My first pet photography day

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,503
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
There's a pet store about a mile from where we live so I finally decided to ask them if they were interested in hosting a photography day for pets with me. They'd had good experiences from similar events in the past so we started planning the date etc.

Since I didn't know how many clients I could shoot and how quick, I decided to play it safe and only took 8 clients with 30mins each. I did charge a booking fee beforehand but one of the clients didn't pay and of course it was the same client who never showed up. At least now I'm wiser and will cancel the bookings for clients who fail to pay the fee in 2 days after the booking.

So... The event... They had a small room in the store I could use and set up my studio there. I think the measures were something like 3 x 3 meters so there wasn't too much space but it was enough. I set up my 2.5m wide backdrop to cover the floor and half of a wall and then placed a rug on it to add more details. I also had a chair and two different collapsible backdrops with two colors each. For some reason all the clients wanted to use the normal backdrop only.

The gear I used was E-M5III with the 12-100mm f/4 which I btw bought for studio sessions. The lighting was handled by two Godox AD200s (+ Godox TT685o for the cat photos): one above the model (with a shoot-through umbrella facing downwards) and one next to the camera with a round softbox called Sundisc. Both of the AD200s were attached to my c-stand.

The only thing I was worrying about before the shoot was the battery life on my AD200s. I think both of them were set on ca. 1/4 power (with maybe 2/3EV difference) so I didn't even notice any changes in the recycle times. But then again, I only had a 4h shoot so... But I'm just about to buy one extra battery for them in a few days so I don't need to worry about the battery life in longer sessions in the future either.

I'm sure most of you came here for the photos, so... On with the show, then.


My first model, Cima the Leonberger, was one of the residents (the store is owned by two women and they both have dogs and since the other one was a Bernese Mountain Dog and my galleries are filled with photos of them (since I've lived with them for over 30 years now) I opted not to post photos of the Berner this time). Cima was kind enough to pose for me so I could find the ideal settings for the paying models.

50998711289_66e24f680b_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Cima - EM531529 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr


And - for a reference - here's one with the black backdrop that no one wanted to use:
51000495619_58ffb0bb43_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Cima - EM531557 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr


51087341737_4113619644_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Bondi - EM531582 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Bondi - a 15-week-old Aussie. My first customer. And of course he peed on my backdrop. Because why not? Thank god it was mostly water and didn't leave a mark. I don't think any of the other dogs even smelled that since no one was sniffing the fabric - or wrote a reply. :D


51089665807_ed5bc5a3b5_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Jekku & Bondi - EM531637 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Here's Bondi with his friend, a Schapendoes called Jekku.

After those two my next model was a Bernese Mountain Dog (surprise, surprise!) but I didn't put any photos of her online since the photo shoot was a surprise to the actual owners and I don't know if they've received the canvas yet so I didn't want to risk it. The dog was "smuggled" to the shoot without the owners knowing about it. :)

So... next client. A cat. The only non-canine model for the day. As soon as she was released from the bag, she ran away under the sofa and didn't want to come out. So I had to adjust. I rolled up the backdrop and started shooting her under the sofa. Eventually she did come out to the open as well and we got plenty of photos of her. The owner initially feared that we wouldn't even get a single decent photo of her. We did. I think she ended up buying 9 photos. :D

51103081678_7877215abf_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Aada - EM531680 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Ada the rescue cat.


51091314894_a9ce444c0e_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Luna - EM531758 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Luna. A mix of Nova Scotia retriever and Hovawart if I remember correctly. 14 years old.


51108430254_e8efe21423_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Roku - EM531810 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
9-year-old Roku. Mix of Akita and Rottweiler. So gorgeous and kind. Great personality and easy to work with.


51093605319_992084eb8c_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Sulo - EM531851 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Sulo the Golden Retriever. 9 years old.


And the last one:
51098159459_3a96b09290_h.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Pate - EM531923 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Pate. A Phaléne papillon dog.

More text and photos on my blog: https://teemup.net/blog/lemmikkikuvauspaiva-kapalavaessa-2021-03/


And FYI, I just started advertising our next photography event in May. Same place, similar setup. This time 12 clients (2 more hours) with option to expand the day and add more slots if it gets fully booked.
 
Last edited:

speedy

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
2,477
Lovely shots man. I bet all the owners were happy with them. I have to say, you're pretty game taking on that subject matter. You know -the old saying about working with animals and children 😁😁
 

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,503
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
Lovely shots man. I bet all the owners were happy with them. I have to say, you're pretty game taking on that subject matter. You know -the old saying about working with animals and children 😁😁
Thank you - much appreciated. :)
And yes, I think I can say the owners were happy since no one opted to use the "full money back guarantee" and the smallest order was 3 photos (while two of them bought 9 photos and the average was 6 photos per client). I was expecting people to buy 2 or 3 photos per client so... I did fine-tune (and simplify) the prices a bit higher for the next event.
 

Brownie

Thread Killer Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
3,770
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
Very nice. I enjoy their demeanor, very relaxed and happy looking as @melanieylang said. Is this due to your ability with animals, or do the owners help? Any failures where the pup refused to cooperate? Are treats/toys involved?

I ask out of fascination. I am always intrigued with how people work with animals in photography and movies. They can be so unpredictable.
 

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,503
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
Very nice. I enjoy their demeanor, very relaxed and happy looking as @melanieylang said. Is this due to your ability with animals, or do the owners help? Any failures where the pup refused to cooperate? Are treats/toys involved?

I ask out of fascination. I am always intrigued with how people work with animals in photography and movies. They can be so unpredictable.
Thank you! Well... It depends but to be honest, I think I could do better by myself at times. :D Some of the owners are constantly feeding the models and that's not how it's supposed to go. I'd prefer to use treats only if necessary (or after the shots as a reward). And some people will try to get the dog's attention while it should be ME who does it. I want their eyes on me (or the camera) and not to the person next to me (or the dog).

And not to sound too cocky or anything like that, but I do have a special connection with dogs. I think they can read me & my (unconscious) gestures easily and it helps them to relax. I know how to move my hands and make eye contact etc. I also know what kind of touching most dogs like (or tolerate). And I can read dogs too. It helps that I've lived over 30 years with them (over 20 different dogs). I even shared a 60cm wide bed with two big(gish) dogs for 10 years. :D

And of course there are dogs that don't like me simply because I'm a man but so far I haven't encountered any when I'm working with the camera. But that day will come too - for sure. :)

I have different methods to get their interest but with the last model of they day we had issues to keep him steady/focused. The owner fed all their own treats in 1-2 minutes and nothing I had were good enough for him. He couldn't have cared less for any of the squeaky toys or noises I made so it was a challenge. But I did get enough good photos of him as well. And when everything else fails, patience is the key. If we have 15 minutes for the shoot, there will be a second or two every now and then when they will look into the camera so you gotta be ready. If I can't control the dog then I'll just let them be and wait. I only need a fraction of a second to take the shot. That's basically how I got the very last photo above. :)

And actually some owners can start to lose their nerves when the dog doesn't pose well. Those are also the times when I know I could handle the situation better if I were alone with the dog. The owners will only make it worse and start grabbing the dog and try to make 'em stay still - with a happy face of course. Yeah right, like that's going to happen when the dog doesn't know why they're being punished. That happened once during this event too but luckily I had already taken enough good photos so it was time to quit. Dogs shouldn't be abused for a photo or two.
 
Last edited:

RichardC

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
4,554
Location
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Real Name
Richard
I once photographed a Collie in the studio. His owner was an old guy, the dog was an old dog. Once the lights were set, all I had to do was get the dog to sit in position. Very obedient dog, studio lighting with modelling lights, lots of space. Easy.

....except every time I got the dog to sit, his owner said "good boy". "Good boy" in dog language = "I am about to get a treat" and the dog got straight up and sat at his owner's feet. This happened AT LEAST 12 times. Neither one of them could stop themselves - the guy started saying "good boy" and "sorry" at the same time. I sat him in the picture eventually - it was the only way to shut him up.
 

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,503
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
I once photographed a Collie in the studio. His owner was an old guy, the dog was an old dog. Once the lights were set, all I had to do was get the dog to sit in position. Very obedient dog, studio lighting with modelling lights, lots of space. Easy.

....except every time I got the dog to sit, his owner said "good boy". "Good boy" in dog language = "I am about to get a treat" and the dog got straight up and sat at his owner's feet. This happened AT LEAST 12 times. Neither one of them could stop themselves - the guy started saying "good boy" and "sorry" at the same time. I sat him in the picture eventually - it was the only way to shut him up.
Now that's hilarious! :D
 

Walter

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
2,208
Location
Germany
Real Name
Walter
There's a pet store about a mile from where we live so I finally decided to ask them if they were interested in hosting a photography day for pets with me. They'd had good experiences from similar events in the past so we started planning the date etc.

