Every experience is a learning one. I don’t pretend to know anything in fear of looking like a complete ass. So, although I would say I know quite a bit about both photography and dogs, I did not walk away from my session without any mistakes and lessons to learn from. Here are my top three from this shoot:
1. There is no replacement for the right equipment
It was a cloudless, warm spring day in the middle of the mountainous dessert. The sun was high and pouring hard light down upon us. Being mindful of the propensity to collect too much gear, I have yet to buy a reflector. I tried to use my umbrella as a substitute. It worked for about 2 minutes while I shot the puppies in the one area I set it up to reflect onto. After that it became to much of a pain in the ass to move it around and I lazily got it into the background of one good picture which I may have to edit out. Get the right stuff ya need for when ya need it.
2. Full manual all the way
I thought that given the nature of the shoot I would want to be in aperture priority. I figured the sun would bump up the shutter speed enough that it wouldn’t matter and I could focus solely on the bokeh and depth of focus. I didn’t consider moving from the sun to shade and my shutter speed slowed significantly. Some of my good pictures were ruined because of blur. Get into full manual and take full control over the outcome of your pictures!
3. Take some marker shots
Nine puppies had different color collars to differentiate them. They were put individually into a little wheel barrel for portraits. Unfortunately, the colors are not all easily visible. So afterwards, it is hard to tell which puppy is which to ensure I supply my client with a picture of each puppy. If there is something you won’t be able to tell the difference between later, or anything that you want separated on the memory card, take a picture that will separate the segments.
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