Picture Your Pet: Innovative photographs make for fun!

Posted by Raja on July 3rd, 2011 — Posted in Agility, Photos

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When Raja and I were at the CPE Agility Nationals in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, everybody was talking about getting the “Commemorative Picture”… so what could that be?  I assumed it would be a shot with the judges and a collection of ribbons.  Kinda dull… but not so…….. 

The “Commemorative Picture” was a formal, posed shot in a theatrical little stage in the vendors’ building.  Crystal Image Pet Photography had assembled a gorgeous little studio set that idealized the Minnesota Lake District …  cattails and water grass, ducks and a stalking crane, a pine tree, stones and the pale blue of the prairie sky.  Your canine champion got to sit on the tape X and pose for the camera.  A custom label on the canoe oar makes the shot official. 

Raja and the innovative photographer at Crystal Image.

What a lovely keepsake for our Shih Tzu Wall of Glory (aka the living room wall). 

Now, you do know, you could have some fun doing this yourself at home.  Even taking the set style to a lesser degree… Take your outdoors dog into the rough and pose him on a fallen log with a hatchet, a make believe camp fire site with iron cook pot, a rustic and faded bandanna, crumpled sepia tone map, spyglass and an old canvas backpack.  Instant Lewis and Clark.    Get toddler fairy wings, enormous artificial flowers and have a friend blow bubbles toward the scene as you pose and snap your puppy princess as a flower fairy.  Yes it’s all big silly fun, but, seriously, doesn’t “big silly fun” characterize much of what you do with your dog, or is it only me?  You know you’ll love the shot after you did it and if you don’t, you might kind of wish you had. 

Can’t wait to collect the next “Commemorative Picture” from Crystal Image at Nationals next year! We want to collect all 50 states!

11 Comments »

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Oh Raja!!! I love both of them, but the one of you alone and personlized is of course my very favorite.

And yes, I will just have to do something with my three fur kids also.

Thank you and now I have to try to save the photo for online folder of you and your mommy and daddy and brother’s and sister (in law) and yard and all the flowers. I especially am fond of the one of you and mommy under the yard archway thingy.

Sheryll & Critters.

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

Comment by Cy & CT

Raja,
Wow, this brings back the good memories! You look marvelous. We haven’t received our photo yet but we’re sure it will be here any day. We love your suggestions for doing our own photo shoots at home too. The photographer from Crystal Images sure was nice wasn’t she, I hope we see her again at another Nationals.
Cy & CT

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Comment by Rhea

Raja,
It seems just like yesterday that we were at Nationals!! What a great photo!! Can’t wait to get mine!!! We will be going camping late July so I might have Mom set up a good pose then for me. Wish you could go along, am sure we’d have lots of fun. Thanks for sharing your photo with me.
Puppy Love,
Skamp

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Comment by Pat &Buttercup

Helen and Raja…. What beautiful commemorative
Photo! I true keep sake.
It will look gorgeous on your wall of fame !

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Comment by Demon Flash Bandit

I think that is a great idea for photos, but if the humans want a dog in costume, they will have to use my stunt dog, Phantom Fast Snowman. This dog does not like clothing. LOL

Posted on July 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

Comment by The McLane Cats

That picture is adorable!

Posted on July 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Comment by JoAnn Tindall

My four year old pek attacks my seven year old pom even she gets excited when other dogs bark . She is twice as big as my pom. Why is this and what can be done to make her stop this?

Posted on July 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

Comment by Raja

Peeks can be feisty. I have no idea what causes this behavior selectively, but you will have to observe the environment in your home to begin to interpret the cause. Please make sure good behavior gets attention and bad behavior is intervened and and the offender is afterwards briefly ignored. Is your Peek getting enough exercise?

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 6:33 am

Comment by Laidi-Rose Illingworth

I have six black miniature french poodles and would love to know the best way to photograph them so that you can actually see their eyes, they are just so black

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 7:24 am

Comment by Raja

Hi all you cute little balls of fluffy black curls!

Black dogs photograph best with an indirect flash. If you can angle your indoor flash toward the side wall, the flashback shine will pick out details, like the whites of the eyes, that would normally be in shadow. Suggest you try to have their heads angled up to get the most light in. A direct flash will cause eye shine, so direct flash is not advisable. Outdoor daylight lighting, and faces angled up is also beneficial as it shows the range of tones in the fur and illuminates the white rims of their little black eyes. You could even try a flash outdoors in daylight at a distance of seven feet. The flash will bring out the whites of the eyes. A colorful bandanna or collar also helps break up the dark mass and focus the viewer on the face. And yes, a little bow on the curly top also highlights the face. Naturally, setting the pups up on a bright background like fresh grass or a bright contrasting color rug or couch will help define shape.

Black dogs are the hardest to photograph no matter how many tricks you have going on, but a black coat is so elegant! Good luck with those adorable pups!

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Thank you so much for the tips on photographing a black pet. I have one jet black kitty kat (Sapphire) and one very dark mottled one (Sadie) and one of Sadie’s babies is a very dark grey, almost like a soft black and yes, it is almost impossible to get their facial features to show up. We will try this and talk about hard to catch, these tiny babies are now faster than lightning and hard to get a click or even a video of them now.

Posted on July 15, 2011 at 7:29 am

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