Are you a hands-on learner?

As the wife of a teacher, I hear about all different types of learning. One line that always makes me smile is my husband saying “Are you the SAGE ON THE STAGE or the GUIDE BY THE SIDE?”  and he’s exactly right.  There are all sorts of online classes and workshops you can pay for — and yes, they are sometimes inexpensive and you can stay at home in your pajamas — but is that the learning environment you need?  An in-person workshop offers so much more!

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We teach you each technique using YOUR camera, in the company of a small group of other photographers that also share their experiences and love of animals. And we’ve got a massive amount of lighting equipment that you can experiment with as you decide which works best for you.

 

unleashed workshops teresa berg photography

How exciting is it to meet other pet-inspired photographers from around the country (and sometimes other countries) and hear about what they shoot and sell?  What equipment they use and how they use it?  One of the reasons we teach is to expand our learning, too!  We say good-bye to each group with a refreshed perspective on our own style and projects and through the private online facebook group, the learning and friendships continue for years to come.

We work with live models, hand-selected by Teresa and dog trainer, Robin Terrell of Good Dog Fetch so you get a variety for your portfolio – and so you get the experience of managing dogs during a photo shoot.  We talk about dog body language, temperament, how to light different types of fur, and every aspect of making them look good.

unleashed workshop teresa berg dallas

 

Afraid to pick up your camera in front of other photographers?  Don’t be! We’re a small group and NOBODY knows it all. More than anything else we want you to be successful — whether you’re just starting out, just adding pet photography to your portfolio, or just wanting to do a better job for your local shelter.  We will give you so much good information your brain will yell “stop!”

This year we’re adding a segment on WORKFLOW – so you’ll see images shot during the workshop go from RAW files to finished ready-to-print jpegs (or TIFF files).  Need help speeding up the editing process?  Removing leashes? White balance? We’ll cover it.

Our 2017 workshop is $995, which includes lunches and snacks.  Our Saturday night group dinner at a nearby restaurant is optional, but tons of fun. We have a group rate at a nearby Marriott for only $78 per night and you won’t need a rental car. You will only need transportation to the hotel from the airport but after that, we have plenty of people with cars to shuttle back and forth to the studio.

So let us be your GUIDE BY THE SIDE and join us this summer! Call the studio at 972-250-2415 or email us : TERESA@teresaberg.com

Make your summer photography plans now!

Our 2017 Studio Shooters workshop is open for registration.  And besides being one of the BEST workshops for shooting pets in the studio, we are moving to a great new space with two camera rooms and lots of room for all your creative ideas.

Join us July 14-16th at Teresa Berg Photography in Dallas for 3 days of intense, fun-filled shooting with live models and just about every lighting toy you have ever thought about trying. All you bring is the camera!  Call to register by phone with a credit card (workshop fee is $995) or email us  :  teresa@teresaberg.com and we’ll answer your questions and reserve your spot. 972-250-2415   Only 10 attendees will be accepted so everyone gets lots of hands-on shooting time.

pet photography workshop Unleashed
Meatball poses in the studio

2017 pet photography workshops

Our DOG SHOTS workshop, scheduled for Saturday February 25th is now open for registration. This is our most basic workshop with emphasis on using the manual settings on your camera for great pet portraits.

Most of the attendees at DOG SHOTS are animal rescue volunteers and pet lovers who really want to move in to professional quality portraits. The only requirement is that you use a camera that has manual settings, like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It’s a great way to learn to use light and all the tricks for getting the dog to pose and look at the camera.

We meet at the Teresa Berg Photography studio in Dallas and then go to the nearby park. This workshop uses only natural light and reflectors (so NOT a lot of expensive equipment) and live dog models. We discuss different backgrounds, light, composition and how to set up your shots. It’s a great way to figure out if you want to be a professional pet photographer!

