, some crazy squeeky toys and, hopefully, YOU!
OOPS, I almost forgot — our ‘name’ on Periscope is TBERGPHOTO See you there soon!
My wonderful assistant, Jessiree and I just finished photographing adoptable dogs at the Rockwall Adoption Center in Rockwall, Texas. They have a great staff and a wonderful facility — and thanks to the generosity of Dallas businessman, Jack Knox, they have photography equipment on site. So all we had to do is grab our cameras and some props and show up for a day of photography. The shot you see posted here was done at the shelter. We used (obviously) the yellow background paper and the Westcott TD6 continuous light system with a 24×36″ softbox and a 42X72″ reflector. Our pull back (set up shot) is included here so you can see the placement and the equipment. They have a conference room and keep the equipment set up in the corner just as you see it. This way it is also available for “intake” photos if they have someone there who can use their camera. We used an ISO of 640, a shutter speed of 400 and an fstop of 2.2 for most of the images we shot. We’ll post more examples soon. Publish your questions as comments and we’ll do our best to answer them promptly! Yes, this does involve sitting on the floor quite a bit, as most of the dogs were medium to large sized. You can do this!
If you are close to the Rockwall, Texas area and you would like to volunteer as one of their photographers and use this equipment for your adoption photos, the nice people there will gladly sign you up as a volunteer! They have a helpful group of people and really need some help with their photography. Visit their website and give them a call.
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!
When you start photographing adoptable pets for a local rescue group or shelter it will take a little time to “get in the groove.” You need to find a helper, or train someone with the rescue group to be your assistant. Finding just the right location and experimenting with different lighting conditions can also take some time. But once you figure out the variables and feel more confident, you’re going to help save a lot of dogs. It’s a fact.
THEN, the rave reviews start coming in and people approach you and tell you they adopted their new dog because of YOUR photograph. The rescue group will start getting comments on their website or blog, the local newspaper might catch wind of the story and want to write about you. All of a sudden YOU are making a real difference.
Now what? I decided a long time ago that one camera can only save so many dogs — but every dog lover with a camera knows another dog lover with a camera. You can see where I’m going with this. Yep. It’s multi-level marketing. If you’re handling the dogs and your camera with some success — you’re ready to get someone else started! The world can only get better.
Share this blog with them, tell them about Hearts Speak (www.heartsspeak.org ) and Petfinder.com — have them work side-by-side with you a couple of times — then you can relax and share the happy endings.
Using a slogan or tagline with your rescue portraits can be very effective for raising awareness
I recently discovered a fabulous website with some really good resources for those of us who work with dogs. Check out Dr. Yin’s website : The Art & Science of Animal Behavior. There are lots of good tips and free downloads for us. Here I have included the download on recognizing fear in dogs. This is very important for photographers who approach unfamiliar dogs –not only do we need to know when to snap the picture, we need to know when to back off to avoid getting bitten. Know your subject! Thanks, Dr. Yin.
Do you know any Pit Bulls? The shelters around the country are overflowing with them — and you could probably make a case for Pit Bulls being the most misunderstood and the most often euthanized of any shelter animal. For this reason alone, the breed captured my interest. Did you know Pit Bulls are BANNED in 14 states? If you own one, you may even have trouble getting homeowner’s insurance –and forget about finding a place that will rent to you. All because of a few ugly news stories about dog fighting and a certain pro football player.
So I’m launching my own personal campaign to give the breed a better ‘face.’ I’m not alone in this. Many Pit Bull (you can call them pibbles) owners have started working on the public to give these dogs a fair shake. Remember Cesar Milan’s ‘Daddy’? What a sweet loving (and yes, scary looking) pibble! He is gone now but there is a foundation set up to help abused animals in his name.
Basically, I would ask each of you to go to your facebook page and remove any images of mean or threatening pibbles. Just hide them! Starting today, let’s only show them with humor and grace. They are beautiful, loving dogs and if we can just show them that way, the tide of public opinion will start to turn. Every generation seems to have it’s breed prejudices. When I was a kid, everyone was afraid of Dobermans. Everyone, that is, except me –because I grew up listening to my father’s stories about Rex, the wonderful doberman that he grew up with.
So until we can get everyone in America to personally meet a Pit Bull and change their pre-conceived ideas about them, let’s take beautiful photographs that show how loving and smart they are! Deal?
I’ve been studying options for point & shoot cameras… and it’s surprising how good these cameras are getting. A couple of very important tips if you’re planning on doing a lot of pet photography — (1) get a fast lens! (2) get a camera with image stabilization technology and (3) get a camera where you can choose whether to use the built-in flash. The cheaper p&s cameras all have flashes built in, but some of them fire whether you want them to or not.
I shop a lot online at Adorama, which is a big photographic supply company in New York and I have often purchased used equipment from them with excellent results. Today I was shopping and found THIS. A used Canon G7. A great camera with all of the above features and only $169! It has a fast (2.8) lens, image stabilization and with 10 megapixels you’ll get all the detail you need. It also has great low light capabilities (with ISO up to 1600!) so you won’t be dependent on flash and other supplemental light sources. So if you’re camera shopping to improve your pet photography and you’re not ready for a DSLR, buy one like this and love the results.
We’ll talk more about camera features and equipment in the webinar. Our next class is Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30pm CENTRAL time. Sign up information is in pull down menu (above). Join us!