Photographing your dog for a portrait.
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Thread: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

  1. #1
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    DefaultPhotographing your dog for a portrait.

    I've been painting dog portraits for over a decade now and have come up with a pretty fool proof method of getting that perfect shot
    for a portrait of your dog. My main concern is the lighting of the dog and not the background since the backgrounds are not included
    in my portraiture. The way the light falls on the animal is most crucial. Hope these tips help with your own photography sessions
    with your beloved best friend.

    Andrew Kenyon

    See tips at the following link: http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew..._your_pet.html
    http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew_Kenyon/Main_Animal_Page.html

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  3. #2
    Buddysmom's Avatar
    Buddysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Andrew, thanks for the info and welcome to JL. Got a question for you about your angles. I understand the good angle shot. In the bad angle shot, is it the fact that you're shooting from a standing position or is it the angle of the sun being from the side that's bad? I think without the flash, the angle of the sun would be fine giving a 3 dimensional look to the dog.


    Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
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  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Remember, I'm coming from the stand point of using photos to paint portraits so the angle of the head is very important if the portrait is to be successful.
    The common mistake is to take a snap shot of our dogs from our "Human Position" which means for the dog to look at us they have to crane their neck back
    and look up which makes for an odd composition. Almost like they are looking up at the sky. I have always gotten down to their level, no pun intended, so that their
    head is looking level and directly at me. It makes for a much more intimate and stately pose. I hope that makes sense. As far as the lighting, the lower
    the angle of the sun the better because of the shadows it will cast across the dogs head. It will allow for a dark side and a light side which is crucial in the
    portrait. Over head sun makes everything look the same and in a portrait
    that's not very interesting. And use of a flash just drowns out everything.. color, dark areas, eye color, etc. Probably more info than you wanted but I hope
    some of it was helpful.
    Andy

    Did you vote on Lily's portriat pic? If not, you can cast your vote here: http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew...imal_Page.html
    http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew_Kenyon/Main_Animal_Page.html

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    By the way, the photo of your two 'children' is beautiful! I can tell there was no flash used because the
    area under your Labs mouth where your daughters arm is remains in shadow. They are both SO cute!
    Andy
    http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew_Kenyon/Main_Animal_Page.html

  7. #5
    KLM
    KLM is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Great advice. Your portraits are just gorgeous!
    <br />[b]SEE MY FAVORITE JAKE PHOTOS HERE: [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathy1976/sets/72157600396116652/]http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathy1976/sets/72157600396116652/[/url

  8. #6
    imported_Jimbo's Avatar
    imported_Jimbo is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Thanks for the tips... I shoot mainly weddings and people portraits but haven't attempted any pet portraits.

    And use of a flash just drowns out everything.. color, dark areas, eye color, etc. Probably more info than you wanted but I hope some of it was helpful.
    Do you ever use products like Lumiquest's Pocket Bouncer or diffusers like Gary Fong's lightsphere to soften up the subject like black labs?

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Hi Jimbo,

    Glad you felt some of those tips for photographing dogs was helpful. I, like you, do use a light bouncer when photographing children. That is my main source of income is Childrens Portraits. I tried using a light bouncer on animals years ago when I first started out but found that it is MUCH to distracting and they are more interested in the light disk than in me and my camera so no, I no longer use a bounce light for animal portraits. The odd thing about photographing Black Labs is that, in the sun, they are never toally black. Where ever the direct sunlight hits their fur it actually goes white. I have included a couple of black lab portraits I have done in the past to show you what I mean. The beauty of painting portraits is that I can take liberties where needed. So even if the lighting isn't perfect, I can make it look like it was during the actual painting phase.
    Andy

    Black Labs:
    http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew_Kenyon/Main_Animal_Page.html

  10. #8
    imported_Jimbo's Avatar
    imported_Jimbo is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Those portraits are awesome!!!

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    Thanks! Here is a photo I thought you might appreciate being a photographer yourself. It is of a little boy whose portrait I started today. Because I make up my own
    backgrounds I never worry with what might be in the background of the photo. My main concern is always gettting the light to fall across the subject a certain way.
    This was an indoor shoot by a window that had natural light streaming in. I had my bounce light propped up against a chair opposite of the window. If you look closely
    you can see the light bouncer reflected in the window.

    Andy
    It is a composite of three different photos. The head from one, on the body of another, with the arm added from yet another. The areas where you can make out
    where I photoshoped will be worked in to look natural during the painting phase.
    http://web.mac.com/amkstudios/Andrew_Kenyon/Main_Animal_Page.html

  12. #10
    YellowLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Photographing your dog for a portrait.

    This picture is photoshopped?

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