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Interested?  The one day workshop is $295 and includes lunch. We even have a nearby hotel with great rates for those of you who might come in from out of town. Call the studio at 972-250-2415 with your questions or to sign up. We only take 10 attendees so everyone gets plenty of time to work hands on with Teresa and her assistant.

JULY 14-16, 2017  5th Annual STUDIO SHOOTERS UNLEASHED

Ready for more lighting, more posing, adding people to your portraits, or just want to experiment with lots of different lighting equipment before you make some major purchases?  Then the 2017 STUDIO SHOOTERS UNLEASHED is the one for you.

silhouette-teresa-berg

As more and more pet photographers are jumping in to the business, your lighting can really set you apart. And if you live in a part of the country with long winters, how do you survive when it’s just too miserable to shoot outdoors?  So you’ve decided to learn studio lighting… But which lighting system is the best for what you want to shoot?   Join us as we explore them all! Spend 3 days in a full-time professional studio (kind of a rarity these days) and see how we do it.  From studio strobes to continuous lights to speedlights to ring lights to every kind of light modifiers we can think of.  Come play with all the toys before you decide which is right for you!  Live dog (and a few people) models and other photographers to shoot with — what could be more fun? We only take a small group, so make plans early.   This class is $995 and includes snacks and lunches.  We have a great group rate at the nearby Marriott. Call us to sign up and ask questions.

Unleashed pet photography workshops
Harper and the PUParazzi at Unleashed

Your photos. Their publication.

 

As part of our plan to make 2016 a growth year,  I’m sharing some information on how to learn about selling your work commercially.  Sooner or later, every pet photographer gets asked for publication (or licensing) rights for their images, and the industry has changed so much so fast that it’s hard to know how much to charge.  Most of the time a photographer’s fee is based on what the client intends to do with that image and whether or not it will be exclusive for whatever their licensing period may be. If it’s exclusive you can’t legally use it for anything else. Online publication seems to pays the least while licensing for print and packaging (think labels on pet food) generally pays the most. And don’t forget greeting cards.

Beginning photographers will sometimes fall for the “trade for advertising space” type of agreement and, although it rarely benefits the photographer, sometimes it seems worth doing. The issue is often whether THEIR audience is your target market.  Better Homes and Gardens magazine may need an image for a story on pets but will that make your phone ring?  Probably not.  Although it looks great on a resume.

Getty Images and other stock photography sites have “calculators”, like this one that may provide some insight, but I ran across this article recently written BY PHOTOGRAPHERS (anonymously) discussing what they have sold (or licensed) their images for to various magazines. I think most were referring to editorial projects, not commercial ones (which usually pay a little more) but I think it makes some excellent points.

I’m always surprised at how few people actually consult The Photographer’s Market — a book that used to be considered the BIBLE for selling photography.  It may be a little old school, but I buy one every year and it’s filled with lots of actual names and contact information for people and agencies you can contact that actually buy photography.  It always gives me the inspiration to think about my work in a different way. I hope it inspires you, too.

One last warning:  Be sure your work will meet their spec requirements. They want high res, properly lit, sharp images with a minimal amount of photoshop trickery. And they want a surprising amount of studio shots.  In other words, shoot it right and don’t try to cover your mistakes by faking a blurry background, etc.  Want to learn studio shooting?  Attend our Studio Shooters Unleashed -July 8-10, 2016 in Dallas. We only take 10 people per class, so contact us and reserve your spot.  972-250-2415 or email teresa@teresaberg.com

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Natural light, 24-70mm  ISO 500  f2.8

Make 2016 a year of growth

teresa berg for Unleashed workshops

Is it time to grow your skills?  We all know that in order to be successful we can’t just copy our competitors. We have to set ourselves apart from the crowd.  What makes your photography different from everyone else in your market area?  Is it your lighting?  Your use of locations or backgrounds? Is it the types of pets that you photograph? Your products?

