We’re super psyched about this year’s Virginia Unleashed! Join us in lovely Alexandria, VA for what promises to be a sensory overload of shooting opportunities. We’re smack dab in the middle of Old Town at the uber dog-friendly Hotel Monaco.
The days are long and packed with shooting and tons of business information. We work hard and long so come well rested!
Dates: Oct. 4-6, 2014
Where: Old Town, Alexandria, VA (DCA is the closest airport)
Cost: $1395 (see Agenda tabs for more info on what’s included!)
Email us through our contact page here for more info or, if you’re ready to jump in – you can register here on Square Market and we will send you your registration packet! Hotel links will be available in the registration packet. See you in Virginia and come ready to be Unleashed!
Our 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?
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.
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!
We’ve had so many requests, that we’re adding another Unleashed Workshop to the calendar! Join us this fall in Dallas for three days of fun and intense learning. The agenda has been expanded to add a few more hours of business and marketing for the first day. We’ll talk about products, pricing, marketing –even a little search engine optimization! Then for days two and three we shoot, shoot, eat, sleep, shoot, eat, sleep, shoot –well, you get the idea –it’s lots of shooting. We’ll have lots of different dog models as well as some dogs with their people –at multiple locations and differing lighting conditions. In other words, we’ll help you prepare for lots of different shooting scenarios and lighting challenges. We will only accept a limited number of participants so don’t wait until the last minute to secure your spot! Email us via the contact page of this website and we’ll send you the registration information.
Wow! What a great group we had — and I’m still marveling at the amazing shots they are sharing online. I’m starting a page just for some of the student images, so everyone can see how great they are. It was a terrific few days with all of our new photographer friends. These comments came in from one of the attendees:
“I have taken countless online and in person seminars, and have to say that yours has by far been the best.
What made your program so different, was your complete willingness to share and how you let your incredible talents speak for themselves. You were never condescending or intimidating (Ok Bev’s arm muscles are intimidating). You provided gentle reminders about settings and opened my eyes to a whole different perspective on photography. I answered the question “Why was I here?” with “to learn what I don’t know.” I came away so inspired. And your humor was the icing on the cake!”
This Unleashed was so good, in fact, that we are planning another workshop. We weren’t certain that the new format was going to be all that we hoped, but it exceeded our expectations — so stay tuned for details of the next Unleashed!
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!