Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Morty the Dog

This amazing bulldog belongs to a co-worker of mine. She LOVES her Morty. About a second into meeting him for the first time I could see why. He has this amazing feel and warmth to him that you cannot help but be drawn to him. It's kind of like when you met your best friend for the first time. You just clicked. I wanted to get down and hug him and wrestle with him, but I figured that would not be the best 1st impression to make on a dog.

I had been wanting to photograph a dog for some time. I really love dogs, but I am allergic to most so owning one anytime soon does not seem to be in my future. I also wanted to give to my co-worker, and I thought that a handful of portraits of her amazing dog would be encouraging. She loved the photos and I had a great time working with Morty.

Prepping For The Shoot
So how do you approach photographing a dog such as Morty? I had a few to ideas:
- One idea was to use an off-camera flash with an umbrella. I would use my 80-200mm zoom and use a Pocket Wizard to blast my flash. This was my preferred method. I thought Morty might stand still long enough to blast off a few flashes. That DID NOT happen.
- My second idea was to go all natural, which is what I ended up doing. There was no way that he was going to stand still. He seemed pretty excited and full of energy that evening. I also really wanted to capture him in his environment and the strobes would have gotten in the way.

The Set-Up
This ended up being a pretty easy shoot in terms of gear. I used the following gear:
- Nikon D700
- Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens
- Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 lens
- Tokina 12-24mm f/4 (this lens rocks!)
- Post processing in Lightroom 2

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Baby Camden

Babies are amazing little things. They move, cry, make noises, pee on you and fuss. They are also warm, affectionate, funny and beautiful and there is something absolutely magical when they smile. They also mean the world to their mom and dad. I love baby portraits for all of these reasons.

Babies and kids are awesome and I love being around them. Who else will allow you to tickle them, make weird faces and even weirder sounds, and yet still get a laugh? Try all of those things on an adult and see what happens! Wait... that might be a good thing to do.

So back to babies. Babies do not pretend to be something that they are not. They are exactly who they are supposed to be.

I have known Camden's mother for a few years now. We have worked together in the past, so I was totally excited when she told me that she was having a baby boy! News like that is always pretty darn amazing and cool.

So fast forward about a year and she emails me about taking some portraits of her little dude. I was excited to see Camden's parents again and VERY excited about meeting him. The session took about 25 minutes and we were done. In between shooting Camden made sure to drink a bottle, fuss just a little, and then pass gas on his dad. We were all so proud of him.

The Set-Up
For anyone interested in the techno-babble, here is my set-up:
  1. AlienBee 400 (1 strobe) on a medium-sized softbox as the main light to camera left
  2. Nikon SB-800 as fill light with plastic diffuser to camera right
  3. Black sheet material for the background
  4. Nikon D700 body with Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lenses
  5. Post processing in Lightroom 2