Since I didn't know how many clients I could shoot and how quick, I decided to play it safe and only took 8 clients with 30mins each. I did charge a booking fee beforehand but one of the clients didn't pay and of course it was the same client who never showed up. At least now I'm wiser and will cancel the bookings for clients who fail to pay the fee in 2 days after the booking.

So... The event... They had a small room in the store I could use and set up my studio there. I think the measures were something like 3 x 3 meters so there wasn't too much space but it was enough. I set up my 2.5m wide backdrop to cover the floor and half of a wall and then placed a rug on it to add more details. I also had a chair and two different collapsible backdrops with two colors each. For some reason all the clients wanted to use the normal backdrop only.

The gear I used was E-M5III with the 12-100mm f/4 which I btw bought for studio sessions. The lighting was handled by two Godox AD200s (+ Godox TT685o for the cat photos): one above the model (with a shoot-through umbrella facing downwards) and one next to the camera with a round softbox called Sundisc. Both of the AD200s were attached to my c-stand.

The only thing I was worrying about before the shoot was the battery life on my AD200s. I think both of them were set on ca. 1/4 power (with maybe 2/3EV difference) so I didn't even notice any changes in the recycle times. But then again, I only had a 4h shoot so... But I'm just about to buy one extra battery for them in a few days so I don't need to worry about the battery life in longer sessions in the future either.

I'm sure most of you came here for the photos, so... On with the show, then.


My first model, Cima the Leonberger, was one of the residents (the store is owned by two women and they both have dogs and since the other one was a Bernese Mountain Dog and my galleries are filled with photos of them (since I've lived with them for over 30 years now) I opted not to post photos of the Berner this time). Cima was kind enough to pose for me so I could find the ideal settings for the paying models.

View attachment 885808 Cima - EM531529 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr


And - for a reference - here's one with the black backdrop that no one wanted to use:
View attachment 885809 Cima - EM531557 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr


View attachment 885810 Bondi - EM531582 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Bondi - a 15-week-old Aussie. My first customer. And of course he peed on my backdrop. Because why not? Thank god it was mostly water and didn't leave a mark. I don't think any of the other dogs even smelled that since no one was sniffing the fabric - or wrote a reply. :D


View attachment 885811 Jekku & Bondi - EM531637 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Here's Bondi with his friend, a Schapendoes called Jekku.

After those two my next model was a Bernese Mountain Dog (surprise, surprise!) but I didn't put any photos of her online since the photo shoot was a surprise to the actual owners and I don't know if they've received the canvas yet so I didn't want to risk it. The dog was "smuggled" to the shoot without the owners knowing about it. :)

So... next client. A cat. The only non-canine model for the day. As soon as she was released from the bag, she ran away under the sofa and didn't want to come out. So I had to adjust. I rolled up the backdrop and started shooting her under the sofa. Eventually she did come out to the open as well and we got plenty of photos of her. The owner initially feared that we wouldn't even get a single decent photo of her. We did. I think she ended up buying 9 photos. :D

View attachment 885812 Aada - EM531680 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Ada the rescue cat.


View attachment 885813 Luna - EM531758 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Luna. A mix of Nova Scotia retriever and Hovawart if I remember correctly. 14 years old.


View attachment 885814 Roku - EM531810 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
9-year-old Roku. Mix of Akita and Rottweiler. So gorgeous and kind. Great personality and easy to work with.


View attachment 885815 Sulo - EM531851 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Sulo the Golden Retriever. 9 years old.


And the last one:
View attachment 885816 Pate - EM531923 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Pate. A Phaléne papillon dog.

More text and photos on my blog: https://teemup.net/blog/lemmikkikuvauspaiva-kapalavaessa-2021-03/


And FYI, I just started advertising our next photography event in May. Same place, similar setup. This time 12 clients (2 more hours) with option to expand the day and add more slots if it gets fully booked.
Another superb series. I'm not too keen on dog and cat photos that are flooding the web. But yours just make the difference. Great shots, superb lighting and the character of the beasts well captured. I loved scrolling down and having a closer look at each of them. Really excellent job, Teemu. :2thumbs:
 

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,503
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
Another superb series. I'm not too keen on dog and cat photos that are flooding the web. But yours just make the difference. Great shots, superb lighting and the character of the beasts well captured. I loved scrolling down and having a closer look at each of them. Really excellent job, Teemu. :2thumbs:
Wow! I'm speechless. Thank you for the kind words. The best possible way to start the new week by reading this. :cloud-9-039::cloud-9-039::cloud-9-039:
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom