It was a week before Christmas… and my first pet photography session

Actually it was 2 weeks before Christmas, but who’s counting…and all was still… no it wasn’t… I was at Maxine’s and all was definitely not still. I was doing my very first ‘pet’ shoot – or ‘dog-shoot’ more specifically. It was a top secret affair as the end product was to be a present for Max’s husband for Christmas. This was the reason I was not able to talk about it until now.

As this was my first pet shoot, I was a little bit nervous. I was told it was a dog, but I had no idea what type of dog, but I had of course said yes and was, despite people saying one should never work with children or animals, very excited to see what I was going to get to shoot. It turns out that it was the cutest, sweetest little miniature schnauzer, whowas rather appropriately named ‘Reggie’. For a first go at photographing a dog I have to say I was very fortunate. Reggie was adorable. He was sweet and gentle and a little bit bouncy and mad at the same time, but the funniest thing about Reggie was (in fact there were 2 funny things) firstly his love of feet (very odd), and secondly his unbelievable ability to actually pose in front of the camera. You might not believe it, but he did… as you will soon see. I presumed that most of the session would be spent running around trying to catch a snap of little Reggie, but no, Reggie was very happy to just stand or sit in front of the camera, with his head held high or his head on paws and his ears flapping down with an occasional attempt to come and lie on my back as I was getting down to his level with no care or thought as to the effect he was having! Reggie was a true charmer. I was absolutely bowled over.

When I left I simply couldn’t wait to get home and see what the shots were like. I was delighted! So pleased! I hardly needed to do any post processing at all. The light, although indoors, had been really kind to me, and I had not struggled in the slightest. Sometimes I do struggle with indoor photography, depending on the light and the shutter speed which I often get wrong indoors, I very often end up with blurry out of focus shots. I am still to work out exactly what I am doing wrong, as it doesn’t seem to happen all the time, but I suspect that it is when I knock the camera settings by mistake… anyway, I didn’t have that problem at all with Reggie. I used my 50mm lens and my 18-200mm zoom (my comfort lens) and kept the aperture wide open. In fact, I treated the whole thing as I would a normal portrait, and that seemed to work. I produced colour, black and white and one set of slightly desaturated images, which I think I prefer out of all them. Reggie was mostly grey, but had the cutest little bits of brown in his beard.

I spent a lovely hour and a bit chatting and getting to know Maxine and taking photos of Reggie. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to be able to do some more pet photos. I really enjoyed myself so much more than I ever thought I would. It was both a challenge and a joy! When I got home and M saw the photos that afternoon she made me promise I would take her round to meet Reggie when I delivered the CD.  A few days later we went back and M got to meet the lovely Reggie too – they played chase and football in the garden, quickly making friends.

So, if anyone has any pets that they would like photographed, do contact me – I would love to do some more pet photography before long, especially some strange and wonderful pets like dragons, snakes and… well, anything really! I am also happy to try cats, though they usually have their own agendas.

My Reggie photos are both on my website http://www.christina-dithmar-photography.co.uk and my smugmug page http://christinadithmar.smugmug.com  Where you can actually buy prints of them, should you wish – here are a few tasters:

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