I always love when animals are involved in photo sessions. My stress level does tend to go up a few notches especially when I hear the word cat. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats but they are the least cooperative when it comes to pet sessions. Thankfully Luey and Lila are pretty social and they are used to being outside on leashes. These 2 actually cooperated better than Nash, our canine friend.
Location was Silver Lake Park in North St Paul. This was a new location for me and it will be on my top list of favorite places for photo sessions especially in the Fall.
Yes, Nash does look sweet and innocent in his photos. Well he is very sweet just not sure about the innocent part. If I remember correctly, Nash had far more retakes than Luey and Lila especially during the family photos. The issue with him was his puppy energy. He didn’t like to sit still but once we got him to sit, he sat very well…for about 15 seconds.
Family session was a bit more challenging because we had to get 2 cats and a dog to all look at the camera at the same time. The cats actually did better than I had expected. I think being held helped a lot. Nash probably could of benefited from being held but we still managed to get a cute picture after a few retakes. Megan’s mom, Julie, was a great help. I couldn’t have gotten what I did with out her.
Final product and the only head I had to swap out was Nates.
This was an easy one for Nash. All he had to do was walk.
Sitting was a whole other story. We had to try multiple times
to get this
A few of my favorite ones of just the two of them
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My 2 biggest challenges for photo sessions are unknown territory and bright, sunny days. Sam’s session was on her parents property in River Falls, WI (a place I had never been) and it was a bright, sunny day. The property was beautiful and we had many options for backgrounds. Sam loves nature. She had me crawling deep into the woods but it was worth it for the photos we were able to get.
Sam also loves animals and I do too. I also love any excuse to incorporate an animal into a photo session. The dog and cat were planned but I don’t think her mom thought I would try and incorporate chickens too. I love chickens and just couldn’t resist. Are they not the cutest?
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Meet Pepper, a tiny little Mini Dachshund. She is around 5-6 months old and has a whole lot of personality. Photos were taken at Round Lake in Frederic Wi. During my editing process I usually throw a few black and whites in for my clients but I ended up doing a lot of black and white photos with Pepper because her unique markings made for some great contrast.
The color photos turned out great too but I think the black and whites are my favorite. We also did part of Pepper’s photo session on a boat. This was her first time on one and she absolutely loved it. How cute is she in that little life jacket.
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Here is another one of my favorite locations for photo shoots. This one is at at my friends hobby farm in Cottage Grove. The day we planned for was supposed to be cloudy which is my favorite type of weather for natural lighting. I was a little disappointed when I woke up and saw that the sun was shining bright. As much as I love the sun, it can be very challenging for photos especially during the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s highest. It is a good thing that I love a challenge.
For Harper’s photo shoot we walked around the property looking for areas that have the most interesting backgrounds and where I could work around the bright sun. When working a photo shoot on a sunny day, you want to make sure that the sun is not facing your subject. As you can see in the example below, it causes eye squinting, dark shadows around the eyes and an overexposed (very bright) face.
To adjust for the brightness of the sun, Harpers photos were all shot with either the sun behind her or to the left or right of her. If you look at the brightest spots on her hair, that will tell you the direction the sun is facing. You can see that she is not squinting and there are no dark shadows around her eyes.
Finding areas that the sun is being blocked by a building can work well too as you can see in the photo with the wagon wheel. The building behind her was blocking the sun which created a small area that we could use to get nice lighting.
The main reason we chose the hobby farm was for the ponies and the goats. Harper had never met a pony or goat before so this was a new experience for her. She was a natural once she got used to them. Daisy the pony and Flirt the goat were not quite as cooperative as Harper. You can’t tell in the photos but we struggled quite a bit. We had lots of retakes but managed to get some great shots.
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A couple of week ago I did a photo shoot on my friends hobby farm. She has ponies, chickens, goats and just added on 6 ducks. Her daughter Allie let me use one of her ponies for my photo shoot. Allie spent a lot of time getting Daisy ready for photos so I told Allie I would do some photos of her and her ponies after my shoot was done.
Here is Allie and Leroy:
Daisy was a bit more challenging but we made it work: