BLANK SLATE - Dog Photography 52 Week Project: Week 1

Blank slate is the theme for the dog photography 52 week project in week 1 and since it's the beginning of the year, we have A LOT of new dog photographers participating in the blog circle. Yipee! If you're one of those dog photographers and you're new to the 52 week project, welcome. It's a great group and I love participating in this every week although I might not participate every week this year. I'm pretty sure I didn't miss a week last year but I'm going to cut myself some slack this year and be okay if I miss a week every now and then.... I think. 

Here's a bit about me: My name is Kim and I discovered photography late in life. I bought my first camera in 2014 when my black lab Buddy had a health scare. I wanted to make sure I captured some nice photos of him and I thought if I bought a nice DSLR, I'd be a professional photographer. I was sooo naive. I had no idea there was much to learn about photography. (I'm shaking my head after re-reading that!)

My full time job is dog walking & pet sitting so I initially practiced a lot on those dogs. There were a lot of reasons why those photos aren't any good one of which is because the lighting was all wrong. (Other reasons included I had no idea what settings to use on the camera and then once I sort of figured that out, I needed to figure out how to use Lightroom or Photoshop.) Most of my dog walking visits are between 11-2pm, the worst time to attempt outdoor photography. That was a lesson I should've learned a lot sooner than I did. I quickly became frustrated because my photos didn't look amazing so I shelved my camera for almost a year.

In the fall of 2015 I heard about Barkelona, an out of this world pet photography workshop and I decided to apply. Somehow I was accepted and going on that trip changed my life. I fell in love with photography. I met a group of people who loved dogs as much as I do and it was during those 9 days in Spain, I truly found my "why" in life.

Fast forward to 20 months later and I can say I've learned a lot since that trip in April 2016.  You could even say I was a blank slate when I went on that trip.

I've thrown myself into learning as much as I can about my camera, about seeing light and learning lightroom and photoshop. I still have a lot to learn but I know I've come a long way in a short amount of time.

My goals for 2018 are to better understand and see light. I want to understand natural light better. I want to use natural lighting better in my photos. I also want to learn OCF (off camera flash.) I bit the bullet and bought a strobe and now I want to learn how to use it to improve my work. Another very short term goal is to calibrate my lenses. My 70-200 which I used for both of these photos needs it because these images aren't tack sharp and they should be. I think this lens is front focusing slightly. 

If you want to follow along my progress in understanding light, follow @barkography on Instagram. I post there daily. I also throw in everything else going on in my life in Instagram and right now that is the search for our new family member. We want to adopt a senior labrador retreiver and the process is taking longer than I want!

2018 is a blank slate. It's a new year. Happy 2018 ya'll.

This is a blog circle and next up is Linda from VP Shoots Photography, Tampa, Florida. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of each post to see what each photographer has to say about our topic blank slate and then make a comment or two. We photographers love to read your comments.

PS I met this super cute puppy on January 1. He is my neighbor's newest family member. His name is Henry and he's an 8 week old catahoula leopard. I'd say photographing an 8 week old puppy is a great way to start 2018. :) BUT my lighting should've been better. It was midday... ugh!


Kim Hollis32 Comments