Two Seats Left for Studio Shooting with Teresa Berg!

Unleashed studio shooting workshopOur August Studio Shooters Workshop is almost sold out! Since this is a hands-on-in-the-studio workshop, we’re purposely keeping the group small. Lots of different dog (and people) models and lots of individual shooting time that way. This is going to be a great portfolio-building workshop — and (selfishly) a chance for me to really put the new studio through it’s paces! We’ve got strobes, monolights, continuous lights, video light, and a ton of different light modifiers and at least 10 different umbrellas to play with, so variety is the name of the game. Come play with us?

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Adding People to your Pet Portraits and Pets to your People Portraits

teresa berg pet portraits
Combining people and pets is an art. It’s not always easy, but with a little extra planning, your portraits go from good to AWESOME. Here are FIVE TIPS for PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE WITH THEIR PETS.

1. Location RULES! Don’t pick the location for any other reason than the light – and the comfort of your subjects. If the dog’s not comfortable on a slatted bench, then don’t frustrate yourself by trying to make him sit there. For a basic warm and casual portrait, It’s always a good idea to get the people and the dogs faces on the same plane. Preferably close together.

2. Fresh people + Tired Dogs = Great portraits. Somehow, you want the dogs to burn off their excess energy before you sit them in front of the camera. Conversely, you want your two-legged subjects fresh and ready to go.

3. Minimize distractions. This is true for kids but doubly important for dogs. You’ll have a very difficult time creating the perfect dog portrait if Max is tracking squirrels and ducks with his eyes. Choose the time of day and the location to minimize these kinds of challenges. Noisy playgrounds, for example, are problematic for both types of subjects.

4. Casual beats Formal. The days of formal posed pet portraits are over! It’s far more important to get them laughing and playing together than to exhaust yourself (and them) for the perfect pose. Let them interact and prompt them occasionally to look at the camera while they are roughly in position. Shoot wider than necessary to allow them room to move. They will both love you for it.

5. What to wear? Since Max can’t really change his outfit, you better make sure your two-legged subjects pay attention to theirs. You want them to contrast with their pet but not compete. But watch out – too much contrast can make all that loose dog hair a photoshop nightmare for you later. A good medium range color that doesn’t distract the eye will usually save the day.

It's an important combination — important for your clients and important for your business. And even though many pet photographers try to steer away from photographing people it pays (literally) to build those skills! We'll have both people and pet models at our upcoming Studio Shooters Workshop in Dallas next month for just that reason, so if this is an area you've been avoiding — take a deep breath and join us! For more details on the agenda, the cost and the accommodations for the Studio Shooting workshop, just click on the tabs at the top of this page.

Studio Shooting with Teresa Berg | Unleashed pet photography workshops

We’ve got a couple of fresh new workshops “in the works”!  The first is an ALL STUDIO workshop taught by Teresa Berg –to be held August 24 & 25th in her Dallas studio.  Over the years we’ve had lots of comments like “I didn’t know studio shooting could be so fun! I wish I could do just two whole days of nothing but studio lighting” and “I’ve always been afraid of studio photography — it looks so complicated. But you make it easy!” and also “PLEASE let me know when you’re going to offer something for Unleashed graduates that want to go a little DEEPER.”  So here it is. We’re pulling all the tricks out of the bag and going crazy with light.

We’ll shoot with monolights, continuous lights, video lights, speedlights, reflected light — and even a flashlight… for dramatic effects and the beautiful clear crisp details that are so easy to get in the studio. Imagine what it’s like to have all the light you need right at your fingertips. We’ll even help you figure out what equipment you might need to set up your own studio –even if it’s just a One Light Portrait set up in the back bedroom!  We’ll have only shooting at this workshop — no business and marketing. Everything is hands on and in a small group setting.

We bring in a catered lunch and a variety of live models (two-legged and four-legged) so we can constantly change it up for you and you can get the maximum amount of shooting time. Additionally, we got a super rate ($59 per night) at the Courtyard Marriott down the street –which includes breakfast! So there you have it — beat the heat and let’s stay indoors and go crazy with light!

unleashed pet photography workshops

Unleashed Workshops | Virginia re-cap

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…. _BHP9185 See more samples of what was shot on our facebook page:  HERE

Virginia – Are You Ready to Get Unleashed? Registration is OPEN!

We’ve finalized our plans for Virginia Unleashed 2013 and we couldn’t be more excited!

We start early and go late so book your flights accordingly. And bring your running shoes for some non-stop action!

DATES: June 8-10

Where: Northern Virginia (Dulles [IAD]), Leesburg and surrounding area

Cost: $1395 (see Workshop and Agenda tabs for more info on what’s included!)

Email us through our contact page here for registration links.  Hotel links will be available in the registration packet.  See you in Virginia and come ready to be Unleashed! There are only 15, 14, 13, 12,  11, 10, 9, 8,  7, 6, 5,4,3, 2 spots remaining so make your decision soon!

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Unleashed and loving it…

We finished another magical three days of fun, creativity and intense learning this week and the variety of things we shoot never ceases to amaze me!  Many thanks to a great group of students for not giving up in the rain and for hanging in there through the long days of shooting, taking turns and technical breakthroughs.  You all have some fantastic new images to show for it!  Here is a sample shot by Allison Schmidt. Special thanks goes to Robin Terrell of Good Dog Fetch for recruiting and handling some wonderful dogs for us. Allison Schmidt pet photography

Unleashed pet photography workshop

What’s the mix? | Pet photography workshop

We frequently get asked about the course content for Unleashed… and after doing this for three years, we think we’ve found the perfect balance.  We’re doing 1/3 business and marketing, 1/3 indoor shooting (both natural light, location and studio light) and 1/3 outdoor shooting.  We’ve also lifted the restrictions formerly in place for photographers in our home zip codes.  So now if you live in Dallas, or Virginia, or Washington DC, you can join the fun!

September is the perfect time to shoot outdoors in Dallas and we’ve got some great locations  and a wide variety of dog models lined up. But beware: Pet photography is a highly addictive activity. Email us via the contact page of this website and we’ll give you all the details!

unleashed pet photography
photo by Unleashed student Michelle Gonzalez, June 2012