I thought Michele Strupp’s blog (September 6,2014) was wonderful, so knowing that her indoor photography is just as good, I asked her to share her techniques for producing the cute expressions we see in her portraits.
Michele grooms dogs and also works with a shih tzus rescue group. When she grooms rescue dogs, she puts the images on her Facebook page with a bit of information about the dog. We all know how important photographs are when you want to encourage someone to adopt a rescue dog. Michele’s business is a perfect marriage between the good work she is doing and the rescue organization she helps. What better way to draw attention to rescue dogs and how cute they can be once someone gives them a hug and a bath!
Here’s how she does it:
“I am a professional dog groomer and foster for a shih tzu rescue. I take a ‘before’ photo, give each dog a makeover, and then make an ‘after’ photo. Then I use Picasa (free download editing program) to put their name on their photograph. This application is really easy to use.
“To take the photos, I’ve set up a little area in my grooming shop with a backdrop and some props. For backdrops, I use throw blankets, sheets or cut pieces of fleece. I shoot with a Canon Rebel 3ti with a 50 mm lens in front of a window for natural lighting. I like to take the picture with the dog looking up at me, so I stand on a step stool and shoot looking down at the dog.
“For props with small dogs, I like to use wicker baskets or crates. They are a perfect prop to contain the small, wiggly bodies and keep them in one place. Depending on the time of year, I use props with a seasonal theme. I also offer photos for client dogs, and I have a lot of requests for sports teams, so I use a lot of props with sports equipment and logos. I also offer Puppy’s first grooming session. I take a picture pre first haircut, puppy in tub and puppy after. Then I do a collage picture for them. It’s a great keepsake.
“My photo shoots usually last about fifteen minutes. I don’t have an assistant, so to keep their attention I use squeaky toys, whistles, party noise makers, talking toys, my voice and of course crinkly treat bags.
“I have lots and lots of subjects to photograph, as I own six dogs (three shih tzus, two tibetan terriers and one husky.) I LOVE taking photographs of animals.”
Here’s Michele grooming.
Well we might not have an indoor studio like Michele, but there are plenty of solid things she is doing that we can try. We need to find a spot with a good background, or throw a sheet over a chair to create one. We need a spot with good natural lighting from a window. We need props.
Ok. Let’s give it a try….