Dog photographers: Seeing red for great portraits

February 1, 2019
maremma sheepdog napping

I don’t do a lot of indoor work. I’m not at the stage where I have a studio like many dog photographers.

I may never have a studio.

An adventurer, a hiker, a hobbyist landscape photographer, I freakin’ love the outdoors.

I love #dogsonrocks, #adventuredogs, #dogsthathike … well, you get the picture.

In one Facebook group, we were challenged to make a one-light image and, in the Project 52 blog circle, we were challenged this week to make an image using the color red.

This wasn’t easy.

I thought about putting Bella in a Calgary Flames jersey, but she’s really not the #fangirl type.

I racked my brain and finally decided to mash the two challenges together, bust out an off-camera flash and reflector, put Bella on the couch, and tuck her into my snuggly red plaid bankie.

All snuggled up

Since we’re in a bit of mid-winter chill in Spokane and Eastern Washington — not as bad as our Mid-West and East Coast, mind you, but cold enough for us! — I think it fits the bill.

How about you? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be snuggled up next to this doll?

maremma sheepdog models for dog photographers

sad maremma sheepdog

You see that she’s none too happy about being my professional dog model, right?

My vision was to replicate this image taken with my (exceedingly crappy) HTC One A9 phone camera.

It was taken very much in the moment. Bella was napping and being her Adorabella little self. (As opposed to those times when she’s Beelzebella.)

maremma sheepdog napping

Yet, she isn’t much one for posing.

She doesn’t really care for sitting around and waiting when she decides there’s something she’d rather be doing. (It’s not like I can’t empathize.)

And she will not pretend to nap for me.

So, I had to switch gears and bribe her with some Jiffy peanut butter on her favorite red Kong bone.

maremma sheepdog chewing on rubber bone

big white dog with favorite toy

All around the dog photographers circle

Ultimately, this little challenge reminded me I should stick with outdoor stuff.

It’s easier to plan, easier to manage, easier to get a great pose out of a dog (because what dog doesn’t love being outside?).

At least for me, that’s the plan.

Plenty of dog photographers around the world rule the studio shot. You’re likely to run into a few of them if you start clicking through our weekly blog circle. This week, I’m throwing you over to Ursula, a freelance photographer based on the south shore of Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin.

It’s cold out there but over here in Spokane, WA, and North Idaho, we’re enjoying some temps on the warmer side of the thermometer. We dip down next week but I am still taking bookings for the rescue promotion I announced last week.

For $59, you and your rescue dog get a one-hour portrait session, a mounted 8×10 and two digital files ready for social media sharing. All you have to do is share the story about how your rescue dog changed your life.

I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    8 Comments

  • Darlene
    February 14, 2019
    Reply

    I love dogs on rocks, too! And the whole outdoor thing! I can relate! Bella is beautiful. Great images!

  • Lynda Mowat
    February 9, 2019
    Reply

    Bella is delightful. I adore that image of her feet. There’s just something special about relaxed paws🙂🙂 I don’t think o said this twice?

    • Lynda Mowat
      February 9, 2019
      Reply

      Oops. I did. Sorry🙂

  • Lynda Mowat
    February 9, 2019
    Reply

    Bella is delightful. I adore that image of her feet. There’s just something special about relaxed paws🙂🙂

  • Jo Lyons
    February 8, 2019
    Reply

    I enjoyed the subtlety of your red tones for this week… they tie in beautifully with Bella.

  • Elaine
    February 7, 2019
    Reply

    I can see why you named her Bella. She is beautiful. Great idea to combine both challenges!

  • Ursula
    February 1, 2019
    Reply

    Beautiful dog. She reminds me of my sweet boy Teddy long since gone across the rainbow bridge. Beautiful shots. We love the o outdoors too, but boy has it been cold! Enjoy the warmer weather and keep on shooting!

  • Colleen
    February 1, 2019
    Reply

    Bella is so beautiful and her eyes are so very expressive. I love your indoor shots! I too use mostly natural light so find the studio stuff a challenge. I know it sounds unbelievable but our temps this week have been as low as -50C so outdoor time has been very limited. At least we have the sunshine but I can’t help but dream of warmer days.

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