The Blog Ring

The blog ring! Originally a 52 Week Project, this blog ring features pet photographers from all around the world. Start here at About A Dog Photography and once you’ve made it through everyone’s blog you’ll land back here!

FAQ – Are digital images included with the session?

The commonly (or frequently asked) question that follows most session inquiries – are digital images included with the session?

The short answer is no. 

Like prints and products, digital images are available separately from the session fee with a Classic Session or a Short & Sweet Session. You can mix and match them with EPIC pieces of wall art. Or opt to just snag the digital images themselves. 

If you do snag digital images, AWESOME! Digital images are GIANT files, “hand delivered” via Dropbox and include a print and use release that allows you to use your dog’s images as you see fit – post to social media, send to grandma, print as holiday cards – you just can’t claim you made the images or sell them! 

In short & long, no digital images are not included with the Classic or Short & Sweet Sessions!

ALTHOUGH….

There are THREE NEW sessions this year that are “all inclusive” and YES they do include digital images!

Digital Dog

Includes 5 digital images! + 15% off all prints & products!

BIG Digital Dog

Includes 10 digital images + 20% off all prints & products!

Entire Digital Dog

Includes 25 digital images + $250 print credit + 30% off all prints & products! OOH LA LA!

Similar to a Classic Session, each of the Digital Dog Sessions are up to 1.5 hours of photography time in the location (or locations) of your choice. Plus you get to pick the prints & products that are perfect & totally AWESOME for bringing your dog’s images to life in an a la carte style. 

The main difference? Digital images ARE included in these sessions!

Which session would you pick? Let’s get it on the books and make epic immortal images of your dog! Email – or pop over to the online booking & pick the perfect day!

5 Tips to Enhance Your Composition with Frames

Enhance your dog photography composition with these framing tips!

First off, what is framing? 

Framing, aka frame within a frame, is a method of composition that uses various elements in scene to create a frame around your subject. This creates a sense of depth and draws your viewer’s eye KA-POW right to the subject of your image!

Sure you could go willy nilly and frame every subject but the best practice is to ask: Does this image benefit from having a frame around the subject? Does it make the composition stronger? If not, then pass on adding the frame. 

Onward!

5 tips for framing:

  1. Frame with manmade objects
    Windows, doors, chairs, literal picture frames, bridges, etc – if it’s manmade you can use it to frame a dog. Get creative with your framing! Use chairs, the legs of a table, pillows, blankets, dog beds or head to a playground for TONS of framing opportunities. The list of manmade items to use for framing is vast!

    * When using a window or door to frame your dog (if they’re inside looking out), you may end up with silhouetted image with a bright background. Two workarounds: shift from shooting straight on to a slight sideways angle to turn the backlight into sidelight. Or step outside and capture your dog framed by the window as he looks out. The light will be even front light. 


     
  2. Frame with natural objects
    Trees, rocks, grass, flowers, logs, anything in nature can be utilized. Tiny & small dogs can be framed by big bloomed flowers, while big dogs can be framed by trees or rocks. Or use YOUR dog as the frame! Their paws can frame toys, treats or lovely fall leaves. You could use dog ears and tails too!



  3. Frame with people! 
    That’s right use people to frame your dog! Arms in a hug or clasped together above your dog will create a cool frame. Legs create awesome frames if your pup is tucked at your feet or standing between two people. 



  4. Frame with shadow
    An abstract way to create a frame is to use shadow to frame your dog. Shadows are cast from objects when there is ample light available. In the morning and evening shadows will be long and stretched out, while midday shadows will be crisp and small (barely farther from underfoot). Look for shadows that create a pattern and put your dog in the non shadow part of the pattern.



  5. Frame with out of focus elements
    An out of focus element is a cool way to add a frame to your dog’s image. And the possibilities of what the abstract element is are crazy vast! Grass, leaves, touches of color from flowers, steps, sidewalks and dirt paths. Narrow depth of field will help aid you with this.
    * Create your own out of focus elements with leaves, grass or flowers. Hold them on the edge of your frame close to the end of your lens. Being really close to the lens and your focus being farther out on your dog, the element will blur. Use the color to create a cool out of focus frame around your dog. 

Some other notes: The frame does NOT have to go all the way around your dog! The frame can have 3 sides, 2 sides or even one! Plus frames don’t have to be straight! 

In sum 5 tips for framing:

  • Frame with manmade objects
  • Frame with natural objects
  • Frame with people! 
  • Frame with shadow
  • Frame with out of focus elements

Which framing elements will you incorporate into your images?


We’re in a blog ring composed of awesome dog photographers from around the world. Next up: BARKography by Kim Hollis in Charlotte NC talks about her 3 most popular framed wall art options.

Safety first – stay on leash!

Safety first – stay on leash for your photography session is the best advice for the most frequently asked (or worried about) question: What if my dog can’t be off leash? 

No worries! If your dog can’t be off leash, keep them hooked up! This holds true even for dogs with mega stellar recall. Not only does a leash keep your dog safe (no chasing after squirrels, no running off to play with dog friends or people, or darting into traffic) but a leash will help us wrangle your dog into the ideal area for a perfect portrait. 

(Plus many towns & cities have leash laws that REQUIRE your dog to be on leash.)

How does a leash help with wrangling my dog?

Being on leash gives your dog a smaller radius of exploring. Which means your dog will stay in the area of the pretty light, the plants, rocks, graffiti, or any artistic background instead of heading willy nilly in a larger area. Additionally we can use your dog’s leash to tether them to a fence, tree or bridge and work together to get your dog’s attention. 

