52 Weeks Project: New Technique
from the Photo Lab
It’s been really busy here at Phtoto Lab | Design Lab HQ, leaving little time left to participate in our weekly 52 Weeks project post, a creative blog ring in which a group of fellow pet photographers post their photographic interpretation of the week’s theme and link to each other’s blog. We are back this week and have some great images to share. Start here and click on the link at the bottom of this post to jump to the next photographer’s blog, follow the ring until you end up back here.
This week’s theme: New Technique
This week’s theme was all about trying out a new technique. As fate would have it, these past two weeks, we have been busy elves donating our time and services to do holiday photos. This is he first year we have done this, our style normally consists of shooting outdoors (for dogs) and by window-light for (indoor cats). We are professionally trained to shoot in a studio environment and really enjoy experimenting with light, and sensing that this might be the best possible way to approach holiday photo sessions, we set out to come up with a studio lighting and set-up that would look warm, inviting and full of holiday cheer without falling into something a bit too traditional and cheesy AND not to mention, be as safe and as least stressful to the dogs and their people as possible.
We eneded up combining three loves of ours: reclaimed wood, holiday lights and great light.
Our two holiday sessions presented different challenges and therefore required two diffrent approaches: One was an indoor Santa/Christmas tree set-up and the other was an outdoor winter/holiday theme set-up.
For the first, we used our beloved reclaimed barn doors as a background and the Marin Humane Society (where the Santa photos took place) provided Santa’s presence, the tree and the bench. We used a total of three strobe lights; a key, a fill and a rim. The wood really warmed up the environment and a quiet room with a very dog-savvy Santa ensured all the dogs in our sessions felt safe and received lots of cookies during their visit.
For the second session, we had a perfectly sized and lovely back patio belonging to our awesome holiday photo session host Biscuits, a great pet boutique in San Jose. We took advantage of an existing old wooden fence and strung some white holiday lights from two light stands. We weighed them down with some green garlands and rolled out some cotton sheets that were soft on the paws and resembled a snowy scene. Since we wanted to get the twinkle of the holiday lights and would be shooting outdoors throughout the day, we used one strobe light as a key to be able to warm up our subjects (and be able to freeze them in time) while dragging the shutter speed just long enough to get the lights in the back to show. For the smaller pups, we brought in a cheerful red chair for them to stand on.
Though I must admit we were a little intimidated by the scope of these two sessions at times, I have to say, we had a lot of fun, met many great people and dogs and were very happy to try out a couple of new techniques. Follow the blog ring now and visit Raleigh Pet Photographer, Tara Lynn of InBetween the Blinks!