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Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Diane] #33052
12/31/10 11:05 PM
12/31/10 11:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
CA
StarrLight Offline
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StarrLight  Offline
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Quote:


So, I masked out everything but the dogs, and put them onto a layer of blended nothing. I think it looks decent, and the customer loves it. But, is it acceptable in the big, wide world of professional pet photography? Do others here do this? Your thoughts and advice would be wonderful. Thanks!





What you might do is to use a clone tool (not sure what its called in Photoshop, I use paint shop pro photo), with very low opacity and select background area just outside the edge of the dog's fur and "smooth" out the edges a bit. It really works wonders!

Diana

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: StarrLight] #33053
01/01/11 01:03 AM
01/01/11 01:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Long Island, NY
Diane Offline OP
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Diane  Offline OP
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Long Island, NY
I did use the clone tool. I masked, cloned, and cloned some more. Fact is, it's way too much work. As we all know, the less we have to do in post processing, the better the final outcome. I like the images I took of the dogs. The backgrounds really sucked. I think I did OK, and the client was very happy, but it's not ideal by a long shot.

I also agree about taking outdoor shots. The light is better, and the backgrounds are always better than a cluttered house. But when I shot this image, it was cold, gray and muddy in her yard. And, the dogs, all six of them, were not well trained at all. They're rescues, and she fosters them. It was a tough shoot.

I am going to get some backdrops. I see now how utterly critical it really is, if I going to pursue this in any meaningful way. Fact is, nature and wildlife photography is more of what I've done over the years, but I'm looking for a more lucrative photography venture now. Pet photography seems like a perfect match. I'm going to hit the business hard when I get back from Uganda in February. (Stay tuned for some of my postings in the wildlife forums.)

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Diane] #33054
01/01/11 08:19 AM
01/01/11 08:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline
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TN
I do not drag backdrops with me. Even if I had, there would not have been room in this house to set them up. This was what I came up with: http://juliepoole.com/blog/2010/12/31/3-dogs-and-3-cats/ The photos on white were done at my studio. They were so happy with those, they asked me to come to their home.

The thing about going into business, is you need to be able to deal with whatever the situation is and come out with a beautiful product. Spastic dogs, mean dogs, insane cats, bad locations, bad lighting conditions etc;

If you go into business before you even know how to handle dogs at their home(and they all act pretty bad, its the rare one that is good, and when you get the easy ones its a total treat)

I have made many many mistakes in my short career and I always try and advise people to not make the mistakes I did. If you really want to make a living doing this stuff, study those who do. Look at what you are doing and then what they are doing and see how they are marketing and what their product quality is(many of these people are on this forum)

Some of my favorites(and there are plenty more I am not listing)
http://smithphotodesign.com
http://www.erinvey.com
http://www.bevhollisphoto.com/
http://www.teresaberg.com/
http://www.bryantdogphotography.com/
http://www.pawprintsphotography.com/
http://www.photobysuebird.com/
http://www.carolbeuchat.com/

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Julie] #33055
01/01/11 08:41 AM
01/01/11 08:41 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Virginia, USA
That one with the little one looking up at the big one is GREAT!

I do seem to recall a while back you swore you would NEVER shoot a butt shot though.

Last edited by Jim Poor; 01/01/11 08:41 AM.
Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Julie] #33056
01/01/11 10:29 AM
01/01/11 10:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Florida
I love doing outdoor portraits and I've used the strobes as primary lighting in addition to doing available light. The problem with that in Orlando is that our average Summer temps are in the 90's and dogs really don't look great with their tongues hanging down to the ground. But if you can find a great location on a decent day, it's gold!

I agree with everything else that Julie says especially the requirement to be prepared for everything. That's why I bring my studio-in-a-van to all location shoots. I may not use any of it or just some of it but it's there if I need it. And it doesn't require a lot of schlepping to get it there.

As for the dogs, I guess I've been really lucky. I've not found one that was impossible to photograph. Some bait better than others and some are more photogenic than others but I shoot mainly show dogs and they are used to being posed and baited. Regular family dogs are harder but -- knock on wood -- I've never met one that was mean. Some that were shy but we worked it out. Some that preferred to be sitting in my lap licking my face but we also worked that out . Like shooting shows, it's all about getting the shot. You have to continually create situations in your mind that will give the dog a chance to show his/her personality. The technical stuff -- camera, lens, backdrops, lighting, etc. -- has to be almost automatic. You need to put yourself in a position to concentrate on the subject and get the shot(s).

