• Date to be Announced

Fantastic Pet Photography

Learn the basics of taking stellar photos of pets--your own cats and dogs or others if it’s a business for you.

Quick Details

In this Safari, you will learn the basics of taking stellar photos of pets–your own cats and dogs or others if it’s a business for you. We’ll meet at Arlington’s centrally located Bluemont Junction Park, learn some pet-specific photo exposure and equipment basics and shoot pawdel dogs in the park’s gorgeous afternoon light. Or, basically have fun with your camera and some dogs for 3 hours! You’ll benefit from this Safari if you want to take better photos of your own family pets, be a volunteer photographer at your local animal shelter, or already have a photography business and want to expand into this popular niche. You’ll discover common and unusual pet photography challenges—do you wonder why black and white dog or cat photos never come out right? — and how a few tricks and treats go a long way to taming your 4-legged BFF.

The Safari will cover the following topics:

  • Pet-specific Equipment: cameras, lenses, noise-makers and delicious treats.
  • Pet photography basics: Exposure: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed; Focus for Sharpness: the Eyes have it; and White balance: the Gray card.
  • Working with Pets: safety first; know behavioral traits; and using noise-makers and treats.
  • Natural Lighting: for action; for sunrise/sunset; white and black dogs; using shade; and backlighting.
  • Barking it all together with composition: capturing pet emotion; wide-open running action; bridges with leading lines; faces, noses, eyes; getting down to the pet’s level; and pets with their families.

We will demonstrate these topics with hands-on opportunities to photograph dog pawdels in Arlington’s Bluemont Junction Park. Bluemont has covered picnic benches where we will meet for introductory remarks, open fields for action shots, several bridges, paths through tree-covered shade and a colorful railroad car. There will be ample time to ask questions and practice with the pawdels.

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!!”

  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Camera
    •  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
    •  Water
    •  Weather appropriate clothing
  • Chevron down Where to Meet
  • Bluemont Junction Park, 601 North Manchester St., Arlington, VA

  • Chevron down Your Instructor
  • 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.