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Dogs…what are they? Well……… they are dogs, barking, shedding, 4 leggers, protectors and comforters. But also our best friends, furry companions, and family member. No longer are they relegated to the back yard, but are now given the poshest bed in the house, and probably sleep with you in your bed or your childs bed. So why are they not included in the family portraits? Or the Christmas pictures that we all send out?

Now they are and can be. There are photographers that specialize in  dog photography. They have the uncommon ability to catch your furry family member in fabulous poses. Along with your children, in-laws and grandparents. Every year, I have Teresa Berg take photos of me and my dogs. This I send out as my New Years card. My dogs and cat are my family. Of course they have to be represented in my cards and letters.

Teresa also teaches a photography workshop with her friend Bev Hollis to photogs who want to specialize in dogs and animals. I have the wonderful distinction of being the dog handler/trainer for these workshops, called Unleashed. We just wrapped up the workshop for September/October and it always amazes me being behind the scenes, seeing what hard work it is to set up the right shot, get the lighting correct, the settings on the camera correct and knowing that these talented folks all shoot manual. In other words, they don’t let the camera pick the settings automatically, they do it themselves. AAAccckkkk……I can barely use my iphone camera, how do they do this?

Here are a few behind the scene shots of what I see and then the finished product. Amazing isn’t it?

So as you prepare for the holiday season and think about taking the family photos for gramma and grandpa, think about adding your dogs or cats to your family portrait. You will be thankful to have those when your furry family member is no longer with you.

Behind the scenes photography

morning shoot with beau behind the scenes

morning shoot with Beau finsihed product