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!
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?
P.S. And could you please do it right now? They only have six seats left!
All we can say is WOW! Lots of great photographers, great models, great light and great friendships formed. It was a super workshop all the way around! We had fabulous homes to shoot in, gorgeous studio space and last but not least, beautiful historic Leesburg, Virginia as the perfect backdrop. Stay tuned for more Unleashed fun…. See more samples of what was shot on our facebook page: HERE
Last call for Unleashed 2012! We have two seats left for our June 2-4 workshop. If you haven’t already inquired, sign up is easy. Just email us using the contact page of this blog and we’ll send you the registration info with a link for payment. Our workshops are small by design, so we can spend lots of one on one time with each photographer — and so that each attendee really has a chance to get to know the others and learn from them as well. Hope you can join us!
Dallas is the place to be for the next Unleashed workshop to be held June 2-4, 2012. We’ve reserved a block of rooms at the fun new hotel, Aloft. They have a great staff and a super room rate and they’re dog friendly! We’ll be starting a private facebook group for those of you interested in sharing hotel rooms and rides to and from DFW airport
We’re planning two full days of shooting, a half day of business and marketing AND a two hour webinar a week after you return home. More details as they are finalized but for now — check out the agenda and start making your plans for June 2-4.
Even though our Unleashed Workshops have come to an end, our creative guide DOG SHOTS lives on! In fact, DOG SHOTS has just gone in to it’s second printing. So if you’re interested in this hefty 66 page shooting guide for photographers, which just happens to be the perfect size to ride along in your camera bag, click on the tab above and order yourself one!
For those of you who are on the fence about attending an Unleashed workshop, we feel that it’s only fair to let you know that this is our last one. In a lot of ways, we have accomplished our mission to raise awareness for pet photography as an art form and a business.
Our workshops have been dedicated in a big way to marketing and business practices. Sure, we’d all rather be playing with our cameras, but anyone (with enough practice) can learn to use a camera. Where do you learn to run a dog photography business? Which shots are the ones that sell? How do you set your prices? And so that’s why we spend 50% of the workshop on business and 50% on shooting.
And it must be working –look at the terrific group of Unleashed graduates who have been successful in almost every corner of this country (and Canada). We are very proud! So if you’ve been putting off your decision, now is the time. As of this date, we have 6 spaces left. We really hope you’ll join us.
SIDE NOTE: We reserve the right to possibly hold ‘graduate school’ for past attendees, and maybe some portfolio shooting weekend retreats. So if you’re a past Unleashed attendee, keep checking back for fun stuff.
We refer to ourselves as fine art photographers but what does that really mean?
According to wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) fine art photography “refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism and commercial photography.”
So the question I often ask myself is “am I fulfilling my creative vision?” Some days I feel like I’m just creating-to-sell, in other words, creating a product instead of a work of art.
To help ease my conscience and to continue my growth as an artist, I spend a few minutes of every session doing something experimental –I really strive to make it something I’ve never tried before. And I’m the first one to admit that at times it’s very difficult. When it’s the third or fourth shaggy white dog that I’ve shot that month and I KNOW the shortest route to a good sale is to shoot from a certain angle – well – you know what goes through my mind. The temptation is pretty strong to just do what I’ve done before and call it a day –but I rarely give in. I’m almost always driven to try something new.
Which is why I really really like difficult subjects. The dogs that just don’t want to settle down, or won’t look at the camera no matter how many crazy noises I make. You do have to know their body language to know what to do and when it’s okay to do it. I photograph a lot of dogs for a local rescue organization and many of them have been traumatized by abandonment, abuse, or health issues. By the time they arrive at my studio they’ve really been through a lot. These and other difficult pets are the ones that force me to think outside the box. I’m exhausted when they leave – but excited by the new things I’ve learned.
And just in case we make it look easy? I want everyone that’s considering our workshop to know that being a pet photographer is physically and mentally demanding and if I didn’t love dogs and cats I wouldn’t be successful at it –no matter how good I was with my equipment. I do it because they are perfect little works of art, I adore them and anything that loves so completely and unselfishly deserves to be cherished forever as a work of art.
When people tell me how lucky I am to have a job where all I have to do is play with dogs all day — I just smile.
Hosting a dog photography event can be lucrative. But before scheduling an event, make sure you are totally comfortable with your equipment and your technique. Careful planning can make it profitable and help things run smoothly.
Consider the location first when planning a photography event –whether it’s at your studio, a dog park or dog day care, pet spa, animal hospital, shelter, or just outdoors – you want to attract attention and make it look like fun. Choosing a theme like Happy Howlidays, Dog Days of Summer, Barktoberfest, or My Furry Valentine can help entice owners to bring their dogs for portraits –just be original. Events can grow into fund raisers for a local dog shelter or help raise money for animal charities, but partnering with the right group is critical to the success of the project.
The examples below are from a Bull Dog club event photographed by Barbara.