Our 2017 Tiny Dog calendars are available this week –and until they’re sold out — at our Etsy shop here. But even better than that, these beautiful dogs will become a traveling exhibit of framed art to inspire people to adopt! We’ve taken 14 of the rescue dogs from the calendar model group and added their “rescue stories” in text on the photograph and then framed them for display. Stay tuned for photos of the exhibit. Maybe something that will work in your area?
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.
Several people have written me with concerns about how to get an animal shelter interested in using volunteer photographers. Many think that improving the online photos will make little or no difference to their adoption efforts. Of course, we know differently! It’s not always easy to convince someone to try something new –especially when they’re over-worked and under-staffed. Be patient with your local shelter!
Some of our recent webinar students have waited for several months to get their “foot in the door” with the local animal shelter, but have found great success in working with independent rescue groups. We talk about how this works, how to make the approach, and how to actually set up the shots during the webinar. The webinar download is available for $40 (just click the webinar tab at the top of this page to purchase and instantly watch it!).
And for those of you who haven’t seen the CBS Sunday Morning News story, this is a really great way to convince someone at your local shelter to give it a try!
This simple little basket is a life-saver! I set it next to me when I’m shooting and it keeps me from having to jump up and go hunting for the little treasures that it holds. I can’t tell you how distracting it is for your subject when you walk away and start digging in a drawer or a box. Their concentration will be completely blown. I keep a couple of noise makers, a couple of eye-catching things (for deaf dogs and hunting dogs) and a few treats and some bling. What could be better? Make a list of things you need and keep them close at hand.
I originally photographed this basket as a part of my preparation for the Unleashed Workshop — which we will be offering again soon.