Animals and Children

“Never work with animals or children.” W.C. Fields

Despite the oft quoted phrase, I had a ball! The pet photo session in Leopold on the Bellarine Peninsula changed at the last minute to include a 14 month old girl called Isla alongside her 8 year old Bulldog big brother called Gus and it was a delight. I setup the equipment in a beautiful corner of their back yard. Stunning gum trees and native grasses were the perfect back drop. The weather turned quite overcast just as I arrived, which was a shame because it had been perfect Bellarine Peninsula weather the entire day.

I took a couple of chairs with me as props and they seemed to work perfect for Isla as they were just the right size. She was tasked with feeding Gus his treats, but unfortunately for Gus, Isla decided she liked eating them instead. Haha. A bit of direction from Mum and Dad soon fixed that problem and it was plain sailing from then on in. The overcast weather made for perfect soft lighting in the garden. I added an extra couple of large modifiers at camera left and camera right to bring out a sparkle in their eyes.

Gus is an older dog who struggles with some arthritis so the photo shoot was kept nice and short for him. He loved the treats and the peanut butter and even managed to entertain my idea of wearing a bowler hat for the occasion. We finished off the shoot with some family portraits and I’m sure you’ll agree that they are just delightful. Here is a sneak peak ahead of the clients viewing session. 

Client Photography Experience Feedback - Lynn and Tara

A few weeks back, I had a beautiful sunrise photo shoot with Tara and Lynn in St Leonards, near Geelong. Lynn’s property sits immediately opposite the beach facing east. Tara has grown up by the beach and has spent her whole life walking along the sand. When I dropped in to meet them on our first meeting, it was clear to me that they shared a special bond. I immediately imagined a sunrise session looking into the sun with Lynn and Tara as silhouettes. Lynn unfortunately didn’t want to be in any photos, however I managed to persuade her to walk along the sands in St Leonards with Tara while I took some extra photos. I’m glad I did, because in the end these stood out. They really captured the connection between the two of them and told the story of their lives together by the beach. I think Lynn agreed because it was one of the first images to be selected in our viewing session. Lynn went for some stunning timber panel prints. They give a beautiful matt textured finish to the image but with beautiful clarity. The raw edge to the timber was perfect for the beach feel of Lynn’s property too. Lynn gave some great feedback on her experience:

How would you describe your recent photography experience?

Fun, with clear instructions on what to do.

Can you tell me something about it that really stood out (Good or Bad)?

That you were happy to get up early on a cold morning to do a sunrise photo shoot.

Is there anything you would have changed about the experience?

Yes, please let the human know you are going to photograph them before the photo shoot. :-)

How would you describe your finished printed products?

Beautiful. As my friend said you made Tara look even more beautiful.

If you were to recommend my services, what would be the main reason?

Professional, Friendly, easy to talk too, happy to discuss options.

Is there any feedback you would like to provide on the overall client experience?

Thank you Steven, everyone & myself loves the photos of Tara.

Thank you to Lynn and Tara for choosing me to be your Dog Photographer. I had a great time with both of you. 

Geelong Animal Rescue Photography - Pablo

Had a beautiful cat photography session with a handsome rescue cat called Pablo last week. He was a real star. I brought in a play toy with me which he went straight for! He was incredibly playful and affectionate all at the same time. It’s difficult to imagine why he doesn’t have a home. He is currently in foster care as part of Geelong Animal Rescue. He will be available for adoption soon, which is the reason why I was taking his photos.

In terms of photography he was a real tester, not just because he was a quick mover but because his face was jet black. It’s always a challenge getting the lighting correct on black fur and it is made even more difficult when the hair around his neck was a great deal lighter. This makes it difficult to capture correctly in camera, but we managed to position him using the natural light from the window to get what we were after. I’m sure you’ll agree he was a handsome soul. 

Now for something completely different

I had the pleasure of capturing the team photos for Barwon Heads Soccer Club last week. They have a fantastic kids setup with a heap of boys and girls teams catering for all ages of youth soccer. Group photos are not my usual forte but I figured, what could be so difficult? Kids? Dogs? OK, my peanut butter trick may not work on the kids but really it is a case of maintaining their attention span for a sufficient time to nail the shot. Clearly I had underestimated the challenge! Especially with the boys teams! Trying to get a team of boys smiling and with their eyes open all at the same time was particularly difficult! There would be the stray glance to the side, mates messing around, eyes closed, tongues sticking out, bad Dad jokes. It was certainly an experience. In the end I believe we got most of the shots for each of soccer teams. The girls teams on the other hand were pros. They just stepped into position, perfect happy smiles with their eyes open. Nailed it with the first shot in most cases! :)

Well done to all of the teams on their season. A very successful one by all accounts. Doing Barwon Heads and indeed Ocean Grove proud!

Sunrise Photo Session with Tara and Lynn

I had a magnificent sunrise photo session with Lynn and Tara last week. They live right on the beach in St Leonards, on the Bellarine Peninsula. From the front balcony they have sensational views looking over Port Phillip Bay to the sun rising on the eastern horizon. We had planned the shot for the morning before but the weather looked a bit off so we rescheduled. We couldn’t have planned a better day for it in the end with a cloudless sky and zero wind the colours were just beautiful. I had two shots in mind that we had discussed at our planning meeting. A silhouette shot against the rising sun, which I managed to persuade Lynn to be in herself as well as a pre-sunrise shot using the studio lights on the beach. Both shots came out exactly as planned and it became a real challenge for Lynn to narrow down the selection.

With the help of some nifty software, I was able to capture a photo with my phone of the wall spaces she was thinking about and used these to mock up a wall display with the images from her session so that she could see exactly how the image would fit into the space she had available. It helped Lynn a lot to narrow down the selection. 

In the end, she selected the images she loved and went with Wood Panel prints, which fits perfectly with her current setup at home. Her home has a real beachy feel with worn timbers throughout. The wood panel prints with their rough sawn edges will fit in perfectly so I’m delighted that she went with this option. Here are the wall mock ups from our ordering session together.

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