My last studio sessions for 2015 – Old Bakery – and the idea was pets and mayhem … who ever said you should never work with pets .. it was an interesting evening – the animals were well under control, but there was lots of things to learn and to take forward from the session.
Working with a model on a table top you had to work quickly, the lights had to be prepared before the model was put in the scene, the treats had to be worthy and you had to be able to get the pets attention.
The pets preferred to be looking at their owners than the photographer… so that had to be considered, and it was of course essential to make sure the dog looked his best and did not jump off the table.
Some dogs liked to be rewarded with treats, others were not interested in treats at all – to be honest this young lady was an experience model and to be honest new exactly what she was doing… she was not dressed for the shoot….
Add some antlers and she was ready … the snowman helps with the sense of scale to the picture – a perfect Christmas card image for the owner to send out.
With animals in the studio you had to work fast so that they did not get away, they lost interest quickly and needed regular breaks, and you had to be aware of the lights and the cameras – so that nothing got trodden on or knocked over…
There was only one animal that wee’d and poo’d on the studio floor – a hazard of working with pets and that was surprising the tortoise … once he had relaxed he did move relatively quickly, and although I felt lacked facial character, I was pleased to be able to capture him with a shadow under his shell … so that there is a sense of movement.
Pets and their owners
For me … I was looking for images that told a story and I wanted to capture the owner and their pet. I ended up with shoots of people’s legs … a different challenge and I kind of think they are quite fun and reflective each other…
Note the brown shoes co-ordinate really well here and the interaction between the pet and the owner.
You can imagine the eye contact between the adult and the dog, this time the jeans are darker – so is the dog… and the black collar on the dog copies the black straps the owner has dangling down.
Another dog, another owner – the old worn shoes on this own and the saggy looking jeans, reflect the saggy skin almost worn skin of Humphrey. I deliberately shot this one on the diagonals, as that was the only way from the angle I was shooting get clean space between the dog and the owner.