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Bella the Service Dog...

M38A1

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I was asked to photography Bella, a Service Dog, for a client this afternoon. Thoughts?

#1


#1 [EDITED] per Gary's request (darker bg/lighter dog/shadows) still not great with the brightness/sky?
i-9Wsznjq-L.jpg


#2


#3
SSS_7069-35-L.jpg


Full gallery is HERE


.
 
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Tracker

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#79 and #81 in the gallery are my favorites.

The background in the first two is distracting to me. I wish the vertical post wasn't running through her ear and the snippet of house distracts me, too. Is it a fence; is it a hitching post? really I don't care, but I found myself trying to solve the riddle rather than stay totally focused on the dog.

#3. Is her ear bud falling out? bug in the ear? Dog seems to blend too much into the background.

I guess overall on these 3, I'm asking, what story does each tell? What questions come to mind? Of the 3, I like #2 the best because it seems to tell me, here's a well-disciplined service dog that maybe getting up in age that has made his/her mark in the service world she served in.
 
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In the preview panel, I read "shoot Bella, a service dog" and my first thought was "NO! Find somebody to adopt her!" Then I saw the excellent pictures...my favorites are 16, 27, 45, 79, 108 and 115.
 
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In the preview panel, I read "shoot Bella, a service dog" and my first thought was "NO! Find somebody to adopt her!" Then I saw the excellent pictures...my favorites are 16, 27, 45, 79, 108 and 115.
:rofl: my first thoughts too
 

M38A1

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ok, fixed it.... photography instead of shoot. lol

Good points Gary. This was a last minute thing for a friend who just wanted some shots showing her interaction with her service dog. She uses the dog for others in her work. That "golden hour" is more like "golden five minutes", and I knew the posts and background were going to be problematic but the sun was going down F-A-S-T. That was a "set-up-the-gear-and-shoot-and-poof" - the sun was down kind of series. But yeah, those were my same observations too. Dang fence post and the sun was DIRECTLY behind me. Didn't matter where I was, I (my shadow) was going to be in the shot or it was a building, parking lot or porta potty off to the side.
 
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Tracker

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ok, fixed it.... photography instead of shoot. lol

Good points Gary. This was a last minute thing for a friend who just wanted some shots showing her interaction with her service dog. She uses the dog for others in her work. That "golden hour" is more like "golden five minutes", and I knew the posts and background were going to be problematic but the sun was going down F-A-S-T. That was a "set-up-the-gear-and-shoot-and-poof" - the sun was down kind of series. But yeah, those were my same observations too. Dang fence post and the sun was DIRECTLY behind me. Didn't matter where I was, I (my shadow) was going to be in the shot or it was a building, parking lot or porta potty off to the side.
I hope it didn't sound too harsh; sometimes you just gotta do the best with what you're given. I think I'm going to be in that situation Saturday morning shooting 1 yo and 2 yo kids--the human kind, not goats. :pray:
 

M38A1

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Gary, go take a peek at the last 15 or so single dog shots again.... IF you were seeing them for the FIRST time, any better?

I'll say it again, you learn something new every shoot and this was no exception. But man do I feel stupid for missing that one. In the first series of shots, it took me about 10 to figure out the loose tall grass was more of a distraction than adding to the surrounding. So I just stomped a bunch down. A few I wish I had stomped more.... :doh:

THx for taking the time to look/provide input. It all helps and I hope others can see what's going on and learn from stuff like this too. That's what this corner of TWT is all about - helping one another and learning to take better shots.
 

Tracker

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:thumb: You are the editing wizard! yes, like those much more.
Thinking out loud here. Without making it look too unbalanced, wonder if you could bring down the brightness on the background and brighten Bella, especially the shadows on Bella?
I think a before/after editing of the first one would be helpful for the tribe here.
 

M38A1

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My LR-Foo is week on this one.... Post #1 updated.

Yet overall, I'm much happier with the removal of the eve on the whole series. If you didn't look for it initially, you probably wouldn't notice the little nip&tuck
 
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I looked through your full gallery, but its a bit overwhelming looking through that many photos. I'll just comment on the 3 you posted.

#1: Nice composition and I like the portrait overall. As mentioned (I think), the background is a bit busy. If possible I would have posed the dog further out and shot it more wide open. I like the edited version better, but I think I would prefer something more in the middle of the two... a touch less hot on the dog.

#2: I dig this except the composition. The dog isn't in the middle of the frame, and it's not on a third either.

#3: The owner is where all my focus goes to, due to the white shirt and the light on her face. The dog gets a bit lost in this scene. The position of her right hand makes it look like a claw. Nothing you could do about that, just a timing issue.

I'm sure the owner will enjoy the photos, and that's all that matters in the end. I love some of the ones with the tongue/face combo. :mrgreen: There's also some good portraits of them together and then some of the owner by herself.
 

M38A1

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Thanks Kory... Totally understand the overwhelming part and your comments. I shot a LOT, then paired it down to a bunch, way more than I would have kept for myself. But I really don't have a good idea for what people want so I just gave a bunch of what I thought would make her happy. Kind of let them decide which they like, but in some respects I can see how that dilutes the real gems. But when they pay, what if they don't think there were enough for all the 'clicks' she heard? That's where I struggle.
 
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Thanks Kory... Totally understand the overwhelming part and your comments. I shot a LOT, then paired it down to a bunch, way more than I would have kept for myself. But I really don't have a good idea for what people want so I just gave a bunch of what I thought would make her happy. Kind of let them decide which they like, but in some respects I can see how that dilutes the real gems. But when they pay, what if they don't think there were enough for all the 'clicks' she heard? That's where I struggle.
I always like to tell the client upfront how many edited photos they can expect to receive. I tell them I will go through and pick out the best to edit. My problem is most of my subjects are children, so yes, there is a bit of firing away at certain points. Their expressions change so fast, it's really necessary. As long as they have a general number up front, I wouldn't worry about it.

Also, the lost dog photo is much better now, IMO.
 

M38A1

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Spoke with a friend/pro and she has a good rule of thumb.... She provides about 35 shots per hour of shooting for her customers.

She also has a cool thing.... $275 for a 20min 'quickie' shoot. She shoots for 20min, culls and edits, then burns them to a USB stick drive that for about $5 has her company name/contact info on it, and mails it to the client. She books slots for a two day period and fills them up at that rate just before the holidays. Pretty slick she is.
 
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