This week's blog post is all about the Photographer’s Choice (that's me!)– this week we are focusing on using props when photographing puppies. It’s now the middle of February and we have been busy photographing about 16 puppies thus far for a local pet rescue (maxxandme.org). These puppies came from two different momma’s who had pretty large litters!
We wanted to create some creative and fun images for these puppies – some props we brought with us. These include the common things of a wooden crate painted a beautiful aqua blue, a basket, a couple of blankets or fleece materials and a white ‘furry’ piece of fabric. All of these things were purchased at Joann’s fabrics with the exception of the paint for the crate.
Here’s some sample photographs using these various props for each of the puppies.
Sitting in the crate with white furry material and a few brightly colored toys. She has been adopted!
Sitting in the same crate, outside using the house as a background. COVID has presented it's challenges and most all of our photography sessions with the rescues are done outside now. The fleece material was purchased at Joann's Fabrics several years ago. Another tip is to get smaller dogs off the ground - they are less likely to jump and leave your studio setup.
This outdoor shoot was photographed with the backyard fence blocking the sunlight and creating a simple background. The black saucer chair was used to place the basket along with a nice fluffy blanket.
All of these puppies were being raised by foster parents in the Tampa Bay area. Each foster parent had various things at their homes that made for some great props.
At one home, they had a playhouse on their patio for the children. We ask – may we use the playhouse for photographs with these puppies? With permission, we decided to utilize the windows in the playhouse to have the puppies peering out looking at us. Cute? We think so!
The puppy poked his head out the window while an assistant was hiding inside the playhouse with the puppy to ensure it was safe.
This playhouse was outside in the backyard. An assistant was inside the playhouse with the puppy to hopefully ensure they didn't jump out. A large window opening provided the perfect place for the puppy to pop their head up and pose for the waiting photographer!
Another foster household had an antique red wagon. This wagon is called a ‘flexible flyer’ (I googled this and found that it is similar to the radio flyer that I remembered from me child hood.) Now the challenge is to get the puppy to stay in the little wagon allowing us to capture a few photographs.
This beautiful antique was perfect for our little girl - the issue was keeping her in the wagon long enough to capture her portrait since the wagon was sitting on the ground. The little brindle girl was willing to sit there for us – great, we captured another wonderful photograph.
As we drove up to the last foster household, we spotted the little Barbie car played with by so many children. We asked, "Can we use the car to create a photograph of the puppies?" She said yes, but it was a little dirty – no problem, we grabbed the water hose, got a towel from our vehicle and it was cleaned up pretty nice for a photo session. Now, can we teach Melba to drive? Yep!
Watch out - here comes a new driver! Jim, my partner, managed to get Melba to stay in the jeep long enough for a few photographs (this was after several attempts - she kept jumping out). Finally, Melba was attracted by things happening outside the jeep, she put her paws in the perfect positions and click! Just have to be quick.
One prop that I had bought but not yet had a chance to use until these puppies came along is a ‘saucer chair’ (Amazon – “Urban Shop Super Soft Faux Fur Saucer Chair with Folding Metal Frame”). This is a super lightweight chair that folds and is easy to transport. I purchased it in black – and the effects of the black with the puppies is beautiful. For each of the puppies, getting them off the ground and into something they thought was comfortable was the ticket to capturing some wonderful images with a little Photoshop (or your favorite photo editor) this became a beautiful setting.
The head tilt - typically created by making a sound that the puppy hasn't heard before (I've gotten pretty good about making sounds and ignoring what I might look or sound like!).
The dead stare ahead with those beautiful blue eyes!
For this last photograph, we added a little dead palm branch that was laying on the ground at the foster's home for some texture and added interest to the photograph.
That's it for this week's pet photography blog. For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to visit Kirsten Hough of Wort & Flea Pet Photography, capturing the love, the fun, the adventure and the spirit of your pet in Pokeno, New Zealand.
If you would like to discuss or 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 (Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Polk counties in Florida). We have flexible rates and packages to fit most everyone’s budget as we believe that having wonderful photographs of your pet is important to so many people.