Nothing Says It’s Almost Valentine’s Day Like. . .

. . . a fabulous love-tastic photo shoot of adoptable animals!

I had the pleasure of working with the extremely talented photographer Virgil Ocampo again last night (the same volunteer that took these amazing shots of adoptables a few weeks ago). We were taking pictures for an exciting upcoming Valentine’s Day event at the shelter, and we took the opportunity to go all out with cute pink and red props.

I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. I love the chance to celebrate love and to show the people I love in my life a little bit of extra appreciation for a day.  That meant that I had a total blast with this shoot. I can’t wait to show you all the photos! Here’s a little behind the scenes action. . . stay tuned!

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SNOOD Life

There is a trend sweeping the doggy nation, and it comes in the form of tubular neck scarf – for dogs. Known as a snood, these scarves make the perfect cold weather accessory for your pooch. Don’t believe me that folks everywhere are dressing their dogs in these neck warmers? Check out Our Waldo Bungie’s post about it from just a few days ago (one that I didn’t see until after I started writing this!) or any of Two Pitties in the City’s recent posts!

We all know that the key to staying warm during the winter is to cover up your extremities, mostly importantly your head. Since many dogs won’t put up with wearing a hat, a snood to cover their neck is the perfect compromise to for those cold-sensitive areas not sheltered by a coat or jacket. What I also like about snoods is the fact that they’re (I think) more comfortable and free for dogs to just wear around the house.

When Charlie came to stay with me, his mom sent him with his Sirius Republic snood. While I’d seen so, so many of my online doggy friends rocking their snoods, I’d never had one for a dog myself. On that first chilly afternoon together, I stuck Charlie’s on him and didn’t take if off the entire time he was with me.  He’s still got thin hair and he’s a tiny little thing, so I’m always worried he’s too cold in my house (considering I always am), and the snood was the perfect solution. . . not to mention it was ADORABLE!

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Whether we were inside on the couch watching a football game (see Monday’s post) or braving the cold outside, Charlie had on his snood. As you can see, it did not restrict his playfulness or range of motion one bit!

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If you live somewhere cold, I highly recommend you invest in such a versatile piece of doggy clothing!  It’s pretty much a guarantee that your pup will look irresistibly cute in it!



G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s

Cue Fergie’s song Glamorous for these photos taken by one of our shelter’s volunteer dog walker and photographers, Virgil Ocampo. We set up shop in the shelter Sunday night with the full shabang – backdrop, lights, things-whose-functions-I-don’t-know – and captured these fabulous shots with the help of many people, sausages and squeaky toys. This was the first of many photo shoots with Virgil (thank you thank you thank you), and we are absolutely LOVING spreading around these glamour shots!

More photos to come in the next few months, I’m sure – but for now, enjoy!

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Photography Week: Get Creative

Welcome to Photography Week where we’re covering all things photography! We’re wrapping up after discussing the basics to capturing a good photo, manual settings for a DSLR camera, tips for improving your photos, and post-processing pointers. Thanks for stopping by this week, and I hope you’ve had as much fun learning as I did writing!

We all love having pictures of our pets, right? Sure, you can snap some when there are family gatherings or when you and your friends go out for a hike or maybe even when you’re out in the yard with them. But have you ever considered having your own little in-home studio shoot with them? Let me guess: you’re thinking, “Oh, I can’t do that, I don’t have the gear for that set up.” Think again. Some of my favorite photos have come from using nothing but my pet and a solid colored bed sheet!

I grabbed this old comforter at work and put it up in front of a desk, and voilà! You have a backdrop. I mentioned Monday that you should try to use clutter-free, non-distracting backgrounds. Well here is the perfect way to create that! It’s easy and it results in some unique photos compared to what you might be used to taking.

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Bobbi02Sure, sometimes it doesn’t always go as planned (like everything else involving dogs) but I love the look of a backdrop. Take a big sheet and put it in front of table, keep it secured with a few piles of books and then arm yourself with lots and lots of treats.

Photography is all about letting your creativity come through in a photo. Even within one simple setting there are hundreds of ways to alter it; to try something a bit different. I think the most fun I’ve had while learning my way around my Canon is getting to put my own personal perspective into my work, both through what and how I photograph subjects.  Things like trying backdrops and messing with composition and playing with different depths of field and even dressing up my dogs are all avenues that have helped to shape my preferences as a photographer.  You too will see your own creative strengths shine through your photos the more and more you practice.

Can’t get much more creative than this (I know it’s a little premature for Valentine’s Day but we were talking about backdrops and I couldn’t help but think about Baxter’s little hiney in these shorts!):

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Happy Friday, everyone!


Cats: Giving You a Run for Your Money

I know what you’re thinking… more cats? Seriously!? But when you’re not fostering and you’re traveling and the only four legged subjects you have to take photos of are cats, then cats are going to have to take up some time on the blog.  I don’t mind it actually – taking pictures of kitties is a nice change of pace from photographing dogs.

Cats are notorious for being a big pain in the you know what to photograph. They’re usually not like dogs in that they’re not particularly inclined to give you their attention for more than about .06 seconds. You have to get seriously creative to capture their attention for long enough to take those dreamy eye shots. For dogs, you can often just use a treat or a squeaker toy. For cats, you have to pull out all the stops – toys, weird noises, sparkly ribbon, cat nip. . . you name it, I’m sure a photographer somewhere has tried it.

I’m lucky with my Aunt’s rescued kitties, Cosmo and Angus, because they’re actually pretty food motivated and a few pieces of kitty candy can sort of hold their attention. It’s brief though, because once they realize you’re not going to give them the candy every time you hold it in front of their face, they pretty much tell you to f-off. Such characters.

Their love for food helped me capture a few decent shots, though you can tell I was working as fast as possible because some faces aren’t quite as crisp as I want them – but they were the best I ended up with.  In the end, Cosmo (the grey one) vomited because I gave him too much kitty candy and Angus (the black one) fell into a deep food coma, but it was a fun photo shoot and a deeper introduction into kitty photography. Enjoy!

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Because It’s a Monday and You Need This

So. This happened at work last week.

As part of our efforts to help as many animals as possible, we have a dedicated foster program that tries to save underage babies who come into the shelter and need extra specialized care. Once they’re placed in foster homes,they are brought in for routine medical needs. On this day, fosters had brought in a litter of kittens and a litter of two week old bunnies. It just so happens that my coworker is adopting one of the kittens, so I told him I would take a few pictures of him.

When we realized the bunnies were in the building as well, we just couldn’t resist. . .

Could your Monday be any cuter?