I’ve missed a few opportunities to show off our little white dog, but couldn’t pass up this shot from her 2010 calendar.  Yes, we truly print out calendars every year of various photos taken of her.

This was a very simple setup from a technical point of view.  Alle was sitting on a black piece of plexiglass to give a nice reflection.  The background was black seamless paper and the lighting was a single 2×3 foot softbox.

When shooting pets, or any living subject for that matter, a good starting angle is to get at their eye level and experiment from there.  Make the subject look larger by shooting up at them, or smaller by shooting down.  I was pretty much at eye level with Alle.

2009-04-28Every once in a while I get to photograph a real natural model who makes it easy from the photographer’s point of view. This was the case on Saturday as I shot senior portraits for a good friend of ours. She was very much at home in front of the camera and everything came together quite nicely for the photo session.

Lighting was quite simple.  I had a 2×3 foot softbox over my right shoulder and one strobe high over the model’s right shoulder to give the nice hair light.

The background was black seamless paper.

The model and her mom were quite pleased with the results, so I’d call that a successful shoot.

KodaWho doesn’t love a puppy?  This young Australian Shepherd  was an interesting subject. Unlike most puppies, he was quite mellow, so that was helpful in the studio.  However, unlike most subjects, he didn’t understand commands like “sit,” “stay,” “speak,” but he did pretty good.  Koda is one of the most handsome dogs I have ever seen.  His markings are amazingly beautiful.

My wife was making some interesting sounds to get Koda’s attention.  Unfortunately, when she started to howl, the poor puppy thought it was one of his counterparts from the wild, so he tucked his tail and ran.  However, he did respond with some adorable head tilts when she started to whimper.

Prior to the shoot, I headed over to Home Depot and picked up some “white tile board” for use under the subject.  This worked great with the white backdrop.

Thanks to Kenzie and her mom for bringing Koda over for the photo session.

Click to buy on iStockphoto.comMy wife came into the studio this afternoon and made the comment that I think outside the box.  Hmmm, maybe I do as this is not your typical photo, but one that took a lot of setup, trial and error.

This is the first time I’d ever tried to do anything with smoke and by the end of the shoot, the studio was smelling strongly of incense.

I wanted the shot backlit to really bring out the smoke against the black background. A single softbox was used above the gun and a small white reflector was used to get some reflections on the side of the barrel.

Try thinking of some dramatic effects and create them in real life.

Every once in a while I get to take some really fun photos. Today happened to be one of those days. The place where I work was having a company wide meeting and asked if I would bring in my photo gear to take pictures of the guest speaker. This guest speaker is world famous due to her excellent performance in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. She is from the Boise area and is an outstanding cyclist. Her name, if you haven’t guessed it by now, is Kristin Armstrong.

Kristin must be used to doing photo shoots, as she was quite comfortable in front of the camera and never blinked once due to the strobes.  🙂

Congratulations to Kristin for representing our country and city so well as she brought home the GOLD!  We are all proud of her!


July is a patriotic time of year and thought that we should get our dog into the mood too.  We have a blanket that is made up of various stars and stripes patterns and thought we’d give it a try.

I set up the studio lights and a dark background for some good contrast.  Having a willing model always helps too.



March AlleHere is our dog Alle’s March calendar shot. This one was shot in my studio as I was preparing for a “real” client to arrive for a portrait shoot.

She makes a great subject as I work on getting the lights adjusted. 🙂









What?A month or so ago we were dog sitting for some friends of ours. We thought it would be nice to get more practice with new subjects in the studio, so out popped the camera and in came the dogs.

They are both very curious creatures. It was very fun to make little noises and watch their heads. Sometimes they were both tilting the same direction, other times they gave us a rather hilarious opposite tilt.

Lighting was very simple using 2 strobes with umbrellas. The background was black seamless paper.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, try to position the camera at the eye level of the subject. It helps to connect with the subject a bit better.

Next time you are dog or kid sitting, get out the camera and take an photograph that the parents would love to have. Of course, there is always the danger that they may not let you watch them again. 🙂

Canon 40D, Canon 24-70 f2.8 L at 30mm, 1/100 at f8, ISO 100