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My pet portrait fundraiser #5647
11/12/06 09:50 PM
11/12/06 09:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline OP
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Julie  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Well, it was interesting. It was chaotic and it was tiring. I truly had a great time. I think about 100 animals went through. Cats, dogs, and ferrets! I had a couple of big groups and amazingly got great shots of them.

I am only going to put two in this post, as, I will link some of my favorites if you care to click. These two for some reason speak to me. Both these animals are dying. The dog of cancer and I am not sure what the cat has. I felt honored to do these portraits.





Here are the rest of them

favorite portraits

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Julie] #5648
11/12/06 11:29 PM
11/12/06 11:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
M
Matt Offline
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Matt  Offline
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M

Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
Hey wow those all turned out great! You definately got it down to a science. I hope you don't mind but I might also use some of your christmas backdrop ideas for christmas shoots I'm about to start. I was going to do something a little more trendy, so here's the idea I had, but I'm going to use some others too.

My idea was to get a red brick backdrop and a small childrens leather couch I found, and put the christmas tree with presents underneath beside the chair, and use reindeer or santa hats on the pets, but I might get some other stuff to have more options available to me. I like the "Merry Christmas" letters.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Julie] #5649
11/12/06 11:49 PM
11/12/06 11:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, A...
PossumCorner Offline
Old hand
PossumCorner  Offline
Old hand

Joined: Dec 2005
Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, A...
Julie they are all great and some are superb! Really proud of you if that is appropriate - your perseverance has paid off brilliantly. You must be more than pleased (and relieved). Hope as a fund-raiser it works well, and also that you get some good continuing work out of it as a Julie fund-raiser.

Do we get to see the rest of them somewhere when ready? Also interested in how the ferrets look.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: PossumCorner] #5650
11/13/06 12:02 AM
11/13/06 12:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline OP
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Julie  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
TN
You just do not understand how much I winged it on this one. My Friday people got jipped. The person in charge of it was barking at me, my assistant got delayed, and I just did a crappy job setting up my lights. I was too stressed to *think*.

My friend who helped me some, called me at midnight Friday and we did a bit of brainstorming. We went in early, before everyone got there and redid the place. We moved tables, put up a screen and made it less distracting for the animals.

This weekend, my best lesson I learned was to take control. By Sunday, I was able to bring the volunteers together, give them instruction on what I needed them to do and NOT to do. I had to actually get after the head of it, as she kept bringing the animals and owners next in line over past the screen. Which, just caused issues as the animals on the table immediately became distracted and wouldn't look at me.

Matt, use any ideas you want. Even if you had the exact same stuff, you would put your ideas on it and it wouldn't be the same. I got the Merry Christmas sign at Target. Bought that Thursday. I would love to see a photo of your idea, sounds awesome

The ferrets were really tough as if they got loose, it would have been *bad*. Too many dogs and too big a place. I am working on them to remove hands.

I will put all of these up in proof galleries as soon as I get the prints fufilled. THAT is going to take all week. I am not complaining, as this is the most I have made on one job by far!

I had many people say they wanted private shoots in a studio. I can rent time in a friend's studio. Which will be great

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Julie] #5651
11/13/06 12:54 AM
11/13/06 12:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
M
Matt Offline
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Matt  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
Thanks! I should have all the stuff together by the end of this week.

I also had an idea for a small sleigh, but I'm having trouble finding one before I start taking shots. If you know where I can find one in a store that would be great. Most of the pet photography I do is small dogs, I've been doing it for 3 or 4 months and I still have yet to do anything bigger than a regular sized schnauzer (lucky, I know) but I already got two appointments for bull mastifs and a great dane (YIKES) I'm a little nervous on those... I actually haven't had anyone come in for cat pictures either.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Matt] #5652
11/13/06 07:23 AM
11/13/06 07:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline OP
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Julie  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Great Danes and Mastiffs are not difficult to shoot, as they tend to be pretty laid back. The small dogs are either super easy(like the chihuahua and the shi tzu pictured) or so difficult you pray for a couple of good shots.

