Learn the basics of taking stellar photos of pets–your own cats and dogs or others. You’ll discover common and unusual pet photography challenges — and how a few tricks and treats go a long way to taming your 4-legged BFF.
Dogs and Their People: Capture their unique relationship!
Learn how to capture the emotional bonds between dogs and their people!
In this Safari, you will learn to photograph the strong and often emotional bonds between dogs and their people. You will use at least two model dogs and their people in the beautiful Bon Air Rose Garden in Arlington, VA. (https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/Parks-Recreation/Locations/Parks/Bon-Air-Park). Photographing in the early morning light will give you the opportunity to practice testing your portraiture camera settings in the soft light. You will test as well as learn skills in organizing “The Models.”
First, you will learn and practice composition and lighting of a fantastic dog portrait using the dog’s full body (don’t forget those tails and paws!), head and shoulders, and close portraits of the head– all the while focusing on the dog’s eyes. The dog’s personality will shine through as you use treats and noisemakers and the owner’s encouragement.
Next, you will move on to learn and practice portraits that capture hilarious and meaningful moments with dogs and their people. You will experiment with poses like The Cuddle, Look Up, Kisses, My Formal Portrait, Playtime, Strolling Together, Over the Shoulder, and more.
To capture the best images, we will put dogs and people in the shade or shaded by a reflector (provided by the instructor). For the best angles and perspective, we will get to the dog’s level on the ground and above them using a small stepladder (provided by the instructor). For safety reasons, all dogs will be leashed; the leashes can be removed in post-processing.
Leslie B. had this to say about the Fantastic Pet Photography Safari: “Had a blast at Fantastic Pet Photography Class. Julie is an awesome instructor and Baxter was an excellent pawdel!!”
Cynthia L-D had several comments about the safari as well: “Baxter, by the way, is absolutely adorable and an excellent pawdel. And Julie was also great; so patient and willing to share pointers and tricks of the trade.
But it was a tie as to who expended the most energy that day. Though Baxter ran his heart out to give us plenty of opportunities for action shots–Julie was sprinting almost the same amount–but in the opposite direction. Over and over again she’d get Baxter headed toward us and then she’d sprint hard off to the side trying to ensure she wasn’t in the background of the shot.
Julie’s a great teacher and made it a fun and informative morning. I would highly recommend the class to anyone.”
- Lenses that cover 24-70mm and/or 70-200mm range
- Extra memory cards
- Extra charged battery
- Any noise-makers like whistles, kazoos, and/or smartphone app: Hunt Pro – Calls (IOS)
- High-quality treats for the dogs
- Weather appropriate clothing
Bon Air Rose Garden Park
850 N Lexington St.
Arlington, VA 22205
Meet under the USA flag post. Bon Air Rose Garden parking lot is at Lexington St and Wilson Blvd in Arlington, VA. Directions: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//38.875356,-email@example.com,-77.202647,12z
Julie Gould grew up with dogs and taking photographs around the world with her family. She was photo editor of my college newspaper and majored in Communications with a specialty in photography. With a master’s degree in urban planning, she pursued a 30-year career in housing and community development finance.
In her encore career, she started Bright Eyes Photos in 2015, a growing pet and their families’ photography business serving the metro DC region, to pursue her twin passions of dogs and photography! Her style is based on a documentary, journalistic viewpoint.
On assignment for the Petco Foundation, her images of Molly, a 3-legged pit bull rescued by an Amtrak police officer who adopted her, were the centerpiece of Petco’s “Be a
Lifesaver” national campaign in the summer of 2017. She is a volunteer at a local animal shelter, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA), as well as other non-profit animal rescue and training groups like Homeward Trails, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Vets Moving Forward. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America
association and has taken extensive training since 2015.