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Jim Garvie] #33057
01/01/11 10:33 AM
01/01/11 10:33 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Virginia, USA
I meant to add. One of the best ways to learn to deal with all sorts of dogs is to do portraits for rescue group adoption pages. I did that for quite a while before I ever dreamed of charging for my work.

This year, I hope to open up more time to get back to the rescues again!

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Jim Poor] #33058
01/01/11 12:28 PM
01/01/11 12:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Long Island, NY
Diane Offline OP
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Diane  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2007
Long Island, NY
God, you guys are all great!!! I am serious about shooting pets. Very serious. My day job is a landscape architect/planner for the National Park Service, and I am about two years from retirement. So, I don't need to make a gazillion bucks doing this. But, I do want to supplement my retirement income, as I will be taking quite a hit. And, the fact is, I LOVE photography. It's my passion. My day job is for the money, quite frankly. If I can get as much equipment as possible (I just replaced my old Sigma 70-200 2.8-4.0 with the newer constant aperture OS) before I retire, then I'll be good to go.

Julie, I'm going to check out all those links you posted. I will also need to hire someone to revamp my website to something more professional. Right now, it's a mess, which undoubtedly you've all noticed already. :-)

Also, about 10 miles from here is the national headquarters of the Guide Dog Foundation. I think I could start there, and of course, the rescue dogs. The chocolate poodle is a rescue, the largest poodle I EVER saw, about 8 months old, untrained, and very wary. He was a challenge. I did charge a very minimal amount for the job - Would you believe $40 for the sitting (for 6 nutso dogs) plus her cost for any prints from my website, which she has yet to order. She was really happy with that. Suffice it to say, I took a loss on this job. hehehe.......

I have owned dogs, but not now. Zuki, my dusty dog, was a rescue, shepherd/wolf mix from a no-kill shelter. I was her fourth owner, and she was only 18 months when I got her. A huge, 110 lbs scared, obviously beaten, severe separation anxiety, car sickness like you wouldn't believe, and just beautiful. It took 2 years of real work to train her to live in a human world. I loved that dog like you wouldn't believe. We worked it out, and in the process, I learned a lot about dealing with difficult dogs. Not that I'm an expert, but I do know a few things. :-) She was euthanized at age 7, after a fibrocartelagenous embolism (FCE) rendered her a quadriplegic. It broke my heart.

http://www.dustydogdigital.com/Pets/Pets/4194759_wG8Ax#136171263_Jn7gD-A-LB

I am so glad I started this thread. I did so rather tentatively, expecting to be somewhat trashed for putting up something so "unprofessional." You all are great. Thank you so much.

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Jim Poor] #33059
01/01/11 01:02 PM
01/01/11 01:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Long Island, NY
Diane Offline OP
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Diane  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2007
Long Island, NY
Quote:

That one with the little one looking up at the big one is GREAT!

I do seem to recall a while back you swore you would NEVER shoot a butt shot though.




Did I say that?

Actually, I think I did post that a center, highlight portrait in a collage should have a dog with both eyes visible. It's a preference thing.

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Diane] #33060
01/01/11 02:31 PM
01/01/11 02:31 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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Virginia, USA
Quote:

Quote:

That one with the little one looking up at the big one is GREAT!

I do seem to recall a while back you swore you would NEVER shoot a butt shot though.




Did I say that?

Actually, I think I did post that a center, highlight portrait in a collage should have a dog with both eyes visible. It's a preference thing.




Nope, Julie said that a while back about a butt shot.

Re: Is this acceptable??? [Re: Jim Poor] #33061
01/03/11 07:58 AM
01/03/11 07:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline
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Julie  Offline
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TN
Jim, I would not shoot an action shot as a butt shot. There is no point to it unless something really neat happened that I happen to catch.

The walking away photos I will do, or looking away. Its better with a dog like a whippet, that hides its privates, but, in life it just depends.

But, the moody looking away photos I will do. Some people love them, but most aren't really into them

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