With the big dogs, you just need longer backdrops or a different place to sit. My table was made for St Bernards, but, not all large dogs are comfortable on a table. I did have full sized collies(100+lbs) on my table, but, they were trained to a grooming table.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Julie] #5653
11/13/06 12:47 PM
11/13/06 12:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
Tony Bynum Offline
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Tony Bynum  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
Julie, Ive watched your growth from the begining, I think you did a great job. I'm no expert and may even be a bit critical at times, but as a casual onlooker, and not a pet photographer Ė Iíve owned big and small animals all my life and raised Australian Cattle Dogs (they were working dogs) since I was a wee-small boy Ė Iíd have to say you did a great job overall.

I think you did a great job considering the difficulties you had with your team, and all the different situations and pets and people and angles and on and on. I think youíre a heck a good person for doing what you do, keep it up!

I have a question, why do people get just their pest photographed? I understand show shots for sales etc, but I did not realize that people just go to get their pets seasonally photographed. Do people return to have just their pets photographed year after year?

I have a few constructive comments. First, I prefer to see the dogs in natural positions, mostly like youíve done, but do not like to see the frontal, face on penis shot like the one on your opening page. Sure itís natural, but itís very in your face. Really, itís a great shot, but for me, itís just a little too much. Like I said, I own horses, cattle and small animals, but to me those shots are only appealing to ďseriousĒ dog people, and their owners. Thatís your audience, so my comments are from an outsider, looking in. Even a little angle on that shot would give it a more appealing appearance.

Second, I think you should try to take a few photo journalistic, or candid type shots of the pet and the owner interacting with one another. Just shoot it while youíre prepping them for the strict pose. Some of your shots are a bit too posed and too static. I know itís tough to shoot animals, I do horses all the time, but, I think you could be a little quicker on shutter, and try to catch that occasional face to face, or emotional shot between the animal and the owner. I also think you could dial down the lights a bit, or put a bit more angle on them and drop down the back lighting for a more dramatic light.

Have you read any good portrait lighting books? I think you should try some more directional light, your stuff, while technically correct in many ways, is kind of flat, and I think thatís because of the lack of shadows (in the right places) and too much straight on light. A more personal mood would make your shots really stand out!!!

That said, Iím very impressed that you could do so well with the family shots and all those dogs and kids!!!!!!!! I really think you did a great job on the white background shot with all those kids, dogs, and parentsÖ. I never could pull that off!!!!!

You must have to tape the heck out of your power cords etc! You must be glad you got better light stands; I know Iíd be real nervous about a dog bumping the light stands. Donít you wish you could mount them on tracks!!!! That would be awesome!!

Keep it up. I think youíre doing great.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Tony Bynum] #5654
11/13/06 01:19 PM
11/13/06 01:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
M
Matt Offline
Wanderer
Matt  Offline
Wanderer
M

Joined: Nov 2006
Louisiana
Most people just want their pet photographed around here. It's not as uncommon as you think. I have my dog all around my apartment without me being in a single shot with him. I've only gotten requests to do portrait/pets just a few times.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Tony Bynum] #5655
11/13/06 01:55 PM
11/13/06 01:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline OP
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Julie  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
TN
I had 6 minutes per client. The room was full of cats, dogs, and I had an annoyingly bossy and counterproductive person running the show. She would bring the next clients into my area as I was shooting

It was good to get ears and the animal to stay still. PJ style wasn't an option. Most owners had no desire to be in the shots. They wanted pet photos only.

If I had a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of time, I would have done things differently. What I did have was a gymnasium full of animals, a pit bull fight, cats so freaked they peed themselves and helpers who did their best, but really didn't know how to help.

If it is a male, its got a penis, in a 6 min span with owners wanting 2 to 3 backdrops, you get what you can get. Hard to get really good lighting when you don't have time to adjust it. Well, Friday my lighting was just *bad*. Flat is ok with me, as long as it isn't BAD.

I am not used to working under these conditions. I really probably bit off more than I should have tried to chew. People seemed happy and all went pretty well considering.

It was a great experience and I learned quite a bit in many areas this weekend. Though, I have to kinda laugh at trying to get PJ style shots under those conditions. The dogs were very very stressed. I don't know what was making them so keyed up, but not a one wasn't panting. It wasn't hot in there either.

Re: My pet portrait fundraiser [Re: Julie] #5656
11/13/06 01:58 PM
11/13/06 01:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
Tony Bynum Offline
Pooh-Bah
Tony Bynum  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
Just trying to be an objective onlooker. Takem' or leavem' . . .

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