photographing rescue dogs

Up Periscope! Join us for a free live photo shoot with Periscope


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!

dog photography teresa berg

OOPS, I almost forgot — our ‘name’ on Periscope is TBERGPHOTO   See you there soon!

What’s in the background? Take another look


Photographing shelter pets can be challenging, especially in the shelter environment where the noise level makes your subject extra nervous. But one of the other big challenges you may face is the background. As animal rescue volunteers, we love the little furry faces and learn to look beyond the messy cages and unattractive clutter. But we’re not photographing these dogs for ourselves, we’re in marketing! We have a “product” to sell to the public. Our goal is to showcase these animals and make them look BETTER than the pet store variety. So how do we do that?

Lighting, expression and background. Today we’ll talk about background — because in a way, it’s the easiest to change. When I set up a photo studio in a shelter setting I frequently use seamless background paper. It’s available in hundreds of colors, on 12 yard rolls, from big photo supply places like Adorama and B and H Photo or possibly your local camera store. If you’re only photographing one pet at a time, you probably would prefer to use the 53″ width which is also easier if you’re putting it in your car or storing it in a closet after you shoot. I prefer a neutral color (like a super white, or focus gray) because it works well with light or dark fur — but have fun and change it up a bit. At about $25 per roll it will last a long time and do a good job for you. You can extend the life of your paper even more if you don’t roll it out to cover the floor, or if you cover it with clear plexiglass from Home Depot. Just make sure if you don’t cover the floor that you at least have something clean and attractive for them to stand on, like these cool mats.

I realize that not every shelter has a budget for floor mats and background paper but trust me, it’s an investment that really pays off.  If you can’t afford faux flooring, at least invest in some paper.  Or if you are using the same corner over and over, paint the wall!

A background needs to be clean, wrinkle free and non-reflective. Set this up next to a big window or glass door (see the lighting diagram furnished in this blog) and grab one of the great reflectors we have written about and you have a very portable studio that will work in a variety of situations!

A window and a wall and you've got a studio!

A window and a wall and you’ve got a studio!