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Dogs and Their People: Capture their unique relationship!

Learn how to capture the emotional bonds between dogs and their people!

Quick Details


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. ( 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.”