The following is a description of what to expect before, during and after a session. You know your pet’s personality, and the goal is to work together to capture it photographically.
As you can see from the galleries, I prefer an on-site location where your pet is most familiar and comfortable, at close to eye-level, and with natural light. Early morning or late afternoon sunshine has the warmest color temperature and allows for back-lit portraits outdoors. I often use a medium telephoto lens of 85-100mm for close-in facial shots from a distance of 4-6 feet, with a neutral or blurred background. Where needed, supplemental lighting including fill-in flash may be used depending on conditions and the pet’s tolerance for sudden bursts of light.
A session typically lasts for an hour. The first step is to be introduced to your pet (with treats, time for sniffing, and verbal praise) and a discussion of their personality. I will also ask you to sign a simple photo release form if you are willing to allow your pet to be included on the web gallery (note: no names or other identification are included, and images are unavailable for general sale).
Next steps include selecting a location or neutral background, taking light meter readings, adjusting camera settings, and testing your pet for any reaction to fill-in flash (if needed). Once the pet is at ease I will quickly take numerous pictures with a variety of angles and focal lengths, with both jpeg and raw images (jpeg files only hold 8 bits of data per pixel while raw images capture 12-14 bits, allowing maximum sharpness and editing control).
In addition to describing your pet’s personality (playful, curious, cuddly, etc.), please be present during the entire session as dogs will be unleashed if possible. Also provide favorite treats — so there are no issues with potential allergies — and squeaky play toys to maintain the pet’s attention, or to help change position.
Post-session, I will share 30-50 images via USB flash drive, CD, or online DropBox file, then provide print enlargements for select images you have pre-ordered. If needed I will also do digital photo-editing using the raw image files, for example to adjust white balance or block a name tag identifier.