This a very short blog to give you a bit of an insight into our photoshoots,
We of course do our photoshoots because we know pet parents love them, it's also something different for us to do throughout the year. It used to be we'd have a party day and do shoots at the same
time, but trying to fit everyone in was just too manic. Now we have a party week, we plan our party weeks for our quiet weeks, a company our size still just gets by from month to month meaning a quiet month does have an effect. So our Christmas party week is the last week before Christmas, our summer party during the 6 weeks holidays, Halloween party during Half term etc to encourage you all to keep your pets coming. We also test them each time with a couple of models of our own!
The photo shoots
For previous party shoots, we've still had a backdrop and set up but generally used our camera phones and in app editing, this has still taken a lot of effort but this time we've gone for a slightly more professional shoot
The shoots have taken place across two weeks in our photo room, There have been two areas set up with lighting and a new lens and speed flash to help improve the quality of the images. Full manual mode, no auto-settings this time, and all post processing completed in Lightroom.
The room has been heated more for extra comfort to help them settle in the new room (they don't usually visit this room much). The dogs come in, have an explore, sniff around and treats, then the idea is then to start in the comfy bed setting (white shoot) to get them comfortable whilst also getting use to having a big black camera in their face and flash going off. After this it's over to the traditional Christmas shoot, on the chair or wherever they are comfortable. Generally each dog would take around 15-20 minutes
Some dogs have 1 photo - Some 10
Some dogs simply get more uncomfortable with a change in their environment than others meaning some photos look great and some others are just the best we could get. We reward and encourage them throughout the shoot but if they're not getting comfortable then we don't force the photos or the wearing of hats. Likewise some dogs are soo excitable at new environments that it would take a long time to get them to settle and be calm enough for a photo
(they also have a habit of damaging the scenes) so whilst effort is made to photograph every dog not all will get a photo for these reasons.
No surprise that Jamie is our Photographer, besides being our lead trainer, behaviourist and puppy start right instructor (which all help the dogs feel comfortable whilst posing) Jamie probably fits the bracket of amateur photographer. He started off self teaching about 15 years ago, using photography magazines and online resources, since then he's attended several 1 day courses covering styles such as Urban photography, Landscape photography etc. He was also a trained and operational covert surveillance photographer during his time in the police, and is a certified PADI underwater photographer having spent a few months chasing fish in Thailand. So this time around he got to put his hobby to good use.
Once the photos are taken we've reduced thousands to a few, It takes a few shots, and ball squeaks and food to get their attention sometimes, then edit them accordingly in Lightroom.
There you have it, we hope you like the photos. Some dogs will have missed out as we didn't know you weren't coming W/C 19th but hopefully we'll have a valentines shoot.