This week it's all about light - 'get lit' is the theme! There are all different types of light that can be used for pet photography and they all have different looks. When I first started doing most of my pet photography I used natural light - that which comes from above - the sun. I still use that, especially if I am photographing a dog that is shy, timid and/or scared. It's a wonderful source of light and one that all animals are used to. Knowing how to use that light source is the key and mix that with the various colors of fur - you'll see (black fur isn't the best in bright sunlight). A bright sunny day in the sun isn't the best light, but sometimes it is what you have.
Another option for shooting outdoors is to have an off camera portable flash unit and a trigger on camera to fire the flash. In this case, we looked for shade (even lighting), and used the portable flash unit with a 7" reflector and sock to help soften the light from the flash. Oh, and yes the dog on the left is on a diet now that she came into the rescue!
The standard portable studio setup we take onsite to boarding facilities - a background (in this case a large blanket) lit with two octagon 24" softboxes, each having an AD200. In this photograph of Buster Bo, we had a third light against the background to make it lighter in color. This works really well providing the dog is not afraid of flash - if they are, then we revert to LED lights with higher ISO which hopefully they can handle.
Having said that, sometimes we just have to 'wing it' because in the world of rescue, you just don't know what you're going to get until you meet the dog. This is the same dog, Sawyer, that didn't do so well on his first try with a studio setup (but he blossomed when we took him out on the town!).
That's our look at some different options in lighting - For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to visit Lynda Mowat from Heartstrings Photography, capturing people and their pets around the Waikato and then head around the rest of the blog circle.
If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text Linda at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Florida).