I got a call a couple of months ago from a woman, asking if I could fulfill a dream she’d had for several years.
Seems she owns a stunning black American Cocker. Lady is her pride and joy. She has lots of “show pictures” of her winning giant ribbons. However, she has always wanted the ultimate portrait that would capture her personality, expression and colouring.
The natural first inclination is that a black dog would show up best on a white background. But that’s not the case.
After talking a bit, I suggested that a black background would be the most dynamic and she was all for it!
Not the easiest photographic task! Could I do it? Always up for a photographic challenge – you bet I can!
We set a date for late February, when the dog would be in full hair coat. We’ve done lots of “glamour” and “model” shoots in the past where we’ve had a makeup artist and hairstylist at the studio. This one came with her “groomer”, Anne Curran from Smiths Falls Pet Grooming, complete with brushes and styling tools.
Handy to have a professional groomer, especially since she does the dog once a week and shows the dog for the owner as well.
Lighting had to be precise, especially from the back/sides. The back/side lighting is what makes the dog stand out from the background.
Once the favourite poses and expressions were selected, I set to work using Photoshop to enhance the final images.
Here’s a Before/After. Just slide the divider back and forth to see the difference. The left side is the RAW file right out of the camera. The right side is the finished image.
Was the shoot a success? I was thrilled to hear her say “Thank you. thank you. It’s exactly what I had in mind for years”.
Because the dog is also an agility dog, she is soon going to be clipped down so she doesn’t overheat in the summer. Her coat may never be grown out like this again, so this portrait is a very important memory for the owner.
Black isn’t just for black dogs. Here’s Morgan taken on a black background on his first birthday. This one won an Award of Merit at a Professional Photographers of Ontario competition.
If you like animals, here’s some more pet portraits for you
If you’re like us, your dog(s) are like family. We always encourage families to include the dog in their family portraits. However, dogs deserve their own moment in the spotlight.
During April we have special pricing on dog portraits at the studio. Plus a special bonus for the first three dog portraits that are booked by April 30th.
Call today at 613-283-2237 for all the details.