What if I want action shots? 

Then we’ll break out a really really really long leash (also known as a drag line or training leash). This will grant your dog 30 ft of running room to chase a ball or toy chucked towards the camera & myself (bonus points if you hit me haha!). We can get jumping images, running images, all the action bits and know your dog is completely safe!

Will the leash be in my pictures?

Nope! With 10+ years of editing magic the leash will disappear and your dog will look like an off leash pro! In fact 95% of the dogs I’ve photographed have been ON LEASH! (The 5% who have been off leash have been in the safety of their yards!). You’ll see the leash in the images during your Viewing Session but the leash will be removed from all of the images you purchase!

Check out the magic below:

 

For safety’s sake, stay leashed! You’ll keep your dog safe, be able to wrangle them and end up with EPIC & STUNNING images of your dog!

It’s a blog ring! Keep clicking through until you land back on us! (This ring features AWESOME dog photographers across the world!) Next: Syracuse photographer Nancy of Nancy Kieffer Photographer shares some safety tips for your photo session. 

Spring has NOT sprung! St. Cloud MN Dog Photography

April & Easter, the classic markers for springtime (technically March 20th marks the start of spring) throughout the country. Grass is green, flowers are blooming… and there’s a snowstorm outside.

Here in Minnesota, spring has not sprung. No green to be found, batches of snow every other day and blustery winds doing their best to hold tightly to the winter season. When the snow wanes, the grass ranges in color from pale gold to brown, the trees are skeletal and the landscape monochrome in browns. A unique kind of pretty that reigns from October until May. Pair with golden hour light and the landscape becomes quite magical. 

Saturday, mid morning, the temp to reach mid to high 30s. Heritage Park in St. Cloud MN – tucked behind Costco with a maze of paths that wander through woods, grassy areas and over a pair of bridges. An area that I haven’t frequently visited, even though it is centrally located in town. My friend Tiffany of TEM Photography brought out her two dogs – Finn & Ranger – and wee daughter and made our way into the park.

EGADS! The wind was TERRIBLE. It huffed and puffed with icy breath all while threatening to turn the softbox into a kite. Frozen fingers, frozen ears, hair styled in windswept chaos, are we sure it’s spring? 

Due to the wind and chill of the air we didn’t explore the park deeply – we did find a super cool long grass area with logs in it. Ranger posed like the old pro he is, while Finn preferred to play gopher behind the log. 

Shifted down the gravel path to one of the bridges. Its a super quaint bridge over a good size pond. We we less blustered by the wind which was delightful. 

From the bridge we wandered back towards the Stearns History Museum. The museum is a low slung building with quaint sets of small stairs that lead up to a block “patio”. Still no spring color or sense of spring, but the stairs were charming. Ranger tapped out and Finn took his place with his majestic mane. 

We wrapped up on our quest for spring and grabbed some warm coffee. It was fun to be out! I can’t wait until the weather stays warm and the landscape shifts out of the brown tones of late fall and winter. 

If you want to explore Heritage Park with me for a session, let’s get it set up! Email me or pick the perfect date from the online schedule!

Making collars for my dog & yours!

Making collars for my dog – and also for yours!

Indeed, when I’m not capturing immortal images of your dog, I’m crafting MEGA awesome wearables for your dog as Atomic Collars! From collars, to neckerchiefs, to leashes and harnesses – each is made from upcycled, small batch, found materials. Neckties, sleep pants, blouses, skirts, pillowcases & shower curtains, if it’s material is prone to be given a new life as a BOMB dog collar. 

And yes, Icey, Axle and Bender all had a wardrobe – Bender may have had the biggest wardrobe….

Started in the cold months of February in 2015 when my foster pittie (Bender!) needed a martingale collar that was cooler then the plain red, blue and black nylon that was found at the big box pet supply places. Headed to the thrift store, snagged a necktie & men’s belt, dropped in red thread and the Atom was born. 

Bender wearing the original Atomic Collar – Atom!

[ Here’s an old blog post that I wrote about Atomic Collars in 2015 (as part of the blog ring!): Something New! (The wacky tie still needs a home!) ]

6 years of time have evolved collars out of men’s belts as webbing (now it’s polypro), graduated away from the belt hardware (now welded D rings) but has retained the upcycled sourcing of all the materials.

Materials come in a plethora of patterns as varied as their source – from plaids & houndstooth, to stripes and florals to bleached & tie dyed. 

2 inch and 1.5 inch wide were the standards, with 1 inch and 3/4 inch widths added in later years. Martingale and flat buckle were the first two styles, with limited slip added later. Newly added styles include breakaway buckles, house collars and double D rings. Cat collars also joined the family, bringing with them teenie 1/2 inch webbing. Leashes and harness have joined the family as of a few months ago!

As for other accessories: Bowties were a fleeting thought (hard to attach to martingales), scarves were inspired but transitioned out as my indifference to KAM snaps grew. In similar styling to scarves (rectangle in shape) neckerchiefs arrived – a tie on and go option, cousin to a bandana. 

All the options! 4 widths, 6 styles of collars from teenie to moose sized, BAZILLIONS of material options, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your pup! (Or send me your material and I’ll make a super one of a kind collar just for you!). Bonus: these look EPIC in a photography session! 

Head over to Atomic Collars and snag yourself a made by me collar! (If you use this code: AAD2022BLOG you’ll get 50% off everything!)


Look through the blog ring to see what the other photographers make for their dogs! Next in the circle: Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA, making homemade dog treats with zucchini!