Studio Shooters Unleashed with Teresa Berg

Don’t be intimidated by studio lighting! Join Teresa in a relaxed creative two and a half day adventure in photographing pets in the studio. The second annual Studio Shooters Unleashed workshop will be held in Dallas July 18-20th –and this year’s workshop has been expanded to 2 1/2 days so that we have time to cover some post processing and workflow topics. This is ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT! We will not be talking business and marketing at the class but we’ll have lots of time to work with different types of lighting. Studio mono lights, all kinds of reflectors, continuous lighting, video lights, speedlites and all sorts of equipment you might want to try. Lots of furry four-legged models and also a few people thrown in with them for those of you who need practice with two legged models.

Teresa Berg pet photography workshop
Get Unleashed in the studio this summer
Work hands-on in a small group setting and have a ton of fun with us this summer! Tuition is $900 which includes lunches and snacks. Click on the Agenda page for more details.

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Unleashed Dallas Student Images

We had spectacular weather and a motivated hard working group in Dallas this past January. Student files are still coming in from the workshop but we wanted to share some images that our students captured of our wonderful dog models.

If you’re interested in attending an Unleashed Workshop please check back here for our latest dates (Spring/Early summer is trending for VA 2014).

Thanks again to our attendees as well as our dog models and their handler Robin Terrell of Good Dog Fetch, who works tirelessly to help us get these great images!

 

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Our heartfelt thanks

Unleashed Pet photography workshop photographers
Our 2014 Dallas Unleashed Pet photography workshop photographers
Just wanted to officially say THANKS to a great group of photographers that arrived from all over North America to share and learn and shoot with us this past weekend. You guys were AWESOME!

Unleashed Workshops – Hear about it from our graduates!

We went to the facebook page asked our Unleashed attendees from years past: “What was the one most important thing you got from Unleashed?”  And here are their responses:

“hard to pick just one.. but for me, I think learning how to properly price my work and time was most valuable. (And I love that we can still get advice from each other!) :-)”

“The opportunity to shoot in a real studio and out on location. Not watching someone else doing it or reading about. But getting to do it yourself!”

“The people. Being able to share stories, struggles and experiences with others and knowing they are there and willing to discuss anything I need too if I get stuck on something.”

“The possibilities. I had so very much to learn that I didn’t even know to reach for. My head practically exploded for all the information and I developed a framework to build on that’s kept me busy since. I could take it again, have just as much fun, and learn lots more that was beyond me the first time around. Hmmmm.”

“I’d say it’s a toss-up between lighting with off-camera flash, working with pets (and their parents!) in the studio, and pricing my work.”

“I agree–hard to pick one thing–but if I had to choose one thing I’d say the Business Structure and pricing! ok well that’s 2!”

“For me it was being able to being able to SEE the possibilities at a location. Being able to scout out the light, possible composition in the surroundings. Seeing the potential in the lines from different angles.”

“I think I said this in the little promo video too…the opportunity to use MY equipment and see what it could do. Most times when I would attend a seminar or workshop, I would come home with a list of things I wanted to purchase because that is what the instructor used. Unleashed was different – the instructors helped me use my equipment. I distinctly remember having trouble with my Pocket Wizards and explaining the issue I was having to Bev. She told me to stay and sit (now it sounds like I am a dog…!) in the session that we were having, while she left the room with my equipment, went outside and experimented with it until she figured out what was wrong. Considering that Bev shoots with a Nikon and I have all Canon gear, this was above and beyond. When Bev returned 30 minutes later, she had figured it out, showed me how to do it, and worked with me until I got it right. Teresa inspired me to work with rescue and volunteer groups and I honestly have had opportunities I would not otherwise have had as a result. More than that though, Teresa showed us HOW to do it, so I had a place to start and left with a plan. Together, both Bev and Teresa set me on the road to profitable pricing. I really couldn’t have done what I have without them!”

“DON’T DISCOUNT!”

“I too find it hard to pick…but I really loved meeting the people and having a support group…Still speak with so many of you regularly. This was the first place that I could get solid advice on pet-photography business and how to start my business. I loved that Bev Hollis & Teresa Berg were complete open books when it came to questions and advice and gave me such a good solid foundation for my business.”

“January doesn’t work out for me, but I’m hoping to do the full Unleashed if it’s offered later in the year. I did attend Teresa‘s Studio Shooters workshop and OMG was it awesome. I learned *so* much. Enough to feel confident buying my first lighting kit AND using it afterward :)”

“So hard to pick just one! I did the studio 2 day with Teresa and i learned so much and enjoyed the participants, the dogs, the dog owners, being in Teresa’s studio, and having our facebook page to keep in touch. But i guess my main goal was to learn how to photograph in the studio on a white background with studio lights and Teresa Berg did that and more! I have watched tutorials and read all about high key photography but could never get it in camera and Teresa made it possible for me to get it in camera and i love photographing with a white background. I am so happy and grateful to Teresa for teaching me that!!!! I really want to come in January to get more business info and photograph outdoors. Still trying to see if i can make it happen with my schedule.”

“ditto, hard to pick just one. the in-person planning consultation and ordering sessions have been so helpful!”

“All the information received is priceless. I would say the studio work helped me the most, but the location work helped me understand how to get those beautiful shots clients want to order as big prints! Of course the friendships forged with the other members of the group is a wonderful bonus! Bev and Teresa are the best! If you are on the fence about going…go ahead and jump on the go side, you will not regret it!!”

“I attended the Studio Shooter workshop with Teresa, and I think the most important thing I took away is that there is no “one way” to do something. What is important is the light and how we use it, but there’s a lot of ways to get there. I had no studio or lighting experience, but I learned enough and gained enough confidence through the class to set up a “mini-studio” at my animal shelter/adoption center, which is a very challenging environment for such a thing. Several animals have been adopted through the photos from this set up, and for me that is what it is all about. I am going to the Unleashed, Dallas to get some more experience and learn something about the business side of things. I’m also looking forward to meeting Bev Hollis and getting another perspective on things. Come join me!”

“I agree … so much to take in, but for me, probably the most eye-opening was pre-planning/taking control of the session … still working on it, and definitely considering UNLEASHED again when comes back to VA . Bev and Teresa rock!”

“It is difficult to pick just one thing. This workshop came at a critical time for me and helped me determine what I wanted to do. 🙂 I met some of the greatest people and continue to keep in touch. I really don’t think I would be as far along as I am today if I hadn’t taken the plunge and attended UNLEASHED. I am forever grateful!!!”

 

A Letter to Santa. Six seats left for the Unleashed Workshop in January 2014

Dear Santa,

I know I wanted new photo equipment for Christmas but I’m starting to have second thoughts.  I’m thinking maybe I need to really learn to use the equipment I already own….. and I’d love to meet some other photographers and find out which lenses they use for what kind of shots. I want to make some new friends that are as crazy about dogs and cameras as I am. And while I’m at it, I think I’d like to try some new shots….. with some different types of dogs. My dogs are getting a little tired of modeling, you know what I mean? 

And I’d really like to find out how to make a little money at this. You know — since I’ve invested a ton in all this equipment. And what about setting up a website? And advertising?  Do I really want to spend money on advertising?  And what should I charge? Everyone wants me to photograph their pets for free but I think I should be charging SOMETHING, right? 

Okay, Santa. I think what I really need is The Unleashed Workshop.  Can you help?

Thanks. 

P.S. And could you please do it right now? They only have six seats left!

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The Evolution of Pet Photography – What Will Your Story Be?

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Seven years ago, when I started my pet photography business there weren’t a lot of other pet photographers out there.  Like anyone interested in this niche field – I scoured the sites and blogs of those industry pioneers and learned a ton.  I reached out to many of those established pet photographers during my early years – some were generous with their time, others gently explained they had businesses to run, still others spurned my advances completely.  Quite frankly, I understood and respected all of their different approaches.

Now, the pet segment has evolved into a viable stand alone option for photographers.  How each of you approach your pet photography business will likely need some time to morph into itself.  I can say that most of the photographers who were in business when I began mine have changed their business models since 2006 – dramatically.  Some who steadfastly refused to sell digital files, now only offer digital packages. Some, who initially made a good part of their income from workshops have gone to one-on-one mentoring and have left the rigors of workshops behind.  I have become more and more focused about the type of client I will take and how I will shoot.

Nothing in this post is about the “right” approach for you. It will depend in part on so many things- how much money do you need to make? Can you leave your full-time job?  Do you want to?  If you can afford to leave your job for a full-time pet photography career are you comfortable with the inconsistent income? How many sessions are you capable of shooting in a week? Are you interested in studio work? Location only? What is the weather like where you live? Can you really shoot location year-round? Off-camera flash outdoors – interested? Have you thought about your style? Your target market? Are you willing to enter other markets such as maternity and children to supplement your slow pet time? Do you have a partner? If so, is he/she supportive and understanding about booking shoots mainly on weekends, mainly at dusk to maximize that great light?

So many questions! Most seem to not have a thing to do with pet photography.  But finding the answers to the above questions (and more) is what helped me see that a complete re-work of my business model was in order if I was to stay sane, happy, and profitable.

It’s a wonderful, rewarding field. One where we are able to use our gifts to provide beautiful art to our clients of their respected family members.  But before you order that new lens or latest memory-gobbling DSLR you’ve had your eye on – I suggest you step back and let these questions tumble about in your mind.  Don’t get overwhelmed – remember there is no “right” answer – just an answer that’s right for you.

Oh, and by the way, we don’t just shoot dogs at our Unleashed Workshops – we help you get some focused answers to all of these questions. In fact, we insist on it! Hope to see ya’ll in Dallas!

Registration now open for Unleashed in Dallas : January 18-20, 2014

The dates are final, Robin at Good Dog Fetch is lining up some awesome models, the hotel is a go — all we need is you!  We’ll have a full day of business and marketing, a full day of outdoor and natural light shooting and a full day of studio shooting with two instructors. The agenda is posted on this site, as well as information about the hotel. Email us via the contact page of this site and we’ll send you a registration packet.  We are limited to 15 participants, so don’t delay!

Unleashed pet photography workshops
Harper and the PUParazzi at Unleashed