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Have any of you tried pet photography?

If you have, you would know the difficulty in capturing pets because they are constantly moving around. With the guidance of the owner, you can get a pet to look at the camera with commands and calling out their name. I had the experience of photographing a handful of pets to build a portfolio. While difficult, especially with the last dog being blind, I found it tiring as well as satisfying.

I’ve talked to several people about pet photography. For those who have lost their loved ones, they have told me they wish they had professional photos done as a keepsake. Up until I had three cats, I never understood why people were so attached to their four-legged fur friends. I now know that pets are considered family and it’s tough when you lose one. I once gave one of the kittens away when my cat gave birth to three. I cried.

As I begin to practice more with pets, I managed to capture a few photos in HDR – high dynamic range. For those who know, HDR photos require more than one photo bracketed in different exposures. When merged, it will give a greater tonal range between highlights and shadows. To achieve this is extremely difficult with pets because they are always on the move unless resting. An example below is my pet cat in HDR.

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© All Rights Reserved

What separates a picture from a portrait is how the image is captured. A plain picture can be made extraordinary by changing the angle or zooming in to give it a different perspective.

For more images on animals and pet photography, click on the link here: http://goo.gl/IKwJQc


On Being A Photographer

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

I was asked once by someone why I couldn’t get the perfect shot. After all I am the photographer and that I have already been working as a photographer for more than a year. Really? I’m gonna run home now to begin practicing taking the perfect photograph every time.

Sarcasm aside, what people don’t understand is that you are not going to get the perfect head shot, portrait, or whatever perfect at every instant. A professional photographer with years of experience will work quicker, yes. And even at my current job, I’m required to get two portraits in less than a minute for each student at school. I don’t have all day to get the perfect shot. What I am addressing here is the expectation that because I am a photographer now, I will always be perfect every time. That is a ridiculous expectation. If it were the case that everyone is perfect at what they do all of the time, nothing would seem extraordinary anymore. It would be normal to be good at what you do and that you should always be hitting it when you get asked to work your talent. Being successful to me is knowing what is lacking or failing – or even knowing something is already good – and trying to get something better.


Published in: on September 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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You Look Better When You Smile

So I hear it often – “I hate photos of myself.” There is something in the subconscious that trigger emotions about how people feel about themselves. For some, it’s like pulling teeth to even get them to stop and pose as well as to get them to smile. What most don’t know is that emotions can be seen in their eyes. I had already written a short blog on smiling written by National Geographic. I am adding this as a resource again at the end of this blog.

I was at an internship for almost a year. When I was given the opportunity, I took Tuesdays off – the day when new associate head shots were taken. Other associates had taken on this task. Towards the end before I left, I was in on a couple of Tuesdays and checked in on how things were going in the studio. I did lead on one occasion and introduced myself to the new group of eight associates coming into the program. I talked to them about my experience at the program and asked them questions about where they were coming from. Then we got into individual head shots and the one campaign that we have everyone do. I did find that some of them were nervous and I let them know I felt the same way when I started there. While they have the opportunity to head back to their desk after their head shots are done, they all hung around and talked and watched as each other’s photos were taken. It seemed enjoyable.

On my last week at the program, I participated in a CSR event. During this time, I was told by someone on how they felt about the process of new associate head shots. Pretty much they were just given directions, click click click, and that was it. No interaction and people felt rushed though this process. Thus creating an unhappy experience.

So what’s the issue here? Lack of communication and making people feel even more uncomfortable in front of the camera. Since leaving the internship, I have worked with children for team and individual portraits in sports photography. The challenge is trying to get them to do what you want and smile. It’s not just counting to three and then telling them to say cheese. That really is cheesy and their smile is often unnatural. You have to connect to everyone at their level meaning you need to talk to them to get them to relax. They actually look more natural in the photos. You have to think about the psychology of people and why they purchase professional photos. When you make them feel and look good, you have done your job.

Now for those whose photos are being photographed, please smile because it looks better on you. Read this article about smiling.


Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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