My Journey in Dog Photography

My photography journey

I started my photography journey over 4 years ago. I had no idea when I got into it that there would be so much to learn.

I’ve taken multiple workshops led by some of the best dog photographers in the world. I think investing in my education and learning about all of the aspects of photography are really important and it’s gotten me to where I am today.

I love learning new things. I told Charlotte Reeves, one of my first mentors that when I looked at others’ work “it made me hurt because I wanted to be that good too.” That’s the drive that motivates me to continue to get better.

I feel that it’s really important to understand my craft.

Photography is complicated because there are so many aspects about it to learn.

  1. You must learn how to use your camera. You need to know how to take it off of automatic and really make it create what you want.

  2. You need to have the vision to know what you want to create.

  3. You need to know how to use editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop. Every photographer I know uses at least one of these programs to some extent. Some use them quite heavily.

  4. You need to understand light.

Photography is all about the light.

Add in the fact that my subject is a constantly moving, long nosed dog, understanding every aspect I’ve mentioned above changes.

Unless it is intentional, a picture isn’t considered good unless the eyes are in focus. With dog photography, it is very easy for your camera to want to focus on the nose because it’s closest to the camera.

Even if you get the focus on the eyes, the settings in the camera have to be adjusted so that the nose isn’t completely out of focus.

Most of the work I’ve done to date has been outdoor photography, using the sun as my light source.

Understanding Artificial Light

In the studio, when I add in “artificial light” such as a flash or strobe, photography becomes really complicated.

Raise your hand if you like math. Raise your hand if you’re good at math? Anyone still have their hand raised?

When learning about light, this is an article someone recommended. This is from the website Imaging Resource and it’s an excerpt from world renown photographer Peter Hurley’s course. It’s about understanding how light falls off your subject and it uses the inverse square law of light to explain it.

The link above is a short excerpt from a 3.5 hour course that costs $300 to purchase. This is just one course, about lighting a human face, and it’s $300.

This is just one aspect of photography and one example of how complicated it really is.

Learning about photography takes commitment.

Commitment to learn each aspect of it. Commitment to devoting time to read about it and practice it. Commitment financially to be able to access the information you want to learn.

My journey in dog photography started 4 years ago and I love it. I am so grateful that I get to do this for a living… even when I’m reading about the inverse square law of light.

For anyone who wonders why professional photographers charge what they do, this is part of the explanation.

To do it well, takes time and commitment.

If you’re ready to find out more about the BARKography experience, check out the other pages on my stie and use the Contact page to reach out. I’d love to hear from you.