Dog portrait test shoot

Shoot plan:

The plan of this shoot is to experiment and practice working with dogs within the studio. I did not want to just use a plain white background so decided to use the main back wall in my studio, which is a rough textured brick/stone wall and lovely old wooden floor boards. 

  • Location - My studio, The Old House, Compton, Marldon, TQ3 1TD
  • Equipment: 1 Elinchrom RX4 D-lite's with Octobox
  • Canon 5D Mark iii, with Canon 24mm-105mm L Lens and Canon 85mm 1.8f Lens

Contact Sheets

This shoot was quite successful as I managed to get a variety of poses and compositions a lot quicker than I thought it was going to take. There was a lot of bribery with treats in my hand. At the start of the shoot a let the dogs hang around the studio, so that they could have a sniff around and get used to the location so that they stay relaxed. In Pippa's case this time at the start to look around the studio gave her time to calm down as she was full of excitement and energy and just wanted to run around and play. I did this shoot by myself and I knew straight away I would benefit hugely by having an assistant or a dog owner present, who could then direct the dog and hold the treats. Trying to direct the dog, hold treats and the camera at the same time and to try and take the photos was a little bit of a struggle. I think the reason this session went by so quickly is because I did a shoot with them just before christmas, so they were not completely new to the idea.  

Final Edits

When it came to editing the photos it suddenly became very clear how off white my 'white wall' is. It clearly hadn't been painted in quite some time, or was originally painted a magnolia shade. In some of the photos the wall actually appears to be yellow. It is a lot harder to tell in person, which is why I did not realise straight away. With some post production adjusting the exposure, shadows, clarity and white balance I managed to produce some useable edits. I really love some of the photos from this shoot, therefore I did not want to just scrap them because of a slightly off tone background. I planned to go and purchase some white masonry paint and to repaint the wall as soon as possible, as I really like the stone wall and floorboard look and want to use it for future shoots.