Pet Portrait Practice

by Bethany Plonski March. 13, 2019 342 views

Last weekend I attended a workshop on pet portraits, and the instructor brought her wonderfully well-behaved dog so we could practice what we were learning. We had an indoor and outdoor session, and it was really helpful to get a chance to photograph an unfamiliar animal in an unfamiliar space. I like to take pictures of my own pets or my extended family's pets, but there are a whole different set of challenges to consider when you are working with a pet you don't know. In addition to camera and lighting techniques, we talked a lot about body language and how to interact with pets and owners so that everyone is more relaxed.

I wasn't happy with the colors in any of these shots and found that I liked them a lot better in black and white. For the outdoor part, it was a rainy day and we were shooting in a patch of muddy grass in the middle of a parking lot, so the background was not ideal.

For the indoor session we set up a makeshift studio with a chair and a sheet. And our model Tokota got lots of treats and made all kinds of interesting faces for us. I think he took his assignment very seriously!

He also knew how to wave. :)

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Laurie Madsen 2 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a lot of fun!

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Laurie Madsen 2 years, 6 months ago

It was! It's nice to learn and meet other people who enjoy the same kind of photography.

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 years, 6 months ago

+1

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Russell Smith 2 years, 6 months ago

Great series of portraits of the doggo.

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks! He was a sweet dog to work with.

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 years, 6 months ago

Next time you've got to do it with an amateur dog smile Love the pictures

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, glad you liked them. smile I’ve heard a good way to practice is to ask local shelters if you can work with their animals. Hope to try that sometime!

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 2 years, 6 months ago

#1 is really good. Just the most interesting part of the dog and a perfect angle. Black and white by the way does look like the best choice for this dog. smile

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you! It was a little chaotic during the practice shoots because she called us up 5-6 people at a time, but fortunately I was able to get a decent spot for #1smile

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 years, 6 months ago

That many people around a dog, giving it lots of attention, is already a recepy for chaos, yes smile

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg 2 years, 6 months ago

What a delightful blog post, Bethany.  I think I'll have to mimic what you've done with my two yellow labs.

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bob Rosenberg 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you! I hope you'll try it and share with us! It was a lot of fun and good practice at thinking on your feet.

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 2 years, 6 months ago

What a handsome fellow! (((GRIN)))
Great camera work!

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you! I love how expressive boxers' faces are, and they always seem to be so good-natured despite being built like tanks! smile

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 years, 6 months ago

They are real characters!

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
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