I can guarantee that since we’ve been teaching pet photography (2009) we have seen lots of trends fall by the wayside.  And every market area is different.  There are also a lot more photographers specializing in pets. In short, if your skills don’t set you apart you won’t last. So how are your skills?

We all know that our clients buy what they see — so show them the type of photography you want to shoot. Do it well and stand your ground.  Use those techniques creatively and consistently and YOU will be the trendsetter the others are copying.  But before you become the trendsetter, you have really know the game.  You need to master manual shooting, and know what your equipment can do. Our belief is that you can’t call yourself a professional if you only know one trick!   So if this is your slow time of year, use this time to create a new slant on something and perfect what you do.  Take a workshop, shoot in an unexpected place, visit some museums, shoot with a friend — in other words, invest in yourself.

Why not develop a LOOK BOOK like fashion photographers use to illustrate a brand?  Even if all the shots in your look book are the same dog, why not get down to it and really explore your style.  Create a book or an album of all the variations (and depth) of your style and show it to a prospective client.  If you ONLY want to shoot on seamless paper in a studio setting then really explore what you can create.

This little pep talk is only the beginning. We’re going to be sharing more this year, both with online video and via our facebook page — and through workshops. We’ll post details here, first. Online learning is great,  but workshops build community and give us both friendship and a safe way to learn and grow.  Learn with us and we’ll all get better, together.

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Portfolio Shooting in Minneapolis | Studio Shooting in Dallas

If you’re interested in moving past the basic automatic settings on your camera and taking PRO quality photographs, we have a couple of great workshops coming up this summer.

dallas dog photographer teresa berg

First, Teresa is doing some portfolio shooting in Minneapolis on August 1st (and possibly August 2nd if we have enough people interested in a second day). This is for photographers with DSLRs that know a little bit about their camera but are tired of making “snapshots”. They’re looking to add depth and interest to their compositions and expand their tool kit when it comes to lighting and posing. You don’t need to be GOING PRO, but maybe you’d like your work to look like you are?

We won’t be shooting in a studio at all — it will be outdoors, with possibly some indoors but on location, not using studio-type lighting. This type of workshop will be  great learning as we move from location to location setting up shots and getting the lighting right.  No sitting in a classroom, no business lectures, no paperwork or handouts.  We will set up shots, troubleshoot, talk about composition and lighting as we go and learn, learn, learn.  Lots of walking and lots of fun.  The cost to you is $500 per day.  Maximum of 6 people in the group shooting with live models.

Secondly, Teresa is holding her third annual Studio Shooters Unleashed at her studio in Dallas on July 10-12.  July in Dallas is a great time to stay indoors and experiment with light and all types of equipment.  Learn the ins and outs of a working studio. We’ll use anything and everything to create beautiful portraits using Teresa’s props, backdrops and equipment. All you bring is your camera. Because we have a little more time, we’ll go deeper into exposure, metering, adding people to your shots, multiple dogs, litters of puppies, using unusual props, and more.  We cater in lunches so we can maximize our time. We’ll have an optional group dinner at the end of the first day so everyone can relax and get to know each other. Cost for this two day workshop is $995. Maximum of 10 people.

 teresa berg puppy images

 I you are interested in either of these workshops, please email us at TERESA@TERESABERG.com or call the studio at 972-250-2415 and we will send you the registration email with more details. Payment in full is due when you register and is non-refundable. If you find out later that you cannot attend, you can sell your seat to another photographer, but we do not issue refunds.

You can pay via paypal, credit card or check.   Discount hotel rooms will be available in just up the street for $64 per night at the Springhill Suites Marriott. This price includes breakfast and internet!  If you’re flying in, check flights into DFW or DAL.  Southwest Airlines recently opened up many affordable flights in and out of Dallas, so check them and American Airlines.  You will not need a rental car in Dallas as we usually have plenty of drivers to shuttle people back and forth from the hotel to the studio.  Lunches and snacks are included.

So grab a seat and launch a fun summer with your camera and a four-legged friend!

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!!!”