Making the Shot – Posing three dogs

I am often asked, “how do you ever get dogs to pose for pictures?”  This picture prompted a lot of those questions!  The posing was just what we imagined – three different levels to their eyes and triangle shape to the final look.    But all is not as it seems!   These are great dogs with good obedience training, but once in a room with each other and strange lights, well……they did not have a lot of interest in staying where we wanted!

So I thought I would share the before and after.  As you can see below, all three dogs wore small show leads.  Because they were moving all over the place,  the leads got quite tangled in their coats.  It took a while for us to figure out that the little female labradoodle needed to be right by the tall male Golden, otherwise she would roll on her back in submissive gestures to his sister, the other golden on the left.  Once we had them positioned right, we just decided to fix the leashes in post processing.  You will notice below that the dogs are also placed too far to the left – another problem that needed to be fixed in post processing. Sometimes it is just not worth it to move the dogs and risk never getting the posing right again. So the work in photoshop included use of the content aware patch tool to eliminate the leashes and hand.  Then the backdrop and baseboard were extended about a foot  using a combination of tools including duplicating/moving other sections of the baseboard and backdrop and the patch tool.  Then after some finesse work with Color Efex Pro filters to highlight the dogs, the image was finished.


Project 52 – “Love”

February is all about Valentines Day and love, so this week’s Project 52 with other pet photographers from all over the world, was to photograph our pets in a Valentine’s Day setting or sharing the love.  Well how fun is that?  And what a wonderful excuse to pull out a beautiful pink background and fluffy white rug.  I started with a cute Golden Retriever stuffed animal as a prop, but that didn’t work too well because Julie just insisted on sniffing it (why there?) and Jack just stared at it like it was his next meal.

So I took some shots of them by themselves- what cuties!

But we still needed a little ‘something’ extra, so we invited best buddy Piper, all 14 pounds of miniature labradoodle, over to play.

And then we got them all together.  Special thanks to Piper’s mom for helping with the wrangling!

Follow the  ‘love’  blog posts all around the world and see some wonderful work by other pet photographers.  Start with Kathryn Schauer Photography, in Guilford CT  and click on the links at the end of each blog post until you end up back here!    Have fun!

Meet Chulo – a most handsome Burnese Mountain Dog Puppy!

Last fall I photographed beautiful Semi in a Memories Session. He lost his battle with cancer in January after living a very long and happy life. Understandably, the family was heartbroken. Their plan was to wait until this fall to start  looking for another Burnese Mountain Dog puppy. Well sometimes waiting is just not meant to be. I met 11 week old Chulo last week. I think Semi is watching over this little guy and helping him to grow into another wonderful dog. He is all fluff and happiness and sharp teeth!
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Project 52 – “Happy Face”

I am participating in weekly pet photography project with other photographers from all over the world.  This week’s subject is “Happy Face” or what do we see from our furry friends when we get home.  I have two very mellow dogs – two year old siblings Jack and Julie. Their access to me when I get home is always blocked by a gate.  Inside it is a gate my cat could  push over, but the pups  never do.  They wait patiently for their hello.  Outside,  their access to the main gate is blocked by another smaller gate.  Again, they patiently wait.  You must be thinking  – “Is that it?  Don’t they get excited by anything?”  Well my UPS guy is on vacation this week otherwise I would show you my dogs dancing on the outside gate!  He brings them treats every day!   Maybe I should start doing that??   Love my furballs!  (I got to experiment with my new Westcott Ice Light on the top photos – I think I am going to love that thing!)

Check out the how Ragamuffin, a professional pet photographer in Melbourne Australia interpreted this fun topic and take a wonderful trip around the world by following the whole blog circle until you end up back here!


Memories Session – Sweet Clyde

As I photographed beautiful 12 year old Clyde today, I observed a most special relationship between Clyde and his loving owners.  They are a young couple facing a future without their beloved dog who is battling cancer.  In some ways I felt like an interloper, observing an intimate love that an outsider shouldn’t be able to see.   During the session I felt such a range of emotions; I would well up with tears as I observed something touching, or I would bust out laughing at Clyde’s wonderful ability to tune out any funny sound I made to get his attention, but how he never lost sight of the person with the treat bag. It doesn’t happen very often, but I cried as I picked out these few images to share.  It was an absolute honor to be entrusted with the responsibility to capture these memories of Clyde.  Thank you Alex and Andrew.

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